The 10 Best Hot Plates

Updated April 25, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

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We spent 38 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. When space is at a premium, such as in a dorm room or studio apartment, or you're preparing a five-course gourmet dinner and need an extra burner or two, one of these energy-efficient hot plates will come to the rescue. They are also good for use in RVs and at power-equipped campsites. Our selection includes traditional electric coil, infrared, and induction models to suit your preferences. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best hot plate on Amazon.

10. Cusimax Double

The Cusimax Double features two burners that are compatible with all types of cookware, including aluminum and glass. It's durable enough to stand up to frequent use, and offers 11 heat settings for precise temperature control.
  • brushed stainless steel body
  • cools down quickly once switched off
  • doesn't maintain temperatures well
Model CMHP-C180
Weight 9.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Ovente Ceramic

With its compact, portable size, the Ovente Ceramic is perfect for taking along on trips. Its infrared cooktop lights up red to let you know when it's hot, and it heats up quickly and evenly, though it does take a while to cool down once you're finished cooking.
  • weighs only three pounds
  • also available in a two-burner model
  • numbers on dial wear off quickly
Model BGI101S
Weight 3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

8. Max Burton Deluxe

The Max Burton Deluxe is ideal for those who occasionally need an extra burner and want something to match the style of a modern kitchen. It uses induction heating and has an unsuitable cookware detector, so you won't accidentally use incompatible pots and pans.
  • temperature and wattage controls
  • gets as hot as 450 degrees
  • heated area is only 5 inches across
Brand Max Burton
Model 6200
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 3.6 / 5.0

7. Gourmia SmartSense

The Gourmia SmartSense is perfect for a dorm room or studio that doesn't have a conventional stove. It has 8 power levels and overheat detection to prevent injury or burned food, and can handle large pots of water, so it's great for those who make lots of pasta and rice.
  • straightforward dial control
  • child safety lock feature
  • built-in fan is a bit noisy
Brand Gourmia
Model GIC-100
Weight 6.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

6. NuWave Gold Precision

Thanks to its induction technology, the NuWave Gold Precision heats up nearly instantaneously, and can boil water much more quickly than traditional stovetops. For such a powerful machine, it boasts surprisingly low energy consumption, and is built into a compact housing.
  • 52 temperature settings
  • includes a large nonstick frying pan
  • temp tends to waver considerably
Brand NuWave
Model 30242
Weight 10 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Rosewill Cooktop

The Rosewill Cooktop looks sleek with its polished crystal surface, and has 8 different temperature settings to help you cook the perfect meal. It also features a 3-hour timer for slow recipes, and comes with a pot compatible with its induction technology.
  • overheat protection
  • large and easy to read led display
  • included pot is poor quality
Brand Rosewill
Model RHAI-13001
Weight 9 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

4. Duxtop Infrared

The Duxtop Infrared sports a smart design with two stay-cool carrying handles, so you can move it even when it's just been used. It boasts 1,200 watts of heating power, and its brushed stainless steel housing requires no disassembly for cleaning.
  • compatible with any type of cookware
  • transfers heat well to thick pots
  • knob gets quite hot while in use
Brand Duxtop
Model ES-3103C
Weight 4.1 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

3. Cadco Hi-Power

Traditionalists will love the old coil-style surface of the Cadco Hi-Power, with its infinite heat control knob that allows for precise temperature adjustments. It comes in an easy-to-clean stainless steel housing that's well-ventilated for safety, too.
  • large 8-inch heating element
  • made in the united states
  • suitable for industrial use
Brand Cadco
Model CSR-3T
Weight 8.1 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Cuisinart Single

The Cuisinart Single comes in a slim design that fits on cramped counters, boasts a durable cast-iron burner that will last for years, and offers stable heat retention. It's as powerful as a stationary stove and great for serving hot party foods, like fondue.
  • on and ready indicator lights
  • nonslip rubber feet for safety
  • flat surface is easy to clean
Brand Cuisinart
Model CB-30
Weight 6.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Secura Portable

With a number of useful features, like a digital control panel, a built-in timer and automatic pan detection, the Secura Portable meets almost every need for an induction burner. It also has a conveniently long 5-foot cord and the ETL safety stamp of approval.
  • works with all induction cookware
  • timer offers 1-minute increments
  • wipes clean easily with damp cloth
Brand Secura
Model 9100MC
Weight 7.2 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

What Is A Hot Plate?

A kitchen hot plate is a small, standalone heating device that takes the place of the burners on a stove. Most have one burner, although they can have two or more. In homes or living arrangements where a stove would be impractical, a hot plate allows the residents to heat up their food and beverages.

