Can you Put a Toaster Oven Under a Cabinet? Is It Safe?

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Can you put a toaster oven under a cabinet

Toaster ovens can get extremely hot (unless specified otherwise) upon use, which is the reason most people are skeptical whether to put a toaster oven under the cabinet or not. Here’s a straightforward answer for you:

Yes, you can put a toaster oven under wooden cabinets if there’s sufficient space between the two. If space is a problem, install insulation pads or mats over and under the toaster oven to protect the surrounding surfaces. Also, if you want to use a toaster oven directly from a cabinet, make sure its doors are open and there are no cords directly touching it.

Why Does the Placement Spot Matter for Toaster Ovens?

Toaster ovens are great; they save space, offer perks of two different appliances, and are easy to clean. But the problem arises when they get hot during cooking. That’s when you have to consider the surroundings and ensure nothing is at risk of catching fire.

Many home cooks don’t know the importance of ventilation and insulation, leading to several damages. On the flip side, some consider all important factors beforehand but are short on space – what do they do?

If you want to keep your toaster oven handy without compromising your kitchen’s safety and aesthetic appeal, keep on reading!

What is the Ideal Place to Put A Toaster Oven?

Modern-day kitchens are more about practicality and less about spaciousness, so fixing new appliances is often a tough task. Where you place a toaster oven depends upon the following factors:

  • Do you have enough space on the countertop?
  • Will you be regularly using the toaster oven?
  • Can you install a new shelf/cabinet if needed?
  • What’s around that place you’re considering for the toaster oven?
  • Is your kitchen well-ventilated?
  • How solid are your wood cabinets/shelves?
  • And, where is the electrical outlet?

This list of questions might seem a bit too much, but it defines your kitchen’s practicality; take your time with it. Once you know all the important answers, analyze your kitchen and pick a safe corner to place the toaster oven, i.e., countertop space near the window, a spacious cabinet, etc.

What are the Best Places to Put A Toaster Oven in Small Kitchens?

When you have limited space, you be innovative and find a middle way to keep all your appliances handy. Here are some safe and practical options to place a toaster oven:

Wall-mounted Shelf

If your countertop is crammed, a wall-mounted shelf can help with appliance placement.

Sure, you’ll have to get a new shelf installed (which is extra work), but your favorite toaster oven will always be handy, so it’s not an unfair deal. Plus, when you get a wall-mounted shelve on the wall away from the cabinetry, it’s the safest option for something like a toaster oven.

Freestanding Shelf

When none of the walls in your kitchen has enough space to handle a toaster oven, consider buying a stand-alone shelf. These shelves often have small drawers and racks that increase your kitchen’s storage space. And if you get a stand-alone mobile shelf, it’ll be a treat for your narrow kitchen.


Appliance garages are cabinets specified for electrical equipment in the kitchen. If you want your toaster oven to be out of sight, a cabinet will do.

If there’s enough clearance space, i.e., 4″, on all sides of the toaster oven, it will do fine in a kitchen cabinet. When a food burning accident happens, you can move the toaster oven near the window and let it be for a while.


Most of us prefer our kitchen appliances on the countertop because it’s convenient. However, if you’re concerned about the well-being of your countertop, place an insulation mat or pad under the toaster oven, and that will do.

Can You Put A Toaster Oven on a Wood Shelf?

Some kitchens have stand-alone wooden shelves and countertops with a wood finish. If your kitchen also has these, don’t be casual about placing electric appliances.

You can place a toaster oven on a wood shelf if it’s made from thick wood, and there’s a protective shield over it. If, however, your wood shelf is not protected, you can get a non-slip insulated counter mat as a quick fix.

These insulation mats are inexpensive and durable; you won’t have trouble finding them. Countertop insulation pads can be made of cork, bamboo, Formica, or silicone; you can choose one that suits your kitchen.

How Much Clearance Does A Toaster Oven Need?

A kitchen’s central ventilation unit is dedicated to covering the stove’s fumes; it doesn’t work well for the appliances sitting away from it. That’s why you need reliable ventilation and sufficient space around the toaster oven to keep it safe.

If your toaster oven will go directly on the countertop and there’s wooden cabinetry above it, it must have a clearance space of 10″ or more. This space prevents heat and smoke from hitting the underside of your cabinetry, eventually reducing fire risks.

But if you’re to place this appliance inside a cabinet/rack, there should be 4″ space around its sides. When you tug a toaster oven in a narrow place, it does not have breathing space, which is potentially dangerous. Clearance space ensures quick ventilation and easy cleaning; be mindful of that.

How Much Ventilation Does A Toaster Oven Need?

Toaster ovens usually have thin frames which get hot during cooking. Even if this thickness difference doesn’t spark a fire, it can melt and damage things near a toaster oven. Therefore, manufacturers and expert cooks suggest you don’t cram a toaster oven near other appliances/kitchenware.

Allocate a designated space for this appliance, even if you have to change the kitchen’s arrangement. Small shelves increase a kitchen’s storage space and make it look tidy; look into your options.

Care Instructions You Should Follow with A Toaster Oven

A careless attitude doesn’t sit well with kitchen appliances; you should be vigilant about them. If you’re new to using a toaster oven, follow these tips to prevent any risk/damage in the kitchen:

  • Never touch/open a toaster oven without wearing kitchen mitts. Although new toaster ovens come with a stay-cool feature, you should still be careful.
  • Toaster ovens don’t require advanced ventilation, but placing them near an open space is wise.
  • Keep all electric cords away from your toaster oven; it gets very hot during cooking and can cause sparks.
  • Never place the toaster oven near the sink because water splashes can cause short circuits and electricity sparks.

Final Thoughts

The toaster oven can be a practical addition to your busy kitchen, especially when you’re short on space. Whether you’re refurbishing your kitchen or thinking about buying a new appliance, read up on toaster ovens before deciding anything.

And once you have this handy buddy in the kitchen, fix a safe and convenient spot for it. You can place a toaster oven under the cabinet by following the care instructions I have shared above. Here’s a recap for you:

  • Make sure there’s clearance space around the toaster oven
  • Keep cords/wires away from the toaster oven’s premises
  • Use an insulation pad/mat to protect your countertop/cabinet

Toaster ovens are safe to use when you follow the protocol. Even if you have limited shelf/countertop space in the kitchen, you can make this work by getting a stand-alone shelf. Lastly, if you cannot manage a change in the kitchen to accommodate a toaster oven, get one with the stay-cool technology, and you’re good to go!

Related Questions

How much clearance do you need between the toaster oven and cabinet? When you put a toaster oven in a confined space, it can heat the surroundings and even cause a fire in some cases. Therefore, manufacturers recommend leaving a minimum of 4″ space on all sides of the toaster oven. If your toaster oven plugs into the electrical outlet directly from a cabinet, make sure it has sufficient space on all sides. But if you’ve put the toaster oven on the countertop and there’s a cabinet above it, a minimum space of 10″ is required between the two.

Can I put the toaster oven on wood? Thin wood cabinets and shelves can catch fire when a toaster oven placed in/on them gets extremely hot. However, if your kitchen table/cabinetry is made from thick wood, you can confidently use a toaster oven. You can use an insulation mat or shield for added safety if you regularly use the toaster oven.

What do I put under my toaster oven to protect the counter? Even when toaster ovens don’t pose an apparent fire risk, you should be careful about the countertop’s safety. A heat protection pad made of cork, bamboo, silicone, or ceramic is a handy tool to protect your countertop and contain the heat your toaster oven emits. These pads protect the countertop from scratches and heat damage without requiring much upkeep.

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