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Q: Temperatures of Stove Electric Ranges (e.g. "Medium" equals what approx. temp.?) ( Answered,   0 Comments )
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 Subject: Temperatures of Stove Electric Ranges (e.g. "Medium" equals what approx. temp.?) Category: Family and Home Asked by: karups-ga List Price: \$3.00 Posted: 04 Jul 2004 07:49 PDT Expires: 03 Aug 2004 07:49 PDT Question ID: 369523
 ```1) My kitchen range has settings of Warm, Low, Medium, Medium High, and High. Roughly what temperatures do these correspond to? (It's a regular home electric range; nothing commercial.) The "High" setting is also weird since it is fairly far to the right from the Medium High setting. To ask a fairly technical question, does the temperature vary linearly with the angle that the knob is turned? i.e. If I turn the knob x degrees, is the temperature going to increase by the same amount regardless of where the knob happens to start? (If you don't find an answer to this, but happen to find any links explaining how the range works for either electric or gas, then that would be nice to know.) 2) Also, the knobs have separating lines between the settings. e.g. | Low | Medium | Medium High | When a recipe says to put the burner on Medium High, should I be turning the knob so that the arrow points to the middle of the words "Medium High" or should it be turned to the separator to the right of the words?```
 ```karups-ga: First, here is a link to a site that explains how an electric range works: Repairclinic.com - How Things Work: Range / Stove / Oven http://www.repairclinic.com/0088_13_3.asp From the explanation there, you will see that the control knob is known as an 'infinite switch', also known to electricians and hobbyists as a rheostat or potentiometer. By turning the switch, you are increasing or decreasing the amount of electrical current flowing through the burner element. The burner element is basically a heating wire that heats up as current passes through it, encased in a protective material that transmits the heat without passing any of the electricity to the outside. It is this protective material that you can see turning "red hot" as the temperature increases. Because the elements are simple the equivalent of big electrical resistors, and because there are a lot of variables that affect the efficiency of these elements at converting electricity into heat, there is no sure-fire way to relate the rotary position of the control knob to the surface temperature of the element without actually calibrating your specific knob and element combination using sophisticated measurement tools like a laser thermometer: http://www.chefsresource.com/bonjour-laser-thermometer.html Also, the actual "cooking temperature" will depend on the cooking pot or pan you are using, and the efficiency of that pot or pan at conducting heat from the burner to the food you are actually cooking (rather than radiating it out into the kitchen). So, if the actual cooking temperature is of vital importance to you, then it is best to use a thermometer to check the food temperature, rather than the burner temperature. As for the positions of the suggested settings on the dial, the infinite switch itself should be linear; however, after you take into account all of the variables involved in converting electricity into the actual heating of your food, the actual heat transmitted into the food may not be linear due to the environmental conditions surrounding it. So, "Medium-High" is anywhere within that portion of the dial markings... only your personal experience using that range, and that particular burner element, can tell you where in that range you get the best results. If you ever end up changing out the burner element (for example, if the current one fails), then you'll find that you'll need to re-learn the positions of the dial again until you get "a feel" for the characteristics of the new element. Best regards, aht-ga Google Answers Researcher```