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Which hot plates are best?

Hot plates give you the versatility of stovetop cooking in a compact, portable package. A quality hot plate complements your home kitchen by providing you with up to two additional burners. Hot plates also allow you to easily cook and boil while camping, grilling outdoors or traveling in a motorhome.

Since hot plates generate high temperatures on exposed surfaces, purchasing one that provides value as well as safety is critical. The Cuisinart Single Burner hot plate combines top-of-the-line features and name-brand quality to provide the best, most dependable hot plate cooking experience.

What to know before you buy a hot plate

Hot plate types

Hot plates heat your food in one of three ways. For more detailed information about each hot plate type’s pros and cons, refer to BestReviews’ hot plate buying guide.

  • Electric hot plates are plugged into an outlet and use electricity to heat metal coils that may be exposed, encased or under a layer of tempered glass.
  • Induction hot plates use an electromagnetic field to generate heat. These hot plates are energy-efficient and don’t have any dangerous heating coils or flames. However, they do require that you use specific cookware.
  • Gas hot plates are portable and require no electricity to function, making them great for camping or outdoor cooking. Their open flames and use of propane tanks make them more cumbersome and potentially hazardous than other models.

Number of hot plate burners

Hot plates are available in single- or double-burner configurations. Single-burner hot plates are the ideal solution for people looking to add an additional cooking surface to their kitchen or to prepare simple foods when a stovetop is not accessible. Double-burner hot plates are excellent for those who anticipate preparing larger meals or want the ability to cook two foods separately. Double-burner hot plates have a larger footprint and are heavier than single-burner options.

What to look for in a quality hot plate

Heat settings

Electric and induction hot plates have heat settings that offer more control over your meal preparation, often presented on a built-in display. If you plan to do more than boil with your hot plate cooker, simple heat adjustment settings can make meal preparation more efficient. Gas hot plates allow you to adjust flame height and therefore temperature, just as you would on a traditional stovetop.

Safety features

Look for a hot plate with safety features such as an automatic shutoff that powers down the appliance after a certain amount of time. Some hot plates also feature a fuse that prevents the appliance from overheating. Choose a model with rubber feet that will help prevent sliding on slick countertops while stirring. Stability is especially important if your hot plate will be used in an RV.

Cleaning your hot plate

Exposed coil electric and gas hot plates have a lot of surface area to keep tidy. Food spilled under coils or onto burners can be difficult to remove and could potentially burn and smoke. Induction and electric hot plates that have a smooth cooking surface are the easiest to keep clean, as any mess can simply be wiped away.

How much you can expect to spend on a hot plate

Hot plates are simple devices, with some budget models costing less than $20. Offering additional safety features and higher-quality construction, recommended units are priced between $50 and $100, depending on burner count and heating type.

Hot plate FAQ

Are induction hot plates safer than other options?

A. Yes. Induction hot plates cool down quicker than electric or gas models, and only the cooking surface and the cookware reach high temperatures. Their electromagnetic technology makes burns less likely and greatly reduces the risk of fire.

How long does it take a hot plate to cool down?

A. Allow your hot plate at least 20 minutes to cool down to a temperature that makes it safe to handle and store.

Are induction hot plates noisy?

A. The electromagnetic field that an induction hot plate generates often creates a buzzing or humming sound. This noise does not reach uncomfortable levels and is not an indication that something is wrong with your appliance.

What’s the best hot plate to buy?

Top hot plate

Cuisinart Single Burner

Cuisinart Single Burner

What you need to know: This powerful hot plate is built to last and comes from one of the most reputable brands in kitchen appliances.

What you’ll love: Featuring six temperature settings, this single-burner electric hot plate provides great flexibility. Its cast iron cooking surface is easily cleaned, and its rubber feet grip kitchen surfaces safely. Stainless steel gives this appliance a modern look.

What you should consider: The sides of this unit are made out of plastic and get very hot. Its cast iron cooking surface takes longer than other materials to cool down to a safe temperature.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond

Top hot plate for the money

NuWave PIC FLEX Induction Cooktop

NuWave PIC FLEX Induction Cooktop 

What you need to know: This hot plate provides state-of-the-art induction heating and an included frying pan at a very reasonable price.

What you’ll love: This model’s inclusion of a nonstick frying pan takes some of the hassle out of needing special cookware to use an induction hot plate. Smart technology allows you to program a custom cooking procedure into the unit.

What you should consider: Users feel that the included frying pan is not of high quality and encourage trying other cookware to get the most out of this hot plate.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

MegaChef Single Induction Cooktop

MegaChef Single Induction Cooktop

What you need to know: This induction hot plate features a glass top, modern aesthetics and a touch-screen-style user interface with digital display.

What you’ll love: This hot plate’s glass cooking surface provides even heat and makes cleanup a breeze. Its flat, compact design gives it a clean look and feel while also making it easy to transport and store.

What you should consider: This appliance requires cookware compatible with induction hot plates, and its glass surface may be easily scratched by some pots and pans.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Home Depot and Bed Bath & Beyond

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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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