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.
- 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
- Surfaces can get very hot
- Must purchase disposable fuel or have electrical outlet
- Heat takes time to adjust
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.
- 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
- You must get special cooking pans
- You must have an electrical outlet
- Not good for char flames