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Are Toaster Ovens Supposed To Get Hot on the Outside?

Toaster ovens are supposed to get warm and eventually HOT on the outside if the insides are kept hot for a long time. The ovens produce heat on the inside to heat food, so it’s normal for the exterior to get warm or hot after long use. Of course, Toaster ovens come with light insulation, but the heat on the inside inevitably radiates outwards over time. 

I’ve had a fairly expensive Calphalon Cool Touch toaster oven for years, and it still gets hot sometimes. I never use it without my oven Mitten. So if your Toaster oven heats up, you know it’s normal for that to happen, although it can be dangerous for yourself and especially for kids. You don’t want kids touching a burning hot toaster on the outside. Even worse, having combustible materials besides your extra hot oven could potentially cause fire hazards.

This article gives an in-depth look at why toaster ovens get hot on the outside. You’ll discover some of the best ways to handle a hot toaster oven and recommendations for the best oven toasters to buy – to avoid the heat issue.

Why Do Toaster Ovens Get Hot on the Outside?

Toaster ovens get hot on the outside because the heat from the inside slowly radiates outwards. Toaster ovens come with insulation, some better than others. But If the oven has been running for a while, the heat inevitably travels outwards, making the exterior warm and eventually hot. 

That said, how quickly a toaster oven gets hot on the outside will vary between devices and the quality of insulation. 

Usually, cheaper toaster ovens or those from unknown brands will use poor thermal insulation, which allows the heat to easily radiate outwards and make the exterior hot. More expensive toaster ovens from well-known brands provide better insulation to prevent excessive heating on the outside. 

How to Handle Toaster Ovens that Get Hot on The Outside

A toaster oven that heats up excessively on the outside could cause lots of problems. For starters, you or your kids can accidentally hurt yourself when handling the device. Also, the high temperature can damage anything surrounding it. Even worse, it only takes long contact with a combustible material for your overheated oven to start a fire at home.

Here are a couple of things you should keep in mind when handling toaster ovens that are hot on the outside: 

  • Don’t use the toaster oven at high temperatures (especially more than necessary for your food). 
  • Avoid keeping the toaster oven on for hours at a stretch. 
  • Maintain at least a 6” (15 cm) gap from all directions. 
  • Wear an oven mitten. 
  • Keep out of the reach of children and pets. 

Let’s go over each of these points in more detail. 

Don’t Use the Toaster Oven at High Temperatures

The hotter the toaster oven’s interior, the hotter the exterior will get over time.

A simple solution is to avoid using the oven at extremely high temperatures, especially above the maximum required to toast, bake or cook. Let’s assume you can cook a certain meal at 150 degrees. Then, there’s really no need to set the oven to say 200 degrees F or more. Also, consider using your toaster oven for dishes that can be prepared at lower temperatures. 

Avoid Keeping the Toaster Oven ON for Hours at a Stretch

If you keep the toaster oven ON at a high temperature for long hours, you’re giving the heat time to radiate outwards, which raises the temperature of the oven’s exterior. 

A simple fix is turning off the toaster oven between preparations. Once you’re done heating or cooking a dish, turn the oven off and let it cool down before turning it back on for your next preparation. 

This might not be the most productive/efficient way of cooking, but it’ll keep your toaster oven from getting too hot to handle. 

Maintain At Least a 6” (15 cm) Gap From All Directions

If you have to cook at a high temperature for long hours, expect your toaster oven’s exterior to get hot. You should try to keep it isolated and maintain good airflow in this situation. 

Don’t place the toaster oven against a wall because the high heat can leave a burn mark. Likewise, make sure it isn’t touching anything flammable, not even plastic bags or utensils. 

Also, don’t stack it right below a cabinet or, worse, another electronic appliance. Give it some space to allow better heat dissipation and prevent the toaster oven from getting too hot. 

Wear an Oven Mitten

Protect your hands as you cook or toast with your oven toaster, by wearing an oven mitten. You can try these ARCLIBER Oven Mitts (available on Amazon) to avoid accidental burns when working with a toaster oven that tends to get extremely hot. 

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Keep Out of the Reach of Children and Pets

Kids will be kids, and if they smell cookies baking, they might try to open the toaster oven to get a taste. The same goes for your pets, as they don’t know any better. 

Although rare, someone can seriously hurt themselves if the outside of the toaster oven gets hot. As such, it’s always the best idea to keep kitchen appliances, including toaster ovens, out of the reach of your kids and pets. 

Are There Toaster Ovens That Don’t Get Hot on the Outside?

There are toaster ovens that don’t get hot on the outside and will only get slightly warm if you keep them on at high temperatures for long hours. These ovens use high-quality insulation with other engineering tricks for better heat management. They’re also more expensive than regular toaster ovens.

You won’t find any oven whose exterior remains at room temperature when you’re baking a pizza inside it. The heat from inside will eventually and inevitably radiate outside. 

But with the use of better insulation, we can manage the heat radiation and keep it from becoming a problem. 

If you’re looking to buy one of these toaster ovens that don’t get hot externally, I’d recommend getting the Calphalon Cool Touch Toaster Oven (available on Amazon). The device uses a specialized “cool touch” exterior that can reduce the outside temperature of the oven by up to 75%. 

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07/17/2024 04:37 am GMT

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Sure, it’ll feel slightly warm to the touch, but never too hot where it becomes a concern or an annoyance. 

Key Takeaways

Toaster ovens can get externally hot as the high heat from inside the oven will eventually radiate outwards to heat up its outsides. 

To manage toaster ovens that get too hot on the outside, you should either keep the heat low or not use it for too long at a stretch. However, if you do need to keep it on high heat for long hours, remember to wear mittens when handling it and make sure no one and nothing touches them. 


  • Steve Rajeckas

    Steve Rajeckas is an HVAC hobbyist with an avid interest in learning innovative ways to keep rooms, buildings, and everything else at the optimal temperature. When he's not working on new posts for Temperature Master, he can be found reading books or exploring the outdoors.

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