Induction Burner: Power vs Temperature Settings

CRYSTAL H.  |   |   Updated
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Are you confused about the power vs temperature scale on an induction cooktop? I know I was at first. What’s the difference between these modes and why have both? Let’s look at these and what there is to know about using them.

power vs temperature levels on an induction, knowing the differences between temperature mode and power mode on an induction
Temperature mode functions vs power mode function

Instead of knobs, modern induction cooktops have a digital scale for heat and power settings. Some units, at least the portable single burners rather than the full induction cooktops, have both temperature and power settings. Why both? And, do I use both at the same time? Let’s see.

Power levels vs temperature levels induction cooktops

First, understand that “power level” has nothing to do with “temperature measurement” but rather it’s a measure of wattage. Power levels on a cooktop equate to the amount of electrical energy or wattage directed to the cookware to generate heat. 

Typically, on a scale of one to ten in power mode of an induction cooktop, 10 is fastest and 1 slowest. At a low power setting you get a low percentage of wattage and vice versa. As a rule of thumb, 1 is 10%, 2 equals 20%, 3 is 30%, and so on, up to 10, which equals 100% or full power. The power mode is about how fast or slow you want your contents to heat. But, it still relates to temperature with 8.5–10 producing high heat, 4.5–8 medium to high heat, 2.5–4 low heat, and 0.5 only simmer or keep warm heat (depending on the make).

Temperature levels are about setting a particular heat for cooking purposes. Once the temperature level is chosen the unit will maintain that level using the internal processor. The temperature setting is probably the one that causes the most confusion, as only power levels exist in modern ranges, across all types: electrical, gas and induction.

How to use temperature mode functions vs power mode function

We’ve established that power and temperature functions of an induction cooktop, like the Duxtop 9600LS, are separate modes. You choose one or the other. You can’t select both at the same time: as in power level 10 with temperature 140 ºF. So how do we use these functions?

To manually use the power levels and bring a pot of water to boil, you would use the highest power setting, and then to reduce it to simmer, you’d lower the power, to say 2 or less (much like you would on a cooktop range). The temperature levels are superfluous here and some cooks consider them a marketing feature only.

Still, for frying or browning meats or other foods, the manufacturers, Duxtop, suggest using a temperature setting, say 350 ºF, rather than a power level. They claim that using a temperature setting allows the built-in smarts to monitor and regulate the set level. Compare this to using a high power setting for frying or browning meat, which the company says can lead to overheating of the cookware.

What you should know

  • Some induction cooktops have presets to boil or do other cooking methods such as steam and braise, which may involve either power or temperature settings.
  • The power and temperate levels will likely default to the middle point, if not set by you.
  • A temperature setting is the cooking surface temperature (the interface of the cookware and the cooktop surface) not the temperature of the contents.

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ThermoPro TP510 Waterproof Digital Candy Thermometer with Pot Clip, 8" Long Probe Instant Read Food Cooking Meat Thermometer for Grilling Smoker BBQ Deep Fry Oil Thermometer
ThermoPro TP510 Waterproof Digital Candy Thermometer with pot clip

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Bottom line

Power level corresponds to the percentage of energy or wattage generated by the cooktop. The power mode determines the speed of cooking, e.g. fast or slow. The temperature mode sets a specific temperature level. The power levels are the settings that are relevant in most cases.


Info sources

  1. Duxtop 9600LS instruction manual

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