If there’s one thing any college freshman is going to miss about home, it’s access to a stocked fridge and a full-size kitchen courtesy of mom and dad. While you might not be able to take care of your college kid once they’re on their own, there are a few small-space cooking hacks you can give them to make their lives a little easier.
One of the easiest tools to add to a dorm room for delicious cuisine all year long is a hot plate. These devices provide electric burners, so your student can cook full meals in their teeny tiny dorm room. And there’s no need to worry, with no open flames and a variety of built-in safety features, these hot plates are perfectly safe. Just don’t forget to send them with a good pot and pan as well as a cookbook written with students in mind.
Scroll through the list below and discover the nine best hot plates for creating quick meals à la dorm room.
1. SUNAVO Hot Plate Single Burner
The SUNAVO Hot Plate Single Burner is compatible with a range of different cookware. From woks and frying pans to glass and aluminum pans, this 1,500W device provides all the power you could want for creating your favorite dishes. The precise dial allows you to choose the exact cooking temperature you want while the stainless steel surface makes your post cooking cleanup easy. In addition, the non-slip feet and meter-long power cable provide plenty of flexibility for your kitchen setup.
2. Courant Electric Burner
The Courant Electric Burner is available in both one and two-burner setups. It’s ideal for camping, offices, man caves and student digs. It also works well as an extra stove in the kitchen when it’s needed. The thermostat control knob ensures your burner is the temperature you want, while the indicator light lets you know when power is running through the burner. In addition, the 6.1-inch plate provides plenty of space for all kinds of cookware, including woks and frying pans. There’s also rubber feet to help keep your burner steady when in use.
3. OVENTE Electric Infrared Burner
With its high-quality crystallite glass, metal housing and precise temperature control dial, the OVENTE Electric Infrared Burner ticks all the boxes for your hot plate needs. It also weighs only three pounds and sports a slimline design, making it easy to transport and store when it’s not in use. The 1,000W device uses advanced infrared technology to provide even heating and sports non-slip rubber feet to prevent any unwanted shifting during use.
4. Better Chef Double Burner
BEST DOUBLE BURNER OPTION
If you have friends to feed in the dorm or are using this hot plate as a stove for a smaller apartment, having a double burner is a good idea. This hot plate will take up more space, but it will also be more efficient in cooking your meals. The Better Chef Double Burner boasts 1,500W of power with an adjustable heating control and a safety thermal shutoff.
5. Cusimax Electric Countertop Burner
EASIEST TO CLEAN
Make everything from scrambled eggs to stir-fry with seven heat settings and 1500W of power. The simple, straightforward design of the Cusimax Electric Countertop Burner accommodates all types of cookware, from glass to aluminum pots and pans. Plus, this burner’s non-slip feet means it’s safe to use on a flat surface without worry of knocking a hot pan around. And thanks to its stainless steal housing, this hot plate is a dream to clean.
6. Duxtop Portable Electric Cast Iron Cooktop
The Duxtop Portable Electric Cast Iron Cooktop has one of the largest burner-to-device-footprint ratios on our list. This hot plate boasts a heating pad that’s 7.5 inches in diameter yet the entire device is only 13.5 inches long. In addition, the durable cast iron plate and the brushed stainless steel housing were built to last. It wouldn’t be a surprise if this hot plate was used throughout your four years at college and well beyond. And thanks to its convenient carrying handles, this hot plate is a breeze to transport from dorm to RV for a camping trip.
7. Cuisinart Cast-Iron Burner
BEST CAST-IRON OPTION
This is the stuff of competitive cooking shows. Sturdy cast iron powers up to high heat fast, while six settings allow for precise temperature control. The Cuisinart Cast-Iron Burner is a durable appliance that may wind up in use long after the dorm days are over.
8. Techwood Hot Plate
BEST INFRARED OPTION
With heatproof handles for holding and moving the hot plate, the Techwood Hot Plate is the easy choice for the safety minded. This device uses an attractive stainless steel design as well as a crystallite glass heating pad for compact, flat storage when it’s not in use. The infrared cooktop is powered by an impressive 1200W to heat up food faster than conventional stoves.
9. Secura Induction Cooktop
This induction cooktop doesn’t take up much space, but still packs powerful output — up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit — for meals that rival your own home-cooked goodness. Best of all, its slim design and light weight means it can be stored pretty much anywhere when not in use. To splurge on the best, invest in the Secura Induction Cooktop.