Buying a Portable Burner as a 2013 Christmas Present

I wish I had an extra or two portable burners last week when I was preparing for the Thanksgiving feast for my extended family. A portable burner or hot plate is such a handy thing to have in time like holidays when you cook so many dishes at the same time. You might be surprised that people would opt for this kind of burner in lieu of a stovetop one.

Wondering why? There are a few very sound reasons. For example, it takes so little counter space and is portable to move anywhere indoor or out. It saves money on electrical or gas bills, especially with an induction burner. It only heats up the cooking surface, not the surrounding area so it can saves up to 70% of the energy. The heat stops as soon as the cookware is removed. Very easy to clean with limited surface area.

Portable burners come in single or double burner. In a double-burner setting, the large plate is used for cooking whereas the small one is for warming. They are perfect for someone who lives in a compact space, doesn’t have to cook for many people or loves to entertain as a back-up cooktop.

Materials vary from cast-iron, brushed steel to induction cooktop. Expect to pay more for a double burner and induction type. Below are a few models by Waring, Aroma and a few other brands for you to choose from along with the Pros, Cons, Customer Ratings and Price information.

Waring SB30 1300-Watt Portable Single Burner

1. Waring SB30 1300-Watt Portable Single Burner

Pros

  • Cast-iron plate heats up quickly with steady heat retention
  • 5 adjustable temperature settings
  • Brushed stainless steel housing for easy cleaning and durability
  • Non-slip rubber feet to prevent slipping and sliding on the counter top
  • 1300-watt and portable for anywhere
  • Single or double-burner options

Cons

  • When using both burners, the smaller one doesn’t get hot enough.
  • It takes longer to heat up a large pot of water when canning. It’s better to use a regular stovetop burner instead.

Customer Ratings

  • 4.4 /494 reviews

Price

  • Under $50 for single or $100 for double burner

price

Aroma AHP-312 Double Hot Plate Black

2. Aroma AHP-312 Double Hot Plate Black

Pros

  • The hot plate is made from die-cast metal that will last for a long time
  • Separate temp controls for the two burners
  • Low profile for easy cooking and handling
  • Easy to clean and it comes with recipes
  • Very affordable for double-burner hot plates

Cons

  • Inconsistent quality reported by some customers
  • Slow to heat up

Customer Ratings

  • 3.7 /262 reviews

Price

  • Under $25

price

Spt 1300-Watt Induction Cooktop Silver

3. Spt 1300-Watt Induction Cooktop Silver

Pros

  • Micro-induction cooktop that heats up as electricity flow through a coil to create a magnetic field. Heat is only generated to the pan and the food in the pan, not anything else. Very efficient!
  • It’s safer than conventional burners as when the cookware is removed, heat stops so you won’t accidentally burn your hands by touching or cleaning.
  • Only weighs 4.5 pounds so you can move it around inside or out. And it only takes about a square foot of space and perfect for a small kitchen or cabin.
  • Saves money on electrical or gas bills.
  • It is equipped with a timer so you can set the timer to stop cooking at a certain time and resume cooking when you come back.

Cons

  • Need to use cookware compatible for induction cooktops (e.g. steel, cast iron, etc.) which can add up to the initial investment on new cookware.

Customer Ratings

  • 3.8 /68 reviews

Price

  • Under $60

price

NuWave PIC - Precision Induction Cooktop

4. NuWave PIC – Precision Induction Cooktop

Pros

  • Wide range of temperature settings from 100F to 575F adjustable in 10 degree increments.
  • Suitable for various cooking methods such as boil, simmer, deep-fry, saute, steam, sear, slow cook, barbecue, melt & grill
  • Programmable with 100 hours of memory so you can store and recall your favorite cooking procedures
  • Saves up to 70% of energy
  • Automatic shut-off in case you forget
  • Lightweight and portable while offering a 9-inch cooking surface area to accommodate a wide variety of cooking vessels of different sizes

Cons

  • Defective thermostat was reported by some customers.

Customer Ratings

  • 3.3 /186 reviews

Price

  • Under $100

price

Waring Commercial WDB600 Heavy-Duty Commercial Cast-Iron Double Burner

5. Waring Commercial WDB600 Heavy-Duty Commercial Cast-Iron Double Burner

Pros

  • Comes in a double or single burner. The double burner has a large plate (7″) for cooking and a small one (6″) for warming.
  • Independent thermostats for adjusting each burner with indicator lights to alert you when the burner reaches to a set temperature
  • Burner plates are made of cast-iron that withstands wear and tear; also easy for cleaning.

Cons

  • Takes longer to come to temperature

Customer Ratings

  • 4.0 /58 reviews

Price

  • Under $100 for single or $150 for double burner

price

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