A lot of stoves have numbers. This makes it confusing when you are reading recipes that say medium-high. If you are stuck in one of these problems, here’s the answer.
What Medium-High Means on a Numbered Stove
For a stove with 0 to 9 on its body, with 9 being the hottest, medium-high is somewhere between the numbers 6 and 7.
If you are looking at a recipe that says low, you must keep it under 5 and if it says high, go for 8 and 9. And if you are looking for a temperature guide, it is in the 375 to 449 degrees Fahrenheit range.
Why Do We Cook with Heat?
The heat on the stove, whether it is gas or electric, breaks down the properties of the ingredients and makes them both healthy by eliminating any microorganisms in the food and helping us avoid food poisoning. Heat also makes the food tasty for consumption. So, it’s a win-win.
Heating Food on an Electric Stove
Cooking can be done on a burner or in an oven too. And there are plenty of ready-to-eat items in the market today that make just that very possible. But an electric stove with nine knobs is still our best bet to achieve low-medium heat, which is the ideal setting for traditional cooking. This falls in the temperature range of 284 to 320 degrees Fahrenheit.
How to Read “Min” and “Max” on a Regular Stove?
Many gas stoves come with the markings MIN and MAX on the knob. If you look at recipes that specify temperature, you don’t need to know the exact point where the burner achieves this temperature.
Medium heat is usually any place between these two points on the knob. Depending on what you are cooking and how much cooking is left to be done, you can keep the knob closer to min or to the max. For your reference, you keep it near min if the recipe specifies medium-low and near max if it says medium-high.
Further Reading: Vegetable Cooking Times: How Long To Cook Fresh/Frozen Vegetables
What Is the Meaning of Different Heat Levels?
Recipes are specific because they cater to a wide range of audiences with different levels of culinary expertise. You need to understand what it’s trying to say and use baseline logic to do the conversions.
That’s why it is important to monitor the food if you follow a recipe and be flexible with changes based on how the dish is turning out.
- Low is usually the word used when the instructor means it is time to simmer the dish.
- Medium is the word for gentle cooking above simmering. You do this when you want the ingredients to simmer a little quickly.
- Medium-low is a bit more aggressive than quick simmering, and medium-high is for the times you want the food to cook at a decent speed but not burn. The second one is good for frying and sauteing.
- High is the maximum level of heating and is done when you want to deep fry food items quickly or want a liquid like water or soup to boil.
Related: Best Types of Pots for Deep Frying
Q: What’s the Maximum Heat on My Stove?
A: It is hard to tell the exact temperature on any stove but here’s what it roughly looks like. Low is 185 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit, medium is around 350 degrees Fahrenheit and medium-high is in the 375 to 449 degrees Fahrenheit range. High can be anywhere from 500 to 650 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: On a Gas Stove, What Is the Number for Simmer?
A: You can chalk this out to be in the 2-4 range where the temperature is 185- 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: Gas or Electric Stove? Which One’s Better?
A: The general consensus is that gas stoves are better if you want to finish cooking faster. Since the heat is directly under the pan and is evenly distributed between the sides and the bottom of the utensil, it has an advantage. Plus, it is easier to change temperatures quickly with a gas stove.
Q: What Will Happen If I Cook on High?
A: You might get to the finish line sooner, but many foods lose their texture and nutrients when you cook them on high. The result will also have a lot of AGEs in them, which is bad for your health. So, it’s no surprise that this is almost never recommended.
Q: How to Adjust Heat When the Recipe Has Specs?
A: With a gas stove, this is quite simple since cooking on a gas stove needs you to be a bit intuitive. So, let’s say you have to boil something and then let it simmer for a couple of minutes. You need to get the burner to medium-high or high and then decrease it to low. You can also change burners depending on your stove type.
Medium heat is a definition where most of the cooking happens. So, it’s important to know what that means when you’re reading a recipe. And now you do.
Further Reading: The Lost Art Of Cooking: Food Safety Tips & Tech