# Does a water cooker element have to be 100C to get water to cook?

I understand that a water heater element is basically just adding energy to the mass of water in the container. So does that mean that the heater element only has to keep adding energy while the water around it becomes hotter than the element itself? Or does the element warm up together with the water until both reach 100C?

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It is the same answer as to the question: "does a room heater element warm up to 20C together with the air in the room?" A simpler and painless experiment to carry out. – anna v Nov 18 '11 at 15:13

The amount of heat flowing per time depends on the temperature difference as stated by Fourier's law: $$\partial Q \propto \Delta T$$