This Is Rachael Ray's Trick For Cooking Seafood Without The Smell

Rachael Ray knows her way around a kitchen. This celebrity chef (a title she is quick to eschew) has created a food empire with her popular Food Network show 30 Minute Meals and more cookbooks than we can count on our fingers — 26 to be exact, but who's counting (via Rachael Ray Show). Her easygoing approach to cooking makes her culinary tips and tricks kitchen gospel. During an interview with NPR, the iconic cook revealed that she is just like us when it comes to cooking seafood — she isn't fond of the smell, either.

For some people, the smell that can make your kitchen reek can easily be a deal-breaker when it comes to choosing les poissons as your protein of choice. It might even surprise you to learn that, according to the Food Marketing Institute's first-ever Power of Seafood survey, only 56 percent of Americans eat seafood twice a month (via Seafood Source). 

But what causes that fishy smell that makes you gag or dry heavy involuntarily? It is a result of a chemical called trimethylamine oxide, which creates what is described as a rather smelly "ammonia-like" odor (via Prevention). Lucky for us, Rachael Ray has a trick to cook seafood sans the smell and was nice enough to share it. What is it?

Rachael Ray's secret weapon to eliminating the smell of seafood

While discussing how she creates her fragrant puttanesca on NPR, Ray shared that she enjoys the beautiful aroma of the garlic. She went on to further explain that spirits can make all the difference, offering, "The most important thing for me is the spirits. The Italian dry vermouth. When we cook with seafood in my family, we always use dry vermouth because it kills the smell of seafood in your kitchen." 

Vermouth is basically an amalgamation of wine and brandy that's been imbued with aromatics and sweetened. Dry vermouth contains the absinthe ingredient, wormwood (Vine Pair). Ray suggests that after you have finished cooking your seafood, but while the pan is still hot, pour a bit of the dry vermouth into the bottom of the pan to get rid of the smell. Just be careful because vermouth might cause a flame (via Food Network). 

Ray is not alone in her use of vermouth to get rid of the stench of fish when she cooks. On one forum thread from 2004 about "neutralizing" the odor of seafood, a helpful individual offered, "... extra dry white vermouth splashed onto the fish 15 minutes before cooking will reduce the smell. I also like apple cider vinegar on my fresh albacore."