Is Your Toaster Smoking? Here’s Why & How to Fix It!


Smoking Toaster

Whether brand new or used it’s not uncommon for toasters to have smoke coming out of them. While this can be alarming, typically it’s not a serious problem and can be easily fixed. 

It’s best that you unplug your toaster immediately and read through this article to find out the reason behind the smoke.

Why is Your Toaster Smoking?

Common reasons that may explain why your toaster is smoking are food debris, dust, or high temperature. Brand new toasters also tend to smoke when plugged in for the first time. Luckily, it is usually a simple process to stop your toaster from smoking.

Food Debris

The most common reason for a toaster to start smoking is that there is food debris in the toaster. It is normal for bits of bread or other food to fall off when you place them in the toaster.

If your toaster is smoking due to food debris, the first step is to unplug your toaster. Let the toaster cool down until you can comfortably touch it.

Remove any food from the toaster. If the food is stuck, do not use a fork or other metal object to remove it. Empty all debris from the crumb tray and wipe it with a warm soapy cloth. Do not immerse any part of the toaster in water.

Turn the toaster upside down and give it a gentle shake to remove any stuck-on pieces of food. If this doesn’t get rid of all debris, use a wooden utensil to gently remove it.

Toaster Set Too High

Sometimes your toaster will smoke simply because you have set the temperature too high. Toasters can reach temperatures of up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit which can cause smoke. The highest settings are typically not needed and can often burn food.

Try using your toaster on a lower setting to see if you get a better result. If the toaster is still producing smoke on a low setting you will need to consider other possible reasons. 

Toaster Was in Storage

If you recently brought your toaster out of storage or unpacked it after moving, this may be the reason for it smoking. When a toaster has been sitting for a long time it collects dust and other debris. When the dust comes into contact with the heating elements it can start to smoke.

In this case, all you need to do is unplug the toaster, wait for it to cool, and give it a thorough cleaning. A gentle cloth and some soapy warm water are best for cleaning the toaster.

Plastic Bag or Bread Tag

It may not be food or debris that is causing your toaster to smoke, but plastic! Check to see that the twist tie or bread tag didn’t accidentally fall into the toaster while you were getting your bread.

If you do have plastic inside your toaster, consider replacing the toaster. It’s impossible to thoroughly clean the burnt plastic off.

For toaster recommendations I strongly suggest you take a look at the toasters made in the USA.

Time For a New Toaster

When you can’t find any reason for your toaster to be smoking, it may be the case that there is a safety issue you can’t see. There may be a problem with the wiring or the heating element. It is also possible that a part came loose inside the toaster which is causing problems.

If you suspect that there is a safety concern with your toaster, it’s time to replace it. Toasters will generally last 6-8 years depending on how often they are used and how well you maintain them. 

Toasters are inexpensive kitchen appliances. The cost of purchasing a new toaster is well worth the peace of mind you will have knowing that it is safe to use. Especially if you opt-in for one of the budget-friendly toasters I reviewed recently.

Why is Your New Toaster Smoking?

When you use your new toaster for the first time, you may notice smoke coming from it. This is typically no cause for alarm. Due to the manufacturing process, toasters may produce a small amount of smoke and odor.

It is normal for your new toaster to smoke a bit for the first couple of uses. You can simply cycle your toaster through two or three uses without putting any food in it. Just push the lever down so the toaster heats up.

Once you have done this two or three times, you can then safely use your new toaster. All smoke and odor should be gone by this point. If your new toaster is still smoking it may have a safety issue and need to be replaced.

Don’t forget to check that you have removed all packaging materials from the toaster. Look inside and underneath to ensure you haven’t left any pieces of plastic, paper, or cardboard behind.

Stay Safe & Stay Toasty!

A toaster is a handy appliance for your kitchen and with a few steps can be used safely and easily. Always inspect your toaster before using, clean the crumb tray regularly, and ensure it is turned off and unplugged when not in use.

Larry Flynn

Hi everyone! My name is Larry Flynn and I've been working in the kitchen appliance industry for decades. From manufacturing to retail and everything in between. My latest hobby is running this website, where I share all the knowledge I gathered throughout the years in the industry. I also run a small toaster repair shop in downtown NY, and collect vintage toasters.

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