If like me you cook fish on a regular basis you may find that your tasty meal is hard to forget. The reason may not be just because it was delicious but rather that "the meal is ended but the smell of it lingers on" if you know what I mean.
One of my favourite fish dishes is grilled, smoked mackerel. It is a healthy food providing essential fats and it is very tasty. However much as I love the food I hate the after smell. It can linger around for far too long.
You need to consider good methods of cooking, preparing and clearing up in order to limit fish smells. So this write-up is about prevention as much as removing; let's start with preparing the fish.
Lay your fish onto a chopping board and you could start the whole fish smell scenario. You may have to prepare your fish though. If you do, use a board that does not hold smells and liquids. Avoid wooden chopping boards but go for tough easily cleanable plastic ones.
Clean all boards, utensils and work surfaces as soon as possible. Make sure you throw any packaging in a bin outside at once, preferably in a tied plastic or polythene bag. This will prevent bins becoming smelly, especially those indoors. Add a few drops of lemon juice to your cleaning solution as this fights smells. On a cautionary note though take care with lemon juice. Some surfaces such as granite may not react well. Always check before use.
In order to minimise fish smells in your home cook wisely.You can bake, grill, steam, poach or fry fish. It depends on the dish and the fish.
If you are frying, fish greasy splashes on work tops and your hob may be a big problem. Keep the heat on the hob relatively low and if necessary use a splatter guard. Again wipe down surfaces thoroughly sooner rather than later. Use hot soapy water.
Keep any ventilation or cooker hood open while you are cooking fish.
Cooking fish in the oven means it is covered and smells will be kept to a minimum. If you opt to grill fish, line your grill pan with aluminium or cooking foil. As soon as you serve the fish and the foil is cool enough, squeeze the foil into a tight ball and remove. Again it will need to go in a bin outside of your home. I tend to have a carrier bag outside the kitchen door when cooking fish and keep placing all this stuff in it. Once finished I can just tie it tight and throw its away.
Now we get to the nitty gritty. If you have prepared and cooked wisely the lingering fish smells should be at a minimum but they will still be there. Time can make the difference between the smells lingering until doomsday or them being gone in a few minutes.
Washing up, plus tips and advice
If you place the vinegar in a small dish,whilst you work on the fish and clear up afterward, apparently it will soak up any odours. Having not tried this method I would imagine that the smell of vinegar could be just as off putting as the fish. However it's claimed that as soon as you smell the vinegar it is time to move it away. The claim is that your kitchen will be left odour free. I shall try this the next time I am cooking fish. I have read that a cut onion acts the same way but who wants a raw onion hanging about whilst they are cooking?
For now though I would say that you cannot beat good kitchen hygiene for reducing or removing kitchen smells such as fish. The bonus is you will minimse your risk of catching a stomach bug and your kitchen will sparkle.
If all else fails
If the above all sounds like too much hassle for your busy schedule cook fish outdoors on a barbecue. You will still have smelly utensils and dishes to clean but away from your home and kitchen. Outdoors the smell cannot and will not linger for long.