# Figuring out a stove top temperature using boiling water

• frikk
In summary, the person is discussing their real-life problem of roasting coffee on their stovetop, which requires a constant heat of 350F. They mention that their stovetop only has a dial and no temperature readings, and that boiling water occurs at 5.5-6.5 and on "high". They are seeking advice on how to accurately measure the temperature at "high" and mention using the oven instead. They also mention different factors that can affect the temperature on the stovetop and that stoves are usually rated by power rather than temperature.
frikk
hey everyone,
how funny it is that i have a real life problem that fits nicely into a physics problem. I am going to start roasting my own coffee on my stove top. I need 350 constant heat. The problem is that my stove top just has a dial, and no temperatures (and i, conveniently, have no thermometer). I know this about my stove:
* the control dial reads 1-6, and 'high', with a half setting in between all (.5, 1.0, .. 6.0, 6.5, high, high.5)
* 5.5 - 6.5 boil water (as does high)
* 'high' is not actually a 7.0, it is actually just 'maximum voltage' - as hot as it will go. I know this because one of my burners does not boil water at 6.5, but boils *really fast* at 'high'.

How might I find out the temperature of my stove top at 'high'? Ideally I need 350F (176C). I'm rusty on my ideal gas laws and thermodynamics. Any helpful hints? I'm thinking of measuring how long it takes water to boil on various settings (constant water volume with a lid).

Of course I could also look at the electrical properties of the stove, specific heat of the ceramics and material resistance, etc. for a theoretical maximum surface temperature. I suppose this could also be a viable, but a bit more tedious experimentally, route to take as well.

... or now that I think of it I could probably find the pdf of the stove's user manual on the internet (its really old, so it'd be some work). Boo to this idea! :)

The smoke point of butter is 350F, or you could use vegetable oil with smokepoint 325F.

You probably want to use the oven, not the stove. The stove gets much hotter than 350 F and it is very difficult to control the temperature of something sitting on it precisely because it is a heat flow problem, not a constant temperature, no heat transfer condition like an oven.

Ie, the fact that you can't boil water with a setting of 6.5 does not mean the burner is less than 212F, it just means it doesn't transfer heat fast enough to keep the water above 212F. You also will find that different amounts of water will boil at different settings on the stove.

Finally, stoves (as the above would imply) are not rated according to temperature, as temperature is pretty meaningless, they are rated for power. Generally, 2.5 kW is a pretty typical large burner.

## What is the boiling point of water and how does it relate to stove top temperature?

The boiling point of water is 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit) at sea level. This is the temperature at which water transitions from a liquid to a gas. When cooking on a stove top, the temperature of the stove is often measured in terms of low, medium, or high heat, which can correspond to different temperature ranges depending on the stove. Generally, low heat is around 200-300 degrees Fahrenheit, medium heat is around 300-400 degrees Fahrenheit, and high heat is around 400-500 degrees Fahrenheit.

## How can I accurately measure the temperature of my stove top?

The most accurate way to measure the temperature of your stove top is by using a thermometer. You can place the thermometer on the surface of the stove and adjust the heat until it reaches your desired temperature. Alternatively, you can use a heat-sensitive infrared thermometer to measure the temperature without making direct contact with the stove.

## What factors can affect the accuracy of determining stove top temperature using boiling water?

There are a few factors that can affect the accuracy of determining stove top temperature using boiling water. These include the type of pot or pan being used, the amount of water in the pot, and the altitude of your location. Different materials and sizes of pots can affect how quickly the water boils and at what temperature. In higher altitudes, water boils at a lower temperature, so this should be taken into consideration when determining stove top temperature.

## Is there a specific method for determining stove top temperature using boiling water?

Yes, there is a specific method for determining stove top temperature using boiling water. The most common method is to bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and then adjusting the heat until the water maintains a steady boil. This temperature corresponds to medium heat on most stoves. For high heat, the water should be at a rapid boil with large bubbles, and for low heat, the water should be at a gentle simmer with small bubbles.

## Can I use other liquids besides water to determine stove top temperature?

Yes, you can use other liquids besides water to determine stove top temperature. However, it is important to note that different liquids have different boiling points, so the temperature may not be the same as when using water. For example, milk has a boiling point of around 212 degrees Fahrenheit, while oil has a boiling point of around 375-400 degrees Fahrenheit. It is best to refer to a temperature chart for different liquids if you choose to use them for determining stove top temperature.

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