Cooking is a skill that calls for accuracy, endurance, and knowledge of numerous culinary methods. Simmering is one such method, which is used in a variety of recipes to get the best flavor and texture.

But, it might be difficult to achieve the ideal simmer, particularly when using an electric stove. It can be challenging to determine the ideal simmering temperature due to the lack of visual cues and a variety of heat settings.

This article delves into the specifics of what an electric stove’s simmer temperature is, arming you with the knowledge you need to consistently achieve the ideal simmer.

WHAT Temperature is simmer on an electric stove


The ideal temperature for simmering is still a topic of discussion among seasoned chefs.

Although many agree that the temperature just below the boiling point of water is what is regarded as a simmer temperature.

Typically, water boils at a temperature of 212 degrees F. Simmer, being just below the boiling point, can range from anywhere between 185 degrees to 205 degrees F (85-96°C).

Simmering is a sophisticated game of the eye. On an electric stove, you can determine the simmering temperature by just observing the following:

  • The tiny bubbles at the bottom of the pan
  • The rising of the steam

On many occasions, most people fail to differentiate between simmer and boil.

However intimately these two food preparation techniques are related, they differ from each other by far, and using one in place of the other can result in an utter mess of your entire dish.

Electric stove dials

When a recipe calls for you to simmer, do NOT tear your precious stove apart in search of a labeled simmer temperature setting; It’s not there.

Most stove models do not have a precise temperature setting for simmer. This alone makes it strenuous to pinpoint a simmer temperature, so be sure to pay attention to the tell-tale signs we’ve shared above.


How often have you tried a recipe with a “bring to simmer” instruction? That’s what I thought too.

Simmer may sound complicated, (hell yeah, it is complicated) but in other respects,it is just a term used by professional chefs to else say, “cook in medium low heat for a certain amount of time”

Some recipes will require you to boil your dish first then reduce to simmer(that’s a typical simmer) whilst others will directly instruct you to bring to a simmer.

Simmer heating dish

When a recipe calls for you to bring to a simmer, all it requires you to do is cook your dish in a hot liquid at a temperature just below the boiling point and slightly above the poaching temperature.

The required temperature for simmer ranges from 180 degrees to 205 degrees F.

However, boiling is essential in setting up a steady simmer. You, for instance, will be required to first bring the liquid to a boil and then slowly reduce the source of heat to a lower temperature.


If you are fortunate enough to have landed yourself a stove design that has a “simmer” temperature setting labeled on top, well, aren’t you such a lucky fellow?

Majority of the stoves do not have a labeled simmer setting anywhere on them.

Stove heat settings knob

To master the simmering food preparation technique, you will be compelled to practice by consistently experimenting and observing. It’s only then will you be able to wrap your finger around some of the signs of simmering.

All the same, if your stove top’s temperature adjustment knob has numbers ranging from 1-9, the lowest heat is obviously 1 whereas 9 is the highest heat setting.

The medium heat temperature setting is represented by number 5, located two thirds of the way.

Low heat is less likely to bring a dish to simmer. The same case applies to medium heat as it is prone to boil your dish instead.

Medium low heat seems like an ideal setting to simmer and on a nine-numbered stove, medium-low heat falls between numbers 3 and 4.

So, on an electric stove with nine knobs, numbers 3 and 4 are simmer temperature settings.


If your stove has six knobs and you are wondering what number to use to simmer, just move the heat adjustment knob to numbers 2 and 3.

Remember to occasionally adjust the temperature knob to avoid a simmer turning into a poach or even worse a boil.

Stove temperature knobs


At this point, you must have realized that simmering is just another puzzle on a stove top that requires a solution.

Not being a heat level on a stove makes simmer neither low nor medium heat.

If you choose to associate simmering with low heat, the chances that you will be consuming raw or undercooked food is above average.

On the other hand, medium heat is more likely to stretch beyond simmer and jump to boil instead.

Knowing that, we can conclude that a simmer is medium low heat. However, on a larger scale, simmer is more medium than it is low.

However, in some instances, depending on the type and make of a stove, simmer can be either low heat or medium heat. Yes, confusing I know, but remember we said sometimes it’ll take a bit of trial and error to master your stove.


In a nutshell, simmering allows your dishes a gentle touch by slowly exposing the ingredients to heat.

The exact simmering setting/temperature might not be as straightforward as you might have hoped, but take heart, as with most things cooking, learning the simmering technique can also be quite fun.

All it requires is a little patience and the correct motivation to ensure that you remain consistent in refining your craft.