Who doesn’t love cooking and eating outdoors? Having a change of scenery even with the most mundane task of cooking and eating is a highly enjoyable activity for the entire family. Even when you’re just at home dining in your front yard, the change is a welcome activity.
While waiting for your food to cook, isn’t it a good time to keep the conversations going?
Outdoor dining can be fun only if you make cooking easy. If your cooking implements particularly your stove presents a problem, everything will be ruined. To prevent this, you need to have a reliable portable electric stove.
Top Reasons Why You Need a Portable Electric Stove
There are a lot of reasons to invest in a decent portable electric stove. It’s handy and you can take it anywhere you like. As long as there is electricity to plug it into, you are good to go.Portable electric stove is fast to cook, convenient to use and very affordable. Here are more reasons for you to have one in your kitchen.
- A spare burner
- Cook away from the kitchen
- A portable cooktop
- Precise temperature
- Unattended cooking (almost)
- Emergency stove
Every cook has tried juggling a lot of stuff on and off the burner. You are searing a steak on one burner, cooking potatoes on the other and how you wish you still have an extra.
This gap can easily be filled by a portable electric burner. Having an extra burner will save you a lot of time.
It’s always nice to cook just inside the comfort of my kitchen. This is particularly true when I have something cooking inside the oven and I also have something on the stovetop that needs constant stirring.
This is all fine and dandy, but when the temperature goes up, I just feel the need to go out and do some easy cooking outside.
When you get invited to a potluck party, wouldn't it be nice to be able to heat your food before serving it? What if your host doesn’t have a spare burner? Wouldn’t it be cool to just bring out your own and start the heating process?
You can always set a portable electric burner to low temperature, place it on the buffet table and put your pot on top.
It is difficult to set a precise temperature with a standard stove. For delicate cooking, a portable electric burner will allow you to set a precise temperature and it will stay there. You can even set it to turn off after a specific period of time.
Along with its ability to stay at a precise temperature, you can set the temperature and the time to cook for certain food and let it cook almost unattended.
While it is not advisable to leave the house while there is something cooking on the stovetop, this is one less thing that you can free your attention from.
How many times did your propane stove die on you? When this happens and you have something cooking, you need something fast heating to take over.
How to Choose the Best Portable Electric Stove For Your Kitchen
If you decide to a portable electric stove, there are a few things that you need to consider. Here. I’ve listed the most important ones arranged from the utmost to the least. But just because the something is not on top of the list doesn’t make unimportant at all, it’s just not on top of the order of things.
If the unit has more power settings, it means that you have finer temperature control. If you just want to simmer soup, you don’t want the stove to blast it with hundreds of watts of energy. With more power settings, you are more in control of a highly versatile unit.
Diameter of the coil
The larger the diameter, the better because it will better match the diameter of most pans in the kitchen. You have to remember that the circular hotspot is just concentrated on about half the diameter of the coil.
Fan noise output
You are looking for fans with two ball bearings because this is generally of higher quality compared to the sleeve-bearing ones. It also gives off lesser noise because the ball bearings allow the fan to run smoother.
On high wattages, cheap stoves will begin to make a squealing sound due to vibration of metal on metal. High quality units still make some induction noise but it’s lesser compared to the cheaper ones.
Angled control panel
Avoid those that have form factors like that of a tablet. If you use a large diameter pan, the heat will bounce back to the control panel, frying the electronic behind it. Angled control panels prevent this from happening.
A decent timer is a safety mechanism which allows unattended cooking to a certain extent. This is a real time saver because it allows you to cook certain food while you’re away.
Build quality of the casing
Since you will be dealing with heat, you have to avoid those that are made mostly with plastic materials. This is a sign that the manufacturer is scrimping. What you’re looking for is a combination of ceramic and stainless or some other materials suitable for a durable frame.
This is related to safe unattended cooking. Some decent units allow you to target specific temperature. This also associated with finer power settings.
Length of warranty
I have said this many times over, but I’m saying this again; longer warranty is a sign of manufacturer confidence on their product. Try to avoid buying something with less than a year of warranty.
Length of power cord
Having a lengthy power cord will allow you greater leeway especially when the power outlet is a bit far. This is not much of a problem because you can easily fix this with a longer extension cord.
If you need to heat something as quickly as possible, a high wattage is important. A 1,400-Watt unit can easily generate 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dial vs. Button control
A dial is more responsive in increasing or reducing heat compared to buttons which increments power levels by one. But this is not that important because you can just lift up the pan if you want to prevent your food from burning.
Last update on 2018-01-19 PST - Details
My Top 7 Best Portable Electric Stove Picks
After hours of using different portable electric stoves in my kitchen, I came up with these 7 units as my best picks.
Secura 8100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
Except for the flat configuration, this is a nice looking induction stove that has a compact form factor. It won’t take up a lot of kitchen space and its user-friendly control panel makes operation as easy as child’s play.
This is a perfect choice if you want to avoid too much heat and want to avoid the amount of power or gas that the conventional stove uses. An induction stove is very safe to use because it is the cookware that it heats up not the surface of the stove. If you want to make the most of this stove, make sure to use compatible cookware like magnetic bottom stainless steel or cast iron.
The Secura 8100MC allows you to choose from a wide temperature range which starts at 140 degrees and goes up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has 10 power settings to choose from which starts at 200W to 1,800W.
