The last time you thought about buying a hot plate may have been when you were leaving for college, or maybe that’s the reason you’re looking for the best hot plate now. Either way, a hot plate is a versatile piece of kitchen equipment. It’s an excellent way to expand your current cooking capability.
Some hotplates, especially higher-end options have specialized features that make them even more useful for specific tasks than a traditional stovetop burner.
With this list, we’re going to take a look at the best options currently on the market, and compare their features, as well as listing some pros and cons. What people are looking for in a hot plate is going to vary, so we’ll include a range of options.
We’re also going to address some common questions and concerns you may have about hot plates. Starting with the reasons you might be looking to buy a hot plate in the first place.
What is a Portable Hot Plate?
A hot plate certainly isn’t going to be the correct solution for everyone. Barring a few very specific exceptions a proper, full function stove top is almost always going to be the better option.
So with that in mind, the number one reason to buy a hot plate is if you don’t have access to a full gas or electric cooktop. Most commonly this will be if you live in a shared or heavily subdivided living space. A hot plate, along with a microwave or toaster oven, can replicate (with some creativity) most of the functions of a full residential kitchen.
If you frequently find yourself in short term accommodations like a hotel or motel, a hot plate can add a whole world of new options for meal plans.
Similarly, if you’re on the road often, but have converted a van or truck into a cozy living space, a hot plate will be one of the most space and energy-efficient ways to open up the widest range of food prep options.
If you do have access to a full cooktop, there can still be reasons to buy a hot plate. Some hot plates feature induction heating, more precise temperature controls, and other features that are usually not standard on a conventional cooktop. So if you do specific kinds of cooking that may require that level of control or stability, or if having an extra burner for those functions while you’re using the main burners on your stove, a hot plate can be a great addition to a traditional kitchen.
Also, a hot plate can be an excellent part of an emergency supply kit or a similar safe room arrangement. A hot plate is far easier for a generator to power than an entire stove and doesn’t have the same flammability concerns as a portable gas stove.
Best Hot Plate Reviews
1. Cusimax 1500W Portable Hot Plate
Our number one choice for the best all-around hot plate is the Cusimax portable hot plate. It’s our top choice because dollar for dollar it’s the most versatile, durable, and functional hot plate currently on the market. There’s no such thing as a “perfect” hot plate, let alone one that’s perfect for everyone. Instead, we’ll say this is our leading “can’t go wrong if you buy it” option.
The first thing you notice about the Cusimax Portable hot plate is that the base is noticeably wider than it is long. For many, The base of many hot plates is scarcely wider than the burner, or significantly wider, but in all directions. By contrast, the Cusimax has an 11.6×7.79 inch base that holds a 7.4-inch burner. This gives you the clearance and stability you’d look for from a hot plate with a larger base while optimizing the use of space.
The base is made of all stainless steel and has large rubber feet for increased stability. The burner is made of cast iron, which lends even more strength and stability. The all-metal, one-piece construction of the body and element also makes it easy to clean.
It uses 7 thermostatic heat settings, allowing for precise temperature control, and making it suitable for just about any type of cooking. The consistency of heat, even at lower temperatures, also makes it useful as a warming surface for people who need an extra burner for that purpose. The heating features also include overheating protection, a heat indicator, and a thermostat regulated shutdown feature that turns off the element if you forget to.
The combination of strength and stability also makes this hot plate suitable for all types of cookware, including stainless steel, glass, aluminum, ceramic, and cast iron.
- Wider, more stable design.
- Suitable for many types and sizes of cookware.
- Safety features including automated shutdown.
- Infrared Glass Version also available.
- No handles.
2. SUNAVO 1500W Cast Iron Hot Plate
The Sunavo Hot Plate is a close second on our list. It’s a little more affordable than the Cusimax and doesn’t sacrifice much in the way of features.
The Sunavo uses a tightly coiled cast iron element (which looks more like a grooved solid plate), for a stable and consistent stovetop experience. The body has a stainless steel cover, making it easy to clean as well. The base has four rubber feet, meaning it will stay firmly in place, and the extra weight will anchor it even more firmly. It also has two heat resistant thermo-insulated handles, meaning it can be easily moved, an excellent feature if you only have one small surface for food prep and eating.
