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How Much Heat in the Kitchen?

A British thermal unit (BTU): It represents the amount of thermal energy necessary to raise the temperature of one pound of pure liquid water by one degree Fahrenheit. One four-inch wooden kitchen match consumed completely generates approximately 1 BTU.

Water Boil BTU

Do electric stoves have BTUs?

The heating power of electric stoves tends to be measured in watts, instead of BTUs. One watt is equal to 3.412142 BTUs per hour.

More BTUs are automatically better than less, right?

Not necessarily! Professional ranges can scorch your cookware and be hard to handle on a normal schedule of cooking.

How many BTUs should my stove have?

This is the key question, right? Ultimately, you want to make sure your stove has enough BTUs to quickly boil a large pot of water, but that there is a large and effective dynamic range between all the burners. You need to be able to simmer on low, fry on medium, and sear on high. If your stove jumps quickly from low to high heat or doesn't ever do low heat at all, that's not very helpful. A responsive dynamic range and easy control is more important than sheer BTU numbers.

The one other place that BTU numbers come into play is choosing a range vent hood. Hoods are calibrated to handle certain amounts of BTUs, so when you are picking out a new hood, make sure you know how many BTUs your stove puts out.

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