Why is My Oven Smoking?

Woman opening a smoking oven

It’s one of the few downfalls of homeownership — at one point or another, your oven is going to start acting up. If it’s smoking, most people ask themselves three things: Is this a fire hazard? Will this damage my oven? And, why is this happening?

We’re happy to say that while the presence of smoke in your oven isn’t necessarily a good thing, it, in most cases, is not going to start a fire or damage your oven if treated right away.

Depending on the type of oven you have, this may be one of the reasons why it’s smoking:

A New Oven

New ovens typically emit a light amount of smoke the first few times they’re turned on because the oil used in the manufacturing process is now being burned away.

What you should do: Run your empty oven once or twice a day, at 350 degrees, for an hour or so. Within a day or two, it should stop smoking.

An Old Oven

If your oven is starting to smoke for the first time in years, it’s likely because the oven is dirty. Years of spilled chicken broth and grease have likely built up on the walls and floor of your oven and are the cause of any smoke or unpleasant smells.

What you should do: Using a bit of baking soda, vinegar, warm water, and a scrub brush, clean your oven from top to bottom. To prevent food from sticking to or falling through the racks in the future, always place food you’re cooking on a baking sheet or pan, and never directly on the rack.

A Recently Cleaned Oven

Self-cleaning ovens typically use chemicals to remove any grease and residue left in your oven. After it’s cleaned, these chemicals typically stick around for some time and can cause your oven to smoke.

What you should do: Like you would do with a new oven, let your oven run a few times without any food in it. After a few uses, your oven will burn away any chemicals.


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