Is it Safe to Put a Toaster Oven in a Cabinet?


When it comes to organizing kitchen appliances, the small ones like a toaster oven can be a pickle.

Sure, you may have plenty of breakfronts and cupboards but how safe is it to put a toaster oven in a wooden compartment?

If you look closely into the safety of storing heat-generating appliances, it will pretty much tell you that it is not recommended to put a toaster oven in a cabinet. Toaster ovens require sufficient airflow plus it retains heat for a certain period. Keeping it inside the cabinet can cause harm to your entire kitchen.

But what if I’ll just be extremely careful when storing the toaster oven in the cabinet?

That’s a question that can easily be answered in the next few lines.

Can a Toaster Oven Sit on Wood?

Directly placing a toaster on top of wood can be a hazard.

A toaster radiates heat. Too much of this heat can trigger a small fire or damage the wood. While the former may be an extreme consequence, it can still occur without proper supervision. After all, toaster ovens can be as hot as 500 oF.

Aside from its close contact to a combustible surface, there’s the added risk of touching other items on the wooden countertop. This may include cords that can melt easily or cause an electrical spark and other lightweight kitchen items.  

Hazards of Toaster Oven

Cases of toaster oven burning an entire house are rare but not nearly impossible. Don’t be fooled by its compact stature as most toasters are made of thin metallic covers.

If you’re not careful, you could catch the following dangers.

1. Fire

Imagine using your toaster oven and not having the time to regularly clean it. Crumbs and pieces of food would be retained. The next time you use it, it could just burst into flames. It gets worse if you immediately place it inside a wooden cabinet. You may not notice the formation of fire immediately.

2. Electrical Shock

A key feature of a portable toaster oven is its electrical heat source. The danger, however, is the potential electrical shock you could get if you’re not careful. Avoid using metallic tongs in checking your food while the toaster is still running.

3. Burns

This is pretty much self-explanatory. When handling food from the toaster, you risk your skin from getting burned if you don’t adhere to safety measures. The simplest one is using mittens and keeping enough distance from the heat.

Safety Protocol When Using a Toaster Oven

Toaster ovens may have been designed to be placed on countertops, but if the material where it’s placed is flammable, you need to provide additional insulation.

1. Silicone protector

A nonslip food-grade silicone protector not only protects the countertop but is as handy as can be. It is flexible, easy to store, and versatile.  

2. Ceramic Trivet

A ceramic trivet is heat resistant and can easily be cleaned with one rinse. Most ceramic trivet also spices up the visual appeal on the countertop.

3. Heat Shield

Heat shields normally prevent excessive heat from coming off the top of the toaster. A critical issue about this material, however, is that not all toaster ovens concentrate their exhaust on the top.

To prevent any accidents with the toaster oven, make sure to follow these basic tips.

1.   Keep the toaster oven away from flammable materials.

2.   Make sure to regularly clean the crumb tray. Food residue inside the toaster can cause a fire.

3.   Keep it away from the sink or any liquid to prevent electrocution.

4.   If you notice any unusual smell or sparks, unplug it immediately.

5.   Do not stick anything on the toaster oven.

6.   Do not place any material on top of it when in use.

7.   Wipe the toaster oven frequently but do not use water or any cleaner.

Toaster ovens are common culprits of huge flames inside the house, if you’re not careful enough, it could create havoc in your kitchen. Make sure that you use it properly.

Keep in mind that aside from fire, electrocution is another hazard you need to watch out for. Use mittens when taking the food out. And avoid using metallic tools while the oven is being used.

Things to Consider When Storing a Toaster Oven

Unlike other small kitchen appliances, a toaster oven requires extra consideration when it comes to storage.

1. Ventilation

Toaster ovens require proper ventilation to get rid of the smoke, odor, and vapor from cooking. Airflow is also a vital condition in the cooking process. Thereby, keeping the toaster oven in a closed cabinet makes it difficult for the appliance to function well.

2. Heat Protection

Since toaster ovens release heat outside, it is important to have a heat protector around. You could also find a spot where residual heat is easily released without compromising nearby items.

3. Proximity to Electrical Outlet

If the toaster oven is a regular part of your routine, better place it somewhere near an electrical outlet for convenience. Just make sure that it’s unplugged when not in use. And it has enough distance from the sink and other electrical conductors.

4. Size

Of course, you have to consider the size of your toaster oven before deciding where to put it. Smaller ones are easily kept on shelves. If it’s too large, you may want to have a separate shelf made.

Safe Places to Put a Toaster Oven

A cabinet may not be the safest place for your toaster oven. But for a small kitchen, you still have some options. If you consider the requirements for storing a toaster oven, you could easily choose from the following examples.

1. Insulated Countertop

Most toaster ovens are designed to be placed on the countertop. It’s convenient, readily available, and easily managed. 

However, some people may have an issue with the organization when it comes to this setup. Others prefer small appliances and devices hidden for a more decluttered vibe on the countertop. 

But if this isn’t much of an issue for you, just make sure that you have a countertop protector to guarantee complete safety.

2. Metallic Open Shelf

Modern kitchen designs include open shelves made of metallic frames. You can place your toaster on the upper platforms so you can easily grab it when needed. 

Using it on the shelf is fine if you take precautions against electrical shock considering the metal frame is a strong electrical conductor. 

3. Wall-Mounted Shelf

If you don’t want to put the toaster oven on the countertop, you can mount it on the wall above it. This practical trick allows permanence and convenience if the outlet is closed. It also warrants proper ventilation without risking fire on items around it.

You might be asking, “What about open cabinets?”

Again, if the purpose is simply storage without the intention of using it for a long time, a cabinet (whether it’s open or close) is fine. 

But if you want to use it in the same place it’s kept, cabinets, particularly those made of wood, are not advisable because of its material.

In a Nutshell

Storing an oven toaster inside the cabinet could be a practice you’ve witnessed from your neighbor or friend.

An unused toaster oven will do fine in the cabinet. But if you frequently use your toaster for breakfast, then perhaps you may want to rethink the safety of putting it in a closed cabinet.

For a tiny kitchen, there are still creative ways you can store your toaster oven. Make sure that it has proper airflow and away from items that easily burn or conduct electricity. Just like with any other appliances, it is best to go back to the guidelines of the product on safe handling.

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