What To Do If Your Oven Smells Like Burning: 5 Fixes

What To Do If Your Oven Smells Like Burning

Stuck trying to figure out why your oven smells like burning?

Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place to get this issue fixed. First, take a look at your food and make sure it is not on fire. But if your meal is okay, there are other things you need to check.

If your oven smells like burning, chances are the protective chemicals of the oven are burning off, the insulation is exposed, or there are plastic zip ties on your food. The use of harsh chemicals to clean your oven or an electrical malfunction could also explain the issue.

Read on to learn how to fix this annoying issue!

5 Reasons Why Your Oven Smells Like Burning

We have done an incredible amount of research to figure out why you might smell burning scents coming from your oven. Some of the most popular reasons are:

#1 Protective Chemicals

If your oven is still relatively new, then there may be protective chemicals that were included with the oven. A lot of manufacturers use them to prevent it from breaking down when it is still sitting in the store.

The first few times you use your oven, these protected chemicals have to be burnt off.

As a result, you may want to consider putting your oven through a few cooking cycles without any food in it. That way, you can get rid of these chemicals before you cook something in your oven for real.

This is one of the most common reasons why you may smell something that makes you think something is burning in the oven.

#2 Oven Insulation

Another possible reason why your oven may smell like it is burning is that there is insulation that is exposed to high heat.

Your oven comes with a lot of insulation that keeps the heat in the oven. That way, you don’t have to worry about the heat leaking into your kitchen, which might increase your utility bills. 

In some cases, this could be normal. Your insulation has to be exposed to heat a few times before this smell goes away. On the other hand, it could also indicate that your oven insulation is being unnecessarily exposed to heat.

You may want to take a closer look at where this smell is coming from to see if this is normal.

#3 Zip Ties on the Food 

There are a lot of food items that come with these zip ties because it makes the food easier to store, sell, and cook. So, if you have put something in the oven, there is a chance there could be plastic zip ties that are burning.

If you smell something burning in the oven, take a closer look at the food and make sure there are no zip ties that need to be removed.

If you have put zip ties in the oven, you need to remove them before you put your food back in. 

#4 An Electrical Malfunction

There is also a chance that wires could be burning in the oven. If this is the case, you have an emergency on your hands, since you need to figure out which wires are exposed to the heat.

Then, you need to fix them as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you could have a fire on your hands. 

An electrical malfunction is serious, and you need to take a look at the error code on your oven. If you do not see an error code on your oven, then you may need to call a professional to come and take a look at your oven for you. That way, you can figure out what the problem is before it completely destroys your oven.

#5 Cleaning Solutions 

It is important for you to clean your oven from time to time. That way, you can prevent mechanical obstructions from building up on the inside of the oven itself. 

However, if you used strong cleaning solutions, they are going to leave behind a strong odor. When they do, the odor needs to be burnt off before you put food in it. Give the cleaning solutions a chance to burn off. Then, the smell will go away.

How to Fix an Oven That Smells Like Burning: 5 Steps

Now that you know the most common culprits, it’s time to learn how to fix the issue. Don’t worry, it’s very simple, you just need to:

#1 Start By Burning In Your Oven

If you have a brand-new oven, the solution is to break it in. You can do this by burning the protective chemicals off of your oven before you put food in it.

In a lot of cases, you can take a look at the manual that came with the oven to see what you need to do to get rid of those protective chemicals. 

If you can’t find your manual, don’t worry! Take a look at our comprehensive guide on how to find any product manual online.

What you need to do is put your oven through a few cooking cycles without any food in it. Eventually, these protective chemicals are going to be burnt off. Then, you should not have to worry about the burning smell coming from your oven again. 

#2 Get Rid of Burnt Food Particles

There is also a chance you may smell something burning from your oven because there are food particles left behind from prior meals. Even if your oven has a self-cleaning option, this may not be enough to completely get rid of the food particles left behind. 

To get rid of the food particles, you should remove the racks from the oven and get rid of any obvious chunks of food. After this, you should run your oven’s self-cleaning mode.

How to clean oven racks
Clean your oven regularly to make sure there are not any food particles left behind that could cause a burning smell in the future.

To clean the oven racks, you should use a solution that is one part vinegar and one part water. Then, wipe down the racks and the inside of your oven. This should be enough to get rid of any food particles that might have been left behind.

#3 Avoid Strong Cleaning Solutions

Even though it is fine for you to use substances such as baking soda or vinegar to clean the inside of your oven, you should be careful if you use anything stronger than that. If you use strong cleaning solutions, you are going to leave behind foul odors that are going to burn when you turn on the oven again.

In general, you should not need anything stronger than baking soda, vinegar, water, and detergent to clean your oven. If you are reaching for something stronger than this, then you may want to think about what might be wrong with your oven. 

Remember that your oven also has a self-cleaning solution. You should make sure you put this to work for you as well. If you can stay away from strong, overpowering cleaning solutions, you should be able to avoid the foul odor left behind by other cleaning substances.

#4 Check the Oven Insulation

As mentioned above, if you have had your oven for a while and the burning sensation is new, then you should check your oven for exposed insulation. This could be the reason why your oven smells like burning.

If you find exposed insulation in the oven, then you may need to remove it or replace it. If you are uncomfortable doing this on your own, you may want to reach out to a professional who can help you. 

#5 Call the Gas Company

Finally, if you smell sulfur coming from your oven, this could be a sign that you have a gas leak somewhere. This is a serious issue that you do not want to deal with on your own.

The first thing you need to do is call 911 or the local gas company to let them know that you have a gas leak. This is an emergency, and they should come out right away. 

Keep in mind that you should not use your oven if you feel like you have a gas leak. There is also a good chance the gas company is going to shut off your gas immediately, so you may lose access to other appliances as well.

The gas company will come out and do a thorough investigation to figure out where the leak is coming from. After this, they will fix it before you can go back to work. Keep in mind that they may ask you to replace your oven if there is something wrong with it. 


Ultimately, there are lots of reasons why you might have a burning smell coming from your oven. If you are not burning your food, you should make sure the electrical system is okay, there are no zip ties left behind, and the insulation is not exposed to the heat.

It is also possible you may need to burn in your oven to get rid of the protective chemicals. You may also want to check and see if you used any overly strong cleaning solutions.

I hope you enjoyed reading this guide to why you might have an oven that smells like something is burning. Take a look at the related articles below to learn more! 

Hi there! I’m Craig, and I’m the founder of Appliance Analysts. When it comes to appliances and anything electrical, I’ve always loved opening things up, figuring out how they work, and fixing them. This website is where I share free advice from myself and our experts to help our readers solve their appliance/HVAC problems and save money. Read more