While looking for alternative cookers to gas or any kind of flame-based ones, electric cookers are everyone’s go-to. But within electric cooktops, there is an evergoing debate between hot plates and induction cookers.
So, which is which? Which one is better designed? What technology, controllability, compatibility, and safety are in both of them? and most importantly, which one is better value for money?
Well, in today’s article, we’ve answered every question in your mind about hot plate vs induction cooker. Take a cup of coffee, sit back and keep reading.
Hot Plate: What is It?
Hot plates are the electric cooking appliance that uses thermal conduction/infrared as a way of cooking.
As a cooktop, there is usually a cast iron or ceramic surface and which has a metal coil under it. When electricity passes through the metal coil, it heats up the coil because of its resistance. And this heat is conducted to your cooking pot through the ceramic/metal surface.
Note that, the cooking pot has to be in direct touch with the cooktop. Otherwise, the heating efficiency will be pretty low.
Another interesting factor is, cast iron cooktops can retain heat in them. So it can keep your food warm for 1-2 hours even when it’s not turned on. This is one of the reasons why hot plates are called ‘hot’ plates. There are cordless hot plates which is mainly used for this purpose, not for cooking/preparing foods.
Anyways, here’s a couple of examples of electric hot plates-
- Cast Iron Coooktup: CUSIMAX Double Burner Hot Plate’s
- Ceramic Cooktop: Techwood Double Infrared Ceramic Hot Plate
- Cordless: Medium Electric Hot Plate by Salton
Induction Cooker: What is It?
Induction cookers are electric cookware that uses an electromagnetic field to cook food, without touching the ferromagnetic cooking pot.
These cooktops have a glass or ceramic glass surface under which there is a copper wire coil. When electricity passes through the copper coil, it creates an instant electromagnetic flux directed to the cooking pot. This flux induces an eddy current in the cooking pot. And when this ‘eddy current’ flows through the food, it creates resistance and heat. The reason is, food is not that great of an electricity conductor.
When the power is cut off, the electricity stops and so do both electromagnetic flux and eddy current. As a result, the heating stops very quickly. Hence, it doesn’t have any heat-retaining feature in it.
Here’s a couple of induction cookers for your reference-
- Glass Cooktop: Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop
- Ceramic Cooktop: NutriChef Double Induction Cooktop
13 comparisons Between Hot Plate Vs Induction Cooker
Before we go into a detailed and handy breakdown, let’s have a quick look at the comparison summary between these two electric cookers-
|Comparing Factor||Hot Plate||Induction Cooker||Winner|
|Design & Build||Heavy and Complex||Light and Convenient||Induction Cooker|
|Cooking Diversity||Frying, Boiling, Cooking, Warming||Frying, Boiling, Cooking||Tie|
|Heat Retention||Yes||No||Hot Plate|
|Control Over Cooking||Analog||Digital||Induction Cooker|
|Temperature Control||3-5 modes||8-12 modes||Induction Cooker|
|Cooking Modes||None||Watts and Temperature||Induction Cooker|
|Cooking Efficiency||Less||More||Induction Cooker|
|Energy Consumption||Less||More||Hot Plate|
|Energy Efficiency||Less||More||Induction Cooker|
|Cookware Compatibility||All Metal, Ceramic, etc||Only ferromagnetic metals||Hot Plate|
|Price||Better Value||Better Features||Tie|
|Our Pick||CUSIMAX 1500W Electric Hot Plate||Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop||N/A|
Design, Build, and Technology
A hotplate’s design is much more rudimentary than an induction cooker. The tech of a hot plate is a value for money, but not fast and effective enough as induction cooktops.
Let’s talk about the design first-
Hot plates usually comes with a knob for temperature control. And, the cooking plate will be flat and raised from the base. The body is made of stainless steel, where the burner is made of ceramic/ceramic glass. In together, it’s a pretty heavy device to transport.
The base is cool to touch. Only the cooking plate gets heated up. There are basic heat settings and safety measures integrated in hot plates as well.
On the flip side, an induction cooker has a much more sophisticated and cleaner-looking design. The cooking plate is integrated within the base. It is one whole flat pane. Because of the very little presence of metal, the weight is pretty light.
