I did a lot of research for this article and tried cooking many dishes on different systems. I found that gas, electric, and induction systems all have a useful purpose, but for different needs.
After reading this article, you will know:
- How hot does a stovetop get when comparing gas, electric, and induction systems?
- Which type of stovetop gets hotter faster?
- Which type of stovetop is more efficient?
- Which kind of system is safer?
- 1. How Hot Does a Stovetop Get? →
- 2. How Hot Does an Electric Stove Get? →
- 3. Electric Stovetop Temperatures →
- 4. How hot is a natural gas flame? →
- 5. Gas Cooking Temperature Chart →
- 6. What temperature is medium on a stovetop? →
- 7. Electric Stove Not Getting Hot Enough →
- 8. Glass Top Stove Burner Gets Too Hot →
- 9. Gas Oven Feels Warm When Off →
- 10. Useful Resources →
How Hot Does a Stovetop Get?
The gas flame from using natural gas is about 3542°F (1950°C).
The average induction system reaches a temperature of 662°F (350°C).
Electric stovetops get very hot. When a small coil on an electric stove is on the highest setting, it can get as hot as 932°F to 1112°F (500°C to 600°C). A large coil, on the highest setting, can reach 1472°F to 1652°F (800°C to 900°C).
Aluminum melts at 1221°F (660°C) and iron’s melting poins is around 2800°F (1538°C). So you can melt pans if the stovetop temperature gets very hot.
Here is another safety tip. Learn about what a pressure cooker safety valve does in this article.
How Hot Does an Electric Stove Get?
Low, medium, and high settings on an electric stove do not correspond with temperature.
The settings only indicate the rate of electrical input that makes the heat. Turning the setting too high will make the electric coil get hotter faster.
The electric coil will continue to build up the heat until something removes it, such as cooking the food. An electric stove may reach 1652°F (900°C) or higher if left unattended. This heat may create a serious fire hazard. This danger is an excellent reason why you should never leave food cooking on an electric stove unattended.
This guy just makes videos of him using his electric stovetop like a hibachi grill and taking requests for what to cook pic.twitter.com/rP41XzE0qz
— Barstool Pripyat (@gaiaonline420) March 14, 2022
Safety first! Read my article about what to do if your air fryer sets off the smoke alarm here.
Electric Stovetop Temperatures
Most stove knobs that control the electrical coil have numbers on them that are either one through six or one through nine. These numbers do not represent temperatures. Instead, they represent the cycle time of the electrical current applied to the heating coil.
The highest number is always applying the electrical power. At the maximum setting, the power is always on. In contrast, it may only apply the electrical power using an on/off cycle of ten seconds every one to two minutes for the lowest number setting.
On a dial from one to six, applying medium heat would be the setting of three. The medium heat setting is five on a dial with the numbers from one to nine.
With an electrical system, there is a bit of trial and error needed to figure out how to heat things properly because it depends on many factors, such as the types of pans used for cooking. Thicker-walled pans will change the heat distribution.
Behold! After a year of warnings from my husband about the bad health and environmental effects of gas ranges, I got a portable electric stovetop. (Two scary articles in Wapo and NYT also helped.) pic.twitter.com/FIiW96ouvL
— Elizabeth Kim (@lizkimtweets) February 1, 2022
If you have the same kind of numbering system for the oven, here is a chart that may come in handy. It shows the comparisons between an electric convection oven, an electric fan oven, and a gas oven.
When it comes to the choices of electric models, you have to consider induction systems, electric systems that heat up coils, and systems with glass or ceramic tops. On this blog, there is a nice discussion of the pros and cons of each type, which I briefly summarize.
Induction systems work with electro-magnetic coils beneath a glass surface. The cookware you use has to be induction-ready.
Materials that work for induction cooking are stainless steel, cast iron, and cast iron finished with enamel. Aluminum, copper, ceramic, or glass cookware do not work unless they have a special metal layer on the bottom for induction cooking. If a magnet sticks to the bottom of your pots and pans, they are useful for induction cooking.
Today I mastered cooking basmati rice on an electric stovetop 🎉
The key is to boil the 1.75cups water on highest setting. Then add 1 cup of rice. Drop heat to the lowest setting. Wait 20mins. Eat from the pot before the rest of meal is done. Make a second pot. Done. 😄 pic.twitter.com/g6LF0IiFYK
— Steven Natera (@StevenNatera) August 2, 2021
For systems that use electricity to heat up the coil, flat-bottomed cookware of any kind will do. You can use glass, ceramic, aluminum, copper, cast iron, and enameled cast iron.
Systems with glass or ceramic tops to cover the heating elements are attractive, so you don’t show those ugly electrical coils. They are easy to keep clean, and below the glass or ceramic top, they have infrared halogen lamps or a radiant heat system.
The one safety challenge with electrical systems is that the surfaces can still be very hot even after the red glow of the heating element disappears. It is easy to make the mistake of setting something down that touches the heated area or burning your hands by accident. Of these electrical categories, induction types cool down the fastest and are considered the safest.
