Electric portable stoves have steadily gained in popularity over the years and have become one of the more versatile kitchen appliances you’ll find anywhere. Pick up one of your own and you’ve increased the cooking capacity of your kitchen whenever you’re about to prepare a large meal, dinner party, or a holiday get together.
It’s important to get a portable stove top that is going to do what you expected to do. As with every other product line in existence, some makes and models are superior to others. The purpose of this buyer’s guide is to save you boatloads of time and effort doing the research yourself. We’ve spent countless hours checking out dozens of single and double electric portable stoves and have narrowed it down to the best available today. But first, let’s consider why you might want to pick one up for yourself.
Use Them Anywhere
These self-contained stoves or hotplates are useful in many ways – not just in your home kitchen. For example, they’re a practical item to pack when you’re camping, or traveling by RV or motor home. As long as you have access to electricity – you can cook anything that you would normally cook on your stove top at home on one of these compact portable electric stoves. They’re ideal at the country cabin, or in a dorm room so students could then prepare a wider (and perhaps healthier) variety of meals.
There are times when a home stove can fail for whatever reason. That’s when you’ll wish you had one of these handy cooking devices tucked away in a kitchen cabinet.
A portable plug-in stove can also be an excellent tool for anyone preparing recipes on YouTube – or for teaching cooking techniques online. Similarly, these mobile cook-tops are an excellent option to use at local cooking classes. Each student could have a tabletop single-burner stove to prepare their own culinary creation as they follow the instructor’s lead.
Number One Reason
But the number one reason why people buy electric portable stoves of all types is to help them get through a major kitchen renovation or rebuild. When you’re full-size range stove is out of commission – having a suitable replacement like this can definitely help.
A Replacement Tool That Is Up To the Task
There are several different types of portable electric stoves, distinguished by the type of cooking element like cast-iron, coil, or induction. You can also get these stoves with a single or double burner – depending on your needs. We will cover the top models of each inside this buyer’s guide.
The fact that these electric stoves are portable means you can take them anywhere. They’re perfect for cooking outside on the deck next to the barbeque. It’s also a handy kitchen tool to deploy when you simply want to keep a dish warm on the stove before serving.
The Benefits of a Stove – Without the Downside
What a portable electric stove enables you to do is gain all the benefits of cooking on a stove top without requiring the space or expense of a conventional range. You can use these electric portable stoves on any free counter space or table top.
Use Them Anywhere
Whenever you need the services of a stove – whether it’s for a patio party, or you simply lack a full-size stove and oven combo in your small apartment – one of these compact devices could be a godsend.
All of the portable stove top units we recommend plug into any standard 110 – 120 volt household outlet. That’s what makes them so practical. You don’t need to dedicate the roughly nine cubic feet of floor space you would to accommodate a range. In fact, you don’t need any dedicated space at all. As long as you have access to an outlet you can use one of these to prepare a delicious meal wherever you are. That means these stoves could be use on a counter, basement bar, picnic table on a campsite – just about anywhere you have electrical service.
Useful – With Some Limitations
Naturally, a full-size stove top is going to heat up faster than a portable burner. Electric portable stoves tend to take a little more time to get up to cooking temperatures. After all, they run on a 110 Volt circuit rather than the standard 220 Volts that full size range requires.
It’s important to have reasonable expectations when you’re picking up one of these portable stove tops. On a single burner unit, you can cook pretty much anything that you can on the stove top. But some people try to do too much with a double unit by placing oversize pots on each burner and expecting the same cooking efficiency they’re used to on a full-size stove top. That’s just not going happen.
Whatever model or brand you ultimately choose, it’s best to find pots and pans that fit the burner. That’s not to say that you cannot effectively use larger pots and pans on these portable units. In some instances – you can do that. But it’s also important to recognize the limitations of a 6 inch burner and what is essentially half the voltage of a conventional stove/oven combination.
Single Vs Double Burners
We tend to prefer the single electric portable stoves over those with two burners. That is because a single 1500 Watts element uses 1500 Watts of power. But on a double burner, that wattage gets divided between two separate heating elements and in most cases, that wattage is not evenly split. This means one burner might be 900 Watts and the other only 600, or less. It varies from model to model. The point is that it’s not the same as having two independent elements with full power to each.
Another problem with dual element portable electric stoves is overcrowding. You can’t fit two good-size pots on the stove at once without running into a problem such as uneven heat distribution.
Several Types Available
The most common types of countertop stoves are cast-iron, coil and induction. Each one can be used effectively to cook your favorite stove top foods exactly the way you like them. But here are positives and negatives of each type.
