Last updated: August 10, 2021

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A hotplate allows you to cook a hot meal anywhere. It is relatively small and handy, so it is easy to carry around. It is a very popular companion, especially for camping and travelling. Hot plates differ mainly in the type of heating. In addition to a gas hob, you will also find the classic electric hob, as well as induction and infrared hobs. Although a mobile hob does not replace a cooker in an equipped kitchen, it always offers you a cooking opportunity.

In our large hot plate test 2021 we want to help you find the perfect hot plate for you. Whether heated with gas, induction or infrared, we have compared the most popular hot plates for you. We want to make your purchase decision as easy as possible.




Summary

  • A hot plate is a small kitchen appliance that is available either as a single or double hot plate. It is usually small and handy so that it can be taken anywhere.
  • It is particularly popular for camping, in single-person households or at parties to keep food warm.
  • Electric hotplates are powered by electricity and consume different amounts of energy depending on the type. Gas hotplates, on the other hand, do not require electricity, but do rely on a gas supply.

The Best Hotplate: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Hotplate

What is a hotplate?

A hotplate is a kitchen appliance that can generate heat and is therefore suitable for preparing food. A hot plate is usually a single or double hot plate that is mobile and portable.

In contrast, a hob is permanently installed in the kitchen and consists of several individual hot plates in different sizes.

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Gas hobs in particular are very popular as single hot plates because they work without electricity. (Picture source: pixabay.com / Steve Buissinne)

Who is a hotplate suitable for?

A hot plate can be used for many different purposes.

A hot plate is perfect for travelling because it is small and handy.

One of the most common uses of the hot plate is for camping. Single hot plates are often also part of a small single flat. They take up hardly any space and are easy to store away again after use.

A hot plate also comes in handy if you are cooking a more elaborate dinner for friends or family. In addition to a cooker, it can be used for a sauce pot or to keep something warm.

How much does a hotplate cost?

Hot plates come in different price categories, depending on the type and size. Single hot plates are of course cheaper than double hot plates. In general, however, you should not only think about the purchase costs. The running costs in the form of electricity costs or the gas cartridge should also be considered when you decide on a model. We have compiled a small overview of how much the different types of single hot plates cost.

Type of hot plate Average price
Electric hot plate 20-40 euros
Hot plate with infrared 40-60 euros
Hot plate with induction 20-50 euros
Hot plate with gas 25-50 euros

What are the alternatives to a hotplate?

The only real alternative to a hotplate is a hob. You can easily cook more elaborate dishes on an electric or gas hob because they have several hot plates.

Cooktops often have several functions and are permanently installed in the kitchen. However, they are also more expensive and cannot be transported.

If you don't necessarily need a hob, a microwave is often a good option. You can heat food and there are many cup dishes you can prepare in it. However, the possibilities are limited and you cannot cook a pot of noodles in it, for example.

What Types of Hotplates are there and which is the right one for you?

If you decide to buy a hotplate, you can choose between four different types:

  • Electric hotplate
  • Hot plate with infrared
  • Induction hotplate
  • Hot plate with gas

All these types of hotplates work in different ways and have different features. While the electric hotplate, infrared hotplate and induction hotplate require an electricity connection, the gas hotplate works without one, but you need a gas supply.

To make your decision easier, we have compiled an overview of the different types and compared their advantages and disadvantages.

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Delicious dishes can also be cooked with just one hot plate. (Image source: unsplash.com / Egor Kunovsky)

What distinguishes an electric hotplate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The classic hot plate is the electric hot plate, which is often also called a mass hot plate. These cast-iron hot plates are heated from below by a heating coil. This enables it to reach a high heat after some time and also to store it for a long time.

However, this also increases the risk of burns, as the plate takes a long time to cool down. Cast iron is also a difficult material to clean, especially if something is burnt on. On the other hand, cast iron scores points for its durability and robustness.

Advantages
  • Durable
  • Robust
  • Cheap
Disadvantages
  • Requires a power connection
  • Takes longer to heat up
  • Greater risk of burns
  • Higher energy consumption

What are the features of an infrared hotplate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

An infrared hotplate is often also called a halogen hotplate. The heating system works via infrared radiation. This is transmitted to the surface, which is made of glass ceramic.

Glass ceramic and Ceran mean the same thing. While Ceran is merely a brand name, glass ceramic is the general material designation.

The clear advantage is that it heats up quickly and also has a low residual heat. It also consumes less energy than the classic electric hotplate.

Since it is a hotplate made of high-quality materials, the price is correspondingly higher. Compared to the induction plate, it also consumes even more energy.

