Hiding cooking odors

I’m about to move into a new apartment in someone’s basement, and the landlord (who lives upstairs) said “I hope you don’t cook too much,” after I had already put the money down and everything. Fact is, I cook all the time. The landlords seem kind of finicky and neurotic, so I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to cook without bothering them. Google says heat up some lemon water and cloves, but I wonder if anyone has any secret tricks?

Keep the windows open when you cook. Keep fans blowing. If the range hood exhausts to the outside, use that. And if you are going to deep fry, do it outside.

What ever you do, don’t fry garlic.

Moved to Cafe Society.

Gfactor, General Questions Moderator

I think it’s ridiculous for them to be worried about your cooking! If I were you I’d cook a big old pot of sauerkraut today, then everything else you cook from now on will seem pleasant to them.

Try to bake/roast as much as possible (rather than fry or sautee).
What sort of things do you cook? Any particular cuisine? Perhaps the landlord had a bad experience with particularly strong odors from their last tenants.
Regardless of what you’re making, keeping it around meal times is key. Spices like cumin and curry are inviting around dinner time, but not particularly nice when it’s 9 a.m. and you’re stepping out of the shower.

Fuck them. You go ahead and cook as much as you damn well please.

Also, to answer your question, redirect the odors and air currents away from the upstairs by opening windows, blowing fans out the windows, useing the hood, etc.

If I’m not mistaken, it isn’t her house.

Many range hoods vent into the walls. FYI

I know this isn’t what you asked, but … your landlord wants you to avoid cooking? that seems totally unreasonable to me. I know you are worried about pissing them off, but it’s hard to imagine someone being 100% serious in expecting you not to cook “too much” (what’s too much?). If the landlord doesn’t like people cooking in his apartment, then he should think twice about renting it out.

I agree that saving strong cooking odors for later in the day would be a polite concession on your part, but count me in as one who thinks that landlords can’t really expect you not to cook in what is effectively your own home. I would think restrictions on that would violate what most people would define as reasonable use of the apartment.

I’m sure you aren’t like this, but I’ve had to deal with very troublesome tenants.
One cooked a lot of Mexican deep fried foods every day, and the other made curry. Curry is more pungant. Both are expensive to the landlord when it comes time to rerent the unit. You have to pay for a couple hours extra cleaning, and then rent an ozone machine, and it still puts off new tenants.

But maybe your tastes aren’t that strong-smelling.
If they have to come into the basement regularly, like if their laundry is there or the furnace needs a lot of attention, then you need to be careful to clean the things that linger after cooking - If you spill spices, clean them right away. And if you fry, there will be oil on the backsplash and surfaces next to the stove. Pots and pans that are never washed (my mother kept the bacon fry pan unwashed) are a source of odors when cold.

What exactly are your kitchen amenities? It’s absurd to rent out a basement with, say, a gas range and demand minimal cooking, but if there’s no appliances (as in dorm rooms), it’s understandable for the landlord to limit or outright forbid things like hot plates, on the grounds of their being fire hazards.

Maybe you can offset your cooking with some effective deep-cleaning and degreasing… degreasing the kitchen area, shampooing any rugs or carpets in your apt., washing any curtains you’ve inheirited there (curtains are notorious collectors of dust and odors); venting and filtering your air, etc. And don’t forget to wash your basement windows; any additional visual cleanliness and brightness down there may help you to finesse odor/smoke issues later.

I pan-fry fish once in a while and I keep a small lamp (something like this) burning a few feet from the rangetop. This trick was given to me by an Asian friend so I guess it qualifies as an Ancient Chinese Secret. As far as I can tell it seems to work, but I’m not sure how. No visitors have ever reported offensive fried fish odors.

I’ve also heard that the electrostatic air purifiers neutralize odors very well.

In most states apartments have to have stoves and sinks to be legal apartments. If there is a stove and a sink, I’m cook pretty much like I always do, because that’s what people do where they live. Maybe if you cook good smelling things first, they’ll like it better. Like apple pies and chocolate chip cookies.