The 8 Best Hot Plates of 2024 - Top Picks by Bob Vila

By Alisa Martin | Updated Jan 2, 2024 12:21 PM

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The 8 Best Hot Plates of 2024 - Top Picks by Bob Vila

Hot plates are portable cooking units great for meal prepping on the go or for use in small cooking spaces without traditional kitchen access. With a hot plate, users can cook a meal from scratch, warm leftovers, or keep food warm for an extended duration. A portable hot plate can be used in small living spaces, small kitchens, offices, and vacation spaces.

But hot plates aren’t only ideal for small spaces. Even larger, fully equipped kitchens may require an extra cooktop area for food preparation for parties and holiday dinners. So, in addition to cookware and bakeware, adding a portable hot plate to the cooking arsenal isn’t a bad idea. Commercial units are also available for catering and professional use.

We researched the best hot plates in various categories with high customer satisfaction. The list factors in the material, number of burners, wattage, temperature settings, and special features provided by the top brands.

When selecting the top hot plates, we focused on durable stainless steel and cast iron models. The featured picks include both 1-burner and 2-burner units for different cooking needs. The top picks produce 1,300 to 1,800 watts for ample cooking power with multiple preset temperature settings. Some models on the list also contain extra features, including nonslip rubber feet, auto shutoff, child safety locks, and stay-cool handles.

To help choose the best hot plate for their cooking needs, shoppers will want to check out the list below with the most sought-after features on the market. Each of our chosen products has a category-organized list of advantages and disadvantages that have been carefully considered to aid users in making their choices.

The Duxtop Countertop Burner Induction Hot Plate has one burner and features an LCD screen with sensor touch panel for straightforward use. Its nonstick glass surface is easy to clean. This induction cooktop keeps safety a priority with a child safety lock button, automatic shutoff when not in use, 60-second auto-pan detection, and overheat protection. Additionally, induction plates mean no open flames or toxic gas fumes.

The Duxtop is designed with two types of cook modes, power and temperature. In power mode, 20 preset power levels ranging from 100 to 1,800 watts give users control over how quickly the plate heats. In temperature mode, 20 preset temperature settings, from 100 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit, allow precise temperature settings for common cooking methods, such as frying or sautéing.

The automatic timer can be set from one minute to 10 hours. As a bonus, it also has boil and keep-warm buttons for convenience. Be sure to use magnetic-bottom cookware designed for induction heating. Measuring 11.41 inches by 14.05 inches, this burner’s compact, lightweight design makes for easy transport, use, and storage.

Get the Duxtop 1800-watt hot plate at Amazon or Walmart.

Built by a household name in cookware, Cuisinart’s Cast-Iron Single Burner is designed with stainless steel and equipped with a heavy-duty cast-iron plate for durability and easy cleanup. The cast-iron burner provides even heat distribution that ensures the cookware’s bottom maintains an all-over consistent temperature for cooking accuracy.

The cast-iron burner’s six-setting temperature control allows for low to high heating options and uses 1,300 watts of energy. The unit measures 11.5 inches by 11 inches and features “ready” and “on”indicator lights and nonslip rubber feet.

Get the Cuisinart hot plate at Amazon or The Home Depot.

The Maxi-Matic Elite Cuisine Countertop Electric Hot Burner is a great option for use in a dorm room, RV, or office kitchen space, where users will likely need to boil water or reheat leftovers. This electric burner has low, medium, and high settings. The cast-iron heating plate can accommodate various cookware types, including nonstick pans, and is itself nonstick for easy cleaning. The electric burner features a cool-touch base, indicator light, and nonskid rubber feet for safety and stability. The unit has 1,000 watts of power so that users can boil water quickly.

Get the Elite Cuisine hot plate at Amazon or Walmart.

The Duxtop LCD Portable Double Induction Cooktop features two burners, each with independent heating controls and 20 preset heat levels. The LCD display is easy to read and provides precise temperature measurements so users can accurately control the cooking temperature. Users can choose from either power mode or temperature mode on this portable induction hot plate, depending on whether the plates are needed to simply heat quickly or want to maintain a specific temperature to avoid overcooking or burning a favorite dish.

This portable induction hot plate has a power-sharing feature that automatically adjusts the power usage of one burner when both are in use to prevent the unit from overheating. Safety features include a child safety lock system and skid-resistant rubber feet. It utilizes 100 to 1,800 watts of energy, measures 25 inches wide by 17 inches deep, and the burners are compatible with various magnetic-bottom cookware.

Get the Duxtop portable induction hot plate at Amazon.

The Techwood Double Infrared Ceramic Hot Plate is a great choice for shoppers looking for a safe, versatile alternative to a gas hot plate. The infrared heating mechanism and cast-iron plate ensure quick heating with consistent temperature output. The adjustable thermostat controls enable users to warm or cook their favorite sauces and foods with precise temperature control.

The ceramic plates are compatible with all types of cookware. It’s equipped with stay-cool handles for easy transport, and the brushed steel body is easy to clean. The feet are slip-resistant for safe use on smooth surfaces. It features 1,800 watts of total power (900 watts per burner). A single-burner unit is also available.

Get the Techwood hot plate at Amazon or Walmart.

Those who have a lot of cooking to do in a professional setting can rely on the Elite Gourmet Countertop flat burner. This double-burner hot plate takes up very little space on the counter while offering 1,500 watts of total power for cooking multiple dishes simultaneously.

The cast-iron cooking plates measure 6 inches and 6.5 inches, making this model capable of accommodating small to large pans. Plus, each burner is controlled by a large temperature knob that controls the low, medium, and high heat settings.

For safety, each burner has a power indicator light that alerts the user when the plate is on and hot, and the nonskid feet keep the unit in place while in use. This versatile and effective unit is perfect for the busy chef or kitchen hand who needs food cooked quickly and safely.

