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What is Causing an Oven to Smoke?

What is Causing an Oven to Smoke? Is your oven smoking? Well, that is understandably worrying, but it probably doesn’t mean there is a serious problem. You can usually get to the root of why an oven is smoking rather quickly. However, if you need it to stop, consider checking all these potential causes first.

•Food and Grease

Even if you are very careful to never spill any pan in your oven, food and grease will build up in there. Pans can boil over without you seeing it, grease and food can float up into the air, or grease can bubble and pop. This will build up over time. When it gets to a certain point, the particles will start to burn and thus produce smoke. This is most likely when you are running an oven at a high temperature. This is essentially how the self-clean cycle works, but the oven door is locked during so you cannot see the smoke.

• Your oven is brand new

If you’ve just purchased a brand new oven, you might expect it to be ready to cook your first meal right after installation. However, that’s not the case with most modern ovens. What happens is that new heating elements are coated with an oil-based factory coating. This coating burns off gradually when the elements are heated, giving off smoke.
If your new oven is smoking the first time you use it, that’s perfectly normal. This smoke doesn’t mean there is a problem with your oven. Instead, the factory finish is simply burning off.

• You have a problem with a heating element or thermostat

If your oven is clean but is still smoking, you might have a faulty heating element. Electric ovens have heating elements on the bottom and top of the appliance. These heating elements can wear out after high use. If your oven is on but the heating elements aren’t glowing, they may have burnt out.
Heating elements can also experience electrical shorts, which often occur during high-temperature cooking. If you heard a buzzing or fizzing noise before the smoke started, that was likely the heating element short-circuiting.

• Leftover cleaning products

If you have recently cleaned your oven with a commercial cleaning solvent but now see that the oven is smoking, it’s likely a result of cleaner residue that’s now burning off and emitting smoke. The residue in your oven can cause it to smoke when it heats up. Cleaning the oven again with a vinegar and water solution may solve this problem. Be sure to clean the inside top, sides, bottom and door and dry thoroughly to ensure that you remove all residue.
Always make sure to follow the cleaning instructions in your owner’s manual.

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