- Safe and easy to use
- Heats up quickly
- Has an auto shut-off feature
- Compact and highly portable
- Requires induction compatible cookware
- Flat configuration
Multifunctional Induction Countertop by KitchenPRO
What I love about the Multifunctional Induction Countertop by KitchenPRO is the ergonomic design and angled control panel. The heat from the pan won’t fry the electronics behind the panel because of the angle.
You can set the built-in timer from 1 to 180 minutes and you can select from 10 power settings which ranges from 176 degrees to 536 degrees Fahrenheit. These two features make this stove highly versatile and easy to operate.
Another great feature of this stove which makes it so safe to use is the overheat protection feature. The instruction is straightforward to understand and it has five operational modes namely: hot pot, fry, BBQ, milk and water. It also has an auto shutdown feature which shuts the unit off when there is no pan on top.
- Built in timer
- A lot of safety features
- Energy saving
- Reasonable price
- The surface of the stove heats up too and the internal fan doesn’t help
Imusa USA 1100W Electric Single Burner GUA-80305
The Imusa USA 1100W Electric Single Burner GUA-80305 is a great stove if you're looking for an affordable unit to take to your college dorm. You know, those emergencies when you need to cook a quick cup of noodles just to get by the day.
It measures 3.5 by 9.8 by 9.1 inches and the weight is just over 2 pounds making it so easy to carry around and store in a very small space.
It has a wide distribution coil which fits most cooking pans. It distributes heat evenly through its temperature regulating knob, ensuring no over cooking. It has a power indicator light which tells you when the unit is on.
- It heats the food in no time and maintains an even temperature
- It has a low, medium and high power setting
- Highly affordable
- Very durable
- Plastic housing
- Can be very hot
- Doesn’t have an auto-shut off feature
Waring DB60 Portable Double Burner Stove
The Waring DB60 Portable Double Burner Stove has two cast iron plates, a brush stainless steel finish in a modern sleek design. While it’s not as space saving as the other burners, it can serve as an extra stove for those who are juggling between stoves.
Its dimension is 19.5 by 11.5 by 4 inches and the smaller burner is 500W while the bigger one comes in 1,300W. This level of flexibility gives this burner the strength as a serious contender in the kitchen.
The two burner also features a separate thermostat and power indicator which tells you when one is operating and the other is off. With its slip-resistant rubber footing, you can be sure that your unit won’t be moving around even in a shiny countertop.
- Both plates heat up quickly
- Maintains an even temperature
- Features a separate thermostat and power indicator
- Power efficient
- Will rust over time
- Takes some time to cool down
Black & Decker DB1002B Double-Burner Portable Buffet Range
If you’re looking for a stylish, compact and a burner that just works, you can’t go wrong with Black & Decker DB1002B Double-Burner Portable Buffet Range. This unassuming electric stove will give you a total of 1,400W of cooking power allowing you to handle both small and large meals.
The bigger burner comes in 900W power while the smaller one comes at 500W. It comes with a separate adjustable heating control for each burner giving you the flexibility to adjust the temperature for each. It measures 11.42 x 22.76 x 5.43 inches and it’s amazingly light for its size.
If you feel like cooking outside of your home, this portable stove will live up to your expectations. It’s perfect for a small kitchen or an RV.
- Comes in two coil burner with even heat distribution
- Comes in 2-year warranty
- Energy efficient
- A bit difficult to clean
- Takes some time to heat up
DUXTOP 1800W Portable Electric Cast Iron Cooktop Countertop Burner
If you want a portable stove to match the stainless cookware in your kitchen, the DUXTOP 1800W is the best choice. It doesn’t take up a lot of space despite the fact that it is a double burner.
This stove can serve as a fulltime stove at home since it comes with a whopping 1800W of combined power. One burner comes with 1,300W and the smaller one comes at 500W. The casing is made of steel while the burner is cast iron. This is one heavy duty burner.
The stove dimension is 23.4 x 10.6 x 4.6 inches at a hefty 8.8 pounds. I know, potability is not its strongest point and you might be tempted to let this stay in your kitchen.
- Very durable
- 2 separate indicator lights
- 2 separate thermostat
- 1-year warranty
- Slow heating
- Too heavy to carry around
NuWave Portable Stove Top Electric
One of those “smart” type of portable electric stove, the NuWave Portable Stove Top Electric immediately turned off when I removed the pan from the burner. You have to press the start button again to restart it. Please don’t start flipping pancakes with this stove because it will definitely drive you crazy.
It has a wide range of temperature setting starting from 100 degrees and topping at 575 degrees Fahrenheit. The timer has a delay setting which allows you to set the time it starts to cook and the time it stops.
- Delayed start and auto-shut off feature
- Maximum temperature at 575 degrees
- Uneven heat distribution
There is only one winner in this review and that is the Secura 8100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner. It is safe and easy to use and as far as unattended cooking goes, this is the most trustworthy stove I can find. My only gripe is the flat configuration but as long as you will now use an oversized pan, it’s easily negligible.
On the portability department, this stove is unbeatable. The form factor is easy to carry and store. It is also very light, you won’t even notice you’re bringing a stove on your trip.
Do you have a portable electric stove or an induction stove? Do you use any of the stoves in this review? Tell us your experience in the comment section below.