Advantages
  • Fast heating
  • Low residual heat
  • Low energy consumption
Disadvantages
  • Requires a power connection
  • More expensive than other types
  • Higher energy consumption than induction plate

What are the features of an induction hotplate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Hot plates with induction are equipped with very modern technology. They heat very quickly, react to the smallest temperature changes and have a low residual heat. In addition, they also require significantly less energy than other hotplates.

The catch, however, is that they can only be used with certain cookware. The pots and pans must be magnetic, otherwise induction will not work.

Advantages
  • Very fast heating
  • Very precise temperature regulation
  • Very low energy consumption
Disadvantages
  • Requires a power connection
  • Can only be used in combination with suitable pots
  • More expensive than other types

What are the characteristics of a gas hotplate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Gas hotplates are ideal for camping because they work independently of the electricity grid.

Mobile hot plates with gas are operated with liquid gas that comes from a bottle or cartridge. This makes it ideal as a camping cooker when there is no electricity connection. They also work reliably and are very robustly built.

To operate, simply open the gas bottle and light it with a lighter or match.

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Camping cookers only need a gas supply, then you can cook with them anywhere. (Image source: unsplash.com / Sage Friedman)

You should be especially careful when using them because you are working with an open fire. Also, because gas could escape unintentionally, the use of gas cookers is often only allowed outdoors.

Advantages
  • Independent of the mains
  • Heats quickly
  • Works reliably and is robust
Disadvantages
  • You need gas for it
  • Often only suitable for outdoor use

Buying Criteria: You can compare and evaluate Hotplates based on these Factors

Performance

Power is a very important factor when buying an electric appliance. While some smaller hotplates only have around 800 watts, larger ones can have over 2,200 watts of power.

The higher the wattage of a hotplate, the faster it heats up.

In addition, hotplates consume different amounts of electricity depending on the type. The conventional electric hotplate consumes by far the most electricity. In comparison, a glass ceramic hotplate can save around 20 % of the electricity consumption. With an induction hotplate, consumption is even 30 % to 40 % lower.

Therefore, before you buy one, you should consider whether it might not be worth investing in a more expensive model and thus saving on electricity costs.

Size

The size of the hotplate can be especially important if you plan to use it for travelling or camping. You should then pay attention to compact dimensions and weight.

However, when it comes directly to use, the diameter of the hot plate plays a role so that pots and pans fit optimally later. We have put together a small overview of the different diameters with which you can buy hot plates.

  • Small hotplate: 10-16 cm
  • Medium hotplate: 16-24 cm
  • Large hotplate: 24-28 cm

Small hot plates are particularly suitable for an espresso maker when camping, for example. You should think about a large hot plate if you want to serve a lot of people with hot food at a party.

Automatic switch-off

The automatic switch-off is a particularly important function of a hotplate, as it ensures your safety.

Appliances that are equipped with it recognise when the pot has been heating for too long, when it reaches too high a temperature or when there has not been a pot on the surface for a long time. The hotplate then switches off automatically and prevents accidents.

Also make sure that the hotplate has feet. This way, the plate can also be sufficiently ventilated from below and overheating is avoided.

Timer function

A special gadget of some hotplates is an integrated timer. This allows you to keep the plate warm for a certain time, for example, before it switches off after the time has elapsed.

This is particularly practical if you want to simmer a stew for several hours.

Facts worth knowing about Hotplates

What should I look out for when using a hotplate?

Actually, using a hotplate is not particularly difficult. Nevertheless, we have a few tips for you.

  • Have an extension cable at hand. Many mobile hot plates are only equipped with a very short cable. So if you are not cooking right next to a socket or perhaps using the hotplate in the garden, an extension cable will make cooking much easier.
  • Make sure there is sufficient ventilation. If you use a hotplate indoors, make sure the room is well ventilated. Fixed hotplates usually have an extractor fan installed, but mobile hotplates do not.
  • Be careful. Depending on the hotplate, you may be cooking over an open fire or the material around the hotplate may become very hot. Therefore, do not leave any flammable objects nearby and be careful not to burn yourself.

How do I clean a hotplate properly?

Depending on the type of hotplate, special methods are suitable or you have to pay attention to certain things if you want to clean your hotplate correctly. In general, you should always let the hotplate cool down first so that you don't burn yourself. Here is a brief overview of what works best for the different materials on hotplates.

Hotplate material Proper cleaning
Cast iron hotplate Wipe off the coarse dirt with a cloth. If something is burnt in, let it soak in warm water for a while. With cast iron, you must take special care to dry the plate well. Otherwise rust can easily form.
Cooking plate made of glass ceramic/ceran glass ceramic is a very sensitive material. You should first clean the surface gently with a damp cloth. There are special ceramic scrapers for burnt-on food that do not scratch the surface.
Gas hob it is also best to remove dirt immediately after use. If a cloth and warm water are not enough, a small drop of washing-up liquid can help.

Image source: Wattanakasemsakul/ 123rf.com

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