Last updated: 16/10/2022

Welcome to our large hot plate test 2022. Here we present all the hot plates that we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best hot plate for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a hot plate.




Summary

  • With a hot plate, you can easily keep dishes warm for longer at home or in your catering business. It is also ideal for warming food at parties and buffets.
  • Basically, you can distinguish between warming plates with tea lights, heat storage plates and electric warming plates. In addition, there are also warming plates with containers and teapots.
  • Depending on the purpose for which you want to use your hot plate, you should choose a certain type. You should pay particular attention to the dishes you want to heat and the temperature at which they should be kept warm.

The Best Hot Plate in the United Kingdom: Our Choices

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a hot plate

Is a hot plate useful for me?

The answer to this question depends mainly on what you want to use the hot plate for. How often you will use it can also determine whether it makes sense to buy it. With a simple teapot warmer, for example, you can keep your tea or coffee warm in the morning. Since you use them with a tea light, they are ideal for home use. A hot plate, on the other hand, is perfect for keeping food warm in pots, pans or on plates.

So if you often cook for several people and the dishes cool down too quickly, it is certainly worth buying one. The hot plate is especially useful in the gastronomic kitchen and at buffets. Here, several pots and also the coffee pot at breakfast can be kept warm for a longer period of time.

How do I use a hot plate?

How to use a hot plate depends very much on the type of hot plate. However, it tends to be the surface that needs to be heated. This can be done directly by electric current, by microwave or by tea lights.

In addition, warming plates only need to be connected to the electricity for a short time and can then be used without a cable for a limited period of time.

After the surface of the warmer has heated up, you can place the containers with the dishes to be heated on the food warmer. The material of the container should be suitable for the surface of the warmer. After use, let the hot plate cool down, clean it if necessary and then put it away again.

How much does a hot plate cost?

Depending on the type of hot plate you choose, there are also differences in cost. For a good hot plate that you will use often, it is worth digging a little deeper into your wallet. Here is an overview of the different types of hot plates and the price range from which you can buy each type:

type price
teapot warmer from 7€
hot plate with tea light from 20€
hot plate with container from 22€
heat storage plate from 35€
electric hot plate from 60€

Does it make sense to buy a used hot plate?

Buying your hot plate second-hand can also be worthwhile. In this case, you can mainly use the ebay classifieds, as most second-hand offers are collected here. Whether buying second-hand is worthwhile for you always depends on the condition of the appliance and the distance of the seller. For example, if you don’t live far away, you can see the hot plate in person before buying it.

Hot plates without electricity are particularly suitable for buffets and parties. (Image source: pixabay.com ( counselling)

If the food warmer has major defects, you should consider whether a new purchase might be more worthwhile. The shipping costs also play a role; if they are higher than for a new purchase, buying second-hand is not worthwhile either.

Decision: What types of hot plates are there and which is the right one for you?

There are different types of hot plates, all of which differ in the way they work. Depending on what you want to use the hot plate for, you should choose a different type. Essentially, you can distinguish between five types of buffet warmers:

  • Teapot warmer
  • Hot plate with tea light
  • Hot plate
  • Electric hot plate
  • Hot plate with container

In the following, we will explain the different types and their advantages and disadvantages. In this way, we want to help you find the most suitable warming plate for you.

What are the characteristics of a teapot warmer and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A teapot warmer is a small warming plate that usually only holds one vessel. They are often used as tea or coffee warmers. But you can also use a teapot warmer to keep food warm.

Advantages
  • Can be used independently of electricity
  • Inexpensive
  • Lights up the room cosily
  • Usually easy to clean by hand
Disadvantages
  • Not all workmanship is of high quality
  • Not every container fits on a warmer
  • Not dishwasher safe
  • Hot drinks can only be warmed and not boiled

As a rule, teapots are operated with tea lights. This saves you the electricity needed to keep cooked food and drinks warm. Nevertheless, the most important thing about teapots is the way the material is processed. If it is a grid teapot warmer, there is a risk that not all grid feet are the same length and the teapot warmer will wobble.

