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Are Toaster Ovens Supposed To Get Hot on the Outside?

Toaster ovens are excellent for preparing meals or heating leftovers. But be careful while handling them as they can get hot to the touch with extended use. 

Toaster ovens are supposed to get hot on the outside if kept on for a long time. Most toaster ovens aren’t very well insulated, and if they are running for a long time, the heat generated inside will radiate outside. This makes the exterior warm or even hot to the touch.

In this article, I’ve prepared an in-depth look at why toaster ovens get hot on the outside, the best way to handle a hot toaster oven, and whether all toaster ovens get externally hot. 

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. If the oven has been running for a while, it gives the heat time to travel outwards, making the exterior warm and gradually hotter. 

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

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 coming from well-known brands provide better insulation. 

As such, the outside of the oven won’t get too hot even if you’ve been using it for a long time. 

How To Handle Toaster Ovens That Get Hot on the Outside

If your toaster oven is getting too hot on the outside, it can lead to a number 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. 

As such, I’ve shared 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. 
  • 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 main reason the exterior of your toaster oven is getting hot is that the heat from the inside is radiating outwards. 

The most straightforward solution is to stop using the oven at extremely high temperatures, which will keep the outside from getting too hot. Use your toaster oven for dishes that can be prepared at low 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 for this issue 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 something at a high temperature for long hours, expect your toaster oven’s exterior to get really hot. You should try to keep it isolated and maintain good airflow in this situation. 

Don’t place it 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

If your toaster oven gets uncomfortably hot to touch when it’s turned on, it’s best to use some hand protection when working with it. 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. 

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 really 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 always remains at room temperature, even though you’re baking a pizza inside it. The heat from the 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%. 

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.