The burner has six separate heat settings, making it suitable for all types of cooking. At the highest setting, it can boil water in just 7 minutes, and at the lowest, it will keep food pleasantly warm and ready to eat. It also has overheat protection for added safety.
Like other top-quality options, it’s also suitable for all cookware types, including cast iron, stainless steel, and ceramic.
The Sunavo is almost a foot square (10.1” x 11.1”) which is by no means large, and while the extra stability is nice, it doesn’t feel like it’s doing much with the extra space.
- Handles and rubber feet.
- Combination cast iron stainless steel top makes it strong and easy to clean.
- Large, stable base.
- An infrared glass version also available.
- Not as sturdy or easy to clean as some other options.
3. Durabold 1000W Kitchen Countertop Cast-Iron Single Burner
This 1000W Durabold hot plate is at once fully functional and extremely portable. The entire hot plate is only 10.8 inches by 9.5 inches, and just over 3 inches tall, making it the smallest on our list. It features a 7” cast iron burner, and a sealed stainless steel body, making it durable and easy to clean as well. The extra weight gives it good stability despite its small size, and the rubber feet will keep it in place even on smooth or slippery countertops.
The burner itself has thermostatically controlled heat settings, allowing for precise control over numerous heating options. This level of control makes it suitable for anything from boiling water and cooking pasta, to simmering sauces or keeping food warm. It can also support all major types of cookware, including heavy ceramic and cast iron pots, and large cooking pots up to 4-5 gallons, which is impressive for its small size.
- Sturdy all-metal construction.
- Very small and portable.
- Impressive capacity.
- Lower wattage may make boiling water or cooking in large quantities even more difficult.
4. Techwood 1500 Hot Plate with Adjustable Temperature & Stay Cool Handles
This Techwood hot plate is another excellent option. It features a 7.6 inch cast iron burner, all-metal construction, and four solid non-slip feet. What really earns it a spot on this list are the large, stay-cool handles. They allow a full, firm grip on the hot plate, even while it’s still at full temp, allowing it to be easily moved. This makes it an excellent option for multi-use cooking and even warming and serving. The handles also provide an extra barrier against hot pans and kettles.
Despite initial appearances, the handles don’t take up that much extra space. The whole thing is only 12.5 inches by 8.8 inches and just over 4 inches tall. The handles add a bit of height, but it’s only slightly wider than the two opening options on our list.
The 1500W cooktop has thermostatic controls, and heats quickly for all types of cooking, up to and including deep frying. It can also safely support all types of cookware, including glass, cast iron, ceramic, and stainless steel.
The burner also includes safety features, like overheat protection, and on/off and heat indicators.
- Stay-cool handles.
- Powerful and versatile burner.
- Sturdy and stable construction.
- Dual burner version available
- Not the best choice for people extremely limited for space.
5. Maxi-Matic 1000W Elite Cuisine Countertop Hot Plate
Another portable and compact option is the Maxi-Matic Elite Cuisine hot plate. It has a six-inch nonstick coated cast iron burner that sits on a 9 inch by 9-inch frame and stands just over three inches tall. It’s also almost a pound lighter than the Durabold, so in terms of pure size and portability, this is the best option.
The temperature control has four heat settings, off, low, medium, and high. This makes it not as precise as some other options, and the 1000W output means that it’s not going to be nearly as quick or powerful when it comes to boiling water or performing other high volume cooking tasks.
Unlike many other options, the Maxi-Matic hot plate has a cool-touch base in addition to the rubber feet. This minimizes heat output to whatever surface you’re cooking on and prevents the hot plate from sliding.
The main advantage of this hot plate is really down to how compact it is. If you have room for a larger hot plate, there are better options, but this is the best, smallest option.
- Exceptionally small and portable.
- Stay-cool base.
- Not very powerful.
