To stop your oven from smoking, “burn-in” your new unit, clean out food gunks from your oven, and replace broken heating elements. You should also inspect and repair your gas installation, clean your oven after use, and use the self-cleaning features sparingly.
Ovens are all about making good, tasty food. However, When it starts to smoke, it’s not just ruining the taste of your food – it could result in a fire in your kitchen that puts your whole home at risk.
This was my recent experience, and I had to call my technician to fix it. It was my first time experiencing a smoking oven, which got me really scared.
It turned out to be a minor problem that I could have easily fixed if I knew how to inspect my oven. My technician completed the job in about 15 minutes. That’s $60 for his assistance. But, not much to save the day.
To get the most bang for my buck, I asked him to give me a quick lesson on the causes of smoking ovens and how to fix and prevent them.
Guess what? He agreed, and this is what he said.
Causes of Smoking Oven And How To Fix Them
Apparently, there are several reasons why your oven keeps smoking, and many of them are simple to fix with some DIY techniques.
When you buy a new oven, you expect it to perform optimally. In fact, you can’t wait to bake your first cake in it. Well, that is not how it works. And it’s normal for your new oven to smoke the first time you use it.
Manufacturers often use oil-based seals to keep ovens from rusting. So, when the oven is heated for the first time, the seal begins to burn and emits light smoke.
This is why manufacturers recommend “burning in” the new oven before cooking or baking anything in it. You should run your new oven for a few minutes to allow the factory seal to burn off without hindrance.
How To “Burn-in” A New Oven:
Do you know the saying “practice makes perfect”? Well, we bakers say “burn-in” makes perfect. This process prevents electrical shorts and failures and ensures your oven performs optimally for years to come.
To get started;
- Remove all labels from the inside (if any), and make sure no items are left in the oven.
- Turn on the new oven.
- Select the “bake” option.
- Use the burn-in temperature and time recommended by the manufacturer. The temperature is usually between 400°F and 600°F, and the duration is between 30 and 60 minutes.
- Once the oven has been burned in, you can start enjoying smooth operations and preparing delicious meals in it.
Your old oven could also start emitting smoke when food particles trapped in the unit for an extended period begin to burn. This occurs when foods are left uncovered in the oven. You should not allow this to happen because it could become an even bigger hazard in your home.
Below are steps to follow as soon as you perceive burning food particles
How To Fix Food Smoke;
- Turn off the oven.
- Allow it to cool down, then remove any food particles from the oven.
- Clean the oven using common household cleaners such as white vinegar, baking soda, and water to remove leftover food and grease.
Precaution: Avoid using chemical cleaners on your oven as they may leave residue behind, causing another smoking problem or further damage to your oven.
Like I said earlier, when you use chemical products such as foaming sprays in your oven, such as foaming sprays, they leave residues behind after cleaning. And as you begin to cook your meal in the oven, the chemical residue begins to burn, resulting in thick smoke.
You don’t want the smoke to linger in your kitchen because Inhaling smoke from such burning chemicals is hazardous to your health.
Here is how to protect yourself:
How To Fix Chemical Smoke
When you clean your oven with chemical products, thoroughly wipe down the oven’s internal walls, floor, and ceiling with a damp cloth.
However, it is preferable not to use chemical cleaning products in your oven to avoid smoking.
Self Cleaning in Operation
If you have a modern oven, you can easily burn off food residue and unwanted particles by using the unit’s self-cleaning feature.
The self-cleaning mode heats the oven to 1000°F while sealed to burn off the dirt. The cycle generates a sufficient amount of smoke.
How To Fix Self-cleaning Smoke
If smoke is caused by self-cleaning operations, then there’s nothing to fix. However, you can avoid using the feature too often as it can quickly damage your oven.
Here are some precautions you can also take;
- Use the safety feature three to five times per year.
- After self-cleaning, allow your oven to cool before removing the burned particles.
- Thoroughly clean the oven with a damp cloth.
Faculty Heating Elements
Your smoking oven could indicate that a heating element is faulty or about to fail. This is a common issue with electric units. It begins with a buzzing sound before the heating element emits smoke.
To determine if this is the issue;
- Turn off your oven and allow it to cool.
- After about 15 to 20 minutes, turn it back on.
- If you hear buzzing sounds, it’s likely due to a faulty heating element.
For a more thorough check,
- Turn on the “bake” setting to see if the bottom heating element glows red. Alternatively, select the “broiling” setting to see if the top heating element lights up.
- If you notice a heating element isn’t glowing red, it’s time to replace it.
How To Fix A Faulty Heating Element
- Turn off the oven and disconnect from the circuit breaker.
- Wait for the oven to cool.
- Unscrew bolts and remove wires attached to your heating element.
- Replace it with a completely new one.
However, if you are not good with electrical work, hire a professional to do the replacement. It will probably cost you more money, but it will definitely save you from danger.
High Pressure From Gas
If you use a gas oven, your smoking oven may be caused by high gas pressure. If left unchecked, this is extremely dangerous and could result in a fire hazard.
So, if you suspect that the gas pressure causes your smoking oven:
- Turn off your oven right away.
- Contact the technician in charge of your gas installation or your gas supplier to come and reduce the gas pressure.
NOTE: DON’T handle it on your own; it’s extremely dangerous!
Wrong Food Placement
Smoking can occur when you place your food (especially fatty foods like meat) too close to the top or bottom of the heating element.
How to Fix Food Placement
- Keep food three inches away from the bottom heating element when baking.
- Also, keep the food at least three inches away from the broiling element on the oven’s roof when broiling.
How To Prevent Your Oven From Smoking
Now you know why your oven is smoking and how to fix it. However, prevention is still your best bet. And that’s also not difficult!
Ensure your oven proper and regular maintenance using the free tips below:
- Use accessories such as broiling pans to avoid spills and stains from your oven.
- If you use a multi-layered oven, You will need an oven-safe mat to prevent food drippings on the bottom layer.
- After each use, wipe down the oven to ensure that nothing sticks to it and that nothing is left behind.
- To avoid smoking or burning, keep your food away from the heating elements in the oven, especially in electric ovens.
- To prevent food gunk buildup, clean out the oven’s interior and the racks at least once a week.
- You should use the self cleaning feature at most five times in a year.
- If you notice smoke coming from your oven, turn it off immediately.
FAQs On Oven Keeps Smoking
Is It Dangerous to Use a Smoking Oven?
Yes, and I cannot emphasize this enough. Although not all causes of a smoking oven are dangerous, never ignore the smoke. Moreover, a smoking oven may indicate potentially life-threatening issues such as high gas pressure.
Why Do My Foods Burn In My Oven?
Bad oven calibration is a common cause of food burnt in the oven. When an oven is not calibrated correctly, heat is distributed unevenly. Other causes include a faulty thermostat, a damaged heating element, and incorrect tray placement. Check that your food is correctly placed in the oven; otherwise, you may need to call a professional to fix the issue.
Why Is My Oven Smoking After I Clean It?
When you use commercial cleaning products, they leave chemical residues behind, which often burn and emit smoke when the oven is heated. Hence, avoid the use of chemical cleaners in your oven.