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Why is my oven smoking? 6 possible causes of smoke in the oven

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If your oven is smoking, you might think there is cause for alarm, and your plans for family dinner might be halted. There are many reasons that this could be happening, and most of them can be resolved in just a few steps. Read on to learn more about what can cause an oven to smoke and get ideas and tips that can guide you in addressing the problem.

Hand holding paper towel wiping residue off of bottom of oven cavity Hand holding paper towel wiping residue off of bottom of oven cavity

Common causes of a smoking oven

A few common culprits are usually the cause of a smoking oven. If you’re not sure why your oven is smoking, take a look at the list below to see if you can find the cause. If you have already looked into these causes and tried to solve them, it might be time to consider calling a certified repair person or, if it’s also time to upgrade, begin shopping for a new Whirlpool® oven.

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1. Brand new

Odors and smoke are normal when the oven is used the first few times due to the manufacturing process. This will dissipate and is normal.


The best way to get rid of the smell is to run an empty cycle. It is recommended that you do not cook any food prior to this cycle as the smell and potentially the taste can stick with your food. For people sensitive to strong odors or smoke, it is recommended to open nearby windows and/or turn on a kitchen vent (if available). Doing this will help dissipate the new oven odor.


IMPORTANT: The health of some birds are extremely sensitive to the fumes given off. Exposure to fumes may result in the death of certain birds. Always move birds to another closed and well-ventilated room.

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2. Cleaner residue

If you have recently cleaned your oven, there may be a residue left from the soap that you used. 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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3. Heavily soiled

Keeping the oven clean can help prevent this from happening. You can clean your oven yourself by following a few simple steps, or if your oven has a self-cleaning mode, you can use that feature to help streamline the process.


Select ovens from Whirlpool brand feature a steam clean option that uses water and lower heat to help clean baked-on messes as an alternative to high heat self-cleaning cycles.

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4. Grease or food dripping

Another reason that your oven might be smoking could be related to what you are cooking in it. Sometimes foods will fall into the bottom of the oven or grease will drip from a pan. When the food or grease lands in the bottom of the oven, it can cause smoking to occur. Using a baking sheet or drip pan can help you to avoid this.

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5. Food positioning

The way you position the food can cause your oven to smoke, as well. If you are broiling a food item, keep in mind that the broiler gets very hot and can easily scorch the food, causing it to smoke if the food is too close to the heating element. 


The same can apply to the heating element that is used for baking. If foods are positioned too close to the heating element, they can scorch and smoke.

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6. Faulty heating element

Sometimes the heating elements in an oven can wear out. If the bottom heating element doesn’t activate during the bake setting, or the top element doesn’t turn on during the broil setting, the element may no longer function properly. As the heating elements are burning out, you might see smoke. If this happens, turn the oven off and disconnect it from power.


If the heating element no longer works on your oven, consider upgrading to a Whirlpool® range with self-cleaning mode and a variety of features to make family dinner preparation seamless. In the meantime, appliances like cooktops and microwaves can substitute for an oven in a pinch.

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Should I be concerned if my oven is smoking?

If your oven is smoking, it might be an easy fix such as repositioning the food or running the self-cleaning mode. If you are unable to identify the reason your Whirlpool® oven is smoking, contact Whirlpool® Repair and Replace Services to help you address the problem.

Can a smoking oven cause a fire?

Although most of the reasons that your oven may be smoking are not cause for alarm and can be addressed without professional help, always consult a professional if you are unsure of the problem or unable to fix it yourself.

Hand removing racks from inside oven Hand removing racks from inside oven

How do I stop my oven from smoking?

In conclusion, to stop your oven from smoking, first identify the cause of the smoke. If the oven was recently cleaned, you might need to clean it again making sure to remove any cleaner residue. If your oven has not been cleaned recently, consider cleaning it thoroughly to remove anything that could be causing the smoke.

If your oven is new, it may be burning off the factory coating. Smoke and odor will dissipate after running an empty cavity for approximately 60 minutes. In some cases, 2 or 3 repetitions of this process may be required to fully dissipate.

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Shop new Whirlpool® ovens and ranges

If it’s time for an oven upgrade, Whirlpool brand offers a variety of ovens to suit your family’s needs. With features like Rapid Preheat and Frozen Bake™ technology, a Whirlpool® oven supports you and the everyday care you give your family.

Learn more about Whirlpool® ovens

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