Last Updated: July 2017
Whether you live in a dorm room and don’t have access to a kitchen, you live in a studio apartment, or you live or work in any other space where you want to heat things up, but don’t have access to a stove, a hot plate is one of the most valuable tools you can purchase. Even if you do have access to a stove, a hot plate can be a handy addition to your kitchen, especially for those times when you are cooking for a large crowd and need an extra burner.
As the name implies, a hot plate is a device that heats up and serves as an additional burner. It can do all of the same things that a burner on a traditional electric stove can do. It can be used to heat food up, boil pots of water, sautee, deep fry… You name it; anything that you would want to use a traditional stovetop burner for, you can use a hot plate for.
If you live or work in a space where you don’t have access to a stovetop burner, you can easily use a hot plate to prepare home cooked meals. If you do have a stove, but you are cooking a large amount of food and need an extra burner, a hot plate can come in and save the day.
While a hot plate is certainly a handy tool to have, and while you would think that buying one would be a breeze, believe it or not, purchasing a hot plate can actually be a bit challenging. There are so many different options to choose from, which can make it difficult to determine which hot plate will best suit your needs.
To help you find the best hot plate for your needs, we have put together this handy buyer’s guide. In this guide, you will find all of the information that you will need to purchase the best hot plate; one that will truly suit your needs and one that will make the task of cooking a simple one.
By reading this buyer’s guide, you will learn about the different types of hot plates, things that you should consider when you are buying a hot plate, and so much more! We also share with you our top five picks for the best hot plates that are currently available on the market.
After reading this buyer’s guide, you will be well informed and prepared to purchase and add the best hot plate. So, without further hesitation, let’s dive in and start talking about hot plates!
What You Need to Know About Hot Plates
Before you set out to buy a hot plate, it is helpful to know understand what qualities to look for and what qualities to avoid. You see, not all hot plates are created equal. There are definitely certain features that make a hot plate a high quality appliance, and certain qualities – or lack of qualities – that make a hot plate less than ideal.
By understanding what to look for and what to avoid, you will be able to purchase the best hot plate for your specific needs.
While it may seem like a basic appliance, believe it or not, there are actually quite a few characteristics that can make a hot plate high quality.
Here is a look at some of the qualities that you should look for that are indicative of a high quality hot plate.
The best hot plates are cool to the touch. As you can imagine, the surface of this appliance gets very hot, which in turn, could make the rest of the unit hot; the housing, the underside, the handles, etc. As a result, if you end up making contact with any of these parts of the hot plat, you could end up suffering a minor, or even a severe burn.
To prevent the potential for danger, the best hot plates are cool to the touch; the housing, the underside and the handles are surrounded with materials that do not get hot. This is definitely something that you are going to want to look for, especially if there are small children who could come into contact with the hot plate.
Non Skid Undersides
Another quality that the best hot plates offer is a rubberized, non skid base; the portion of the appliance that sits on the countertop. This feature will help to prevent the hot plate from moving while it is being used, thus preventing spills and reducing potential dangers.
If you are shopping for a raised hot plate, look for a unit that has four non skid feet, which will not only prevent the appliance from slipping, but will also balance it.
A Safety Switch
Yet another quality that the best hot plates will offer is a safety switch. This switch will automatically turn the heating element off after a certain period of time. This is particularly helpful in the event that you accidentally leave the hot plate on and unattended, as it can prevent the potential for a fire hazard.
Look for a hot plate that features a safety switch that you can either set the time for when it will activate, or that offers a timer to let you know when the appliance will turn off so that you know when it will shut down, thus avoiding the potential for shutting off or not being aware that it will shut off while you are using it.
An Adequate Cord Length
If you are purchasing an electric hot plate, make sure you look for one that offers a cord that has an adequate length. You want to be sure that the cord will reach an electrical outlet without needing to be right up on top of it.
Adustable Heat Settings
The best hot plates also offer adjustable heat settings. This will allow you to set the burner to the ideal temperature for whatever you are cooking, preventing overcooking and undercooking, alike.
Of course, there are also features that can make a hot plate poor quality, or features that may be absent. Here’s a look at what qualities we consider make for a poor quality hot plate.
No Non Skid Underside
If you want to prevent the potential for the hot plate to move while you are using it, you definitely want to have a non skid underside. Without this feature, there is a far greater chance that the appliance will move while you are using it, which can not only be messy, but can also be dangerous. Avoid hot plates that do not offer a non skid underside.
A Short Electrical Cord
If you are opting for a hot plate that runs on electricity, avoid one that has a short electrical cord. If the cord is too short, you will have to be right next to the electrical outlet to use the appliance, which will reduce flexibility and limit where you can use it.
No Cool Touch
As mentioned above, the burner of a hot plate obviously becomes hot. As it burner heats up, the housing, the underside and the handles can become hot, too. If the unit is not constructed with cool touch materials that surround these elements, you could end up burning yourself while you are using it.
