Whenever I make burgers (stovetop with cast iron), they produce a high amount of smoke. I usually take extra precautions to ensure adequate ventilation, but I end up inhaling quite a bit a smoke.

Is it common for professional or semi-professional chefs to use protective gear in lieu of adequate ventilation? If I do this semi-regularly (once every two weeks), should I invest in protective gear such as a mask?

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    It sounds like you need a fan (to send the smoke out the window), not protective gear. – Joe Sep 2 '14 at 14:34
  • @Joe, even with fans, when I'm over the pan flipping, I get plenty of smoke – wnnmaw Sep 2 '14 at 14:38
  • ...a longer spatula? No need to put one's face over the pan. – moscafj Sep 2 '14 at 14:47
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    @wnnmaw : or turn the heat down. You may have to then adjust the thickness of the burger so that you achieve your desired doneness at lower heat. – Joe Sep 2 '14 at 14:48
  • A particle mask provides no protection from smoke. You would need a mask with an activated carbon filter or SCBA, neither of which is practical. – Carey Gregory Nov 3 '14 at 22:42

It's extremely common for professional chefs to have fans: most of the time these are mandated by regulations for the safety of those in and out of the kitchen. If you producing so much smoke to be considering protective gear my advice would be to change your method because as it stands you are at risk of fire and you aren't doing your lungs (or those of the people around you) any good.

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  • Not just fans, but range hoods, which suck air (and thus smoke) up and slightly in, away from the chef. – Joe M Sep 2 '14 at 16:35
  • ...and if the baffles (covers) were removed, our hats would get sucked up while cleaning inside the stainless hoods. That's how strong/efficient they are. – Michael E. Sep 2 '14 at 21:54

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