Why is my oven smoking?

Written by j. lang wood
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Why is my oven smoking?
A dirty oven can build up grease and debris that can affect the taste of food. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

Oven cooking is a great way to make delicious meals. It can also help you save money by using long, slow cooking to help tenderise cheaper cuts of meat. Ovens that see a lot of use can develop problems, however, and you may come to wonder why your oven is smoking so much. Take a moment to investigate a few issues.

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Causes of Oven Smoking

One of the most common causes of smoking is grease splattered on the walls and floor of the oven. This can occur after roasting meat with a high percentage of fat. After a few cooking sessions, this layer of grease begins to cook along with the current meal, creating smoke and an unpleasant odour of burnt fat. New ovens can also smoke on initial use, according to PremierRange. This will resolve after a few cooking sessions. Smoking may also occur when steak that contains a lot of fat is placed too close to the broiling element. Try placing the broiling tray slightly farther from the element.

Self-Cleaning Ovens

If you have a self-cleaning feature on your oven, use it frequently to remove the grease and burnt food that accumulates on the walls of the oven. Follow the instructions in your owner's manual. Self-cleaning ovens generally have a locking mechanism that keeps the oven door securely closed while the high temperature burns off the food debris. The self-cleaning cycle may take as long as 4 1/2 hours. Allow it to run the full cycle to reduce the debris to a fine ash and remove the ash with a damp sponge. Bits of caked-on food may flame a bit during the cleaning cycle. Do not attempt to open the door to put it out but allow the cleaning cycle to finish.

Manual Oven Cleaning

If you do not have a self-cleaning feature on your oven, use a manual method. A number of oven-cleaning products are on the market to make this job easier. These products contain harsh chemicals that can burn skin and cause respiratory irritation. Wear rubber gloves and open a nearby window for fresh air. Spray the product on and wait 20 minutes. Wipe it off with a sponge, rinsing the sponge after each wipe. Ensure you remove all chemical residue from surfaces by rinsing with clear water after cleaning. You can also remove burnt-on food by covering it with a rag soaked in ammonia in a cool oven, according to University of Florida professor Mary N. Harrison. Allow it to soak for 30 minutes and rinse off with clean water.

Oven Precautions

Clean your oven after cooking any dish that contains a large amount of fat or sauce that can leave a layer of debris on oven surfaces. Cleaning the oven will keep food debris from igniting or giving a burnt taste to cooked items.

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