No Adjustable Heat Settings
Poorer quality hot plates will not offer adjustable heat settings; they simply get turned on and heat up to one temperature. This is not ideal, as you want to ensure that the surface of the burner will reach the ideal temperature for whatever you are cooking. If you cannot control the heat setting, there is a chance that you could burn your food, which is definitely not what you want to have happen.
Best Hot Plates in 2017
Our goal of writing this buyer’s guide is to help you find the best hot plate for your needs. In order to do that, we have taken the liberty of searching the market to find the best hot plates that are currently available.
We have scoured the market, assessed the features and the qualities and compared the reviews of countless hot plates from various manufacturers. We have also tested out the appliances ourselves. After conducting such an in-depth assessment, we have determined that the following hot plates are the best of the best that are currently available.
Secura 9100 MC 1800 Watt Portable Induction Cook Top Countertop Burner
In our opinion, if you want to get a primo hot plate, the Secura 9100 MC 1800 Watt Portable Induction Cook Top Countertop Burner is the way to go. Offering a total of 15 power levels, ranging from 200 watts to 1800 watts, and 15 temperatures settings, fro 140 degrees F to 460 degrees F, this hot plate offers you the most flexibility in terms of power and heat controls.Check Price
We were also really impressed by the digital control panel that this hot plate offers, which makes it extremely easy to use. With the touch of a button, you can adjust the heat of this hot plate, and the LCD display allows you to easily see the temperature of the burner. Additionally, this hot plate offers a digital count down timer that can be set in 1 minute increments for up to 170 minutes. This feature improves the safety of the unit, as it will automatically shut off, but it also allows for more convenience, as you can set the time for the burner to turn off – and see how much more time you have until the burner shuts off.
An auto pan detection feature means that the hot plate will stay cool to the touch, only heating when it detects that a pot or pan has been placed on it. You do have to use induction ready cookware with this hot plate, which may be a downside, especially if you don’t want to have the added expense of purchasing more cooking utensils. However, with that said, we feel like the extra cost will certainly be worth your while, as this hot plate is one of the safest and most efficient on the market today.
Cadco PCR 1S Professional Cast Iron Range
We also selected this hot plate as one of the best on the market today, thanks to its flexibility and the incredible features that it offers.
The Cadco PCR 1S Professional Cast Iron Range offers a beautiful presentation. The brushed stainless steel housing will add a polished, contemporary look to your kitchen countertop. Looks aside, this hot plate has a lot more to offer.Check Price
The 7 1/8 inch diameter heating element is constructed of heavy duty cast iron, which will withstand excessive use and easily stand up to scratches, dings, dents and other wear and tear. The heating element also delivers even heat to your pot or pan, ensuring that the food is also evenly cooked. With the ability to accommodate pots that are up to 12 quarts in size, you will have tons of flexibility when it comes to cooking with this hot plate.
Another feature that we really liked about the Cadco PCR 1S Professional Cast Iron Range is that it offers infinite heat controls, which keeps your food simmering or boiling, ensuring that they are cooked just the way you want them to. Offering 120 volts and 1500 watts of power, and a long power cord, this hot plate is certain to be a welcomed addition to your kitchen – or anywhere else that you plan on using it.
Cuisinart CB 30 Cast Iron Single Burner Hot Plate
You can easily add extra cooking space to your kitchen – or any space that lacks a kitchen – with the Cuisinart CB 30 Cast Iron Single Burner Hot Plate. Offering 1300 watts of power, this hot plate heats up quick, which means that you will be able to start using it almost as soon as you turn it on. It also retains heat throughout cooking, so you know that your food will be thoroughly cooked.Check Price
With six temperature settings, which you can easily adjust via the knob handle, you will have complete flexibility to cook whatever you want on this hot plate. Use it to keep your food warm, or use it to prepare a full meal, such as a stir fry. Thanks to the coil less design, cleaning this hot plate is a breeze; simply wipe a rag or a sponge over it and it will be cleaned up and ready to use for the next time you need it.
Another thing that we liked about the Cuisinart CB 30 Cast Iron Single Burner was that it was small and lightweight, which makes it really portable and easy to use wherever you need it.
Waring DB 60 Portable Double Burner Hot Plate
If you are looking to maximize the amount of cooking space that you have, than the Waring DB 60 Portable Double Burner Hot Plate is an excellent choice for you. Offering two burners, one small and one large, you will have plenty of space to cook up your favorite dishes simultaneously.Check Price
The larger burner plate offers 1300 watts of power, while the smaller burner plate operates at 500 watts of power. Both burners have independent heating controls, so you can easily use one and not the other, or you can use them both at the same time, but at different temperatures.
