How many times have you ever stared at your camping stove’s flames while waiting for your food to cook and wondered how hot does a gas stove get? It may be a fool’s fancy or a valid question from an ever-curious mind, but it does need an answer.
Keep in mind that an open flame, regardless if it came from a gas stove or a wood-burning pit, has variable temperature throughout its body. Almost everybody assumes that a single flame would only have a single temperature, but upon pyretic analysis, a single flame has different components that give out different ranges of temperature at any given time.
Anatomy of an Open Flame
As previously mentioned, a flame coming from a hot gas stove can have different temperatures at any given time. If you would look closely, the fire within a gas stove has different colored flames which can help indicate the temperature per band.
Blue colored flames have the lowest temperature range that goes from 800 to 1000 degrees Celsius; while orange colored flames come third at 1000 to 1200 degrees Celsius. Yellow flames are the second hottest section in the spectrum clocking in between 1200 and 1400 degrees Celsius, and white-colored or transparent flames are the hottest; you can see the air shimmer when it reaches maximum temperature. The temperature at this range would be 1400 degrees Celsius and above.
Methods for Measuring How Hot Does a Gas Stove Get
Following basic scientific protocols, there are a few ways to measure the temperature of the flame using scientific methodology.
A. Measurement Through a Pyrometer
A pyrometer works by measuring the wavelength of the radiation being emitted by the flame. The good thing about a pyrometer is that you can measure the temperature at a safe distance as it will be using the radiation produced by the flame as the basis for calculating the temperature.
Digital pyrometers work by using light detectors that are made of semiconductor-based photocells. These photocells are fitted with filters in front so that they can respond with the kind of radiation being measured.
Simply put, you only need to point it at the flame, and it will give you the temperature of the flame.
B. Measurement Through Laser Spectroscopy
Laser spectroscopy is a cool way of finding out how hot a gas stove is. It does require a laboratory-type of set-up as you would need lasers, control specimens and the like. It is a highly technical method and can only be done if you understand the theories of working with spectral measurements and such. It’s a cool method nonetheless.
C. Measurement Via Infrared
The infrared methodology is another way of measuring the temperature of a flame coming from a gas stove, but again, it requires great scientific knowledge and enough understanding of the scientific methodology to begin comparing the resulting data with established statistics to find the answer.
D. Measurement Using Thermal Goggles
Thermal goggles combine the view finding technology of your usual run-off-the-mill binoculars and the imaging capabilities of a thermal imager. Basically, this is a more advanced and much cooler set of binoculars that you can buy online and offline.
First developed for military used, thermal goggles have become part of an outdoor enthusiast’s gear, especially since they can help locate friends during wildlife rescue operations or enemies during an urban game of hide-and-seek.
It uses the principles of infrared radiation where the higher an object’s temperature is, the more infrared radiation it emits. Translating this to what you would see while using a thermal goggle means the cooler the color, the cooler the temperature is. High temperatures would often flare beyond the red scale, and most goggles would have a reference guide as well.
E. Estimate Using the Burning Temperature of Fuel
The best way to estimate the temperature of a gas stove is to determine the burning temperature of the fuel being used to stoke the fire.
For camping stoves that use propane and butane gas, both can reach a flame temperature of up to 2000 degrees Celsius. This is assuming that the flame is adiabatic, meaning there is no heat lost to atmospheric pressure and that the temperature of the room is about 20 degrees Celsius.
If we are to assume that the flame in the gas stove has reached its peak temperature and that it is being fueled by a butane canister, then the temperature of the flame would be about 1970 degrees Celsius, give or take a couple of hundred degrees. It also depends on the climate as well as the typical temperature of the surrounding area.
There are a lot of factors that can directly affect the temperature using this method, which makes it difficult but given that this is just an estimate using the nature of the fuels being burned, it comes close to what the temperature might be.
Nevertheless, what benefit does knowing how hot does a gas stove get gives us? Knowing how hot a gas stove is can help you determine if you have the right cooking temperature without having to rely on a kitchen thermometer. It can also help tell how long you would have to wait for the camp stove to cool before you can touch it for clean-up.
Controlling How Hot the Gas Stove Gets
Most gas stoves would have a temperature adjustment knob that allows you to control the fuel that is being injected into the burner for combustion. Campers would often start with a high setting so the stove can get to the optimal cooking temperature fast and at a steady rate.
They would then lower the setting when the temperature stabilizes until they can cook using the lowest setting. This practice helps cool down the stove assembly faster than by just abruptly cutting the fuel supply as soon as you are done.
Some Parting Thoughts
Gas stoves, especially camping ones, are very dangerous if not handled properly. They have often been the cause of fires and accidents which is why handling hot gas stoves should only be done if you are aware of how hot things can get and what the associated risks are.