Short answer: When your electric oven smells like gas, it’s essential to address it promptly. It could be a sign of underlying issues that require attention to ensure safety.

The unmistakable smell of gas emanating from an electric oven can be a cause for immediate concern and apprehension. Electric ovens are designed to run on electricity, and the presence of a gas odor suggests a potentially hazardous issue that demands prompt attention. Understanding the reasons behind an electric oven smelling like gas is crucial to ensuring the safety of your home and addressing any underlying problems. In this guide,I will explore the common causes of this unsettling smell, provide insights into prevention measures, and outline the actions required to rectify the situation. By gaining a deeper understanding of this issue, you can take the necessary steps to eliminate the gas odor and ensure the safe operation of your electric oven.

Why Does My Electric Oven Smell Like Gas?

If your oven smells like gas, it can be concerning, but it’s important to note that in an electric oven, there is no actual gas supply. Instead, several factors can contribute to the perception of a gas-like smell. One common reason is a malfunctioning or damaged heating element or faulty wiring within the oven. When these components are not working correctly, they can produce unusual odors that might resemble gas. Lingering food odors, spills, or burnt residues can create unpleasant smells when the oven is in use. The use of strong cleaning chemicals or the presence of manufacturing residues in a new oven can also contribute to these odors.

Faulty Wiring: Faulty or damaged wiring within your electric oven can generate a gas-like smell. It’s important to inspect and address any wiring issues promptly to ensure safe operation.

Damaged Heating Element: A damaged heating element in the oven can also contribute to a gas-like odor. This component plays a crucial role in heating the oven and should be checked if you notice any unusual smells.

New Oven: New ovens may emit odors, often related to protective coatings or residual manufacturing odors. These smells typically dissipate after a few uses as the oven “breaks in.”

Burnt Smells: The oven can emit burnt smells if there are spills or residue on the heating elements or oven surfaces. These odors are common and can be resolved through cleaning.

Lingering Odors: Lingering odors from previous cooking, such as strong-smelling foods like fish, can persist in the oven and give the impression of a gas smell. Proper cleaning helps eliminate these odors.

Unrelated Gas Leak: Sometimes, a gas-like smell in the kitchen may not be from the oven itself but from an unrelated gas leak elsewhere. It’s crucial to rule out external sources of the odor.

Lack of Cleaning: A lack of regular cleaning can lead to the accumulation of food residues or spills in the oven, resulting in unwanted odors during cooking.

Food Odors: Cooking certain foods with strong aromas can leave behind lingering smells in the oven, which may be mistaken for a gas-like odor.

Cleaning Chemicals: If incorrect or strong cleaning chemicals are used in the oven, they can produce unpleasant odors when the oven is heated.

Preheating: Preheating a new oven is a recommended practice to burn off any protective coatings or manufacturing residues, which may initially produce odors during the oven’s first uses.

Recently Painted House: Odors from paint or renovation work in your home may permeate the oven, giving the impression of a gas smell if the oven is not adequately sealed during the work.

Self-Cleaning Oven: The self-cleaning cycle in some ovens can generate odors as it burns off built-up food residues and spills. These odors are typically temporary and part of the cleaning process.

Fixing The Electric Oven Smells Like Gas

Removing gas dryer igniter
Removing igniter from gas oven

1. Replacing The Igniter:

  1. Lift the oven door slightly to about 20 degrees and remove it from the hinges. Some models may not allow door removal, but it’s more convenient if you can.
  2. Remove the screws at the back (usually Phillips head) to lift the bottom panel. Tilt it to around 45 degrees to unlock the front lip and remove the panel.
  3. The igniter is located right below. It’s secured by two-quarter-inch screws. Apply a bit of oil to make screw removal easier.
  4. Strip some wire from the connector that attaches the igniter to the oven. Connect the new igniter by matching the wires (either oven wire or igniter wire). Use ceramic wire nuts to create a secure electrical connection.
  5. Reconnect the modular connector (it only fits one way) and route the wires through the designated space to minimize exposure to heat during baking.
  6. Secure the igniter by aligning it and using your fingers to start the screws. Tighten them using a driver.
  7. Test the oven by setting it to bake. The igniter should gradually brighten and ignite within about 30 seconds.

