Bad Oven Smells? Reasons why your oven smells and how to cure

Have you ever decided to bake a delicious meal or dessert but have instead been left wondering – ‘why does my oven smell’? Well, the purpose of this article is to try and shed some light on this rather unsettling occurrence. For the purpose of clarity, let’s get one common misconception out of the way – these odors are not normally related to the functioning of your appliance. If you closely analyze the construction of the standard kitchen oven, it should be patently obvious that there are no odor-causing materials present. In fact, the most common material likely to be found in an oven is fiber glass compound, which is used extensively to provide insulation within the appliance. There are occasions when this material may undergo some form of discoloration, but there is no evidence whatsoever that suggests this material is liable to produce any type of odor.

Understanding the Causes behind That Bad Oven Smell

Unfortunately, the primary cause of bad oven odors is lack of proper cleaning and maintenance.Let’s examine how bad smells from cookers and ovens develop over a period of time.The most common cause of bad odors is grease residue. Most foods that are baked in an oven will contain some amount of fat. (This is typical of most meat products and the oil/butter usedwhile baking/grilling cakes, lasagnas, and other foods.) During the cooking cycle, these fats tend to melt and turn into grease. Due to the high temperatures prevalent through the baking process, this grease is often scattered throughout the oven cavity. In fact, a certain percentage of this grease may actually vaporize and is deposited across the internal surface area of the oven.

Some grease deposits are easily noticeable on the glass surfaces of your oven and may be easily removed. However, a key issue here is that some deposits are not immediately visible.Over a period of time, this hidden grease coating tends to get thicker. It is this layer of grease that is largely responsible for releasing bad odors. More seriously, this residue also represents a safety hazard.Food particles are another major cause of bad odors from the cooker or oven. Quite often,charred bits of food can get trapped between oven trays or racks, or there might be some form of food spillage (possibly from gravy). If this goes unnoticed, it can result in the formation of unpleasant smells while you are using the oven. 

Another factor may be the use of non recommended cleaning products or a slapdash cleaning procedure. As far as possible stick to a recommended oven cleaning product that has been tested for use with your appliance. Avoid the use of products such as bleach and ammonia based cleaners, which may leave behind a significant amount of chemical residue. This residue can get trapped within the insulation or in hard to reach corners, and will often cause a foul odor when your oven starts heating up.You might also notice bad smells from cookers and ovens, which are caused by faults in the electrical wiring of your cooking appliance, or due to the presence of gas leaks. Such odors are generally more acrid in nature and signify a serious fire safety issue.

Some Simple Tips to Get Rid Of The Oven Smells

Nasty oven smells can have a detrimental effect on any food that you are planning to bake or roast. Thankfully, learning how to get rid of oven smells can be a relatively simple process. Most ovens available in the market today are equipped with a self cleaning function that can vastly simplify your oven cleaning process. These ovens are generally distinguished by the presence of a porcelain enamel layer over the oven walls, which form an acid and heat resistant surface.

During the self cleaning process, the oven reaches a maximum temperature of approximately 1000 degrees Fahrenheit or 538 degrees Celsius. At such temperatures some left over food materials, spills, and grease is completely burned to ash. One side effect of the self cleaning function is the potential for a vast amount of smoke being generated. This can be considerably reduced by wiping down your oven thoroughly before you activate the self clean process. It is important to make sure that there are no dishes of any kind (metal, porcelain, orTeflon) left in the oven when you are running the self clean function. Also, any oven trays or racks must be removed.If your oven does not come equipped with a self clean button, do not despair.

There are numerous simple remedies to remove bad smells from cookers and ovens.You can easily find several high quality commercial oven cleaners available in the market that can simplify the cleaning process. Simply spray the insides of your oven with the cleaner, paying extra attention to the areas where the food residue is most obvious. Once the cleaner has been allowed to rest for a specified duration of time, it may be wiped away with a damp, clean cloth.You may use a scrub brush to get rid of persistent stains.

Disclaimer: The information provided has been prepared as a guide only and the steps taken are likely to vary for different appliance models. We strongly recommend using a qualified engineer to undertake major repairs and fault finding.


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