6. CUKOR 1800W Dual Cast-Iron Burner Electric Hot Plate
Jumping from one extreme to another we have the dual-burner Cukor hot plate. For people who have a bit more space, and a lot more demands from their hot plate a two-burner option like this one can be an excellent choice. Each burner is made of cast iron and has a 900W output. The left burner is 7.4 inches, while the right is 6.1 inches. In total though, it’s still a fairly compact surface, 17.5 inches by 10.2 inches, and just under two inches tall.
The body is stainless for extra strength and can support all types of cookware. It also has rubberized legs that hold it in place.
The temperature is selected via thermostatic control, and cycles on and off to maintain precise heat. This makes it suitable for all types of cooking and other functions you may need from a hot plate, the dual burner can even be used for steak plates or griddles.
The Cukor hot plate also has a healthy number of safety features, including overheating and voltage protections, and indicators for when the burner is at cook temp or still retaining heat.
The body isn’t as tightly sealed, so it’s recommended that any boiling liquids be covered during use.
- Dual burners increase options for food prep.
- Precise controls for both burners.
- Single burner version available.
- Power split between burners during dual use.
- Not as tightly sealed as other options.
7. Cusimax 1800W Double Ceramic Infrared Electric Burner Hot Plate
Not the first (or last) entry from Cusimax on this list, the double infrared ceramic is another excellent option for people who have a bit more space for their hot plate and are looking for even more versatility.
Most of the options on this list have been cast iron burners (with infrared alternates available), mostly because of the extra strength they offer. Considering the extent to which a hot plate is meant to be portable, the tradeoff of a few extra ounces for the ability to take a hit is usually well worth it.
That said, the advantage of an infrared ceramic cooktop is that it’s a bit lighter and heats more quickly. Cast iron cooktops on the other hand preheat, but hold heat well and more evenly. So for an infrared ceramic cooktop to be worthwhile, it needs to be well constructed (this hot plate is all stainless with rubber feet) and have precise heating controls and mechanisms, something that Cusimax does well.
Like the other options offered by Cusimax and high-end hot plate manufacturers, this cooktop is suitable for all types of cookware, and all types of cooking.
It’s a bit on the larger side, both burners are 7.1 inches, and the body 19.7 inches by 13 inches and under 3 inches tall, but the extra space feels earned.
- Dual cooktop
- Infrared ceramic heating.
- Precise thermostat controls.
- Cast iron version available.
- Single burner version available.
- Not a good option for extremely limited spaces.
- Ceramic, while stronger than glass, is not as strong as iron.
8.Cusimax 1500W Infrared Ceramic Hot Plate
The third and final offering from Cusimax is an incredibly precise premium option for your hotplate. It has a 7.9 infrared ceramic burner, and its output can be adjusted from 100W to 1500W using an LED touch screen. It even comes with a pre-programmed simmer setting. This precision, combined with the quick heating of infrared ceramic burners makes it suitable for even the most delicate types of cooking. It even has the size and power to cook stir fry or boil large quantities of water.
The body is all stainless steel, with rubber feet for extra sturdiness and stability. It is on the larger side, especially for single burner hot plates. It’s just over 4 inches tall, and 18.5 inches by 12.1 inches.
In addition to the precise controls, this hot plate also has several safety features, including overheating protection and automatic shutoff. It also has a built-in fan for accelerated cooldown.
- Extremely precise controls.
- Infrared heating combined with a fan prevents the whole unit from heating up.
- Stainless steel body with attached handles.
- Larger than most single burner units.
- More expensive than most single burner units.
9.NutriChef 1200W Infrared Cooktop Infrared Tempered Glass Hot Plate
Like the Cusimax option above, the only thing that’s keeping the Nutrichef from being higher on the list is that it’s a bit more expensive and feature heavy than most people are going to be looking for when they decide they need a hot plate.
It features a 1200W infrared burner that heats quickly and evenly and has precise controls that can adjust the temperature output from 200W to the full 1200W. It also comes with several presets, including steaming, boiling, BBQ, frying, and a warming/keep warm function. It’s also compatible with all types of cookware, meaning that whatever type of cooking you need to do, this hot plate will be compatible.
