We are reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more about our review process.

Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Best Hot Plate for College



Hot plates can make all kinds of delicious dishes.
Hot plates can make all kinds of delicious dishes.

College can be some of the best years of our lives. We get to meet different types of people from different areas of the world, make our own class schedules, spend hours with friends, and go to school sporting events. But the inarguable fact is, the best part of college is being able to be on our own.

My Choice? This hot plate at Amazon.

Somehow, the best part of college is simultaneously the worst part of it. All the things we took for granted while living at home with our parents suddenly become the things that we miss the most.

Things like being able to do laundry without having to sit by the washer to make sure nobody steals our clothes or being able to have those delicious home cooked meals that our parents used to make.

While we don’t yet have a viable option for portable washing machines and dryers, we do have portable ovens, stovetops, and mini fridges to allow your son or daughter to have homemade meals in their dorm rooms.

Looking for a mini fridge for the dorm too? Find the best ones.

In this article, we are going to discuss some of the best portable hot plate options for those who are going off to college.

iSiler Ultra Slim Portable Induction Cooktop

Portable Induction Cooktop, iSiLER 1800W Sensor Touch Electric Induction Cooker Cooktop with Kids Safety Lock, 18 Power 17 Temperature Setting Countertop Burner with Timer

This iSiler product is a good piece of equipment to give someone who is going to college. It is easy to clean, scratch resistant, and will look nice in the dorm room. It has advanced safety features, so there is no need to worry about catching your place on fire with one of these.

Some of the advanced features include child safety lock functionality, an auto shut off timer, overheating protection, and it can tell whether or not the hot plate has any cookware sitting on top of it.

Find the iSiler hot plate at Amazon.

The ability to control your cooking temperature precisely is also an excellent feature. You can use 10 different power features ranging from 140 degrees to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. Its friendly user interface makes it easy to change the hot plates temperature as well as change other settings available of the device.

This can be used with many different cookware types like cast iron, stainless steel, or regular non-stick pans.

Should you buy this hot plate?

This is a product that will be useful for a person who is beginning to learn how to cook (probably most kids going to college) but doesn’t have enough controls to be able to use for dishes that need exact temperatures or precise heating. Most likely, if you have a college-aged son or daughter, this will serve them well – and the price is unbeatable too.

The induction cooktop allows easy food preparation whenever you want. It’s ideal for college students to use in dorms rooms since it’s a portable device. It features two inches, low profile design and durable thick glass and excellent touch controls. It comes with ten power levels. Thus you can reach a maximum temperature of up to 490 degrees Fahrenheit. It is comfortable and enjoyable to use with useful functions that include a child safety lock and auto shut off timer, overheating protection and magnetic cooktop sensing. It can work with large cookware including steel, cast iron, and magnetic stainless steel pots. The cookware is resistant to scratch, durable, and has an anti-stick surface that gives it a stylish look and makes cleaning easy.

It has incorporated digital control panel that prevents the buildup of residue which usually occurs with the traditional controls. It comes with the digital control settings that enable you to adjust setting with a single touch.

Cook all types of meals quickly and easily in the comfort of your dorm!
Cook all types of meals quickly and easily in the comfort of your dorm!

Looking for the best food to cook and eat for a hangover? Look no further, check out our favorite hangover foods.

NuWave PIC Gold 1500 Watt Portable Induction Cooktop

NuWave PIC Gold 1500W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner, Gold

NuWave has been an industry leader in portable cookware for several years now, since the invention of the NuWave induction oven. The Induction cooktop is just as innovative as their oven was.

It can cook at 52 different temperatures ranging from 100 to 575 degrees Fahrenheit allowing you the ability to go from searing a steak to letting food simmer and vice versa in a matter of seconds.

The auto-pan detection will automatically turn off the device after you take the pan off of the burner.

It comes with a programmable stage cooking functionality that offers 100 hours of program memory and performance.

See the NuWave cooktop at Amazon right here.

It also has a built-in digital timer that will keep track of how long you have had your food on the stovetop.

Should you get this Cooktop?

This is probably the best cook-top that I have reviewed and is certainly worth the price. I love the auto shut off feature (all induction cook-tops have this, but this one seems to be the most responsive). However, you can only use it with stainless steel, cast iron, or any other type of steel cook-top.

This model uses 70% less energy than other ranges, and I love how lightweight and portable it is. You can do just about anything with this cooktop: stir-fry, steam, sear, slow cook, barbecue, deep fry, simmer, melt, grill, boil and simmer.

If you’re looking to boil water, find the best hot plates for that cooking job here.

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop, One Size, Black

Cuisinart is renowned for producing high-quality small kitchen appliances and the ICT-60 carries on that tradition. Because it is an induction cooktop, it heats up quickly without heating up the surrounding areas.

This also has an auto-off feature that will shut off the unit once you take the pan off of the burner, but it will wait for 30 seconds rather than ten (for some this may be better). The place that the Cuisinart is going to shine the brightest is that it has 2 burners rather than 1.

