Why Is My Toaster Oven Smoking?

Would you like to know why your toaster oven is smoking? Well, we have researched this topic and have answers for you. It is helpful to understand why your toaster oven is smoking to correct the problem.

Your toaster oven is likely smoking because oil or grease has dripped onto the heating element. Clean off the heating element to stop your toaster from smoking.

In this article, we will learn why your toaster oven is smoking. We will also learn about other interesting related questions like, can a toaster oven catch on fire, and do you need to unplug a toaster oven? Keep reading to learn more.

Interior of a dirty oven, Why Is My Toaster Oven Smoking?

Why Is My Toaster Oven Smoking?

Sometimes when you use your toaster oven, it will produce a lot of smoke. While this smoke may be concerning, it often isn't anything to worry about. What has likely happened is grease or oil from a previous meal has dripped onto the heating element.

When you cook food on the rack inside your toaster oven, it is directly above the heating element. As greasy or oily food heats, it often drips. These fatty drips can land on the heating element and produce smoke.

While this smoke won't break your toaster oven, it can be undesirable. To stop your toaster oven from smoking, you will need to clean the heating element. Be sure to unplug your appliance and that the heating element is completely cooled before trying to clean it.

How To Clean The Heating Element On A Toaster Oven

Ensure that your toaster oven is unplugged to prevent the risk of electrical shock. Take a dishcloth and get it damp but not soaked. Then take that damp dishcloth and begin to wipe the heating element gently. The heating element can bend or break if you press too hard on it, so be careful when wiping it down.

Once you have wiped away all of the grease stuck to the heating element, it shouldn't smoke anymore. This process of wiping down the heating element should be done regularly in addition to periodic cleaning.

Keeping your toaster oven clean is vital to keep it from smoking.

Can A Toaster Oven Catch On Fire?

Baking a delicious bagel in the small oven toaster

If you don't keep your toaster oven clean, it can lead to a worse problem than smoking. If enough grease and crumbs build up inside your toaster oven, it can catch on fire.

A way to tell if your toaster oven is at risk of catching on fire is smoke. A smoking toaster oven is the first sign that a fire is possible.

Another way to tell if your toaster oven may catch on fire is to look inside and see how clean it is. If you see oil and grease sticking to all the walls and plenty of flammable crumbs on the bottom, it may be time to clean it out.

While a crumb may be the first thing in your toaster oven to ignite, often, it is the build-up of oil and grease that causes the fire to spread. A toaster oven fire is a grease fire and should be treated as such.

Pouring water over your toaster oven will not put out the fire, and it will only cause the flaming oils in the toaster oven to spread across your kitchen. Instead, like other grease fires, you will want to smother it. You can extinguish a grease fire by placing a towel or blanket over the fire.

Also, remember to unplug the toaster oven if it is on fire. If you don't unplug the toaster oven, it may be challenging to put out the fire.

Why Does My Toaster Oven Smell Like Smoke?

A dirty pan with a tray

If you have even noticed that your toaster oven smells like smoke, you may have wondered why. The reason your toaster oven smells like smoke is carbon build-up.

When oil smokes in your toaster oven, it doesn't just go away. The carbon in the smoke can build up a layer on the top or sides of your toaster oven. This black layer can smell like smoke and cause food cooked in your toaster oven to taste like smoke.

While a basic cleaning can remove oil and grease, removing this black build-up from your toaster oven may be more challenging. The best way to remove the build-up is to use a cleaner.

Remember to make sure that your toaster oven is unplugged before performing any maintenance on it.

It would be best that any cleaner you use not have harsh chemicals since you will be using your toaster oven to make food. One of the safest cleaners is vinegar. To use vinegar as a cleaner, dilute it with a one-to-one ratio of vinegar and water.

Next, dip a dishcloth into your cleaning solution and scrub the black build-up. The vinegar will help to break apart the build-up and allow you to wash it away. Once you have removed all the black build-up, your toaster oven should no longer smell like smoke.

Do You Need To Unplug A Toaster Oven?

A small light blue colored oven on the kitchen countertop

Have you ever wondered if you need to unplug your toaster oven? Well, we are here to tell you that you should unplug your toaster oven.

There are several reasons you should never leave your toaster oven plugged in when not in use.

Electric Shock Risk

Some electrical components may fail if you leave your toaster oven plugged in. If this happens, your toaster oven may build up an electric charge. If this electric charge is released when you touch it, it can hurt you or burn you.

To help reduce the risk of electric shock, don't leave your toaster oven plugged in when not in use.

Fire Risk

If your toaster oven has an electrical failure, it may heat up without turning on. If this happens and you don't notice, your toaster oven could start a fire.

Toaster ovens are often stored on people's counters in the kitchen. If the toaster oven is located under wooden cabinets, it can quickly spread and get out of hand. This situation has led to many people's homes burning down.

Never leave your toaster oven plugged in to avoid fire risk.

Broken Toaster Oven Risk

While electrocution and fire risks are frightening, the most likely problem to arise from leaving your toaster oven plugged in is a broken toaster oven.

The most likely cause of a broken toaster oven is a power surge. Sometimes high amounts of power can surge through the power grid. Any electrical devices plugged into the power grid could be subject to damage when this happens.

It is possible if you leave your toaster oven plugged in that a power surge could break it. No one wants their toaster oven to be broken, which is the third reason you shouldn't leave your toaster oven plugged in.

Why Does My Toaster Oven Smell Like Melting Plastic?

A small silver colored oven with a rotisserie

There are two reasons that your toaster oven smells like melting plastic. One of these reasons isn't an issue, and the other will cause you to need to replace your toaster oven. Let's cover the reason that isn't an issue first; then, we will get to the problem that breaks your toaster oven.

A New Toaster Oven

One of the most likely reasons your toaster oven smells like melting plastic is that it's new. Sometimes when you use a toaster oven for the first time, various plastics in the machine will outgas.

Outgassing is the process where gasses trapped in objects release into the air. When you use your new toaster oven, the first few times you do, gasses trapped in plastics inside will heat up and be released. These gasses smell like the plastic they've come from.

If your toaster oven smells like plastic and is new, you need not worry. Plastic in a toaster oven stops outgassing after using it the first few times. If your toaster oven isn't new and suddenly smells like melting plastic, this could be a sign of a different issue.

Melting Circuit Board

The other reason your toaster oven may smell like melting plastic is a melting circuit board. This is when the circuit board gets overheated and begins to melt.

A melting circuit board can be caused by an overheated toaster oven but is usually the result of a short circuit in the circuit board. The heat from the toaster oven can partially melt solder in the toaster oven, leading to a short circuit and a melting circuit board.

If a melting circuit board is the cause of your toaster oven's melting plastic smell, you will need to replace it. A toaster oven with a melting circuit board can be a fire risk, so it is best to stop using it immediately.

Final Thoughts

Interior of a dirty oven

In this article, we learned that your toaster oven is likely smoking because it has oil or grease on the heating element. We also learned you shouldn't leave a toaster oven plugged in to avoid a broken toaster oven or a fire.

Remember, if your toaster oven smells like melting plastic and isn't new, you should throw it away before it starts a fire.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you want to learn more, check out some of these other posts.

Can A Toaster Oven Replace A Microwave?

Where To Put A Toaster Oven In A Small Kitchen?

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