When you have big group of people to feed and need more than the four burners on your stove, a hot plate can be a great way to keep your sauce warm or your casserole piping hot. Switching out pots can be a real hassle, and the area beside your stove can get cluttered fast. Having a hot plate on your countertop lets you free up some precious space.
Hot plates are also super versatile. You can move them into the dining room or even onto the table. As they don’t use a naked flame, they are very safe. If you are a college student in a studio apartment, or you find yourself traveling a lot with work, a hot plate can also be a great way to boil water for coffee or Ramen.
Induction vs. Electric Coil
How long it takes to boil water is a great indication of how efficient your hot plate is. Two of the most popular types are the electric coil and the induction plate. Induction plates are usually more expensive, but they are safer than those that use electric coils.
Induction hot plates boil water by using an alternating magnetic field, which causes metal to heat up to very high temperatures. Electric coils, on the other hand, use thermal conduction and retain their heat even after you turn the power off. As a result, they’re more likely to cause an accidental burn.
Induction cooking requires the correct cookware. Learn about omelette pans suitable for induction stoves.
There are many different models on the market today. I’ve looked at some of the best when it comes to boiling water as efficiently as possible. Here are a few I particularly liked:
BergHOFF 1800 Watt Portable Touch Screen Induction Cooktop Stove
Starting off at the top end (and with a price tag to match), the BergHOFF Cooktop stove is a hot plate that performs very well. There are few other hot plates that maintain as consistent a temperature.
When making tea or coffee, it’s important that the water come to quick boil (particularly if you’re not 100% sure the water you’re using is free from harmful bugs). It’s also important to allow the water cool a little, so that the coffee grounds or tea leaves do not release an overly-bitter flavor into your brew. Thankfully, the digital control panel on the BergHoff offers accurate temperature measurements.
The flat surface of this induction model allows for great magnetic conduction, and it’s very easy to clean too! A liter of water came to the boil in just under six minutes. For an induction hot plate, that’s pretty much as good as it gets. If you can get past the price tag, you need look no further.
Max Burton 6200 Maxi-Matic Deluxe 1800-Watt Induction Cooktop
Dropping down quite considerably in the price department is the Max Burton 6200. This model sacrifices very little in terms of performance. With a temperature range of 140 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, the Maxi-Matic Deluxe is one of the most versatile models I looked at. On full power it will boil a liter of water in less than five minutes, which is not too shabby at all.
This is a sturdy machine, but the 8 lb weight may be a drawback if you’re planning to travel with it. On the upside, once you have it in place you don’t have to worry about it sliding around.
Overall, it makes for a great heating surface, whether you’re cooking on a table in the garden, or keeping some of your famous BBQ sauce hot beside the grill.
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Secura 8100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
If economy is top of your list of priorities, check out the Secura 8100MC. One of the features that impressed me was its ability to sense how big the pan of water is and to adjust the size of heating area accordingly. This saves on power and ensures that the device is efficiently heating the water.
The Secura achieved a boil in just less than seven minutes, which is enough time to let you get some vegetables chopped for your noodles or boil-in-the-bag rice.
Don’t chop your veggies! Spiralize them! See which spiralizer is the best for making healthy, low-calorie veggie noodles.
Boil and bubble without the toil or trouble.
Each of these models performed well and boiled water in less time than it took to watch a few YouTube videos. Once you’ve seen how handy they are, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without one.
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For more reviews similar to this article, check out this post on the best coffee makers for under $200! You might also be interested in this review of the best coffee cups to keep coffee hot.
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Shopping for cookware to use on your gas or induction stove? Read about the best ceramic non-stick cookware for gas stoves and stainless steel cookware without aluminum!