Cast iron stove tops work well by retaining heat. They can take a little longer to heat up, but once they do, they deliver consistent and even heat and that’s what makes cast iron so appealing. You can also use any type of cookware on a cast-iron electrics portable stove top. On the downside, cast-iron can be more slightly more difficult to clean.
The lowest cost type of electric portable stove is the coil type. This one operates like an electric stove with a coil burner on top of the unit. It’s the cheapest option available and a decent coil burner can really pay off. Other versions of coil burners feature coils that are embedded into the surface of the element.
Infrared stove tops feature a heating element that’s embedded in a corrosion resistant surface. The heating element quickly transmits heat to the stove top. It works effectively at bringing the heat quickly. It’s also more energy efficient than coil stove tops.
The Ultimate Portable Stove
Arguably the best type of portable electric stove you can get is induction. Magnetic induction generates heat through a magnetic field under the burner. This type of stovetop requires compatible cookware in order for it to function. But when that magnetic field occurs – heat is generated quickly and efficiently.
It’s safe to say that magnetic induction is more energy efficient than any other portable stove top type. That is because the heat is only generated directly to the pot on the stove top. Unlike coil burners, there is no heat lost on the outside.
But keep in mind that induction stove tops are a little more expensive and the fact that you need compatible cookware can further add to that cost. But if you’re shopping for performance and energy efficiency – you won’t find anything better than an induction portable electric stove.
Electric Portable Stoves: Our Top Picks
What’s In The Box?
Portable stove top unit
9-inch hard-anodized frying pan
Owner’s manual with recipes
This compact induction portable cook-top measures just 2 inches high by 10 inches deep and 12 inches wide. It’s a single burner with pushbutton control.
Temperatures range from 100°F to 500°F – so it’s perfect for warming soups or sauces – or searing steaks. Since it’s an induction stove, eat is generated directly into the pot on top of the burner. There are no flames, no hot coils, and no loss of energy either. Since this cooking system only heats up the pan, it uses 70% less energy than standard coil or gas stoves. With induction technology it remains cool until turned on and cooking.
You can use this handy little device to cook or reheat your favorite meals – wherever you are. As long as you have a wall outlet handy, you should good to go. That means it can be used on your backyard deck, inside the RV or a trailer – or at the cottage or campsite.
This single burner stove comes with three different wattage settings – 600, 900, or 1300 Watts for full power. The slim design means that it’s easy to store when not in use. Included with the stove is one 9-inch hard-anodized frying pan. It’s made with a durable and environmentally-friendly ceramic nonstick coating called Duralon.
Temperature adjustments are available in 5° increments so you can cook with precision any dish you want. With this portable stove you can grill, deep fry, Sear, sauté, simmer, steam or boil any type of food you want.
It’s powerful, portable and energy efficient. With this induction stove top, you’ll notice that your pan heats up quickly and the heat spreads evenly. It can boil water in just less than 90 seconds. The new wave brand has been around for about 20 years or so.
You can program different cooking times and temperatures and let the Nuwave PIC Flex do the rest. With 100 hours of programmable memory – you can add a whole slew of recipes to your cook-top.
Built in to the new wave induction cook-top is a delay function that makes it easy to start cooking when it’s most convenient to you. Since it shuts off automatically when the timer reaches zero, you don’t have to worry about whether or not you remembered to turn off the stove.
While traditional stoves heat up the whole area around the pot as well as the entire room, but since this is an induction portable stove, it does not spread head. There’s a good range of power available here. You can set it to start at any power level and it will stay there each time you go to use it – until you change the wattage. You can adjust the temperature by simply tapping the plus or minus sign.
The Nuwave PIC Flex compact portable stove scores a stellar 4.6 out of 5 possible stars from nearly 2700 actual customers.
This portable cook-top measures 2.2 inches high by 11.6 inches wide by 14.2 inches long, so it easily fits on any counter or tabletop. With over 18 different power levels, you can perform any function on this portable electric stove including: slow cooking, grilling, sorting, searing, steaming, deep frying, simmering, and boiling.
Power adjustments are available in 100 Watt increments all the way from 100 to 1800 watts. That’s a lot of power. Temperature ranges from 140°F to 460°F and can be set in 20° increments. This ISiler cook-top is a relatively lightweight and compact stove you can use anywhere. The burner diameter measures 6.7 inches and can fit frying pans from 3.9 to 8.6 inches in diameter.
