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Can a pilot light on a commercial stove cause a thin aluminium pan to get so hot it causes a palm burn bad enough to blister? The pan was moved for cleaning and was on the unlit burner for about 15-20 minutes.

Updated/Edited 10-14-18 Yes, the whole palm got burned because they were not expecting the pan to be hot. The person (not me, really!)😜 had ice on it for two hours before I saw them. Bad move. This required cold (not ice cold) water running over it for 10 minutes. We dabbed the palm with Witch Hazel and then applied Neosporin and covered the hand with a light covering. The following day the pain was almost gone but the skin was red and "tight", so we dabbed some organic apple cider vinegar on it, which very quickly gave the hand's mobility back and all pain gone. There was one 1/2 dollar sized blister on the palm, just below the thumb. We think the apple cider vinegar kept it from breaking. It did finally break, but a couple of days later. We kept dabbing with apple cider vinegar daily and the hand is perfectly fine. It was ok to use by the 2nd day, but carefully due to blister.

Thank you for all your comments.

  • Welcome to Seasoned Advice! ;-) Are you asking about an induction stove? – Fabby Sep 19 '18 at 16:59
  • I don't know about a commercial range as I've never used one or ever been close to one, but back when our gas ranges had pilot lights (electronic ignition in our home for past 18 years) yes, they could and did get that hot – Cynetta Sep 19 '18 at 17:15
  • Did you get burned? – paparazzo Sep 19 '18 at 18:44
  • @paparazzo It was a mild first degree burn as I was not in contact with it more then a few seconds. Once I'd sensed how hot the pan was, I quickly moved my hand away – Cynetta Sep 19 '18 at 18:52
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    @Cynetta How can you answer for Junae? – paparazzo Sep 19 '18 at 18:54
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Yes, aluminum is a good conductor of heat and a pilot light is a fire, even if it's a small one. It's happened to me as well.

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Natural Gas/Methane burns at ~1950 C in air. Propane burns at 1980 C in the same conditions.

This is hot enough to burn you if exposed directly, so any pilot light will be hot enough to burn you if you were to touch the flame.

The question of "will a pan get hot enough to burn me from the pilot light" has the every popular answer of 'it depends'. if the pan is very heavy, has a high specific heat, or is too far away from the pilot light to be heated effectively, then it might not get hot enough to burn you.

You said that the pan was thin, and aluminum. Aluminum has a specific heat of only 0.9. This means that relative to other materials, it heats up very easily, and cools off very easily. It also means that it does not hold much heat.

A thin aluminum pan that is directly above and physically close to a natural gas pilot light will quickly heat up a few hundred degrees centigrade. Human skin burns at as low as 44 C over a long time period, and will very quickly burn at only 80 C. Source (Warning: Moderately graphic images of burns... nothing that will sear itself into your mind but still not fun to look at.)

So... it depends, but it's certainly possible - as long as the pan isn't cooling off hotter than the pilot light can warm it, it can reach burn temperatures.

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