Looking to buy the Cuisinart? Find it at Amazon.

The burner on the left has 8 temperature settings while the right side burner has 5 different settings for the temperature.

Because it is induction, you can only use steel based cookware on the surface. This is because induction cook-tops only heat up where the metal is in contact with the surface plate.

Should you get this hot plate?

If you need more than 1 burner, then this is the hot plate for you. It gives you the ability to control each burner separately and simultaneously. If you want something that can reach temperatures above 500 degrees, then it won’t suit your needs, but outside of that, this product is incredible.

The Cuisinart cooktop will give you more versatility, and you can prepare two meals at once. It has the following features;

  • The burner comes with heating controls, ON/OFF switch, and up and down buttons. However, it has multiple heats setting on the left burner with five heat setting on the right burner. You read the heat adjustments through the provision of LED display on each burner.
  • It has two heating surface that provides consistent heat for a quick cook. Also, the surface is made of glass that gives it a sleek look and is easy to clean.
  • With two burners and several heating controls, the product is made for purely induction cookware. It is small in size and is portable for use in dorms, office, and patios
  • It enables you to use 70% less energy and its voltage of 110 volts mean that you can operate it where there’s power source
  • The Cuisinart comes with a pan detection system meaning that it must be used with the induction cookware. It will perfectly work if it’s made of stainless steel or iron.

Looking for a toaster oven for a dorm for extra meal cooking abilities? Find a great one on a budget.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my induction cooktop produce a loud noise when cooking?

There are several reasons for this problem. The fan installed into the cooktop can cause the loud noise. A high capacity cooktop requires a system of cooling, and a fan is an excellent device for this task. During the entire cooking period, the fan runs through and continues even when the cooktop is switched off. Also, the loud noise can be caused by the electrical connections that supply the cooktop. When you change the different modes and functions of the cooking, the power consumption of the cooktop will change. The variations in power intake can cause sudden noise. Besides, the loud noise can be as a result of the interaction between the cookware and cooktop. In case the cooktop has a rough bottom, the process of the power creation would not be active thus forcing the cooktop to operate at higher rating hence producing sound.

Does the user interface cooktop crack?

The surface of the cooktop may crack after several months of use. This happens when you purchase low-quality cookware. The problem may never happen on high-quality cookware manufactured by the top manufacturers. The reputable manufacturers use the high-quality glass to make their cookware that features high duration and thermal resistivity. I would advise you to avoid the use of sharp and abrasive objects while cleaning the cooktop. For extended lasting use of the cookware, use a soft cloth and specialized detergents for cleaning. Also, don’t leave any piece of cooked on food on the surface of the cooktop since it will hinder the heat conduction process.

What is the difference between cooking on an induction cooktop and other cooktops available?

There is no major difference in both of the cooktops, although the underlying principle of the induction cooktop is different from other cooktops. All the cooktop cookware use heat to cook your food and this distinguishes the induction cooktop from other cooktops available because of various modes of setting and power. For example, you can set a given mode to enhance the quality of the nutrients in the meal. The multiple modes of the temperature are designed to make the cooking more appropriate and to save time. New users of the cooktop should pay attention to cooking time and check all cooking modes.

Can the induction cookware cause harm to human health?

An induction cooktop produces a magnetic field, and a lot of concerns have been raised about it. Also, people have raised a lot of questions on the effects of magnetic field on people with heart problems. The cooktop work by creating electromagnetic waves with a low frequency that ranges from 20 kHz to 24 kHz which is very little. Therefore, there would be no serious effect on human health. When compared to other induction cookware, the induction cooktop is safer and energy efficient since it doesn’t emit heat into the environment. Besides, it doesn’t release hazardous gases such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. The cookware comes with a glass-ceramic surface that won’t burn you when cooling down.

What is the difference between the electric cooktop and the induction cooktop?

The electric cooktop has a heating element that electrical current passes through hence providing the heat required to cook. The main demerit of this method is that energy is lost since heat is emitted to the surrounding before going to the food. However, the induction cooktop doesn’t create its heat. It operates by the principle of electromagnetic waves that are generated to provide the heat required to cook your food. The current passes through the installed coil in the cooktop, and then a magnetic field is created on the user interface. If your cooktop is made of ferromagnetic material, there is a generation of Foucault electric current at the bottom of the cookware thus heating it to get food done.

Wrap – Up

Induction cook-tops are easily the safest forms of hot plates that you can get. Not only do they shut themselves off when the pan is no longer on the plate, but they only heat up the area that is in contact with the cookware you are using.

It is true that you are more limited in the types of cookware you can use, but it is entirely worth it. The heating capabilities are unrivaled. If I had to make a choice (which I did) I would choose the NuWave induction cook-top. But if you need two burners, then the Cuisinart is certainly a viable option.

Additional Resources:

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: David McLemore

David learned to cook at an early age after his mother told him that he couldn't live on pizza forever, Dave uses his modest kitchen skills to recreate sorely-missed recipes from home and to occasionally make new favorite ones from places he is visiting.

Leave a Comment