Smoke coming from your toaster oven can cause you to panic, but there’s usually an easy fix for this problem. Learning how to properly use and maintain your toaster oven will help prevent it from smoking again. Fixing a smoking toaster oven is typically quick and easy to do.
Why is Your Toaster Oven Smoking?
Your toaster oven may be smoking because of food splatters, dust, or even cleaner residue. Toaster ovens can also smoke when they are new or if they haven’t been used for a long time.
Oil and Grease
When you are cooking fatty foods, grease and oil may splatter in the toaster oven. When the grease or oil comes into contact with the heating elements, your toaster oven may start to smoke.
The best way to minimize the chances of this happening is to cover foods with tin foil or an oven-safe lid. This will help contain the splatter of oil and grease so it doesn’t touch the hot elements.
Cleaning your toaster oven regularly will prevent the build-up of oil and grease. Use warm water and soap to wipe down the rack and interior of the oven after it has cooled completely.
Your toaster oven might be smoking because there are bits of food in the bottom of the oven. The easiest way to prevent this from happening is to cook your food on a tray or baking sheet. Don’t place food directly on the toaster oven rack.
Food can also get stuck on the heating element if there is not enough space between them. Make sure to leave enough room above your food so it does not come in contact with the hot element.
Let your toaster oven cool completely after using, then use soap and warm water to clean off any bits of food. It is much easier to clean at this point than after it has sat for some time and hardened.
If you have recently cleaned your toaster oven, this may be the cause of the smoke. Some cleaners can leave a residue behind that will smoke when heated.
Soap and water are usually enough to clean your toaster oven. If you are using other solvents, be sure to thoroughly rinse after with a wet cloth. This will get rid of most of the residue so that your toaster oven doesn’t smoke.
Toaster Oven was in Storage
Sometimes your toaster oven will smoke if you haven’t used it for a long time. Depending on where you have stored your toaster oven, it may have accumulated dust and debris while sitting.
The first time you use your toaster oven after taking it out of storage, clean it first. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the interior and exterior. This will remove any dirt or dust that could cause it to smoke.
New Toaster Oven
A small amount of smoke coming from a new toaster oven is normal. Manufacturers use a factory coating to protect the toaster oven until it gets to the consumer. When the toaster oven is heated, this coating can produce smoke and odor as it burns off.
When you purchase a new toaster oven, you should wash it with soap and warm water before letting it dry thoroughly. Then heat your empty toaster oven at high heat for five to ten minutes. Any remaining coating will burn off in this time.
If your new toaster oven continues to smoke after the first couple of uses, there may be a safety issue with it.
When there is no clear reason for your toaster oven to be smoking, it may have a defect. You may not be able to see the problem but there might be an internal problem or wiring issue.
Any safety problems with your toaster oven are an indication that you should replace it. Do not attempt to fix any electrical or internal issues with the toaster oven as this can cause electric shock.
What to Do When the Toaster Oven Starts Smoking?
If your toaster oven starts smoking, the first thing to do is unplug it. Then let it cool completely before removing any food. Thoroughly clean the toaster oven with soap and warm water before allowing it to dry.
There is always a risk when your toaster oven is smoking that it may catch fire. If this happens, unplug it first, then put out the fire. Use a fire extinguisher or smother with a fire blanket. Do not hesitate to call emergency services if you cannot control the fire.
Safety First, Toasting Second!
A toaster oven is an economical, efficient appliance to have in the kitchen. Following a few simple steps will help you use it safely.
Always cook your food on a tray, not directly on the rack. Clean your toaster oven after each use to remove food, grease, and oil.
Keep your toaster oven in a spot that allows for adequate airflow around it. Unplug the toaster oven when not in use and regularly inspect cords for any damage or discoloration.
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