2. Cleaning the oven

To clean an electric oven and eliminate gas-like smells, follow these steps:

Remove Oven Racks: Take out all the oven racks and set them aside. You can clean them separately.

Gather Supplies: You will need the following supplies:

  • Baking soda
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Scrubbing sponge or cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Plastic or silicone spatula

Create a Cleaning Paste: Mix a paste of baking soda and water. Start with a 1/2 cup of baking soda and add water gradually until you have a thick paste.

Apply the Paste: Spread the baking soda paste evenly inside the oven, paying special attention to areas with visible stains or spills. Avoid applying it to heating elements or vents.

Let it Sit: Leave the baking soda paste on the oven’s interior surfaces for several hours or overnight. This allows it to break down stubborn residue and odors.

Scrub the Interior:

  • Put on rubber gloves to protect your hands.
  • Dampen a scrubbing sponge or cloth with water and scrub the oven’s interior, focusing on the areas with baking soda paste. The baking soda will help loosen grime and odors.

Rinse with Vinegar:

  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  • Spray the oven’s interior with the vinegar-water solution to neutralize any remaining odors and baking soda residue. Be cautious around the heating elements.

Wipe and Rinse:

  • Use a clean, damp cloth or sponge to wipe away any remaining residue and vinegar.
  • Rinse the cloth or sponge frequently.

Clean Oven Racks:

  • While the oven is drying, clean the oven racks. Soak them in a tub or sink filled with warm, soapy water for a few hours.
  • Scrub any remaining residue or stains from the racks using a scrubbing pad or brush.

Dry and Reassemble: Ensure the oven is thoroughly dry before reassembling the racks. Once everything is dry, reinsert the racks into the oven.

Ventilation: Open windows or use exhaust fans to help dissipate any remaining odors.

Final Check: Turn the oven on to a low temperature (about 200°F or 93°C) for a short time to ensure any remaining odors are burned off. Keep an eye on it during this process.

Installing igniter
Fixing the igniter after cleaning

3. Fixing Unrelated Gas Leak:

While it’s not possible to have a gas leak directly from an electric stove, it’s essential to consider the possibility of a nearby gas leak. If none of the previously mentioned methods yield results in addressing the gas-like smell, it’s crucial to rule out an actual gas leak. In this case, disconnect the oven and contact your gas provider for assistance. While you may be relatively safe if no fires or explosions have occurred yet, even a minor gas leak can pose significant dangers over time as gas accumulates in the kitchen. Any spark or flame could ignite it. If you suspect a gas leak, it’s best to refrain from using your kitchen and seek immediate investigation by a qualified specialist.

4. Check And Remove Packaging Material

To fix a gas-like smell coming from your electric oven, consider the possibility of leftover packaging materials, especially if you’ve recently installed the oven. These materials might heat up and emit odors during the oven’s preheating process. If you suspect packaging materials as the source:

  1. Turn Off the Oven: Immediately turn off the oven if you detect the smell.
  2. Allow Cooling: Let the oven cool down.
  3. Check for Packaging Materials: Carefully inspect the oven’s interior, including racks and heating elements, for any residual packaging materials. Remove any plastic, cardboard, or other materials that may have been left behind.
  4. Clean the Oven: If you find any melted plastic or residues, clean the affected areas thoroughly using a mixture of baking soda and water to remove any potential residue and odors.
  5. Ventilate: After cleaning, ventilate the kitchen by opening windows and using exhaust fans to help dissipate any lingering odor.
  6. Recheck: Turn on the oven again at a low temperature and monitor it to ensure that the gas-like smell has disappeared.

