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My question is an odd one that I haven't been able to prove or disprove...

If a pot is on top of an oven and the flame is on, say the flame/pot reaches 400 degrees F.

Say we turn the oven on and the heat inside the oven is 500 degrees F.

Can the pot become hotter than the supposed 400 degrees?

I can only assume the pot doesn't actually reach 400 and that the heat wouldn't just bump up to 500 just because there is another source under it that is that heat. But I'm making an assumption that there's gotta be some equilibrium that is reached between the 400 and 500 degrees.

This theory may not be right with a new oven, but potentially with an old oven/stove?

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  • $\begingroup$ you are correct $\endgroup$
    – user126422
    Feb 12 '17 at 23:19
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In most situations I'd say the oven is insulated enough that it's effects are minimal or have no effect.

Unless your oven had really bad insulation (and costs a fortune to run), I doubt that anything near the surface reaches 500 or even 400 degrees from the heat inside the oven.

At best it will keep the air warm so that it is easier to keep the pot heated to 400 degrees. But since the stove will only ever make the outside of the stove warm, not above 400 degrees, the pot will also never be able to go above that.

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If the pot is exposed to a net energy gain its temperature will rise above 400.

If the amount of energy/heat lost exceeds the heat/energy gained, it will drop below 400.

There are three main ways for heat to be lost or gained: Radiation, convection, and conduction. There's also evaporation, but I'm assuming that in a cooking-type situation most of that already happened a long time ago. Unfortunately your description is insufficient to quantify the effects of these.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for your thorough response. In an attempt to explain a little more clear, I'll say look at it this way. The pot is on a burner which is set to 400 degrees on a direct flame. Then the oven underneath is turned on to 500 degrees. Will the pot reach 500 degrees? Or will there be too much heat lost from the oven when it is going from inside the oven to the pot above, meaning by the time it reaches the pot, the heat from inside the oven would be lower heat than the direct flame? $\endgroup$ Feb 13 '17 at 9:27
  • $\begingroup$ How good is the insulation of the oven - or, how long are you willing to wait for the outside temperature of the oven to rise above 400? Is the pot in direct contact with the oven? As it's sitting above a flame I assume it's not. $\endgroup$
    – hdhondt
    Feb 13 '17 at 9:46

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