Whether you’re cooking hot pot at the dinner table, short on stove space, or looking for a compact cooktop for your camper, it can be useful to have a portable electric stove. They’re convenient, easy to use, and safer than a gas stove. But there are a ton of options, and finding the right one can be a challenge.
On top of how well the stove works objectively, you also need to consider how well it would fit into your lifestyle. In this guide, we’ll talk about the factors you should consider when choosing a portable electric stove. At the end, we’ve also got a list of our 10 favorites to help you get started on your search.
How to Choose a Portable Electric Stove – Buying Guide
Choosing a stove can make or break your cooking experience, so it’s important to consider what you’d actually use.
Stovetop and Heat Type Determine Safety, Cleaning, Heating Ability, and Portability
The most important consideration when choosing an electric stove is exactly what kind of heating mechanism it uses.
Induction Heat is Fast and Safe
Induction heat is one of the safest and most efficient ways to cook. It produces a magnetic current that heats only your pot or pan and keeps the cooktop cool to the touch. It heats quickly and evenly and is extremely controllable–down to the degree.
However, induction stovetops require pots and pans that are compatible, so if you don’t already have induction-friendly cookware, you would have to invest in that, too. Induction cooktops are made from glass, which is extremely easy to clean, but can be more delicate than other materials.
Infrared is Efficient and Widely Compatible
Infrared stoves use infrared radiation to directly heat your pot without losing energy. They’re efficient, heat up fairly quickly, and can be used with any cookware. The cooktop is generally ceramic, which, like glass, is easy to clean but also a little delicate.
Cast Iron is Durable and Heavy-Duty
Cast iron stoves provide even, long-lasting heat, though they may take a little longer to heat up compared to other types. They’re strong, suitable for any sort of cookware, and can take a bit of a beating (feel free to use your wok on these!).
However, they’re the heaviest of all the cooktops, which may make them less portable. But they’re just as easy to clean as glass or ceramic.
Coil is Lightweight and Cost Effective
Coil stovetops are the original electric stove top. There may be more inconsistency with coil cooktops, and in general, they aren’t very efficient and can be quite difficult to clean. However, they’re light, cheap, and durable, which makes them great for use in the great outdoors.
When Judging Portability, Consider Both Size and Weight
Whether you plan on using your portable electric stove at home, at a party, or on a camping trip, make sure that it fits your space and is small enough for you to carry around. When considering size, don’t just check how much space it occupies but also how much it weighs, especially if you plan on moving it around quite a bit.
Look at Wattage for Energy Consumption and Strength
Depending on how portable you really need your electric stove to be, you may have to weigh the costs and benefits of a higher wattage stove. Portable stovetops range from about 900-1500 watts, while those with dual burners can be as low as 500.
For reference, an installed home stove is normally around 1750 watts. A higher wattage stove will give you power and heat capacity comparable to a typical stovetop, but if you’re using a generator or working off a car battery, it might be better to go with a lower wattage.
A lower wattage doesn’t mean that your food won’t get cooked, but it might take longer, and you may not get the same results.
Choose Between a Single or Double Burner According to Space and Cooking Needs
Portable stoves come fairly evenly split between single and double burners, and while more may seem like better, don’t forget to consider your own needs when making your choice.
Single burners are easy to pack and carry. They’re better if you’re low on space or if you’re just using your portable stove as a supplement to your regular installed stove. However, they do limit you to cooking one thing at a time.
Double burners take up more space but allow you to have two things going at once–if your cookware is small enough to fit side-by-side. They’re also heavier and consume more energy, though some double burners feature one full-powered burner and one lower powered warming burner.
Look for Safety Features for Peace of Mind
Considering these stoves can get to some pretty high temperatures, it’s important to look for built-in safety features to lower the danger factor.
One of the most important features to look for are raised feet to add space between the stove and your counter to promote air flow and keep the stove cool as well as prevent your table from burning. Other features to look for are auto shut-off, overheating protection, and heat level indicator lights.
Top 5 Best Single Burner Portable Electric Stoves to Buy Online
Now that you know what to look for, here are our favorite single burner electric stoves for you to consider.
5. Courant Electric Burner
Lightweight and Easy to Store
This little burner is light, cheap, and heats up quickly. It has a temperature control knob, which, although fairly basic, reliably adjusts the relative temperature. It’s also quite slim and is easy to store.
However, some reviewers note that the markings on the knob may rub off quickly and that the coils are not removable, which can make it hard to clean.
|Size||9.4″ x 9.8″ x 3.4″|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, auto shut-off|
4. Haofy Portable Single Burner
Tiny Stove for Tight Spaces
This tiny electric stove is just 5 inches in diameter, making it great for crowded kitchens or for use directly at the dining table. It has six heat settings and can boil water within five minutes.
However, because of its small profile, you need to be careful about using significantly large cookware as it could become unstable if it overhangs the stove too much.
|Size||5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″|
|Safety Features||Raised feet|
3. Isiler Portable Induction Cooktop
Super Customizable Heating for Any Type of Cooking
This super functional induction stove allows you to choose your wattage from 100 to 1800 watts for all of your cooking needs. You can also control the temperature in 40ºF increments from 140º to 460º.
