Around The Kitchen | » 2009 » January | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen

I’m interested in an automatic exhaust fan for my kitchen . . .

Recently, the above question was asked.  The cook was concerned because the kitchen would get smokey while he was cooking food and he had to continually turn the exhaust fan on and off manually.  What he wanted was a fully automatic circuit to control the exhaust fan.

Then, when the kitchen gets smokey (from burnt oil, burnt food, etc.) the exhaust fan would automatically come on for five (5) minutes then off after 5 minutes.   He wanted  the circuit diagram and a parts list so he could make the modifications himself.

And while this sounds like a good idea it does have at least one drawback he should consider. If the smoke is caused by an actual fire he would NOT want the exhaust fan to come on automatically.

This probably explains why there is no device currently made to do what he wants. Though I suspect he could modify a smoke detector that would activate a relay rather than the alarm, this would require determining the voltage and current available from the alarm buzzer circuit. He would need to find a relay that would work using the available power. It would probably also require some de-soldering and soldering to connect the smoke alarm to the relay.

He might be able to find a time delay relay that would work off the available power from the alarm circuit. If not he would need a separate time delay relay to provide the 5 minute on/off time.

Please keep in mind, most smoke alarms have a small amount of radio active material. So anyone wanting to try this needs to use caution cutting one open.

There are smoke detectors typically used for industrial installations that have a built in relay for remote signaling. This may be an easier route since there won’t be a need to do any modifications to the smoke detector itself, but you would still need a timer.

However, with all this said, there is still the fire issue.The wisest course would be to continue to turn the exhaust fan on manually.

To Skylight in the Kitchen or Not to Skylight – That’s the Question

With so many fairly non-invasive and relatively inexpensive ways to add light into your home, would having a skylight in your kitchen be a selling point if you ever sold the house or something people would rather not see. Is this something that is desirable in a kitchen?And the answer in a word is NO!  While having a skylight may be just what you like, for the majority, it is a drawback. You don't have to look any further than the food court at your local mall. Notice the tables under the skylights? Those are the last ones to fill up. People won't even sit there unless there is no other choice. Nobody wants the sun in their eyes.And for many of us, the kitchen is the hub of the home. Lots of games, meetings and meals are enjoyed at the kitchen table. A great selling point would be excellent pendant lighting, preferably with adjustable height and intensity - not a skylight.

Organizational Tips for Your Kitchen

As I've mentioned before I like to collect gadgets. I have almost every kitchen gadget known to womankind. And while my kitchen is not that small, (I've actually heard of people having to stored kitchen stuff under their bed - yes and I thought I was bad) there are some organizational tips to help make the most of that smaller or overcrowded kitchen.

OK to begin with - and I'm sure I should take this advice myself, go through the things in your kitchen and decide what you actually use and what you don't. If you haven't used an item in the past two years, throw it out. You obviously don't need it. BE HONEST! Wow, I'm beginning to feel a little scared just writing this.

Even your appliances. For instance, you really don't need a food processor and a blender. Choose one or the other and get rid of the less used item.

When you store items in your kitchen, put rarely used items on the top most shelves and the items you use every day on the easy to reach shelves. Put plates, flatware, glasses and cups near the sink or dishwasher and pots and pans, oils, herbs and spices near the stove - place all your baking dishes as close to the oven as possible. This will keep you from running all over your kitchen when you're preparing a meal.

And last but not least, if you really have run out of room, try having a baking box. Most of us don't bake every day so get a plastic storage container with a lid and store everything you use for baking in it. The box can be tucked away anywhere that you have some extra space and when you're ready to bake you can just grab your baking box and everything you need will be at your fingertips.

Around The Kitchen | » 2009 » January | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen