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Whether you’re an RV camper or a college dorm dweller, these small cooktops will turn your space into a full-powered kitchen. Black Glass Ceramic Cookware
What do campers, RV owners, cooking YouTubers, Tokyo capsule apartment renters, and college dorm room dwellers have in common? It all depends, of course, but it’s likely that all could benefit from owning a small, portable electric burner.
These easy-to-use gadgets are essential for those living in small spaces, and perfect for those who may not have access to a full-size stovetop in their living space. Electric burners are also a vital tool for those who camp or anyone who may need a better camera angle when filming those home cooking videos for their YouTube channel. A solid electric burner provides enough wattage to sauté, boil, and fry on the go, and is lightweight for easy storage when not in use.
Whether you’re looking for an electric burner for your next adventure or just want to hook up a college student with the tools they'll need to make more than instant ramen, we’ve rounded up the best electric burners money can buy below.
Portability aside, not all electric burners are built the same. Here’s what you should keep in mind when shopping for the right portable burner for you.
Generally speaking, the more wattage an electric burner can output, the more powerful it is as a cooking surface. If you’re looking for more power to cook with, consider grabbing an electric burner with higher wattage. You may have to shell out more money for the extra power.
Keep in mind that if you’re reaching for an electric burner with two cooking surfaces, that wattage will be split up between each plate. An electric burner that says it can provide up to 1,800 watts of power, for example, may only offer up to 1,000 watts of power on one burner and 800 on the other while in use. In order to use up to 1,800 watts in that double burner, you’ll need to use one hot plate at a time.
Every electric burner is made using different types of materials and there are various surface types to choose from, with the performance of each model depending on the type of heat its burners use. Surface options should be weighed when considering cleanliness and longevity. The cheapest electric burners use cast-iron coils to heat pots and pants. These are usually placed inside recessed surfaces just over drip trays. These are prone to messes, take longer to heat up than ceramic cooktops, and are fairly hard to clean.
Shelling out a little more money means you’ll be able to get a smooth cooktop—usually one made of glass ceramic. These distribute heat more evenly and are easier to clean and wipe down than coils. Some of these surfaces are prone to scratches and stains, however.
Electric burners use induction or infrared electricity to heat up their surfaces. Hot plates and electric burners that use coils use electricity to heat them up, transferring heat to the surface of the coil through infrared energy. Coils—and glass or ceramic cooking surfaces with coils underneath them—usually rely on infrared energy. They consume more energy than the alternative (induction), and glow red-hot when ready. They take more time to heat up to your desired temperature, though coils and infrared heat can transfer heat directly to any cookware you may have in your kitchen, from cast-iron pans to ceramic-bottomed Dutch ovens.
On the other hand, induction stovetops are more energy-efficient and heat up quicker than infrared. They also distribute that heat more efficiently, passing heat from underneath their tops to the ceramic surface. However, induction cooking surfaces require specific cookware to use. Induction hot plates transfer heat electromagnetically, which means any stainless steel and magnetic bottom cookware.
To find the best electric burners on the market, we searched the internet for the bestsellers and top-recommended products across Amazon. We factored in the opinions and hands-on testing of publications like The Spruce Eats and Wirecutter, and even referred to our own guide on the subject.
In addition to critical and professional reviews, we also consulted reviews from users who’ve had hands-on use with these burners, referring to hundreds of user reviews across Amazon. Not a single electric burner on this list has less than a 4- out of 5-star average rating. These are the best of the best, highly rated for safety, heat efficiency, durability, and portability.
Looking for more kitchen and cooking goodies? Check out our picks for the best chef knives, outdoor pizza ovens, and cast-iron skillets.
For a single hot plate that can provide up to 1,300 watts of power, this machine is fairly impressive—especially at its price. The Cuisinart CB-30P1 burner has some solid power behind it, and a six-setting temperature control knob that can keep food warm or boil water in a jiffy. Its flat plate design makes cleaning it a cinch, and bright lights indicate when it’s ready for use.
This single burner is as barebones and reliable as it gets without sacrificing power or heat distribution. It also seems to be a popular electric burner for those who pressure can at home, plus its infrared heat element means it’s compatible with most cookware. Its only downfall is its 7-inch burner, which may be too small for a 10- or 12-inch pan.
Here’s a double-burner that heats up quickly with the turn of a few knobs. This infrared device has two cooking burners, with one that emits 600 watts, and the other 900, measuring 5 and 6.5 inches, respectively.
Adjusting the temperature on each burner is easy, thanks to a knob that can either keep food warm or at a roiling boil, plus its nonskid feet ensure the burner won’t slide around while in use. The maximum cookware size this burner can accommodate is up to 9.5 inches.
Keep in mind, however, these dual cast-iron cooking plates can’t fold, so if you’re not in a space that can accommodate a 20-inch appliance, this model may be too big for you.
With a beautiful oval ceramic glass surface, touch buttons, and an LED display, Cusimax’s single hot plate is not only one of the most elegant-looking on this list, but it’s also one of the strongest.
This 1,500-watt infrared stove supports pots and pants up to 7.9 inches wide and features a temperature-regulated surface that protects it from overheating. It also has an automatic safety shut-off if left idle for too long, which means worrying if you’ve turned it off or not after leaving the house is a thing of the past.
Its flat-top surface makes it easy to wipe clean compared to the coil and cast-iron options. This burner also has a timer and plenty of display signals to show temperatures and indicate when the surface is hot.
This portable stovetop from Amazon Basics is a reliable induction burner that can heat food with 200 to 1,800 watts of power. Instead of relying on a knob, its temperature controls operate with the touch of a few buttons, which makes setting specific temperatures easy. It also has a timer and pause button, plus an LCD display to better show how you’re using your little burner.
Safety features like a child lock and overheat protection make this a smart purchase, though some reviewers say it’s not as durable as they’d like it to be. While that glass panel cooktop makes for easy cleanup, be wary of scuffing and damage through use.
Keep in mind that this product, like all induction cooktops, only works with induction cookware such as cast aluminum, enameled iron or steel, cast iron, or magnetic-bottom stainless steel.
Ideal for the smallest of spaces and electric burner budgets, this single plate is 5 inches long, while the entire squarish unit measures roughly 9 inches. It’s barebones and operates with a knob, with a single light indicating when it’s turned on, and nonslip rubber feet that prevent this device from moving while in use.
This burner is great for those looking for one that doesn’t take much space and is easy to move, especially at just under 2 pounds. The coil, however, makes it slightly annoying to clean, and you’ll have to tilt it upward to wipe underneath the drip tray.
Many reviewers say this little unit is terrific for its price, though they aren’t a fan of how quickly it accumulates messes while cooking.
You don’t have to drop a ton of cash on a double-burner for your home or RV—this one is at a reasonable price and provides up to 1,700 watts when you need it. This electric burner won’t warp or rust between uses, and a cast-iron surface means cleaning it only requires a wipe from a damp towel. One plate is 7.25 inches, the other is 6.10 inches, and both heat up quickly for use with pots and pans made of most common materials—magnetic bottoms included.
The cooktop is affordable, though some reviewers say each hot plate surface is slightly uneven, which can make for a frustrating cooking experience. Plus, the power cord is somewhat short, and some say the hot plates are tough to clean.
Looking for a professional burner that you can rely on? This electric stove is quick and efficient, plus it’s lightweight for easy handling.
Made with stainless steel for durability and an easy cleaning surface, this portable stovetop has all the smart features you need for cooking like a professional at home: a temperature level setting, a touch screen panel with a large, easy-to-read display, a seven-blade fan toward its back that dissipates heat, and a glass cooktop that won’t burn on food.
Like all induction stovetops, you’ll need to use a magnetic bottom pot or pan with this burner, and Duxtop recommends one with a minimum diameter of 5 inches. Plenty of Amazon reviewers say this burner is terrific and love that it’s elevated for a slightly higher cooking surface. Some also say it’s a great cooktop to use commercially.
However, a word to the wise: This electric burner requires magnetic-bottom cookware to work properly.
Here’s a commercial-grade induction cooktop for those wanting an upgrade to the typical burner. This electric surface adjusts from power levels of 200 to 1,800 watts and operates with touch-sensitive buttons. Its LCD display shows how much heat is being produced, while a timer can be set from 1 minute to 3 hours to ensure a controlled cooking environment. Additionally, safety features like an auto shut-off function will turn the burner off when the pan sensor detects nothing is on its surface.
This burner is also covered by an 18-month warranty should anything become defective, and a scratch-resistant glass surface prevents the stove from looking messy or chipped after a cleanup. It’s best suited for cookware between 4.7 to 11.8 inches made of enameled cast iron, stainless steel, or any magnetic-bottomed pot or pan.
This double burner features two independent heating zones, with one providing up to 1,800 watts of power and the other 1000. This double burner has some serious power and can easily fry, steam, and sauté. It’s also got plenty of safety features, like a child safety lock and a power-sharing feature to avoid electrical overload.
With a touchscreen panel and 20 preset power levels, this double range cooker is compatible with cast iron, iron, magnetic steel, enameled iron, and stainless steel pots and pats. It also has a 10-hour timer. It may be a little heavy, however, at 12 pounds, so if you don't need a professional-styled burner for work, you may want to reconsider.
Here’s an electric griddle that’s a solid choice for those who’d rather cook directly on the surface of their electric burner. This Hamilton Beach griddle is a three-in-one package and comes with three double-sided, dishwasher-safe plates. The plates are used to divide the cooking surface depending on what you’d like to prepare, with each plate presenting one side for grilling and another for use as a griddle.
The surface itself is nonstick, which makes it easy to wipe clean, plus with dishwasher-safe plates and a grease tray, keeping the griddle debris-free is easy. Dual control knobs allow you to adjust the temperature on both sides of the griddle, which makes cooking a large meal a cinch.
Black Glass Ceramic Cookware Keep in mind, though, that some reviewers say this product takes a long time to heat up, plus an uneven distribution of heat may frustrate some users.