Induction Plates Vs. Electric Hot Plates


Electric Hot Plates

Portable hot plates provide heat using a disposable butane fuel cartridge. They usually include a spark igniter and will burn for approximately 1.5 hours. They are used for light sauté work or desserts on a buffet table or table side. They have between one and eight burners and range between 12 to 54 inches in width.


Induction Cookers

Induction cookers are quick, low-heat hot plates that use magnetic waves to heat a pot or pan. They are great for use on buffets for making omelets, sauté work, or flambé. They will plug into any standard 120 volt electrical outlet. This makes it easy for a caterer to take to any event needing on-site cooking. Induction cookers do require special pans that have high iron content. They range in wattage from 400 to 6000 watts of power, and 10 to 24 inches in width.

Induction Plates
Electric Hot Plates
Induction plates only work with induction-ready cookware, but have a low risk of burning or causing fires.Electric hot plates can work with any of your existing cookware, including curved-bottom cookware.


  • Must be used with induction-ready cookware that contains iron
  • Only works with flat-bottomed pans
  • Special “wok” induction ranges must be bought to work with curved-bottom pans
  • More expensive than electric or gas hot plates
  • There is risk involved if the user wears metal bracelets, watches or rings, as these items can heat up
  • Possible to heat with disposable gas, easier when you don’t know if there will be electrical outlet
  • Available in larger sizes than induction cookers


  • Can be used with cookware of any material, including copper, aluminum and glass
  • Can be used with woks or other curved-bottom pans
  • Generally more economically priced than induction cookware
  • Heat is instantly adjustable
  • Heat is not wasted, as energy is supplied directly to the cooking vessel
  • They are safer, as the surface does not get hot


  • There is risk involved if the user wears metal bracelets, watches or rings, as these items can heat up
  • Surfaces can get very hot
  • Must purchase disposable fuel or have electrical outlet
  • Heat takes time to adjust


  • Riskier than induction plates, since the stove can heat and/or burn anything it touches
  • Takes longer to heat up the pan or pot, since the burner has to preheat first
  • Not as energy-efficient as induction stovetops and ranges
  • You must get special cooking pans
  • You must have an electrical outlet
  • Not good for char flames

Our Expert Advice

Consider purchasing a portable induction range if you have access to induction-ready cookware and are willing to pay a little more for the increased efficiency of induction technology. Or, use induction ranges where risk of fires and burns is high, such as when working with children or the elderly.

Our Expert Advice

Use electric hot plates if you already have a nice set of cookware that is not induction ready (i.e. cookware with an aluminum or copper bottom). Also consider an electric portable range if you are looking for an economical stove for use in areas where there are open-flame limitations.


About Author

Sara Henderson


  1. The first 5 items on the “Pros” list, also show up on the “Cons” list – which is it? This would have been easy to catch and fix if someone was paying attention.

    • Nicole Castellano
      Nicole Castellano on

      Good catch Stephanie! There must have been a mix up when we were transferring articles over to the new blog. It’s been fixed. Thank you!

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