On a hot plate, you can cook just about anything you could make on a stove, although in many cases, other constraints limit what people cook on these devices. A student in a dorm, for example, most likely doesn’t have the cooking tools necessary for making a mousse; he or she would probably use the hot plate for boiling water or making grilled cheese sandwiches. Because hot plates do carry the risk of fire if they’re not attended properly, however, many university officials have banned them in dorms. You needn’t worry, though. As long as you are careful with the hot plate during use and be sure to turn it off when you’re done, a hot plate is a perfectly safe appliance.

Hot plates are so practical, in fact, that you’ll find them not just in kitchens but also in scientific labs. They’re used to heat substances, often taking the place of Bunsen burners, which don’t offer as much control over heating. As you might expect, these tend to be both more advanced and more expensive than kitchen hot plates. Some feature a built-in magnetic stirrer, the invention of Arthur Rosinger, who received a patent for this stirrer in 1944.

Although most kitchen hot plates don’t need to be as sophisticated as their scientific brethren, that doesn’t mean these at-home devices are dumb or not evolving. Bluetooth-controlled hot plates are on the horizon, as are those activated by cookware embedded with RFID tags. Innovators are determined to make sure that the humble hot plate keeps up with the smartest of smart appliances, so a stress-free yet complicated meal might just be possible in the dorm or micro-kitchen of the future.

Types Of Hot Plates

Kitchen hot plates come in several different styles, but the three most common are electric, induction, and gas. Of these, electric units are probably the most popular, as they’re widely available and come with a stunning range of features. All three types vary in price from pleasantly inexpensive to high-end and costly, so no matter which kind strikes your fancy, there’s one out there for you.

Electric hot plates fall into two broad categories: exposed coil and integrated coil. When you picture a hot plate, it may just be the former that you imagine. These have a distinct coil-style heating element that usually sits atop a drip tray for easy cleaning. An integrated coil, on the other hand, is encased in some kind of material and provides a completely flat, unbroken surface on which to cook. Commonly, this surface is ceramic glass or cast iron.

Induction hot plates heat via electromagnetic field instead of through a traditional heating element. Their magnetic fields quickly generate direct heat and allow them to cool down much faster than other models. To use one, you’ll need to select induction-capable cookware, such as cast iron or magnetic stainless steel, or place an induction disc under a non-compatible pot.

Gas hot plates resemble camp stoves, although the fuel is often housed inside the body of the former and not attached on the outside as with the latter. Because this type of hot plate uses an open flame, they tend not to be the go-to for dorms or indoor use, although they work well for disaster preparedness kits.

All hot plates, whether electric, induction, or gas, offer a variety of features. Some include timers or auto-off functions, which have a dual purpose: First, they let you cook your food for a predetermined amount of time, and second, they prevent you from accidentally burning down the house (not a good outcome when cooking supper). Some hot plates have digital temperature control and others manual; if you want greater exactness, you’ll probably want to go with digital. And some models incorporate carrying handles or quick-clean surfaces, making them easier to use in general. Wattages vary, as well, with high-powered models using 1,800 watts or more.

Not Just For Bachelors

While it’s true that hot plates are commonly found in small kitchens and dorm rooms, these nifty little devices have plenty of other uses. After all, they balance convenience with portability, giving you an affordable way to add extra heating and cooking capacities to your home, office, or workshop.

If you live in a hot climate, for example, you might use a hot plate on your patio or deck during the scorching summer months. You won’t have to add to the heat that’s already inside or force your air conditioner to work harder just because you wanted some macaroni and cheese. The outdoor hot plate is excellent for cooking those items that stink up the house, too. Fish? Fried onions? Boiled cabbage? No problem — take your compact hot plate out in the fresh air and keep the smells out of your home.

Or perhaps you have a studio for handicrafts or a workshop where you need to heat or melt items. You might prepare wax for candles or chocolate for candies; either way, having a dedicated craft hot plate will save you from making a mess in your kitchen. When it’s 6 p.m. and you’ve got a hungry family, you’ll be glad you don’t have to clean up before you can cook.

The hot plate makes a great addition to RVs and campsites, too. Of course, you’ll have to make sure you have an adequate power source, but being able to quickly boil water for coffee could be worth it. If you’re a survivalist or prepper, you may also want a hot plate in your emergency gear.

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Last updated on April 25, 2018 by Gabrielle Taylor

Gabrielle is a writer and hopeful entrepreneur who hails from a tiny town in Virginia. Earlier in her career, she spent a few years in Southern California before moving back to the east coast (but she misses LA every day). An avid and enthusiastic home cook, she is somewhat of an expert at fending off attempted food thievery by her lazy boxer.

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