Since it had been snowing/raining all day long, the highlight of today was going to be us preparing some exotic food. We had recently purchased a taco set in an import food shop. The main catch of the story was of course the part where the tacos get warmed up in the oven. But since we (as most inhabitants of this beautiful country) do own a toaster oven (one of whose two heating elements is already broken) we were going to use it for heating the tacos. While I am busy squashing avocados, my better half who’s been simmering the minced meat suddenly goes “whoa!”. I turn my head to see flames coming out from the open toaster door. Its insides are on fire. Like completely. I mean, there is real fire right here in our kitchen!
Blowing at the flames does not put them out, but slamming the door closed again almost does the trick. I say almost because the toaster still keeps producing large quantities of smoke, and right in the vicinity of the kitchen smoke detector. While my better half manages to unplug the monster, all I can think of is how embarrassing it is going to be to send the whole building into emergency evacuation by setting off the fire alarm. But during my two-year sojourn in a flat with a smoke detector that would go off at the mere thought of steam (let alone smoke), I have developed superior reflexes which immediately kick into action. Within seconds I have yanked open all the windows plus the apartment door and am standing under the detector, fanning it with my Japanese textbook while directing the better half to remove the offending toaster to the balcony. Oh dear, that smoke really does smell poisonous.
It seems hard to believe now, but the fire alarm did not go off. And after airing the flat and running the kitchen ventilation for a while, things quickly returned to almost normal. Given that only one of the heating elements was working I would say this toaster performed rather impressively here. I guess for this week I can cross “clean toaster” from my to-do list. And I guess we’re in for a visit in Akihabara.
- Our toaster was a Twinbird 1200W Oven Toaster and cost 3500 Yen, the cheapest we could find. (Would not purchase again.)
- If you see smoke in your toaster oven, do not open the door. Unplug it immediately and bring outdoors.
- Our smoke detector was recently checked and it showed already then that it was a bit slow to react. Which is good and bad at the same time.