If the workmanship is not good, it is therefore advisable to use a teapot warmer with a uniform foot. It is also important to pay attention to the material of the vessel that you want to place on the teapot warmer. You should bear in mind that you are placing the vessel directly over the flame of the tealight and that not all materials are suitable for this.

Therefore, you should make sure that tea and coffee pots are heat-resistant.

The teapots themselves are available in different materials. They are either made of porcelain, stainless steel, cast iron or brass. In most cases, the teapot warmer cannot be put in the dishwasher and should be cleaned by hand.

What distinguishes a hot plate with tea light and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A hot plate with tea light could be described as a larger teapot warmer. It has a much larger surface on which dishes can be heated. Accordingly, you also have to put more than one tea light in the hot plate to generate enough heat. Here, too, it is important that you think about which containers you want to place on the warmer beforehand. These should be heat-resistant in any case so that they are not damaged by use.

Warming plates with tea lights are only suitable for warming dishes and not for heating. Accordingly, the food that is placed on the food warmer should already be at the desired temperature.

Advantages
  • Can be used independently of electricity
  • Very suitable for buffets
  • Inexpensive
  • Usually easy to clean by hand
  • Creates a homely atmosphere
Disadvantages
  • Heat is only radiated selectively
  • Containers must be heat-resistant
  • Not dishwasher-safe
  • Only warms and does not heat

Hot plates can be made of different materials, but usually would-conducting metal and plastic. There are also heating plates made of glass, but these distribute the heat only with difficulty. A hot plate with tea lights is particularly suitable for family celebrations and buffets, as they can be used independently of electricity. Because they are usually inexpensive, you can also buy several hot plates and use them for your buffet.

How well is food warmed by candlelight?

You may wonder whether simple tea lights are even capable of heating a large amount of food. From a purely heat-emitting point of view, tea lights can keep hot drinks and food warm very well, but not heat them up. This means that your food must already be warm before you put it on the plate.

A major problem is that tea lights can only give off heat at one point on the surface.

This means that your food is only heated at one point. Again, it depends on the material of the container. If it is not heat-resistant, it may split. To counteract the localised heat, you can cover the surface with one or two layers of aluminium foil. This distributes the heat a little better over the whole plate surface. Some food warmers also have an integrated heat-conducting aluminium grate that distributes the heat better from below.

What are the characteristics of a heat storage plate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The principle of a heat storage plate is that heat is supplied to the appliance in a short time and then released back into a vessel. The duration of this heat release is limited. There are heat storage plates made of silicone, for example, that can be heated in the microwave. The longer you put the warmer in the microwave, the higher its temperature. However, the microwave plate is not suitable for longer buffets because it cannot be heated up enough.

Advantages
  • Some models can be heated in the microwave
  • cable can be removed
  • can also be used outdoors
  • porcelain plates can be heated during the heating phase
Disadvantages
  • Cannot be used for a long period of time
  • Some warmers get hot on the underside
  • Brushed stainless steel surface can be very sensitive
  • Short heating requires more power than longer

Then there are heat storage plates, which are first connected to the power for a short time and then store quite a bit of heat. These plates have a heat release time of one to two hours, then they too must be reconnected to a power network. Heat storage plates that are heated with a cable can also remain connected to the appliance during operation.

The warmer will then reheat automatically if it has become too cold. These rechauds are usually made of stainless steel and plastic. Nevertheless, the warming plates also need a few minutes to heat up. Depending on the appliance and manufacturer, this takes between 5 and 10 minutes.

What are the features of an electric hot plate and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The electric hot plate is connected to the power supply with a cable and then reaches its maximum temperature of between 60°C and 120°C after the heating phase. Hot plates are available in larger sizes on which you can place several plates and bowls. Because the appliance is permanently connected to the mains, a larger surface can be heated constantly.

Advantages
  • Can be used over a longer period of time
  • Some models have a temperature regulator
  • Can also be used as a plate warmer
  • Particularly suitable for large kitchens and catering
Disadvantages
  • Cable cannot be removed
  • If several plate modules are connected, the glass plate may crack
  • For some appliances, the cable length is not sufficient

Electric hot plates have a surface that is usually made of stainless steel or glass. However, it is not advisable to cut on these surfaces as they are not safety glass. Electric hot plates also take a few minutes to heat up. The time until the food warmer is ready for use can vary depending on the manufacturer and the product.

