why is my oven smoking while preheating

Why is my oven smoking while preheating? This is one of the many questions mostly asked by oven users.

Both experienced and new oven users face this problem, so it is not too much of a big deal.

It is not strange to see a bit of smoke coming out of your oven when in use.

But if, in the process of preheating, you notice a plume of smoke emanating from your oven, it is a sign that something is wrong.

A smoking oven when preheating is a sign that the inside of your oven is dirty. When food remnants or other synthetic materials in the oven get burnt during the preheating process, it produces lots of smoke.

Tip: Never use a smoking oven to cook food, as it can affect the taste of the food.

Importance Of Preheating An Oven

preheating oven

Preheating an oven before use has its benefits.

This process simply involves heating an empty oven to a specific temperature before making use of it.

Preheating is important, especially among bakers. It majorly helps provide the initial push of heat needed for the dough to rise with optimal texture.

So, Why Is My Oven Smoking While Preheating?

There are lots of factors that can cause an oven to start smoking during preheating.

why my oven is smoking

When faced with a smoking oven, you need to act fast. 

Turn off the oven, let it cool, examine the oven to ascertain the cause, and then fix it.

If you are not able to find what’s causing it to smoke, it is advisable to call a technician to look into it to prevent further damage.

So here are a few reasons your oven could be smoking while preheating.

Protective Coatings On Brand New Ovens

If your oven is brand new, it will likely produce smoke when being used for the first time.

This is a result of the burning of the protective coatings used during manufacturing to protect the oven’s heating element.

new oven protective covering

Most modern ovens make use of oil-based protective coatings, which easily burn up and produce lots of smoke when heat is applied.

Most manufacturers specify in their manual that you should “burn in” the oven. This is the process of burning off all factory coatings in the oven. 

To do this, clear the oven, turn it on and let it heat up for about 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.

This will burn out any bit of protective coating left in the oven.

Also, bits of packaging materials such as styrofoam, tapes, and plastics mistakenly left in the oven can produce lots of smoke when they burn.

Tip: Always remove all packaging materials from your oven before use.

Food Remnants In The Oven

food remnants

The most common cause of smoke in an oven is the accumulation of dirt on its heating element.

This dirt is often accumulated from the previous use of the oven. This occurs when food particles spill into the oven.

Oil, grease, and bits of food particles heat up when the oven is turned on, producing lots of smoke and odor.

Broiling high-fat foods like steak directly on the rack of the oven without proper baking sheets below can cause oil to splatter all over the walls of the oven.

If left uncleaned after use, they will harden, burn and produce lots of smoke when you preheat the oven next.

Tip: Always clean your oven after every use.

Faulty Heating Element

oven heating element

When you hear your electric oven making a buzzing sound and emitting smoke during preheating, it is likely caused by a faulty heating element.

Excessive heat buildup can cause the heating elements to experience an electrical short.

During preheating, if your oven is smoking, check to see if both the top and bottom heating elements are glowing red.

If one is not, then it is faulty and needs to be changed.

Turn off the oven, unplug it from its power source, and let it cool. Gently screw off the heating element and replace it with a new one.

The Cleaning Is Causing The Smoke

cleaning oven

Did you recently clean out your oven using commercial cleaning products?

There is a possibility that you might have left behind a little bit of cleaning residue in the oven.

This cleaner residue easily heats up and produces smoke when the oven is turned on.

The smoke produced by burning cleaning residues is hazardous to one’s health.

This is because it is likely to contain chemical-laden fumes.

When faced with this problem, turn off the oven, disconnect it from its power source, and allow it to cool.

Use a damped piece of cloth to wipe off any bits of cleaning residue on the oven walls, roof, and floor.

Tip: Always use a damp cloth to wipe the oven after every deep clean.

How To Fix The Problem Of Smoke Coming Out Of Oven While Preheating

how to fix problem

When faced with a smoking oven, it is advisable to seek the advice of an expert.

This is so especially when you have no idea what’s causing the oven to smoke.

If you can identify the cause, depending on what it is, there are a few ways you can stop the oven from smoking. 

But if after implementing them, the oven is still smoking, you should seek professional help.

Although there are some ways to fix this smoking problem.

And these include:

Turn On The Self-clean Feature

self clean feature

If your oven is smoking as a result of hardened food particles on its heating element, then use the self-cleaning feature on your oven.

Most modern ovens come with a self-cleaning option. And this enables the oven to burn up any hardened food residues inside it.

This is done by blasting high heat throughout the interior of the oven.

Using the self-cleaning feature is straightforward.

turn on oven

Start by closing the door of the oven and turning it on. Click on the self-cleaning feature button and relax. 

This process lasts between two and six hours, depending on the brand of the oven.

Once the cleaning cycle ends and the oven cools down, the doors automatically open.

If you notice the oven is smoking during the self-cleaning cycle, open your house windows to help ventilate the area.

Excessive inhalation of smoke can cause suffocation and other health problems.

Carry Out Manual Cleaning Of The Oven

manual cleaning

After you are done using the self-cleaning option to clean the oven, it is now time to go into phase two, which is manual cleaning.

You can start by disconnecting the oven from its power source and allowing it to cool down.

The next step will be preparing your cleaning solution.

Proceed to wash the interior of the oven diligently, making sure not to miss any spots. Using clean water and a damp cloth, wipe off the cleaning residue.

For better results, you can then proceed to spray the interior of the oven with vinegar.

Wipe off the vinegar using a damp cloth soaked in clean water. Repeat this last process twice to get a cleaner interior free from cleaning residue.

Then allow the oven to dry completely before replacing its racks.

Replace Faulty Heating Elements

replace faulty parts

If a faulty heating element is the reason why your oven is smoking, the next plan of action will be to get it replaced.

Before embarking on this, ensure you have all the necessary information about your oven.

Start by removing the mounting plate holding the heating element in place. Then screw off the bolts holding the heating element in place. 

Take out the faulty heating element and replace it with a new one. Screw the new one in place and reattach the mounting plate.

Tip: Always make sure your oven is turned off and disconnected before working on it.


I believe with this article, we’ve been able to answer the question “Why is my oven smoking while preheating?”. And we also provided ways to curtail the problem.

Before trying to solve the problem, you need to first understand what is making the oven smoke.

And as we’ve seen, it is either caused by dirty ovens, faulty heating elements, or cleaning residues left in the oven.

And finally, always disconnect your oven before you begin any form of cleaning or repair work on it.