This ISiler portable cook-top features a premium glass surface that is wear and stain resistant and easy to clean with a quick wipe. There are 17 different temperature settings from 140°F to 460°F. The timer can be set anywhere from 1 to 180 minutes (three hours in total) giving you plenty of time to prepare any of your favorite dishes. To adjust the timer simply tap the plus/minus button. You can set it in 1 minute increments with a single touch, or hold it longer for a 10 minute quick adjustment.
As for the right kind of cookware to use with this portable stove, stainless steel is an excellent option. But you’ll have to test it since not all stainless steel cookware is induction compatible. But you could also use some other pots and pans including cast-iron.
This portable stove seems particularly easy to use with it large, user-friendly touch buttons. A built-in six bladed fan helps dissipate the heat generated within.
Oh and… the length of the power cord is 45 inches, making this cord longer than many out there which can be helpful at times.
What’s In The Box?
Portable induction electric stove
Here’s another 1800 watt burner you may want to take a serious look at. It is one of the more popular electric portable stoves – and with good reason. Like the previous two, this one is an induction model stove. It features a black crystal plate glass top for easy cleaning and a silver finish on the base.
With 10 different power levels, you can cook on this stove top using 200 Watts up to 1800 Watts of power. The built-in timer can be set from 1 to 170 minutes. Interestingly, Duxtop also provides a 5 foot long power cord. This is far superior in our opinion to the average length which is considerably shorter (usually closer to two feet).
With an easy-to-read LED display, you can see any adjustment you make to the time, temperature, or power level with ease.
The Duxtop stove scores a respectable 4.4 out of 5 available stars – from well over 11,000 previous buyers. That’s a huge sampling from actual customers which is typically a strong indication of a solid product.
It’s a compact model that measures 2.5 inches high by 11.4 inches deep and 13 inches wide. Overall, this unit is lightweight (just 5 lbs. 12 oz) and compact. Like all of the portable electric stoves featured here, this one plugs in to any standard household outlet. So you can use it anywhere you have ready access to an electrical connection.
You can choose any setting you like. The thing to remember is that the higher the wattage – the faster your pot or pan will heat up. Also at higher wattages, you’ll burn more energy. But with so much flexibility, you can easily make adjustments. For example, you might want to start your stir fry at the maximum 1800 Watts and then drop it down to a medium level.
Cusimax’s electric portable stove is a stylish design in black stainless steel that would look great just about anywhere. It’s rugged and durable yet, not too heavy to move around. According to previous buyers, the Cusimax is a quality product that delivers as expected. Nearly 2400 actual customers have provided an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 possible stars. Not bad at all.
This Cusimax model measures 4.21 inches high by 10.51 inches wide by 13.46 inches long. It weighs in at 5.68 pounds. With just one heating element, you can actually use many different sizes of pots and pans. And the temperature is easily controlled by a knob rather than a digital button.
As a single burner electric stove, it can fit into small spaces. This makes it easy to use just about anywhere including: at the office, in smaller apartments, RVs or when camping in a trailer or campervan.
Cusimax offers a maximum capacity of 1500 Watts and features seven preset temperatures to choose from depending on the cooking method and dish.
With a housing made of durable stainless steel, it’s smooth, easy to clean and likely to outlast others. The last thing you want is to have your cook top move around when you’ve in the middle of cooking. That’s why every Cusimax stove is equipped with rubber anti-skid feet to help maintain stability on any tabletop or kitchen counter.
Cusimax works with all types of pots and pans and ideally, cookware with a diameter of 7.4 inches. This means you can use stainless steel, aluminum, cast-iron, copper – or almost any other type of cookware. It’s a good choice to use for stir frying, deep frying, and slow stewing or to create a superb sear.
If you’re living in a smaller home, you may not have access to a full-size range. That’s where a portable electric stove like this one can come in very handy. You can count on plenty of power and fast conduction of heat using any cookware on this portable stove.
Unlike some models, you can actually use the Cusimax inside or outside. It can effectively replace any other kitchen stove. So it makes an excellent portable cook-top for travelling or camping. All you need is access to a standard 110 Volt outlet and you’re good to go. Cleanup is swift and easy. Allow the cook- top to cool and then simply wipe it down with a clean damp cloth.
As with many new electrical products of this nature, when you first use them a small amount of smoke may appear. This is typically caused a burning off of the protective coating on the heating element. But it tends to go away after the first or second time you use the device.
Like most electrically-powered burners or stove tops, this one does take a little time to heat up. And there’s a bit of a learning curve to get comfortable using the various settings. But that’s the way it is with any new purchase.
This Elite Gourmet electric portable stove measures 3.65 inches high by 9.15 inches deep by 10.65 inches wide. And it offers up 1000 Watts of power, which is adequate for most applications on a stove.
Since this is not an induction model, you can use any type of cookware including: ceramic casserole dishes, aluminum tea pots aluminum, Pyrex glass pots, nonstick pans and stainless steel.
If you’re looking for the most economical purchase in the category of capable electric portable stoves, you owe it to yourself to have to look at this one. It’s affordable by most people’s standards.
If you’re looking for quick, easy and consistent cooking on a portable single-burner stove top, Elite Gourmet might be just what you want. And you wouldn’t be alone either. This is another hugely popular electric portable stove. With well over 23,000 previous customers, this one scores a solid 4.4 out of 5 stars. With this many customers reporting, you can safely bet that this is a solid product.
Since the Elite Gourmet is electric and plugs into any wall receptacle, it can be used anywhere. It makes a sound choice for a dorm room, patio bar, or office kitchenette. It’s also ideal for basement or studio apartments – heck, any home kitchen really.
With most cook-tops (this one included) it’s best to stay engaged and in front of the stove while in use. In other words, there’s no automatic shut off so you should never leave your pots alone. When you turn this stove top, the power indicator light shines and remains on until the desired temperature has been attained.
This compact single burner stove top provides reliable heating in a minimal amount of space and is equipped with anti-skid rubber feet to help stabilize it anywhere. You can set the temperature easily by using the manual knob. With its cast-iron element – you’ll get even heating across your skillet or pan. And cleanup is much easier than on some of the other types of stove tops out there. Adjustable temperature control offers five different presets.
A portable cook-top like this one can be a valuable kitchen tool whenever you’re entertaining. This is particularly true at holiday time when having an extra element to cook on can make a difference. One-way many people also use this electric stove is to keep food warm at your buffet station. You simply lower the temperature, put the lid on and leave it at that.
The Elite Gourmet comes with a standard two prong plug, on a cord that is about 3 feet long. This one is so affordable that many people use it simply to keep their coffee carafes at the perfect temperature – or to boil water for tea. Of course it works well for these applications. But you can also use a pan or skillet on this stove top with equal success.
You can use this single countertop electric burner as you would your stove. You may have to play around with the dial a little bit to get temperatures just right. For example, the ideal simmer seems to be at somewhere between number two and three. Adjust as you see fit as you’ll have to do with any new piece of kitchen equipment until it becomes second nature.
The first of several double burner stove tops we’ll look at is this Cuisinart double induction portable electric stove. Overall dimensions measure 2.5 inches high by 14.25 inches deep by 23.5 inches wide. It weighs in at 11.6 pounds. Naturally, all double burner portables are notably wider than the single element stoves.
Given that it’s got two heating elements on top, you may think that it doubles your cooking capacity. But what you need to remember is that with most dual stove top models – one side is more powerful than the other.
For example, on this Cuisinart the left burner has eight settings while the right burner only has five. The larger burner is 7 1/2 inches in diameter while the other one measures 6 inches. The left burner offers a wattage range from 200 up to 1200 Watts. But the right burner is more limited – from 200 to 600 Watts. That gives the device the substantial total of 1800 Watts of power. Each element operates independently with individual timers that go from 1 to 150 minutes, complete with an on/off switch for each. And it’s true that you can perform virtually any cooking function on this stove top.
Using induction technology, you get even heat distribution across the base of any pot or pan – with no hotspots. With this Cuisinart model, the heat shuts off automatically 30 seconds after the pan is lifted from the cook-top surface. It also provides flame-free and exhaust-free cooking.
Since each burner is controlled independently, you can perform two completely different functions at once. It’s an excellent appliance to have for entertaining – whether it’s regular dinner parties, or having the whole family over during the holidays.
You can also take this dual burner and use it in an RV, trailer, motor-home, boat, or simply on your outdoor patio. You can use this thing anywhere you have access to a standard outlet.
The cushioning feet along the bottom of the Cuisinart elevate the unit slightly off the counter. It’s like having rubber or felt pads on the legs of your furniture. This provides a softer finish and will not damage your table or countertop.
This Cusimax portable stove features dual burners controlled by independent dials. Overall size measures 4.7 inches high by 15 inches deep by 21.5 inches wide and it weighs 7.7 pounds. It’s compact enough to store away easily when not in use, or to use in areas where the available space is somewhat limited.
It works well. The Cusimax dual cook top heats your cookware efficiently with very little heat loss. Just find a standard household outlet, plug it in and you can enjoy cooking your favorite meals. It doesn’t matter where you think you need a dual burner stove. Whether it’s your home kitchen, tiny apartment, office, or RV – you can use this in many environments to prepare basic or complex meals.
