Originally Posted by UnFacconable
I think the biggest problem I have with many condo kitchens is the lack of external venting. My first two condos both had these crappy under microwave recirculator vents which were close to useless so you really had to open a door and a window to hope to clear smoke or other smells. My mom always used to complain about open kitchens generally because unless you have some sort of commercial vent your whole house ends up smelling like dinner which wasn't a problem with separate kitchens. Obviously nowadays everyone wants open plans so they can watch their kids or see their guests and there are tradeoffs. I wouldn't go back to a separate kitchen and given the $/SF where I live, I don't see things moving in that direction anyway.
Yeah. I wish I had a fricking external vent. A select few large buildings have them, and small buildings leave them as an option...some friends just moved out of a 3-flat that had real vents, although the hood unit was a completely under-powered $50 home depot special.
The smoke/oil from frying is part of what drove me towards sous-vide and buying a blow torch. Instead of throwing a chicken breast in a very hot pan with some oil and ending up with an apartment that smells like cooking and has a film of grease on everything (thanks open plan!), I can cook it in the water bath and then give it some color with the torch without filling the air with a cooking haze.
I'm not convinced the microwave-vent actually does anything, although I installed a recirculating hood in my last apartment that had lots of suction, more aggressive grease catching filters, and charcoal odor filters. Didn't work as well as if I could have run the vent outside, but it did help some.