Why you should use settings other than "high" on your stovetop
Since every stove and burner is different, it is difficult to universalize the settings. Some stoves have low, medium and high settings on the dial, and others have numbers. Typically, we estimate the temperature we might need for certain recipes because there aren't exact temperatures that correspond with the settings. Some at-home cooks use high heat often, and in doing so they damage their cookware and/or unevenly cook their food.
High heat can warp thinner pans and damage certain nonstick coatings. Using a pan with a thick bottom and upgraded coating can help minimize the damage, but the best practice is to lower the temperature to medium-high.There is also a difference between gas and electric burners when it comes to constant temperature. How can we better understand these settings and determine the right setting for the right recipe? Measuring the heat on your stove top is a lot different than measuring the heat inside your oven. Your oven is a closed system, and the temperature can be regulated and calibrated.
Stove tops are entirely different. The temperature is affected by the type of metal pan you are using, how thick it is, and how long it is on the stove. With trial and error, you learn how hot your burners get and which settings work for which recipes. However, there are some general rules to follow when it comes to heating certain foods.
HIGH In general, the high setting, or number 10, should only be used to boil liquids. Everything else you cook should be lower on the dial.
MEDIUM-HIGH To brown meats, use a medium-high setting. If you prefer your meat medium or medium-well, you can finish cooking it in the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees. Deep frying or stir frying should also be done at a medium-high setting to avoid burning your food on the outside without fully cooking it on the inside.
MEDIUM Medium heat for a longer period of time will cook your food more thoroughly and more evenly than high heat. It is wise to use a food thermometer to check the temperature of meats when cooking on a stove top. Remember that certain foods, like chicken, have to be cooked to a specific internal temperature to kill harmful bacteria. Follow the directions listed in the recipe for the best results.