With this model, you get a wide range of temperatures that are easily managed by the control knobs. There’s an adjustable thermostatic control and the power provided is 900 Watts. You can use all types of cookware on this unit including: aluminum, stainless steel, ceramic, as well as devices for specific uses such as a wok to stir fry, or stovetop tea pot to steep your fresh tea.
It works well when scrambling eggs, making grilled cheese sandwiches, or when preparing soups vegetable dishes and pasta. Clean up as easy too. Simply wipe down with a soft and damp sponge or cloth after allowing it to cool. Avoid using harsh chemicals and abrasive brushes or pads.
Another top pick in the dual burner category is this one from Elite Gourmet. With nearly 10,000 previous buyers weighing in, this electric portable stove manages a respectable score of 4.4 out of 5 available stars.
This dual burner measures 3 inches high by 9 inches deep by 16.5 inches wide, which means it occupies a smaller footprint than most stoves with two heating elements. Total power measures 1500 Watts and this model features one7 inch and one 6 inch cast-iron flat cooking plate. One element provides 600 Watts and the other burner 900 Watts of power. Both are nonstick surfaces and therefore easy to clean up by simply wiping them down with a dampened cloth.
With dual temperature controls, you can use one burner – or both – for completely different things. Pan capacity is up to 9 1/2 inches in diameter or a 4 quart pot. But there’s no automatic shut off – so it’s important to be present and attentive when cooking.
The burners are actually made of cast aluminum with embedded coils to maintain an even and consistent heat. Since the coil is embedded, the surface is flat and therefore much easier to clean than other types. But this stove is intended for indoor use only. It can be used on any type of countertop however, including: quartz, granite, Corian, concrete or Formica.
This portable unit is excellent option when you need additional cooking sources for holiday entertaining or special celebrations. Any time you need extra cooking capacity – this Elite Gourmet dual stove can be quite helpful. It’s also an excellent appliance to deploy when you simply want to keep food warm at a buffet station. This is a good reason in itself for picking up a quality dual electric portable stove such as this one from Elite Gourmet.
Rounding out our top selections in the double burner category is this model from Ovente. With almost 2700 previous customers providing direct feedback, this electric double coil burner scores a decent 4.4 out of 5 stars. So it’s definitely on par with some of the other top picks.
The overall size of the Ovente stove is 3.4 inches high by 9.6 inches deep by 18.5 inches wide. It weighs in at 3.5 pounds – so it’s relatively lightweight and easy to move around.
This model features two heating elements controlled by individual knobs. One element is 6 inches in diameter and the other 5 ¾ inches. The combined power between the two burners is 1700 Watts, among the higher wattages available in the category.
This double burner comes with a fire-resistant, all-metal housing that resists high temperatures and will stand up to use over time. The hot plate is made from a durable stainless steel heating tube which heats up quickly and distributes that heat fairly evenly across the span. Once the set temperature has been reached, the unit will continue to maintain that temperature. And on this model, the indicator light activates once the desired temperature has been reached, making it a little different from how most of the other portable stoves operate.
If you’re looking for an ideal solution for a small apartment, tiny home, your office, RV, or camper – this Ovente electric hot plate might be just what you’re looking for.
Temperature control is managed by five different presets. The body features antiskid feet on the bottom to help keep the stove firmly in place on any table or counter. It’s a versatile workhorse that can be used with any type of cookware.
This portable stove has the capability to handle dishes of all kinds. So don’t hold back. Whip up your favorite meals and put it to the test.
To clean, simply wipe down any non-electrical parts with a damp cloth or sponge. You can also use disinfectant kitchen wipes. And then be sure to dry carefully with a soft cloth. That’s one way to keep your Ovente stove in top shape.
Like any of these portable stoves – or any other kitchen device for that matter – it takes a little bit of practice to get comfortable using it. But once you do, chances are you want to use this stove top every day.
Electric portable stoves are handy practical kitchen appliances that can provide a stove top setting wherever you need it and for whatever purpose. It’s an excellent way to add cooking capacity to your kitchen, or to facilitate delicious home-cooked meals when you’re not at home.
Choose a single or dual element stove according to your needs. If you’re unsure, opt for a single burner electric stove. Our top pick is among the best you’ll find. But our runner-up portable electric stove makes an excellent choice too. Either way, select one of our favorite picks and we’re pretty sure you’ll be thrilled with your choice and all it can do for you.