Many recipes are particular about which stove heat setting is to be used during the cooking process. This is to ensure your final dish tastes as it should upon completion.

A temperature setting often seen is medium high heat but what exactly is this? Low, Medium, and High heat settings are clearly marked on stoves but for Medium-High many are left just winging it. 

Medium high heat on a stove is generally the setting between medium and high (but closer to the medium heat setting). Wanna know a little more? In this article, we’re taking the guesswork out of determining medium high heat on a stove and medium-high temperature.

What Number is Medium High Heat on a Stove?

The reason recipes do not just flat out state “ok, now set your stove burner to heat level 4” is that different brands of stoves use different number settings. 

For instance, some stoves have heat settings numbered “1 – 6”. Others are “1 – 9”. Some even have 10 heat settings. 

I’ve found that the easiest way to determine medium high heat is by using the number between the medium dial (or halfway) setting and the highest on the stove. For instance, if the highest number on a stove is 10 and medium is 6, then medium high would be approximately the number 8 heat setting.

Graphic of medium high heat on a 1 - 10 numbered stove
Medium-high heat on a 1 – 10 numbered stove

Let’s breakdown the medium high heat setting for each particular stove:

Medium High Heat (Stoves numbered 1 – 6)

For a stove that has heat dials numbered 1 – 6 it could get a little tricky since there’s no exact number in the middle. 6 would be high and 3 would be medium heat. Therefore, the midway point of the two is 4.5 (medium-high heat). 

Graphic of medium high heat on a 1 - 6 numbered stove
Medium high heat on a 1 -6 numbered stove

So, medium heat would be between the 4 and 5 dial settings on a stove numbered 1 – 6. 

Medium High Heat (Stoves numbered 1 – 9)

Stove dial on a gas stove 1 - 9

Most newer stoves including my GE brand range use dial settings 1 – 9. With these stoves, medium heat is 5 and the highest heat is 9. In this case, you can see that the setting in between these two is 7 (medium high heat).

Graphic of medium high heat on a 1 - 9 numbered stove
Medium high heat on a 1 -9 numbered stove

Foods Cooked Using Medium-High Heat

Medium high heat on the stove is used whenever you have a dish that requires searing, sauteing, browning or frying. It’s for foods that require quick cooking but you don’t want the stove temperature so hot as to burn the dish.

Here are common food preparations using medium-high stove settings:

  • Searing steak or chicken
  • Making stir-fry
  • Making french toast 
  • Browning ground beef or ground turkey
  • Pan-fried potatoes
  • Cooking omelets

Best Oil for Medium High Heat

When a dish requires cooking using medium-high heat you’ll need to make sure you’re using a cooking oil that’s up to the task. Smoke point is the factor that’s used to determine how much heat a particular oil can handle. The smoke point is basically the temperature limit that an oil can heat up to until it starts to smoke.

Related: Best Oil To Season Blackstone Griddle

Since the temperature of medium high heat is around 375℉ to 450℉ you’ll need a cooking oil that has a smoke point of this range. Luckily many of the most commonly used oils fit the bill as you can see in our below easy-to-read chart:

OilSmoke Point
Vegetable Oil400℉ – 450℉
Peanut Oil450℉
Light Olive Oil465℉
Extra Virgin Olive Oil375℉
Canola Oil400℉
Coconut Oil450℉
Oil Smoke Points

Final Thoughts

As you cook more and more on your stove you may learn that you’ll have to turn the dial up a little more or lower it slightly to achieve medium high heat. This is ok because not all stoves will be exactly alike. 

Remember that the easiest way of determining medium high heat is by using the number between the medium dial (or halfway) setting and the highest number on the stove. 

It’s a great thing to be confident while cooking and having knowledge about aspects such as cooking temperatures is a good base.