Thanks to the non slip rubber feet, you can be sure that this hot plate will be even and that it will not slip or slide while you are using it, making it a safe cooking surface. With the On and Ready indicator lights, you will easily know when this burner is turned on, and when it is ready to be used. Add to all of these features the fact that this hot plate has a beautiful brushed stainless steel housing, which offers a clean and modern look, and you will truly enjoy using the Waring DB 60 Portable Double Burner Hot Plate.
Rosewill RH A1 13001 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cook Top With Stainless Steel Pot
If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, than consider the Rosewill RH A1 13001 1800 Watt Induction Cooker with Stainless Steel Pot, as you will not only get a hot plate, but you will also get a stainless steel pot to use with it!Check Price
This induction hot plate offers a magnetic field for cooking, which will only heat the induction ready cookware you place on the surface, such as the stainless steel pot that it comes with. Not only does the induction cook top avoid getting hot unless it senses a pot has been placed on it, but it will heat that pot up quickly, reducing your cooking time.
The three hour timer, which you can easily adjust via the touchpad control, gives you plenty of time to leave this hot plate hot so that you can prepare your favorite meals. You will also be able to see how much time is remaining until the hot plate turns off, thanks to the LCD screen.
With eight power levels, ranging from 300 watts to 1800 watts, and eight temperature settings, ranging from 150 degrees F to 450 degrees F, you will have the ability to cook virtually anything you want to on this hot plate; deep fry, braise, roast and even boil. And, to top it all off, the Rosewill RH A1 13001 Induction Cook Top is super easy to clean; the surface is flat and requires just a simple wipe down with a sponge or a rag.
Our Consumer Guide to Hot Plate
Although we have offered you what we consider to be the best hot plates on the market today, we know that they may not suit your specific needs. For that reason, you may be considering purchasing another hot plate.
With that said, we want to make sure that you are well informed and have all of the knowledge that you need so that you can purchase the best hot plate for your specific needs. For that reason, we want to present a separate Consumer Guide section in this Hot Plate Buyer’s Guide. Here, you will find out valuable information related to hot plates, which you can use to help you find the best hot plate for your needs.
Types of Hot Plates
In order to buy the best hot plate for your needs, you first need to understand that there are different types of hot plates available. While all types of hot plates can offer one, two or even up to three burners, these appliances can be differentiated based on the manner in which they are powered.
There are three main types of hot plates:
- The Electric Hot Plate – This is perhaps the most popular type of hot plate. They do not require any fuel to operate, but rather just an electrical outlet, which they plug into to power up. The electric hot plate works by turning electricity into heat through a coiled metal resistor, very much the same way in which an electric stove operates. There are three different models of electric hot plates: The exposed coil, the integrated coil (flat surfaced) and the glass flat surface.
- The Gas Hot Plate – Similar to a camp stove, a gas hot plate differs from this appliance in that it is self-contained. In other words, the fuel canister that it draws heat from is contained safely within the housing of the appliance and does not typically need to be externally connected to a gas source via a house. Gas hot plates usually use butane as a fuel source, though there are some models that use propane or white gas. The main advantage of this type of hot plate is that it tends to heat food up more evenly and quicker than an electric hot plate.
- The Induction Hot Plate – The induction hot plate is similar to the electric hot plate, but it offers more advantages. Most notably, the heat increases or reduces almost instantly, the surface of the burner does not get very hot and cools almost immediately, and it is much more energy efficient than an electric hot plate.
Things to Consider When Purchasing a Hot Plate
There are a number of factors that you are going to want to take into consideration when you are shopping for a hot plate. Some of these factors include the material the appliance is made of, the size of the unit, and the cost, among other things. By taking these factors into consideration, you will be able to find the best hot plate to suit your specific needs.
To learn more about the factors that we think are the most important to consider when shopping for a hot plate, please keep on reading.
Hot plates can be constructed of various materials, including:
- Ceramic Stone – Maintains heat for up to one hour
- Die Cast Metal – Takes longer to heat up, but retains its heat for a long time and cooks evenly.
- Stainless Steel – Durable and easy to clean.
- Tempered Glass – Easy to clean, heats up quickly, and the area around the burner is cool to the touch.
The Size of the Hot Plate
You definitely want to take the size of the hot plate into consideration in order to choose one that will best suit your needs. Consider what you will be using your hot plate for; will you be using it to simply heat up a mug, or will you be using it to cook with full sized pots and pans? Obviously, the larger the pots and pans you plan on using on the hot plate, the larger the hot plate you will need.
The Number of Burners
You should also consider the number of burners that you will need. If you are going to be using your hot plate as your main cooking surface, or if you intend on using it to cook larger amounts of food, you may want two or three burners; however, if you are going to be using it once in a while, or for smaller cooking applications, a single burner may better suit you.
You should also consider the cost of the hot plate. These appliances can vary widely in price. Generally, larger units that offer more features will cost more, as will induction units. Make sure you know how much you want to spend before you start shopping so you can avoid spending more than you are comfortable with.