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Does cooking create smoke or am I doing something wrong?

I can't seem to cook a meal without setting off the smoke alarm. Yes, I use the hood fan, but still, even a hot dog on the stove gets that thing wailing. I disconnected the one in my old apartment, but I've recently moved and can't figure out how to disable the one in my new place.

asked by Giulia Melucci over 7 years ago

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9 answers 21042 views
the professor
added over 7 years ago

sounds a little odd. maybe you should try roasting and baking rather than stove-top cooking? (i'm a little puzzled by the hot-dog on the stovetop; are you using a grill pan?) if you have sufficient moisture, in the form of fat/oil/butter or water/stock, you shouldn't be smoking things up too much.

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fiveandspice
fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

added over 7 years ago

Are you actually creating smoke that you can see/smell? I've lived in apartments where the fire alarm seemed incredibly sensitive to heat being produced even when there wasn't any smoke anywhere. Actually, sometimes when there actually was smoke it wouldn't go off!

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a Whole Foods Market Customer
added over 7 years ago

Just an opinion, but it sounds like you might be using too high a temperature to cook...medium or medium high works just fine for most stove-top cooking; for simmering or braising, consider setting the temperature to medium-low or low.

Also, think about what you are cooking. If you are frying a hot dog, for example, use a combination of butter and vegetable, canola, olive or peanut oil to raise the smoking point of the butter. If you are cooking a sauce, it does not have to be at a rolling boil to cook. Make sure you have spatter guards or pot lids to prevent food from landing on burner you are using as well as other burners.

Also, a question to you-are you cooking on a gas or electric range? If you are moving from one to the other, it does take a bit of adjusting to get the hang of it. For example, cooking on a gas stove offers instant gratification in temperature reduction. However, reducing the temperature of the burners on an electric stove takes time and is definitely NOT instaneous.

A final thought, make sure the drip pans under the burners are clean. If you cook and stuff boils over, that bakes onto the drip pan and can smoke. If you can't get the drip pans clean, buy new ones; the cost is minimal.

BTW-NOT a good idea to disconnect fire/smoke alarm; you never know when it will come in handy. Just a thought! :-)

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Sam1148
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 7 years ago

Place a plastic bag over the fire alarm and secure with a rubber band when you plan to make something that might smoke. You do NOT want to disable it in a way that's inconvenient to restore after you finish cooking.



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Martin69
added over 7 years ago

Sounds to me like what ever you are cooking your food in my be causing smoke? Or as others have stated, you are cooking too hot. Check you cooking pot/pan to see if there is food burning on the outside or in a nook/craney? Are you cooking with gas or electric? I had a stove once that no matter what temp. I set it at, it cooked on high, had a sensor go bad in it. Those are about all the ideas I have.

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Droplet
added over 7 years ago

There are small fire extinguishers in a can form that might be a good thing for you to keep on hand just in case. If the way you cook really is the reason for this happening. Sometimes we run out of luck.

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Sam1148
Sam1148

Sam is a trusted home cook.

added over 7 years ago

NEVER leave the kitchen while your frying food. Or even just 'oh well I'll warm this up a bit on the stove' and then do something else for awhile.

Get a nice comfortable 'bar chair' for the kitchen and maybe an extra flat screen TV to mount to a wall to watch while your cooking.
This is a big issue here as my SO will turn on a pot of soup and walk away for hours which usually results in having to clean off crusty bits bonded to the pan.

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SKK
SKK
added over 7 years ago

After having read your profile and all your great recipes, some of which I have tried and found to be amazing, don't think your cooking is the issue. My thought echos Sam1148 and Martin and some others - check your sensor on your stove, put a plastic bag over your smoke detector - check drip pans. This is a technical issue.

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the professor
added over 7 years ago

SKK called it--I should have read your profile, as I thought this was a novice cook's question. The plastic bag method works! I did it in my Queens apt for years.

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