Oven Safety Tips

Ovens are essential kitchen appliances, but they can pose safety risks if not used correctly. Here are some oven safety tips to help ensure safe operation:

  1. Read the Manual: Familiarize yourself with the oven’s user manual or instructions. Different ovens may have specific safety features and guidelines that you should be aware of.
  2. Proper Installation: Ensure your oven is correctly installed by a qualified technician. Make sure it’s level and stable.
  3. Childproofing: If you have young children, consider using childproof locks on the oven door and knobs to prevent accidental use.
  4. Clean Regularly: Keep your oven clean by removing food spills and grease buildup. Built-up residue can lead to fires or unpleasant odors.
  5. Use Oven Mitts: Always use oven mitts or heat-resistant gloves when placing items in or removing them from the oven. Oven mitts should be in good condition and free from holes.
  6. Avoid Overcrowding: Avoid overcrowding the oven with pans or dishes. Adequate airflow helps food cook evenly and reduces the risk of spills.
  7. Preheat Properly: Preheat the oven to the desired temperature before placing food inside. This ensures even cooking and prevents foodborne illnesses.
  8. Stay Alert: Never leave the kitchen while the oven is in use, especially when baking, broiling, or roasting. A fire can start quickly if food boils over or spills onto the oven’s heating elements.
  9. Use a Timer: Set a timer to remind you when to check on your food. This helps prevent overcooking or burning.
  10. Keep Flammable Items Away: Ensure that flammable items like kitchen towels, oven mitts, and wooden utensils are kept away from the oven while it’s in use.
  11. Ventilation: Use the oven’s exhaust fan or open a window when cooking to help dissipate heat and odors. Adequate ventilation can also prevent carbon monoxide buildup if you have a gas oven.
  12. Check for Gas Leaks: If you have a gas oven, regularly check for gas leaks by looking for visible damage to the gas line and using a gas leak detector solution.
  13. Don’t Use Foil on the Bottom: Avoid placing aluminum foil directly on the oven’s bottom to catch drips. It can block airflow and create a fire hazard.
  14. Maintain a Safe Distance: Keep flammable materials and items like paper towels, dish soap, and plastic containers a safe distance away from the oven to prevent accidental contact.
  15. Turn Off When Not in Use: Always turn off the oven when you’re finished cooking. Don’t use it for heating purposes unless designed for that function.


Is it normal for my self-cleaning oven to produce a burning smell?

Yes, during the self-cleaning cycle, ovens can emit a strong burning odor. This is because it reaches high temperatures to incinerate food residues and spills. Adequate ventilation and patience are key during this process.

Why does my oven smell like chemicals when I use it?

Chemical odors may result from using strong cleaning chemicals in the oven. Ensure you use oven-safe cleaning products and rinse thoroughly to eliminate chemical odors.

Can melted plastic in the oven cause persistent odors?

Cleaning oven
Removing melted plastic from the bottom of the oven

Yes, if plastic packaging materials melt onto the oven’s heating elements, it can produce unpleasant and potentially harmful odors. Cleaning the affected areas is crucial.

Why does my oven emit a metallic or burning smell after I bake or broil food?

A metallic or burning smell after baking or broiling may indicate a problem with the oven’s heating element or wiring. It’s advisable to have a professional technician inspect and repair the oven.

How can I prevent odors in my oven when using the self-cleaning function?

Proper ventilation, removing excess food residues, and running the self-cleaning cycle regularly can help minimize odors during self-cleaning.

What should I do if my oven emits a smoky smell during cooking?

A smoky smell may occur when cooking fatty or greasy foods. To prevent this, use a splatter guard and ensure the oven is clean to avoid excess smoke.

Are there any health risks associated with oven odors?

Some odors, especially those from burnt or melted plastics, can release harmful chemicals. It’s essential to address such odors promptly and avoid using the oven until the issue is resolved to prevent health risks.


Understanding and addressing oven-related odors is essential for both safety and the enjoyment of your cooking experience. While some odors are normal during the initial use of a new oven or when running the self-cleaning cycle, persistent or unusual smells may indicate underlying issues. Regular cleaning, proper ventilation, and prompt action in case of gas-like odors are crucial practices for maintaining a safe and odor-free oven. Whether it’s addressing manufacturing residues, burnt-on food spills, or potential gas leaks, being proactive about oven maintenance and safety ensures that your culinary endeavors remain pleasant and worry-free.

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