Last Updated on February 14, 2024 by Shari Mason
A puff of smoke from the oven can immediately trigger our body’s panic reaction. But rest assured, a smoky oven does not always mean you need to dial for a repair service.
Here are a few reasons why there’s smoke coming out of the oven while preheating.
Why There’s Smoke Coming Out of Oven While Preheating
There are plenty of reasons why smoke may come out of the oven while preheating it, like spills and debris from past meals, residue from leftover oven cleaners, or the fact that the kitchen equipment is brand new.
If you’ve recently moved into a new place and have found that the oven emits horrible smoke when preheating it, understand that it’s not always a cause for concern or panic.
However, this isn’t to say that you should ignore a smoking oven. Smoke from any appliance is never normal, and you should do your due diligence in finding out why.
If you’re sure you’ve exhausted measures to keep the oven from burning to no avail, it’s best to hire an expert to resolve the issue.
6 Common Reasons Why It Happens
1. Residue From Manufacturing Process
The insides of your oven are sometimes coated with oily or protective residues from the manufacturing process. It’s perfectly normal for these residues to start smoking while burned away.
You should also expect the smoking to stop after using the new oven for the first couple of times. But how do you reheat a sandwich in the oven?
2. Needs To Be Cleaned
It’s perfectly normal for fat and grease to pool at the bottom or cling to the sides and ceiling of the oven whenever we cook food.
When this food build-up and residues are burned, the oven starts smoking and wafts a horrible smell.
The best way to combat this is to clean the oven thoroughly after each use.
3. Cleaning Agent Residue
If you’ve done number two, you will notice that some cleaning agents leave behind residues that can start smoking once heated.
This can also pose a health hazard, as smoking cleaning agents mean burning chemicals.
If you’re feeling iffy about this, it’s best to use all-natural cleaners, such as a vinegar-and-water solution, to clean the insides of the oven.
4. Heating Element
If you’re hearing a buzzing sound alongside a smoking electric oven, it may be time to call the repairman — these are telltale signs that the heating element in your oven is starting to malfunction.
5. Wrong Food Positioning
Sometimes, a smoking oven means that you’ve positioned the food incorrectly inside the oven.
It’s important to remember proper food positioning when using the oven, especially when baking or broiling food high in fat.
Position the food at least three inches away from the broiling element on the oven’s roof whenever you’re broiling. For baking, ensure the food is at least three inches from the bottom heating element.
6. High Gas Pressure
It’s highly important to note the gas pressure if you’re using a gas oven.
The heat can start reaching the racks when the gas pressure gets too high, producing a good amount of smoke (which can eventually turn into a serious oven fire).
It’s best to call a repairman at this point to help you reduce the amount of gas pressure, but if you know how to do it, you can adjust the flames to low, and your oven will stop smoking.
Tips & Tricks To Avoid Smoke Out of Oven
As mentioned, whenever we use the oven, oil and debris can pool at the bottom and cling to the sides and ceiling of our oven.
It’s highly important to clean the oven after each use to avoid burning these food residues.
You can use specialty oven cleaners, but a mixture of vinegar and water will suffice.
Use Self Cleaning Sparingly
Most ovens have a built-in self-cleaning option that you can use to burn all the debris and splatters from previous meals and turn them to ash.
This process uses a lot of heat and produces plenty of smoke.
Use the self-cleaning option sparingly and leave your windows open while doing so. Once the oven has cooled, wipe the insides clean.
Use Baking Sheets & Pans
Use baking sheets and drip pans to make clean-up easy when you use the oven. This preventive measure will also ensure that the food residues do not smoke and burn whenever you use the oven.
Do Not Cover Holes
The oven has holes in the bottom to circulate heat better. It’s important not to cover these to avoid excess smoke pooling inside the oven.
Is oven smoke while preheating normal?
Yes, oven smoke while preheating is perfectly normal. This can result from many different things, like food and oil residues, burning cleaning solutions, or high gas pressure.
Is oven smoke harmful?
Yes, oven smoke can be potentially harmful, especially if you live in a household with small children.
The smoke released can contain harmful gasses like carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide, which can be toxic to one’s health. 
It’s important to understand that smoke coming out of the oven while preheating is perfectly normal and shouldn’t cause alarm.
Many contributing factors to a smoking oven include food residues from previous oven use, burning cleaning agents, high gas pressure, and even wrong food positioning.
Make sure you rule out all possibilities of a smoking oven, such as cleaning its interior properly, checking the gas pressure, and taking all necessary safety measures to keep it from happening.
If the issue persists, it’s best to call a trusted repairman.
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