The flat top and slim profile of this hot plate make it very easy to store or transport. It’s 14.2 inches by 11.4 inches, but only 2.5 inches tall.
This Nutrichef hot plate also has an air intake vent and a fan for rapid cooling. It also has safety settings including automatic shutoff and a timer that goes up to 4 hours.
- Precise temperature controls.
- Slim profile.
- Easy to clean surface.
- Not as sturdily constructed.
- More expensive than some competing options.
10. iSiLER 1800W Sensor Touch Electric Induction Cooker Cooktop
One of the reasons it’s necessary to consult a list like this when buying a hot plate countertop burner (or hot plate) is that most of the top options when searching for a countertop burner are induction burners. Induction burners are the top of the line when it comes to the functions and features you might be looking for from a portable cooking surface. The reason this is the only one on the list is that induction cooktops are only compatible with cast iron and specific types of stainless steel cookware.
So for the people who came here looking specifically for an induction option, this offering from iSiler is the best option. It has 18 power levels, and precise sensors to maintain exact cooktop temperatures. It also comes with power lock settings, and a child safety lock, preventing little ones from getting burned. All of these features are managed through an easy-to-use digital touch display.
It’s also incredibly compact. It’s only 11.6 inches by 14.2 inches and just over 2 inches tall.
- Powerful induction cooking surface.
- Precise and easy to use controls.
- Numerous safety features.
- Requires specific kinds of cookware.
- Noisy (sort of). Induction cooktops emit a low humming sound.
When it comes to buying your own cooktop, you may have specific needs not addressed by any of the hot plates on this list (though hopefully not), or you may have trouble choosing between the options on this list. Let’s take a moment and go over some considerations for choosing what hot plate is right for you.
There are 4 main options for the style of burner or element that you select. Here are the main things to consider with each.
The most common entry on our list, cast iron cooktops are incredibly sturdy, and produce the most even and stable source of heat. They’re not going to crack or bend and can take a lot of weight. However, they need to preheat. It can take up to 10 minutes to get a cast iron cooktop up to heat.
Infrared cooktops heat up much more quickly but require more control and precision, so they’re not as common, and often more expensive. They’re usually fairly sturdy, but still not as strong as cast iron.
You may have noticed the total absence of coiled element cooktops on this list. There’s not inherently anything wrong with them, and they can often strike a balance between the speed and stability offered by other types of cooktop. The main disadvantage is that they can be knocked loose easily, and can be hard to balance or reset properly. For a hot plate stability and even heating is absolutely essential, so something that can be unbalanced as easily as a coil is not ideal.
Induction cooktops provide incredibly fast, even, and precise heating capabilities, but they require specialized, often heavy cookware. Not ideal for people with limited space or who are constantly on the move. They can be a great option for people looking for an extra cooking surface or specific functions.
You’ve got two main options for the construction of your hot plate. Either stainless steel, or a temperature safe material, usually a thermoplastic of some kind. Stainless steel is more durable by far, ideal for repeated use of people who move a lot. However, the entire unit will heat up, meaning it usually can’t be moved after using unless you have handles (and sometimes not even then.
Temperature-safe bodies aren’t as sturdy, but they also prevent the heat from transferring too far from the element. If you don’t have a lot of space or cook on top of surfaces that could be damaged or warped by excessive heat (it should go without saying to never cook on top of flammable items) a temp-safe body is a better option.
One Burner or Two
There are a few options for dual burner hot plates out there, including several on this list. Having a second burner can be useful, but if you’re already limited on space, or only cooking for one, having a second burner might not be worth the extra cost or space.
Ultimately the most important thing to consider when selecting a hot plate is going to be space, which is why we included the precise length and width of every option on this list. You need something that’s going to fit where you store it and fit firmly on whatever counter or space you’re cooking on with sufficient clearance from surrounding obstacles.
A hot plate might not be the right solution for everyone, but it’s far more useful than your initial instincts might suggest. If you have the need for extra cooking space or need a way to cook meals on the go or in a shared living space, a hot plate can be a lifesaver.