What Is Medium Heat on a Stove? Here's How to Get It Just Right

If you're like most people, you probably don't know what medium heat on a stove actually is. And that's okay! We're here to help.

Medium heat on a stove is typically between 300 and 400 degrees Fahrenheit. To get it just right, you'll want to use a thermometer to make sure your pan is the correct temperature. You can also figure out the correct setting on your stove by a process of trial and error.

If you're cooking something that requires medium heat, you'll want to preheat your pan to the correct temperature before adding your food. This will help ensure that your food both cooks evenly and doesn't get burnt.

What is medium heat on a stove?

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Medium heat is the Goldilocks of cooking, and finding it can be a matter of trial and error. A good rule of thumb is to set the dial or knob to a point somewhere in the middle of the dial, and then experiment from there.

However, this method is not always accurate, as stoves can vary greatly in their output. Electric stoves are more efficient than gas ones, for example, so they will often achieve a higher temperature even with the same setting selected on the dial.

Many people find the middle is actually too high for recipes that call for 'medium heat', and settle for somewhere a little below. So if your dial is 1-9, somewhere around a 3 or 4 may give you the results you require.

One way to test more accurately (without ruining any dishes in the process) is to place a pot of boiling water on the stove. If the water is at a hard rolling boil, that's high heat. If it's just below a simmer, that's low heat. Therefore, medium heat is somewhere in between. By keeping this in mind, you can avoid those disappointing meals where something is either burnt or raw.

How to measure the temperature of a pan before cooking

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The key to getting it just right is to use an infrared cooking thermometer like this INKBIRD Plus one from Amazon to check the surface of the pan as it heats.

Simply heat until the pan measures between 300 and 400 degrees F. This way you know you have a medium heat, no matter what type of stovetop you're using.

What you can cook on medium heat

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When it comes to cooking on a stove, there are three basic levels of heat you will see in recipes: high, medium, and low. Each level of heat is suited for different tasks. For example, high heat is perfect for boiling water or searing meat, while low heat is best for simmering sauces or caramelizing onions. But what about medium heat?

Medium heat falls somewhere between high and low, making it ideal for tasks that require more finesse than high heat, but more speed than low heat. Chicken, veggies, omelets, pancakes, or frying things in oil are all great examples.

Closing thoughts

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As anyone who has attempted to cook knows, finding the right heat can be a challenge. Too high and the food will be burnt, too low and it will be undercooked.

If you're not sure what medium heat is on your stove, start by setting the knob to the middle position and then experiment. If your stove has low, medium, and high settings, choose medium. If you have a thermometer, a good rule of thumb is to heat a pan until it reads between 300-400 degrees F.

Now that you know what medium heat on a stove is, you can be confident that your food will turn out just the way you want it to!