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I read in a book it's called a oven stove element, and I used this word. But it might sound formal, is there another more common name for it? If not, what else is it called?

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In American English, burner is the most common informal name for this item.

In British English, I've always heard it referred to as an element, electric hob or stove.

Less commonly you can also call it the oven top burner or stove element.

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    In the UK we usually call it a hob element (sometimes a ring or hotplate element. As a Brit, "burner element" sounds weird to me - burners are things that burn gas (but maybe Americans are thinking of burning the food in the pan because electric hobs are so much less controlable than gas! :) – FumbleFingers Mar 5 '13 at 3:19
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    I largely agree with this answer, but I I'd like to add, if I'm cooking, I would probably call it a burner, as in: put that pan on the front burner, or, turn the burner on HIGH. But if I'm looking at it from an appliance repair standpoint, I'm more likely to call it an element: This front burner is not working; I'll have to buy a new element tomorrow. – J.R. Mar 5 '13 at 10:31
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    @FumbleFingers is absolutely right about UK usage, though of course we do still use the phrase "put that on the back burner" :) – calum_b Mar 5 '13 at 11:50
  • the other answers are also excellent, but this answers is more precise in the letter of my question – Theta30 Mar 5 '13 at 17:09
  • Indeed "burner" is more common as can be seen by searching "element" vs "burner" on Cooking SE website, but "element" is not rare either. – Theta30 Mar 19 '13 at 21:50
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That is not an oven element, it is a stove element (or, sometimes, burner element, stove-top element, or stove-top burner element). Informally, it may be referred to as a burner; as in, “Put the kettle on the burner”. (At the stove-elements link above, if you click “Related searches: oven element” you can see pictures of oven elements.)

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    I agree with stove element and burner, but I'd add heating element, which was the first thing that came to mind for me personally and is slightly more general. – snailcar Mar 5 '13 at 1:16
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    Just plain burner is by far the most common unless you are talking specifically about the element. Like if you are saying, "my burner element needs to be replaced. Do you have a GE Model# ERS341" – Jim Mar 5 '13 at 1:46
  • @Jim I think "element" is not that uncommon, as can be seen from sister cooking site Browse for stove/oven element – Theta30 Mar 19 '13 at 21:26
  • @Theta30- I thought your question was: "stove element seems too formal, is there another more common name for it?" Yes, it's burner. I don't think anyone is arguing that element is rare. – Jim Mar 19 '13 at 22:26
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I would call that a stove element or a burner. If you said oven element, I would think you were talking about one of these:

enter image description here

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In general parlance, I think it is fairly safe to just call it 'the stove'. I'm not suggesting that this is the correct name for that particular spirally object, just that most usages would not need the precision of mentioning a particular element - for instance if you are requesting someone to heat the kettle, you don't usually care which element they use, if you're asking them to remove a boiling saucepan, it is going to be pretty obvious which pan needs to be moved.

To illustrate: 'Can you put the kettle on the stove element?' sounds a lot less natural (to me) than 'Can you put the kettle on the stove?' (Actually, bad example: you would just say 'Can you put the kettle on?')

You need only refer to the element if you need to differentiate. For example: 'Can you put the kettle on the left front stove element - the right element is broken'.

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    Unless the cook has more than one pan going at the same time, in which case, the word burner gets used pretty often. I've said this more than once: "Why isn't this sauce heating up? Oh, I forgot to turn on the burner!" I probably wouldn't use "stove" in that case, particularly if the oven was baking bread at 300°, and the linguine was boiling on the back burner, because the stove is on, but the burner is not. – J.R. Mar 5 '13 at 10:35
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    I'd comfortably use stove in that instance - if the cooker was explicitly referenced at all (eg 'Oh, I forgot to turn it on'). The burner/hob/element/ring is always implied. Idk, maybe it's just Australian laziness. :-) – mcalex Mar 5 '13 at 11:14

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