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23 February 2010

So I've taken to sautéing fish. And need advice from more experienced cooks. [More:](If you're seeing an accent over the e, that's just because I copied it that way from wikipedia).

The problem is, even though it smells divine while cooking, the kitchen has this lingering fish smell for days. My partner is on the verge of forbidding me to ever cook fish again.

Yes, I know I can bake it, but I've been doing that for quite awhile and want to branch out.

Any thoughts on how to sauté (there's that accent again) without making the whole apartment smell like super-pungent fish?
Do you have a stove vent? If so, you should use it while you're sauteing. Also try to make sure you have the freshest fish available.

Cleaning the stove after and having a splatter screen might also help minimize the spread of fishy oils.

Otherwise, you may be doomed.
posted by that girl 23 February | 01:31
I keep a mister of unscented liquid Bronners, water, and tangerine essential oil on hand as my general all-purpose cleaner and it does a pretty good job of making the kitchen smell fresh and bright after cooking fish. I usually just do a quick spritzing and wipe-down of the surfaces around the stove.
posted by birdie 23 February | 03:49
I sympathize with your partner; love eating fish but dislike the scent of it while cooking. Some kinds of fish cook up more stinky than others, too, salmon is one of the worst offenders in our house.

I cook fish with the stove fan going full blast and a glass lid on the pan. Glass so I can watch so the filet doesn't overcook, which it will if you don't hover as the captured steam really speeds up the cooking process. I shake the pan rather than open the lid for a spatula, except for the few seconds to flip sides. (Remember to hold the lid down while shaking). For the last third of cooking time, I'll take off the lid to crisp up the surfaces and use a splatter screen.

After cooking, while the stove is still hot and the filets are resting, I'll do a quick wipe down of the stove top and the splash guard around it. Leave the lid on the pan until you wash it. Also leave the fan on for a while too, if the noise doesn't distract from your dining.

Finally, I boil a cup of vinegar on the stove the morning after I saute stinky fish. The vinegar will stank up your house something awful for about a half hour but after it clears away, there's no odors of any kind.

posted by jamaro 23 February | 13:54
When the weather warms up you might consider getting a little hibachi and cooking outside too to preserve household harmony.
posted by gomichild 23 February | 17:39
I was just going to say, grill your fish! It's better anyway and no lingering odors.
posted by kodama 23 February | 18:59
Get a new partner.
posted by pompomtom 23 February | 21:38
Thanks for the advice all (pompomton excluded)!

Outdoor cooking isn't always practical where we live, but I'm going to try that vinegar thing. When he complains, I can at least say, "well, it doesn't still smell like fish, does it?"
posted by treepour 24 February | 01:01
First Callback Interview In Over A Year.... || The Other 70s.