It’s easy to use, easy to clean, and heats up in a flash. However, it can be quite noisy due to the fan underneath, but as long as you know to expect it, the sound shouldn’t be much of a problem.
|Size||11.6″ x 14.2″ x 2.2″|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, auto shut-off, overheat protection, child lock|
2. Sunavo Electric Hot Plate
High Risers to Keep Your Countertops Cool
This electric stove features a fully stainless steel body, which makes it extremely durable and also easy to clean. It heats up quickly and has a sliding temperature control.
It’s raised fairly high, ensuring that no matter how hot the burner gets, the bottom stays completely cool. If there’s any problems with this stove, it also comes with a 12-month warranty.
|Size||13.7″ x 10.5″ x 4.2″|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, auto shut-off|
1. Cusimax Electric Hot Plate
Heats Quickly and Precisely
This sleek, attractive stove would look just as good at the dining table as it would on your counter. It heats up quickly and features seven heat settings, which self-regulate to keep your dish at the right temperature.
You may notice a slight odor coming from the hot plate the first couple of times you use it, but that’s just due to the cast iron seasoning which dissipates quickly.
|Size||13.5″ x 10.5″ x 4.3″|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, auto shut-off, overheat protection, heat indicator|
Top 5 Best Double Burner Portable Electric Stoves to Buy Online
Need a little more space? Here are some double burner options.
5. Salton Electric Double-Coil Cooking Range
Cheap and Portable
This cost-effective double burner stove is super light and compact, which makes it great for use almost anywhere. The larger coil is 900 watts and can be used for all sorts of cooking, while the smaller one is 600 and is best for warming or reheating.
While it doesn’t have raised feet, it does have a heat barrier pad that prevents your countertops from overheating. However, do note that there is no “click” to turn the knob off, so it’s important to keep this one unplugged whenever it’s not in use.
|Size||17.5″ x 9.5″ x 3.5″|
|Wattage||1500 W (900 and 600)|
|Safety Features||Heat indicator, stay-cool base|
4. Duxtop Portable Electric Cast Iron Cooktop
Sturdy, Full-Powered Stove
This high-powered stovetop features one full-strength burner that’s just as powerful as an installed stove and one warming burner for simmering or cooking more delicate foods.
The stainless steel housing is sturdy, and the entire stove is built to withstand years of use. However, due to the cast iron construction, it can take a while to cool down, so be careful after you’ve finished using it.
|Size||9.8″ x 23.2″ x 4.3″|
|Wattage||1800 W (1300 and 500)|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, heat indicator|
3. Costway Double Induction Cooktop
Precise Control for Less Mobile Cooking
This double induction cooktop features two similarly powered burners that are both powerful enough to boil, water, or fry and can even be powered down to 300 watts each. Both are also capable of reaching precise temperatures between 140-460ºF.
On top of having power control, you can also choose different settings to get the best results. However, it is large and rather heavy, so you probably don’t want to be moving this around too much.
|Size||26″ x 15.7″ x 2.7″|
|Wattage||1800 W (1000 and 800)|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, overheat protection, auto shut-off|
2. Techwood Double Burner
Quick, Even, and Very Hot Heat
Unlike many double burner stoves, this stove features two equally powered burners that can both be used to cook anything. The heat knobs are placed on opposite sides of the stove, which helps make its footprint smaller.
It provides quick, even heat and can get really hot. In fact, you might even want to be prepared to burn the first couple things you cook on it while you get used to the sensitivity of the temperature dial.
|Size||22.6″ x 10.8″ x 4.3″|
|Wattage||1800 W (900 and 900)|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, overheat protection, auto shut-off, heat indicator|
1. Cusimax Portable Infrared Electric Stove
Compact Stovetop with High Heat Capability
This stove features two high-powered burners, both capable of boiling water within just a few minutes. It packs enough heat to sautee or do any sort of normal cooking short of deep frying.
It’s compact and doesn’t take up much room, though the ceramic stovetop might make it a little too delicate for true portability. If you encounter any troubles with it, it also comes with an 18-month warranty.
|Size||20.8″ x 8.9″ x 3″|
|Wattage||1800 W (900 and 900)|
|Safety Features||Raised feet, overheat protection, auto shut-off, heat indicator|
Are Portable Electric Stoves Dangerous?
Even though we touched on safety features above, it can still be a little unsettling for some to be using a highly mobile heat source. Not to worry, they’re absolutely safe to use as long as you take these precautions.
Make sure that you’re only using it on a hard, even surface to prevent it from tipping. Keep loose, flammable objects like towels away from the stove, and be sure to tie back your hair.
Unplug your stove while you’re not using it to prevent accidental switch-ons. Also, because there’s no gas and no way to smell if it’s switched on (but also no need to worry about gas leaks!), always double check whether or not it’s been turned off.
There you have it–a quick and easy guide to finding the perfect portable electric stove for you. Hopefully, you’re that much closer to the cooktop you’re looking for.
By Jacqueline Oshiro
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