A hot plate is a self-contained and portable heat source, usually an electric burner, used for cooking. Campers, college students, and people with tiny kitchens utilize hot plates in place of a stove to cook for themselves. Party hosts may also use them to keep their party food warm. Hot plates can be used in place of a burner on the stove and the end result will be virtually the same. Since most dorms are not equipped with full kitchens, college students take advantage of hot plates to cook their meals. If you are a camper but do not want to cook over the open flame, bringing a hot plate will allow more cooking possibilities. Some hot plates have single burners, others have double. There are many different hot plates out there, for many different uses, and this list will help you navigate the best on the market.
The CUSIMAX electric hot plate is one of the best on the market right now. This hot plate has a double burner, perfect for cooking multiple dishes at one time. Burner 1 and burner 2 both have 900w power, totaling 1800w. This model also comes in an infrared option. There is one knob per burner for easy operation. This model is compatible with all cookware, including cast iron. Cleaning is also a breeze. Simply wipe clean with a cloth when cool. This CUSIMAX emits no radiation and is safe for campers and RVs. All products by this brand come with US Liability Insurance.
Cadco’s Single Hot Plate is an electric coil design with a simple on/off switch. When on, the hot plate emits a light to show that the burner is hot. There is a thermostat with infinite heat control. The thermostat comes with 4 temperature settings; low, warm, medium, and high. The hot plate is made of stainless steel and is easy to clean. This is a great all-around hot plate; however, this model can be slightly pricey for a single burner.
Another moderately priced hot plate is the Waring Portable Single Burner. At 1300w for one burner, it is the most high-powered single hot plate so far. The Waring is made of stainless steel. It has rubber, non-slip feet to keep the hot plate steady while using. This model has an “on” indicator as well as a “ready” indicator when turned on. There is an adjustable thermostat knob with settings from 1-5, 5 being the highest temperature. Buyers will receive a 1-year warranty on this product.
The most economical option for hot plates on this list is the SUNAVO 1500w Hot Plate. It has 6 power levels and the most wattage of any of the listed hot plates. The company advertises using this hot plate for anything from boiling pasta to searing steaks. This model is compatible with all types of cookware. Made with exclusive heating tube technology, this heat source is more stable than coil heat, allowing for longer usage. The SUNAVO model comes in both silver and black.
This hot plate gets its heat from an infrared ceramic 1200w induction burner. There are large handles on the sides of the plate for easy portability. The handles also stay cool even while cooking. There is an over-heat sensor that automatically shuts the burner off if it gets too hot. Techwood offers an 18-month warranty after purchase. There are no cookware restrictions with this model. Nonslip feet allow this burner to stay put while using. The safety features on this model are impressive compared to non-infrared models.
The CUKOR Portable Electric Stove is a lightweight infrared burner. This model offers fast heating and high temperatures, great for cooking many different dishes. The CUKOR can heat up to over 1000°F in a matter of seconds. The burner has a cycle of maintaining the perfect temperature by turning on and off automatically. The body has an “on” indicator light and a knob with two settings; min and max. And 18-month free replacement policy comes with purchase. For a higher price, this model also comes in a double-burner option.
Hot Plates; A Buying Guide
The type of hot plate you purchase will depend on your intentions for usage. There are so many features and types out there. Here are the different aspects to look for in a great hot plate.
Electric coils are a common heat source on hot plates. They have effective heat, but can be hard to clean after use. Coils can be ceramic or metal. A heating tube is another heat source. It is easier to clean because the heat comes from a flat surface, not coils. Heating tubes also hold heat very well. Cast iron plates can be found on electric models as well. Cast iron is well known for its ability to maintain heat, and it is easy to clean after use. Unless otherwise specified, only use non-metal and stove top safe pots and pans on your electric hot plate.
Infrared surfaces are almost always made out of either ceramic or glass. They are the easiest to clean because of their completely flat surface. Just simply wipe the cooled cook top down with a damp cloth after use. Infrared cook tops can heat up faster, and sometimes hotter, than electric.
The higher the wattage, the hotter a hot plate will get. A double burner will likely have higher wattage than a single, however, the wattage will be split between the two burners. Some double burners have the same wattage in both burners, others do not. If looking for a single-source hot plate, look for the highest wattage you can find.
Easy temperature control is crucial when cooking on a burner. Having more heat settings means better heat control. For example, a burner with only two heat settings will be harder to control than five heat settings. The two-setting hot plate will not define what the grey area between “low” and “high” is, leading to a variable in heat. Typically, the temperature is controlled by a clockwise knob; one knob for one burner and two knobs to control two burners. Higher-line hot plates will be able to automatically temperature control to ensure the appliance does not overheat during use.
Hot plates are made to be portable. They are an on-the-go option for cooking when not in your own full kitchen. If you plan on taking your hot plate camping, or if you simply put it back in the pantry after use, the hot plate should be easily transported from one place to another. Sturdy handles are great to have for easy moving. The weight will also be important. Your hot plate should be light enough to transport, but heavy enough to not be cheap. Materials play into the weight of the hot plate. A ceramic hot plate may be heavier than a metal hot plate. Also, be mindful of the size of your hot plate. A double burner will take up much more storage than a single, and will also be heavier.
Although there are many types of hot plates, the buyer should look for features that work best for their lifestyle. Campers, college students, and party hosts utilize hot plates to cook, but sometimes you just need an extra burner that you lack on your stove. Whatever the reason for your hot plate purchase, examine a few models and functions before making your decision.