Get the Elite Gourmet hot plate at Amazon, Walmart, or Elite Gourmet.

The Cusimax double hot plate’s simple but modern design is suitable for a kitchen or dorm room and is compatible with all types of cookware, including glass. The ceramic plates heat quickly and evenly, and users control the temperature with an adjustable thermostat knob. The unit’s safety features include an automatic safety shutoff, nonskid feet, and an indicator light that illuminates when the plate is on.

The Cusimax’s adjustable heat settings make it easy to cook anything from eggs over easy to a favorite fettuccini dish. The stainless steel body and crystalline glass plates are easy to clean.

Get the Cusimax hot plate at Amazon or Walmart.

Grilling in colder months can become a lot easier with the help of the Hamilton Beach three-in-one grill/griddle. This option has dual reversible and dishwasher-safe grids, each with one smooth side and one ridged side, for simultaneously cooking meats, vegetables, pancakes, eggs, and more. The unit also has a grease channel and removable tray for easy cleanup after grilling steaks, chicken, pork, sausage, and more.

Delivering over 1,400 watts of power, this grill reaches over 425 degrees Fahrenheit and offers 180 square inches of PFOA-free nonstick cooking surface. Plus, each side of the grill comes with its own temperature control knob and indicator light, with another light allowing the user to see that the unit is on.

Get the Hamilton Beach hot plate at Amazon or Walmart.

There are a few things to consider when buying a hot plate, primarily heating type and temperature control. Portability may also help guide a shopper’s choice if they plan to use their hot plate for outdoor activities or in various locations. Also, what are the preferences when it comes to versatility and durability? How many burners might be needed, and are there plans to purchase a more expensive model that offers a greater degree of temperature versatility and safety features?

Below are some answers to these questions and the most important things shoppers will want to consider when looking for an ideal hot plate.

Hot plates are designed with saving space and ease of transport in mind. However, body composition and the type of cooktop surface affect each unit’s size and weight. Stainless steel bodies and cast-iron cook plates will make the units a little heavier and provide extra stability. Whether the hot plate features one or two burners will determine the unit’s size. One-burner units average around 9 inches by 9 inches, and two-burner units are approximately double that in length.

Electric hot plates can require from 750 to 1,800 watts of power, depending on the size and heating element type. Whether a hot plate has one or multiple burners will also factor into the unit’s wattage use. If shoppers plan to use an electric hot plate, rather than one powered by gas, they’ll also want to make sure that they have access to a 120-volt electrical outlet or generator.

Single burners are a convenient cooking option for individuals or couples with low-maintenance cooking needs. Single burners are also small and lightweight, making them easy to store and transport. Multi-burner hot plates allow users to cook more than one course at a time—boil spaghetti while the sauce is simmering, for example. However, shoppers will want to be aware that some double burner hot plates include a regular heating burner with the second serving only as a warming plate.

Hot plates are available in several plate types, including glass, coil, or cast iron. Traditional coil surfaces are lightweight but more difficult to clean. Glass and cast-iron cook surfaces offer a more modern appeal and are easier to clean. However, it is useful to note that not all cook surface types are compatible with all cookware.

Hot plates are available with a variety of heating control options. Some have mechanical knobs to adjust the temperature, while other units feature digital temperature controls and displays, which may be preferred if temperature precision is a priority.

The low-profile design of hot plates makes them relatively stable; however, features like heavy stainless steel bodies and slip-resistant feet ensure safety is a priority. It’s recommended to use hot plates on flat, fixed surfaces for maximum safety.

Hot plates can come with a variety of safety features. Some have an automatic shutoff feature that turns the unit off if a pan is not detected on the plate’s surface (this is also referred to as auto-pan detection). Units with two burners can come with overheat protection to prevent the unit from exceeding its maximum wattage while both burners are in use. Another important safety feature is child safety locks that prevent little fingers from turning the burners on. While safety features vary from unit to unit, most come with nonslip pads on the feet to prevent the unit from slipping around on smooth surfaces while in use.

Getting familiar with the specifications of a hot plate can help you get the most out of it. Here are a few common questions and answers about hot plate features and operations to get you on your way.

While a hot plate and a stove burner are similar in function, hot plates tend to be less efficient in terms of energy use and heating capacity. The type of heating element a hot plate uses determines its efficiency (e.g., a traditional coil is slower than induction burners). Additionally, hot plate burners tend to be smaller than stove burners, so it’s important to consider whether you have the right-sized cookware for a hot plate.

Choosing the best hot plate for your cooking needs depends on how and where you plan to use the plate. You’ll also want to consider what type of cooking you intend to use it for as well as what type of cookware is compatible with the model you choose.

As long as your cookware matches the size of the hot plate, you can cook almost anything. Keep in mind, however, that some cuisines require specific temperatures, so a hot plate with precise temperature control might be the best option depending on your cooking needs. If you only need to boil water or keep food warm, there are options for that, too.

The maximum heating temperature of a hot plate will depend on the type of heating element the plate utilizes. Some plates are designed only for warming, while others can reach temperatures optimal for boiling and frying.

Electric hot plates can use anywhere from 750 watts to 1,800 watts of electricity, depending on the size of the unit and the number of burners included. How often you intend to use the hot plate and the type of cooking you want to do with it can help you determine which wattage is right for you and what the average energy consumption might be.

Most hot plates require about 20 minutes to cool. But, prior to handling, it’s a good idea to check the manufacturer’s instructions regarding cooling recommendations after use. Wearing oven mitts can help prevent unwanted burns if you need to handle a hot plate before it’s completely cooled.

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.[/product-card-8]

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The 8 Best Hot Plates of 2024 - Top Picks by Bob Vila

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