Oven safety may seem like a second nature to you at this point, but you'd be surprised by how many folks put things in their ovens that really shouldn't be there. From materials that aren't oven-safe to items that can mess with an oven's temperature, there are plenty of mistakes that just about anyone can make while baking, roasting, or broiling their food. Don't let this happen to you!
Remember: Always double-check whether a new item is oven-safe before you ever put it inside the appliance, and never assume that bakeware can handle extremely high heat. Confirm the safety of your specific oven temperature before moving forward. Now, scroll down to see a few items that you should definitely never put in your oven — at any temperature.
1. Wax Paper
Unlike parchment paper, wax paper is not heat-resistant and can melt at high temperatures. According to foodservice distributor Bob's Red Mill Natural Foods, wax paper even has the possibility of igniting and catching fire in your oven.
2. Wet Potholders
This is a great reminder to always make sure your oven mitts or pads are dry before you use them. According to oven safety experts at Kansas State University, you risk burning your fingers within seconds of putting wet potholders in the oven — regardless of whether you're putting food in or taking it out.
3. Foil Oven Liners
While foil is great for catching spills inside of your baking dish, experts do not recommend using it at the bottom of your oven to catch spills there. As appliance repair specialist Dustin Wheeldon told TODAY.com, "Foil reflects heat, and that interferes with the efficiency of the oven."
4. Anything That Covers the Vents
As Wheeldon explained to TODAY.com, oven mats are usually fine to use — as long as they don't obscure any of the vents at the bottom of the oven. These vents are super important for balancing heat circulation and maintaining even temperatures throughout the whole cabinet.
5. A Mess of Food
OK, we're pretty sure this one is unintentional for many of us. It's just so easy to see a "tiny" spill or a "few" crumbs at the bottom of the oven or on the racks and look the other way, isn't it? Well, according to BakingBusiness.com, that's one of the top causes of an oven fire.
On that note, there's never been a better time to brush up on how to clean your oven properly!