Towards the front of the base, there’s usually a control panel for heating and temperature control that offers a diverse range of models, temperature settings, auto shut-off features etc.
A similarity is, both hot plates and induction cookers offer single burner and dual burner cooktops.
Moving on, let’s talk the technology now-
You’ve already read how the ‘thermal conduction’ of hot plate and ‘electromagnetic induction’ of induction cookers work. With the ceramic/metal cooktop of hot plates, the purpose is to keep the food warm even after the cooker is turned off. For remote/outdoor uses, this serves significantly to the users. When it comes to cooking-only use, the tech of induction cooker is more feasible, faster, and safer.
Hence, it’s tough to directly put one of these cookers ahead of another, as long as the appetite of the tech is concerned.
Design & Build Winner: Induction Cooker
Tech Winner: Tie
Cooking Factors: Diversity, Control, and Efficiency
For most of us, this is what mostly we look forward for while comparing two kinds of cooktops. And we’ll break down each of cooking diversity, control over cooking and cooking efficiency in this segment.
Both hot plate and induction cooktop offer similar range of cooking diversity. But, if we get crucial, a hotplate might have better chances of getting heavier loads of cooking. Also, when it’s about precision of cooking, induction cookers will be ahead of the hot plates.
To be clear, you can get all of the cooking chores done in both hot plate and induction-
- Boiling water
- Sauce cooking
Hence, it’s not a clear win for any of these cookers if you talk about cooking. But hot plates, especially those which are portable, have special ability to keep food warm for 1-2 hours. And because of this use, many prefer hot plates to serve food on. Check out the other uses of hot plates here.
Control Over Cooking
When it comes to controlling the way you’re cooking, induction cookers offer more choices. In terms of cooking modes, wattage control, temperature control, and cooking time, induction cooktops offer more control overcooking.
To compare this ground, let’s bring on two single-burner models head to head. One is a induction cooker named Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop, and another is a hot plate called Elite Gourmet Electric Hot Plat.
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop 10 temperature settings. This provides 10 different choices from 140°F-460°F temperature and 200W-1800W wattage. On the other hand, the CUSIMAX Electric Hot Plate offers only three temperature controls- Low, Med, and Hi. The temperature and watt are not exactly mentioned.
On the Duxttop induction cooker, you’ll have two modes of control- Power control(watts), and temperature control(°F). With power control, you can boil water, cook sauce, and control how fast the process of cooking. With temperature control mode is ideal for frying and to avoid burning or overheating. On the flipside, the CUSIMAX Electric Hot Plate has no such modes to offer.
Winner: Induction Cooker
Because of the design and technology, induction cookers offer more efficiency than electric hot plates.
The reason is, the copper coil in the induction cooker creates magnetic flux that directly heats up the food. On the other hand, the hot plates coil heats up the ceramic plate over it first, which conveys heat to the cooking pot, and then the food gets the heat.
Plus, because of the higher wattage of induction cookers, the intensity of the heat is also higher, making it faster and more effective cooker.
To portray this difference, have a look at how much each of these cookers is taking to heat up the same amount of water. The water is both of the cases, were in room temperature and had been taken to the boiling temperature of 100°C. Hot pate is taking 4 minutes 26 seconds, where an induction cooker is taking only 3 minutes 29 seconds. The induction burner is about a minute faster when it comes to boil the same amount of water.
Winner: Induction Cooker
Energy Consumption and Efficiency
Hot plates consumes less energy in terms of kWh than induction cookers. But induction cookers are much more energy-efficient than hot plates.
On average, hotplates take upwards of 1200 watts of energy to run functionally. Electric cooktops are going to take a whole to heat up, which means while the heating is going on, you will have to keep the electric supply on. Plus, some heat escapes around the perimeter of the cooker, in case the cooker size is less than the burner.
If you were to run the electric hotplate for about an hour each day, your monthly energy consumption would be:
1200/1000 = 1.2 kW
1.2 * 1 * 30 = 36 kWh
On the other hand, induction burners on average takes upwards of 1800 watts, which is way higher than hot plate wattage. So, using induction for an equal amount of time would give you a monthly consumption of 54kWh.
