I really really really hate grease. I have a small house, my kitchen is next to my living room separated by a tiny hallway. I close the doors when I cook and generally don't have a problem. But when I do a steak, I like high heat to fry the outside well.

Its not on for long as I like the inside rare and I've followed advice to keep the smoke down which has helped a lot but... there is still smoke.

If there is smoke floating around, is that grease? Like, will it eventually settle down as grease?

I only ask because I have ocd about grease on electronics...and I hate the feel of it. To be fair, it doesn't feel like grease after the smoke has gone but I'm paranoid. Even thought about getting a tiny BBQ to use for just the steak but...maybe thats a little extreme

  • 1
    You're most likely to get airborne grease from frying, stir frying, stuff like that ... so if you're cooking in a generous amount of oil, I'd recommend a higher sided vessel and a splatter screen. Steaks won't brown quite as well (as the high sides will hold in some moisture, preventing it from getting too hot), but you'll reduce the amount of airborne grease. You can also cook your steaks in the oven (top heat ; broiler in the US, grill in AU), so the aerosolized grease is more contained.
    – Joe
    Aug 29, 2018 at 17:22

3 Answers 3


Scientifically speaking, smoke is a solid mixed with a gas, so no, smoke is not grease.

However, the smoke that gets generated by the decomposition of cooking oils (called the "smoke point") at a certain temperature (T°) is mixed with grease molecules and yes, they settle down somewhere.

To explain further let's take an analogy with water at 1 ATM

  • 1L of water boils at 100°C
  • At 75°C it evaporates rather quickly
  • at 50°C it evaporates quicker than at room T°
  • at 25°C it will eventually evaporate (Room T°)
  • at 0°C it will sublimate rather slowly

Now, with cooking oils, the smoke point is way below the boiling point for most, but as you can see from the above analogy they will evaporate though more slowly than water as an oil molecule is heavier so takes more energy to get "kicked" out of the liquid.

Note 1: I tried finding a list of cooking oils with both their boiling and smoke points but couldn't find a decent list with both, but it's irrelevant to the question as any liquid does evaporate at room T° eventually...
Note 2: The best way to ensure the grease molecules don't settle down inside is to ensure there is excellent ventilation or invest in a high-volume extractor

  • 1
    or cook without oil!
    – dessert
    Aug 28, 2018 at 22:38

Smoke is not grease. However, air currents will carry smoke and grease. The best solution is to invest in ventilation that leads to the outdoors. If you can't do that, there is nothing wrong with a small grill for outdoor cookery. I used to carry mine to the parking lot, years ago, when I lived in an apartment that did not allow grilling on the attached deck.

  • 1
    and people who don't use a vent to the outside are supposed to use a filter in their overhead range hood.
    – thorr18
    Dec 21, 2018 at 23:07

You can get one of those grease screens that you can put over the frying pan, They do work. But an outside grill is excellent idea.

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.