Foil Oven Flames
During my college years my roommate baked some monkey bread in the oven in an angel food
cake pan, which is not totally sealed and not totally suited for baking sugary rolls. The result was
that the sugar leaked through the separation in the angel food cake pan, dripped onto the bottom
surface of the oven, boiled and seared and then caught fire. The two of us panicked…we didn’t
often see flames in our oven. Thankfully our other roommate had the sense to suggest baking
soda, so we opened our oven, threw in handfuls of baking soda and watched as the flames died
This wee fire didn’t spread, but it did fill the kitchen, dining area, and living room with smoke. The
alarms were blaring and a security guard several block away heard the din and came to check on
us. To our shame we had to admit that our cooking efforts went amuck and after several minutes
we convinced him that we were in no need of assistance.
After unplugging the stove and waiting a few hours we decided it was time to clean the oven…it
was a disaster. There was sugar cemented and charred to the bottom of the oven and everything
was coated in a layer of baking soda dust. We spent hours that day scrubbing and in the end we
had a clean, char free oven, though there was some baking soda dust linger in some hard to reach
We learned a few lessons that day. One, always use a sealed pan when cooking monkey bread.
Two, sugar can make very large flames in an oven. Three, baking soda can put out oven flames,
and four unprotected oven bottoms are very hard to clean. After that we kept a layer of foil on the
bottom of the oven to catch all our mishaps and spills and a large supply of baking soda near by
just in case.
The monkey bread was salvaged and tasted great!