Toaster ovens are extremely versatile and easy-to-use appliances.
However, it is very important to know how to use a toaster oven properly because there is the possibility of injury and fire.
The chances of accidents happening when a toaster oven is running are low, but like any other device that uses heated elements, the risk is present.
It is important to read all of the safety guidelines in the manual that comes with your toaster oven so that you get an awareness of the safety precautions before using your machine.
Keep on reading to learn about some safety hazards of using toaster ovens and how you can prevent them.
Toaster oven hazards
The heating elements inside toaster ovens produce heat using high-intensity electrical currents.
If a person brushes up against them while operating or touches them using a metal conductor like a fork or knife.
There is a great risk of electrocution, which will be very painful and may be fatal.
Water is also an electrical conductor, so keeping the environment around a toaster oven as dry as possible is important.
A toaster oven uses a lot of electricity to produce heat.
Suppose it is connected to a circuit where other such electrical appliances are connected and running simultaneously, such as a refrigerator or microwave.
In that case, the circuit breaker could trip due to the overload.
There is an inherent risk of getting a burn because the toaster oven produces a significant amount of heat.
When removing items from the toaster oven, you can accidentally burn your hands or fingers on the metal grill or heating elements.
Also, the outer walls of specific models can get quite hot, so someone can get a burn by brushing up against the hot exterior.
If food crumbs build up on the bottom surface, where the heating elements are present, they can catch fire.
If food is left inside the toaster at too hot of a setting for too long, it can also catch fire.
Because the heating elements are exposed and so near to the flammable matter, this can be a genuine concern.
Although the possibility of an explosion is infrequent, the glass door can burst outwards if it gets too hot.
Related Reading: What Happens If You Stick A Fork In A Toaster – Click Here To Read.
Safety protocols for using a toaster oven
To prevent any accidents while using the toaster oven, make sure to follow these basic protocols.
- Keep the toaster oven far from flammable materials.
- Make sure to clean the crumb tray regularly. Food particles inside the toaster can start a fire.
- Kfaristance from the sink or wet areas to prevent electrocution.
- If you notice any unusual sparks or smell, switch it off and unplug it immediately.
- Do not stick any items on the toaster oven.
- Do not put any material on the top when it is in use.
- Wipe the toaster oven regularly but do not use water or any cleaning liquids.
Toaster ovens may have a design suited for placing on the countertops, but if the surface where it is placed is made of flammable material, you need to arrange for additional insulation such as:
1. Heat Shield
The purpose of heat shields is to prevent excessive heat from coming out of the top of the toaster.
However, a critical issue about heat shields is that not all toaster ovens release their exhaust on the top.
2. Silicone protector
A food-grade nonslip silicone protector not only saves the countertop but is also easy to store, flexible and versatile.
3. Ceramic Trivet
A ceramic trivet resists heat and can easily be cleaned with one wash.
Most ceramic trivets also spice up the aesthetic appeal of the countertop.
What to consider before storing a toaster oven
Unlike other smaller kitchen appliances, a toaster oven needs extra consideration when it comes to storage.
One important thing you have to consider is the size of your toaster oven before deciding on a place to put it.
Smaller ones can be easily placed on shelves.
You may want to make a separate shelf if it is too large.
2. Proximity to Electrical Outlet
If you regularly use a toaster oven, better place it near an electrical outlet for convenience.
Just ensure that it is unplugged when not being used and has enough distance from other electrical conductors and the sink.
3. Heat Protection
Since toaster ovens exhaust heat outside, it is good to have a heat protector around.
You could also look for a spot where waste heat is easily released without affecting nearby items.
Toaster ovens need proper ventilation to do away with the heat, smoke, and vapours from cooking.
Proper airflow is also a necessary condition in the cooking process.
Hence, enclosing the toaster oven in a cabinet makes it hard for the appliance to function properly.
Safe places for putting a toaster oven
For an average-sized kitchen, you can consider the following options for storing a toaster oven.
1. Insulated Countertop
Most toaster ovens are designed for placing on the countertop as it is convenient, readily accessible, and easily managed.
However, some people might have an issue with this setup when it comes to organization.
Others prefer their devices hidden for a tidier vibe on the countertop.
But if you don’t find it much of an issue, just make sure to have a countertop insulator to guarantee complete safety.
2. Wall-Mounted Shelf
If you don’t prefer keeping the toaster oven on the countertop, you can install it on the wall above it.
This position allows convenience and permanence and also warrants proper ventilation minimizing the risk of fire.
So what about open cabinets?
If the purpose is simply storage without using it for a long time, an open or even a closed cabinet is fine.
But if you need to use it in the same place it is kept, wooden cabinets are not advisable due to their material.
3. Metallic Open Shelf
Modern kitchens include open shelves made of metal.
You can keep your toaster on the upper stands so you can easily access it when needed.
Using it on the metallic shelf is fine as long as you take precautions against electrical shocks since the metal frame is an electrical conductor.
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Are toaster ovens safe – FAQs
1. Can you put a toaster oven in an enclosed area?
No, under normal conditions, it is not safe to place your toaster oven in an enclosed area.
2. How much space should be left around a toaster oven?
About 6 inches of space should be given between the oven and any other objects all around it.
3. Is it okay to leave a toaster plugged in all the time?
When a toaster is not in use but still plugged into an electrical outlet, a malfunction can cause a fire.
So leaving it plugged in is not safe.
Related Reading: Can I Place My Toaster Oven On Top Of Microwave – Click Here To Find Out.
As long as you know the safety hazards, a toaster oven brings great convenience for kitchen work.
It only takes a few precautions and some proper housekeeping for the safe use of a toaster oven by anyone.