The Cookery Space blog says that high heat is not useful for cooking. Low or medium heat settings with induction systems are recommended.
In this video by Pro Home Cooks, there is a comparison between gas, induction, and electric stovetops.
After watching the video, if you still cannot decide on one type, then consider getting more than one kind. For example, stand-alone electrical coil units and stand-alone induction units can sit on a kitchen countertop.
Some other appliances to consider use far less electricity and are very nice to have. Learn more about how little electricity a food dehydrator uses to make tasty treats here.
How Hot Is a Natural Gas Flame?
Depending on the gas/air mixture, a gas flame may reach a very high temperature. The color of the flame gives a clue about the temperature.
A yellow flame is 752°F to 1652°F (400°C to 900°C). A blue flame is 1832°F to 3542°F (1000°C to 1950°C), which is the type seen in a system that uses natural gas (methane)as a fuel source.
Gas Cooking Temperature Chart
Here is a chart with some helpful gas oven temperature conversions.
What Temperature Is Medium On a Stovetop?
Here is a nice chart that show the temperatures to use for cooking different foods properly.
Medium heat is around 350°F (177°C), which is slightly higher than the perfect temperature needed to make scrambled eggs. Many amateurs make eggs too tough and rubbery by cooking them on too high heat.
Electric Stove Not Getting Hot Enough
If your electric stove is not getting hot enough, there may be a loose connection so that the electric coil is not receiving sufficient electrical power. Another problem that causes this is when the switch is bad.
Benefits of having a massive stovetop pic.twitter.com/7ifpk8C82l
— Portergauge 💙🏳️🌈 (@Portergauge) March 14, 2022
The heat from an electrical coil is caused by enough electricity trying to move through the electric coil with high resistance. The resistance causes the coil to heat up.
Many systems that use a high amount of electricity work better with a 220v electrical circuit instead of a 110v circuit. This greater electrical power provides double the ability to give the system more electrical power and heat the electrical coils more.
This video, produced by Z-Hut, shows what happens when connecting 110v electrical power to a 220v electric cooking element. The experimenter thought he could get it to work, but only about half as efficiently.
The experiment showed that he could get the temperature up to 580°F (304°C).
Glass Top Stove Burner Gets Too Hot
If the glass top stove burner gets too hot, you have the settings too high, or you may have a problem with a faulty electrical switch.
The electricity cycles on and off depending on how high you chose for the heat setting to get the correct temperature. If the switch is faulty and does not cycle the power off and on properly, the circuit will continue to heat up.
If you experience this problem, you may need to call a person to make the repairs necessary to fix it.
In this video by Apartment Maintenance, there is a demonstration of replacing a switch and then taking a temperature reading from an electric stove burner.
I hope you take my word that an electric stove burner can get red hot and be careful how you use one. However, if you have an electric stove coil that is getting too warm on a low setting, it may have a defective switch that is keeping the electricity connected longer than it is supposed to be connected.
Gas Oven Feels Warm When Off
Gas is not an efficient heating source because so much of the heat dissipates into the surrounding air and is wasted heating things near the flame that are not the food.
If you observe and measure the heat around a pot being cooked over a gas flame using infrared equipment, it is easy to see how much of the heat is wasted. The metal underneath the gas flame gets heated. The metal holding up the pan is also heated. The side of the pan gets heated, and the air flowing up the sides gets heated. All that heat is wasted.
One of my favorites. Not sure what to call it. I suppose it’s like chicken Parmesan without cheese, and it’s cooked on the stovetop instead of the oven. pic.twitter.com/BeOx8fItfw
— 🤍eve🤍 (@eveforamerica) March 12, 2022
All the heat you feel coming from the oven if it is warm after turning off is wasted heat, unless it helps heat your house in winter.
Nevertheless, many chefs like to use gas because of the direct control over the heat source and the ability to change it rapidly. There is an inherent delay in using any electrical source because it takes time to heat up the electrical element and also time to cool down.
In this video, Adam Ragusea talks about many problems with gas stovetops.
There is a good explanation about the inefficiency problems with a gas stove, which is one of the reasons why electric stoves are more popular.
- How to make popcorn on stovetop →
- Pros and cons of induction cooktops and ranges →
- How to clean a stove top →
Ready To Do Some Stovetop Cooking?
Now that you know the answer to the question of – How hot does a stovetop get? – which type of stovetop did you choose? If you are a perfectionist like me, maybe you can do what I did. I have a built-in gas stovetop, an electrical, stand-alone stovetop on the side, and an induction plate as well. In that way, I can always choose the most suitable cooking surface for whatever I want to make. And, the results are delicious!
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2 thoughts on “How Hot Does a Stovetop Get? Hot Enough To Melt Pots If You Leave Something Unattended”
Hi Cindy, you wrote “Iron and aluminum melts at 2192°F (1,200°C) so you can melt pans if the stovetop temperature gets this hot.”
Aluminum melts at 1221°F (660°C) about half of the temperature in your statement.
Just thought you may want to correct that.
Thanks for the comment! I’ll correct this ASAP. Sorry for the misinformation.