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Let's say for example that I have a ceramic stove-top that heats to a measured maximum of $400\ \mathrm{^\circ F}$. I have a skillet of some unknown material that should not be heated above $400\ \mathrm{^\circ F}$. Is it possible for the stove-top to somehow heat the skillet on it above the temperature that it is capable of heating itself?

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Are you planning on using the stove at full temperature? If not you might be ok but if you're planning on putting it on full power there's no guarantee it will remain at exactly 400 degrees and no hotter. If it's an expensive skillet you really don't want to ruin it might be worth just using a slightly lower temperature setting if that works.

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No it won't heat something on top of it greater than its own temperature. So if the stovetop is 400 degrees, something on top of it, given enough time, will heat to 400 degrees. Not higher..

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As far as I know it can't. But in practice you need to be careful because that "a maximum of 400 degrees" description might be just an approximation. For example, it might be controlled by a sensor somewhere to cut off heating when temperature is too high. That sensor may fail; It may be too far away from the heating unit so the temperature can exceed 400 in some local places for a short period of time.

I just searched "ceramic stovetop". It seems it is the same as my glass stovetop. For these kind of stovetops, the heating unit radiates heat through the transparent stovetop. So you can't guarantee "a maximum of 400 degrees". The glass or ceramic itself may be no more than 400 degrees, but the heating unit is not. It can heat something to higher than 400 degrees on the other side of the glass. It is like a magnifier can heat a march to a temperature much higher than the glass temperature, just because the heating unit, the sun, has a temperature above 5000 Kelvins.

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  • $\begingroup$ let's assume the 400 degree maximum of the ceramic stovetop is a measured maximum. Can the skillet exceed the temperature of the measured stovetop maximum (whatever it truly is, not what the stovetop manufacturer claims)? $\endgroup$ – Mathew Ruberg Mar 17 at 12:15
  • $\begingroup$ @MathewRuberg, The answer above is warning you that the maximum temperature that the ceramic material can reach when nothing sits on it may be less than the maximum temperature that can be reached when a pan is present. That's because some of the energy radiated by the underlying, much hotter heating element is transmitted through the cooktop. With no pan present, that energy is lost to the room, and doesn't affect the temperature. But when a pan is there to absorb the radiation, the temperature potentially could go higher. $\endgroup$ – Solomon Slow Mar 17 at 13:56
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Let we have temperature around 200°C, that, s highest temperature of stove, what you have two conductor (heat conductor) where transfer of heat through conduction, it is not possible for stove it heat something above it, s own temperature. We do not have superconductive heat conductor so it is impossible to heat the stove upto 400°C and hence it is difficult to transfer heat more than 400°C.

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