So it sounds like induction burners will cost you more energy bills. But surprisingly, it won’t.
The catch is about the energy efficiency. You don’t actually have to use an induction cooker for equal amount of time to a hot plate.
Induction burners are about 20-30% more efficient than hot plates. This is because there is no loss of heat in between the coil and the food. And the heat doesn’t need to travel through the cooktop material and the cooker.
Hence, the more wattage of induction cooker induces faster the heating. And, generally, inductions heat up almost instantly. So, by using induction, you can reduce your run time, and energy consumption by almost half of what a hot plate needs.
Winner: Induction Cookers.
Which is Easier to Clean?
Induction cooktops are way easier to clean compared to hot plates.
There are two reasons behind it-
First of all, if it’s about cooking food, of course, there will be spilled food on the hob. As electromagnetic heat doesn’t actually heat the cooktop of an induction cooker, the spilled food won’t get burnt. As hard as cleaning burnt food is, you don’t need to undergo those hectic cleaning sessions after every cooking session. But cleaning them once in a few sessions is recommended using a regular cookware cleaner like Cerama Bryte.
On the other hand, a hot plate has to heat up the cooktop to convey heat to your cooking pot. So, the spilled food will burn and stuck on the surface. Hence, cleaning has to be done more often and with a Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner.
Moving on to the second factor- it’s about the surface you have to clean.
induction cooktops are made of glass, which is easier and smoother to clean. But hot plates usually come with ceramic or cast iron. And both of them are harder to clean. Especially hot plates that directly utilize the heating element as cooktop, are the hardest.
Winner: Induction Cooker.
When it comes to which cooker is compatible with what kind of cookware, hot plate stays way ahead of induction cookers.
The reason is, as an induction cooker transfers heat through electromagnetic waves, it needs cookers that are compatible with such magnetic hobs. Simply put, if your cookware is something like copper or aluminum that doesn’t attract to magnet, you can’t use it on a induction cooker.
Hot plates on the other hand, can cook food on any metal cooker on a hot plate. All it needs to be able is, transfer heat from the hob to the food. And any metal can do that. Steel, ceramic, aluminum, copper, etc everything checks that box.
Winner: Hot Plate.
A hotplate is comparatively cheaper than an induction. They are priced at and under $50. Double burners might cost a bit more, For an example, the single burner of’ CUSIMAX Electric Hot Plate costs about $40 and the double burner of the model costs about $70.
Youc an check out our best recommendations of hot plates that are good for the money.
Inductions are slightly more pricey. Good inductions start at around $50-$70 and can go up to several hundred dollars. The higher controls, precisions, and more convenient designs you’ll ask for, the higher will be the price.
For example, the NutriChef induction cooker of single burner costs about $70, and the double burner costs around $180.
Winner: Hot Plate(for value), Induction Cooker(for features)
Hot Plate vs Induction Cooker: Which is For Whom?
We’re sure that you’re already overwhelmed with so many ways to compare between these two cookers in concern. But to help you with deciding between them, we’ve put together a check box.
Go for a hot plate if you need-
- Heat retention capability to keep food hot.
- Less energy consumption.
- More cookware compatibility.
- Less cost of the cooker.
Go for an induction cooker if you need-
- Better design, heating technology, and build quality.
- More control on cooking.
- Finer control on temperature.
- Efficiency cooking time and energy.
- Better child safety.
Frequently Asked Question
Is Induction Cooking Safe?
Yes. In fact, induction is by far the safest way of cooking.
Are hot plates good for cooking?
Yes, they are. But they are older technology. There are better ways of cooking out there.
Can you boil on a hot plate?
Yes, you can boil things on a hot plate. It will just take some time for it to get to the boiling point as hot plates take longer to heat up.
Do hot plates use a lot of electricity?
Usually, no. They take about an average amount of electricity as other kitchen appliances.
Can you use a paper towel on the induction cooktop?
Yes, you can. Just make sure to turn off the power supply and wait for the plate to cool down before you go in with a paper towel.
If you are still with us, thank you so much. This was an incredibly interesting piece to work on. We hope you had just as much fun as we did. This article will let you in on all the things you should know before making the purchase. Let us know which one you decided to buy between a hot plate vs induction cooker.