Hot plate with or without temperature control?

With an electric hot plate, you should consider beforehand whether you want a model with or without a temperature controller. Generally speaking, you should not serve dishes at temperatures below 65°C.

The advantage of a temperature regulator is that you can adjust your food warmer to the different dishes.

Soups should always be served as hot as possible, eggs should not burn and sauces should not curdle. If you want to keep such dishes warm on your food warmer, a temperature controller is definitely useful for you. If you don’t have to take the different heat temperatures of your food into account, a device without temperature control is also suitable for you. In this case, the appliance simply heats up to the maximum temperature after the heating time.

What are the features of a hot plate with a container and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

A hot plate with a container is basically also an electric food warmer. Only it contains several containers and frames that can be closed with a lid. The hot plate with containers is therefore particularly suitable for catering and large kitchens where individual dishes are to be kept warm in larger containers. The containers, which are usually made of stainless steel, are dishwasher-safe.

You can also buy the buffet warmer with container with a temperature controller. This usually has different levels so that you can control how warm the dishes are kept in the containers.

Advantages
  • Various container sizes available
  • dishwasher safe
  • ideal for parties, catering and catering kitchens
Disadvantages
  • Plates or bowls cannot be warmed
  • containers are only suitable for warming dishes and not for the oven, for example
  • cable cannot be unplugged

Since the rechaud is only designed for heating food, you should make sure that the dishes are already hot before you put them into the containers. The food warmer can be constantly connected to the power supply or unplugged after a few minutes of heating. If you unplug it, the warmer will maintain the temperature of the food for about 20 minutes until it starts to cool down.

Buying criteria: You can compare and evaluate warming plates based on these factors

Have you decided to buy a hot plate? Then we would like to show you some criteria below that will make your purchase easier. Based on these criteria, you can then easily decide for yourself whether the corresponding hot plate is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are the following criteria:

  • Maximum duration of heat emission
  • Surface temperature
  • Overheating protection
  • Material
  • Heating time
  • Output of the hotplate

In the following paragraphs you can find out more about the individual criteria and how you can classify them.

Maximum duration of heat emission

Depending on the type of hot plate you want, you should think about the maximum duration of the heat output.

Plate type Duration of heat emission
Teapot warmer Unlimited with tea light
Hot plate with tea light Unlimited with tea light
Heat storage plate 1-4 hours
Electric hot plate Unlimited with cable
Electric hot plate with container Unlimited with cable

If your electric food warmer has a fixed connection cable, the warmer will stay warm as long as it is connected to the mains. Even with warming plates with tea lights, all you have to do is change the tea light at some point and the heat will stay warm.

With heat storage plates, however, you should always pay attention to the maximum duration of heat emission, as your entire use of the food warmer depends on this. The duration of heat release can range from one to four hours. With heat storage plates, it can be extended as long as you like. When you reconnect the plate to the mains, it will heat up again.

Surface temperature

The surface temperature of your warmer indicates the maximum temperature your food warmer can reach. Depending on which dishes or containers you want to heat with the buffet warmer, a different surface temperature may be optimal for you.

In the case of teapots and hot plates with tea lights, the surface temperature is not so easy to determine because it depends very much on the tea lights used and the material of the food warmer. That is why you will hardly find any information on this. The maximum surface temperature of microwavable models also depends on your settings. With electric plates, however, this point becomes more important.

You will find more detailed information on the products. Most electric hot plates have a surface temperature of 95°C – 100°C. You will not use more than 100°C. You will not need to use more than 100°C very often. If you want to work with different surface temperatures, you should buy a model with temperature control. Here you can adjust the temperature of your food warmer individually to the dishes you want to warm.

Overheating protection

Overheating protection is particularly important for electric food warmers and storage plates. Especially if you intend to use the appliance a lot and on the dining table, you should think about such protection.

Overheating protection is never a bad investment for your hot plate.

It can prevent damage to the appliance if the temperature is too high. The protection is that the warmer switches off automatically. Overheating can occur if the warmer is used for a very long time or if there are operating errors.

