I give my kitchen a good cleaning once a week, but during the holidays I faltered in my routine. When cleaning this past weekend, I realized that I had not cleaned the filter in the vent of my range hood. It is easy to forget. I thought that I could mention it here, because it may be something that you might overlook.
Why would this be so important? As an inspector, I have to check this vent and filter out for my report, and I do get a few glances my way when pulling this filter out. When cooking, some of the smoke going up through your vent contains grease. This grease collects in the filter, or along the sides of the vent if you have no filter. This does two things which you will not want. As you cook under the vent, and the grease heats up, it will drip back down into your food. A flavoring agent that you may not want. The grease can also catch on fire. I admit that these two occurrences may not be so common, but I have seen both happen.
Grease fires are hard to put out, so you should have a good fire extinguisher in your kitchen. When buying an extinguisher check that it can handle different types of fire. Locate it in an easy to grab spot. It is better to ruin a dinner than to let a fire get out of control.
Alright, this was not the most glamorous of topics for a blog, but I thought it may be a good reminder.