I live in a small apartment, and the kitchen is tucked away in a corner without any outside ventilation (windows or stovetop exhaust). Every once in a while I'll be cooking and something will start to smoke (a different problem, I know!) and the smoke detector will go off. How do I eliminate or reduce the amount of ambient smoke? I don't have access to external ventilation.

  • At least in the US, if you have no ventilation or exhaust in the kitchen, your home would not meet building codes.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 0:46
  • 1
    Very closely related to How do I stop my fire alarm from going off when I cook? I'm leaving it alone because the current answer is dealing specifically with the smoke issue and not the alarm, but if too many answers focus on the alarm issue, it might have to be closed. You might want to remove the bit about the smoke detector so that it's not construed as a duplicate.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 1:31
  • Unfortunately, sanitation codes for where I live (Boston) don't have a section on kitchen ventilation, and the building itself has been grandfathered in.
    – srlm
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 4:17

1 Answer 1


As SAJ14SAJ said, the best solution is to simply not live in a place like that - it can be a bit dangerous.

But since you're there, about the only thing you can do is get a decent fan and use it to direct air out of the kitchen toward rooms with open windows. Depending on the layout (and the fans) you may need multiple fans, and might want one of them to be a box fan in the window helping push air out.

For things you think may be smoky, you might also consider cooking outside if possible, on a hot plate, a camping stove, or a small grill. (Or you could just not do them at all.)

  • And avoid stir frying, searing, and similar techniques.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Sep 19, 2013 at 1:17
  • It seems this is the only thing to do for an apartment like mine.
    – srlm
    Commented Oct 28, 2013 at 4:16

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.