It is possible that you will never need the overheating protection, but it is still a good idea to pay attention to it, otherwise the appliance may break and further damage may occur. If you don’t want to buy a food warmer with overheating protection, you can also check whether your food warmer has an indicator light that shows you the correct temperatures.

Material

Depending on the type of heating plate, you should also pay attention to the material. Teapots are best if they are made of cast iron or stainless steel, as these materials withstand the heat well. However, there are also teapots made of glass that can be used well. It is important that you pay attention to the workmanship of the material.

In the case of heat plates with tea lights, the material is decisive for the heat distribution of the candles. If the material of the surface is not heat-conductive, the heat will be distributed at certain points and the food will only be heated at a certain point on the surface of the warmer. With electric warming plates and heat storage plates, you should make sure that the material of the surface is heat-resistant and scratch-proof.

Some polished stainless steel surfaces can be damaged very easily. With all heat plates, you should also pay attention to the material of the containers that can be placed on the plates. They too must all be heat-resistant.

Heating time

The heating time determines how long you have to wait before your plate is ready for use. This can vary depending on the type of food warmer but also on the manufacturer. A rechaud with tea lights is hot as soon as you put the tea lights in the warmer.

It therefore heats up immediately to the highest temperature possible and then stays at that temperature. With electric warming plates and heat storage plates, the heating time essentially depends on the model. However, your warmer should be ready for use in between 3 and 10 minutes. With some plates, you can also use the heating time to warm up plates or dishes. Whether this is successful depends on the particular food warmer and the dishes.

Capacity of the hotplate

How much power a device can absorb also indicates how much electricity a model requires. When buying an electric hot plate, it therefore makes sense to pay attention to the power of the food warmer. For warming plates, the power consumption is 1000 watts and higher. Here it is so high because a certain temperature has to be reached in a short time.

Similar to a hairdryer, anything that gets warm quickly requires a larger amount of electricity. However, the heat storage panel is only connected to the mains for a few minutes. The electric heating plate consumes between 150 and 300 watts of power.

The power consumption here is therefore significantly lower than that of the heat storage plate. Nevertheless, you should bear in mind that the electric buffet warmer is permanently connected to the mains and therefore consumes the specified watts constantly.

Things to know about hot plates

How do I clean a hot plate?

It depends on the type of hot plate you have. Only very few parts of the food warmer can be put in the dishwasher, which is why you should always prefer to clean it by hand. In general, you should clean all plates regularly. Ideally, you should use a soft, damp cloth to clean the surfaces and then go over them with a dry, soft cloth to polish them.

Hot plates are particularly suitable for a party with a buffet. (Image source: 123rf.com /82548339)

However, never use aggressive cleaners or alcohol-based substances that could damage the surface of your food warmer. You should also avoid using rough utensils such as iron picks, as they can quickly scratch the appliance. You should keep in mind that improper cleaning can have a huge impact on the quality and life of your food warmer.

How can I still use my hot plate?

You can also use your food warmer in more ways than just keeping food warm. Here is a selection of additional uses:

  • Melting couverture
  • Warm plate
  • Melt butter
  • Let yeast dough rise

Not all warming plates are suitable for every use. You can find out whether your warmer is suitable for something by simply trying it out.

What else are warming plates called?

There are various names for warming plates, which can be confusing when buying. You can find the most frequently used synonyms here:

Name Description
Rechaud Traditional component of a fondue set and is used synonymously with “hot plate”. However, the rechaud is usually operated with fuel paste
Food warmer A collective term that can also be used for the bain-marie
Buffet warmer A collective term for hot plates
Hot plate Not to be confused with the hot plate, these also exist in mobile form
Hot plates in coffee machines Many coffee machines have a hot plate integrated to keep the coffee warm. However, they are not identical with food hot plates.
Plate warmers Hot plates can be used as such, but it is not their main task.

Are there also warming plates with fuel paste?

As a rule, there are only rechauds for fondues with fuel paste. In gastronomy, food warmers with fuel paste are also used. In the gastronomic environment, however, more dishes are heated accordingly. For domestic use, buffet warmers with tea lights or electric current are sufficient. These are usually cheaper than food warmers with fuel paste. Online suppliers also offer most warming plates with candles or electricity.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 19103398

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