Here at the Strategist, we like to think of ourselves as crazy (in the good way) about the stuff we buy, but as much as we’d like to, we can’t try everything. Which is why we have People’s Choice, in which we find the best-reviewed (that’s four-to-five-star reviews and lots of ’em) products and single out the most worthwhile.
Previously, we’ve looked into the cult of the Instant Pot, a foolproof Zojirushi rice cooker, and Amazon reviewer-approved microwaves and slow cookers. But we have yet to look into the world of infrared-powered electric burners, a far cry from the old-fashioned hot plates that litter freshmen dorm rooms. Here, we’re exploring the best electric burners currently available on Amazon. (Note that reviews have been edited for length and clarity.)
Best cast-iron electric burner
“When my $3,500 induction range cooktop quit after a few months, I refused to replace the whole thing. Instead, I bought hot plates, including this Cuisinart. It has worked very well. I know, because I cook on it everyday for a minimum of three people. I enjoy cooking and need functional equipment. In general, I was surprised to find I prefer the flexibility hot plates offer: You can move them anywhere for a party — for instance, closer to the drinks area or right onto the buffet table. In decades of serious cooking I finally have the ideal cooking setup, for me.”
Best electric burner with precise temperature settings
“We were cooking chili and I decided to use this induction cooktop in combination with our Dutch oven. It’s a slow-cooking meal, eight hours, so a good test of the device I thought. Halfway through I was busily adjusting the temperature up and down to find the sweet spot for cooking the chili. That’s when I noticed something. I set the cooktop to 210F, and came back in 30 minutes. The chili was lightly steaming, but not boiling. I then set it to 220F. Thirty minutes later, I come back and see it’s boiling. What’s weird about that? Well the boiling point of water is ~215F. So apparently this device is dead accurate! I was really shocked.”
Best cast-iron double electric burner
“My wife and I live in an apartment without a stove. Given our past experiences with burners, I thought it would be impossible to get a reliable burner for less than $300 or $400. When I stumbled on this for a fraction of that cost, I thought it was worth a shot. It has not let me down. It’s one of the more reliable electric burners I have used, even compared to full-sized stovetops. The burners get hot quickly. The surface of both burners heats evenly, even at the edges. The unit is well designed. It’s not that heavy but it feels really sturdy. The temperature controls work great. Also, this may seem like an obvious thing to put on a burner, but the “on” light is a nice feature. I’ve had other burners that have no indicator, which seems dangerous.”
Best electric burner with LCD screen
“I LOVE this unit. I make soups all winter, and this has the most responsive control panel ever. Bump it up or down a level or two and you can see the change in the pot within seconds. I rarely scorch a pan with the Duxtop, since I can control the temperature so nicely. The soups are all one-pot efforts. I never have to sauté veggies and then move them to the soup pot. The Duxtop holds the temperature you set, so you can give it a little space to run with less supervision.”
Best quick-heating electric burner
“This cooktop gets oil super hot … fast. Be warned. If you’re used to turning on the heat and walking away to wait for water to boil, don’t. My water was already at a rapid boil in less than two minutes. I’m amazed at how well this works. Don’t let the small size deceive you, it’s great on a counter in my small apartment and much safer than using gas. I do like the touch lock function, especially with my dog wandering into the kitchen.”
Best heavy-duty cast iron electric burner
“This unit produces great, quick heat. It is very stable and supports my huge heavy Dutch oven with no issues. Easy clean too! I regret messing around with all the wimpy POSes that I purchased before this one. If you want to do it right the first time, get this one.”
Best 1800-watt electric burner
“Two words: Heck yes! And now a few more: I live in an RV and have a redonkulous propane stove setup. I don’t like it. The burners are poorly spaced and it makes cooking quite annoying. Jump forward to cooking with this induction top and my cookware … and life is good. It is AMAZING. Yes, it makes noise. Yes, you have to learn what settings to put it on. But you have to do that on any stove.
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