Sides stay relatively cool
Top gets hot in use
Burner may be too small for large pots
Cuisinart may have made its name with food processors, but now the brand has branched out to include almost every type of kitchen product, like the Cuisinart Countertop Single Burner. We abandoned our stove and tested the electric burner with every type and size of cookware we had. We simmered, boiled, and slow-cooked our way through breakfast, lunch, and dinner, learning all of pros and cons over several weeks of intense testing.
Setup Process: A simple preheat
Before using this hot plate for the first time, it should be heated to the maximum for four minutes to burn off any manufacturing residue. This gave off a slight odor, but it wasn’t terrible. Other than that, setup simply involves plugging the appliance into a standard outlet.
Performance: Heats quickly, stays hot
In our tests, we found that the 1,300-watt plate starts to heat immediately, so there’s no delay when you’re melting butter to cook eggs in your favorite nonstick pan. When low-heat cooking was the goal, we measured the water temperature in a pot at about 140 degrees. That’s below a simmer, but above the recommended 135 degrees for safe handling of cooked foods. The recommended temperature for restaurants is 140 degrees, so although this hot plate is only rated for home use, it’s safe to use on a buffet, where food will be available for serving for a long time.
The 1,300-watt plate starts to heat immediately, so there’s no delay when you’re melting butter to cook eggs in your favorite nonstick pan.
When we cooked chicken, we got a nice browning on the skin before we turned the heat down to a slow simmer to cook our dinner. The burner was able to maintain a very gentle temperature with ease.
When cooking is done, the cast iron plate stays hot for quite a while, so if you’re not quite ready to serve, the food will stay warm while the burner slowly cools down. If you need to stop cooking immediately, simply lift the pot off the burner, much like a standard electric stove.
Design: A good fit for any kitchen
While this hot plate isn’t particularly pretty, it looks like it was designed for home use, with a brushed stainless steel body and black side panels. It’s controlled with a single dial that turns the burner on and sets the temperature, just like a stove burner. A red light illuminates when the burner is on, and a green light illuminates when the burner has reached the set temperature.
When we cooked chicken, we got a nice browning on the skin before we turned the heat down to a slow simmer to cook our dinner.
During a long cooking session, the metal parts of the unit get understandably warm and even hot, particularly on the top. Fortunately, the control knob stays cool, so you can safely turn the heat up or down during cooking. The side panels stay cooler, so it’s possible to nudge or slide this to position it or move it out of the way. If you need to pick it up before it has completely cooled, though, oven mitts are a good idea.
Like any cooking surface, it’s wise to match the pan to the size of the heat source, so this burner’s 7.5-inch diameter might be a little small for your largest pots. However, it’s a good bet that none of your stovetop burners are 12 inches in diameter to match your big frying pans, so this may not be a critical issue. We tested the hot plate with a frying pan that was wider than the burner, and we had no major issues. The center was hotter than the edges, but with a quality pan, the heat managed to spread well enough to the edges that we were pleased with the result.
Features: Little rubbery feet
Rubber feet did a great job keeping this device from sliding on the counter during use. It also raises the unit to protect your work surface and increase air circulation.
While this hot plate isn’t particularly pretty, it looks like it was designed for home use.
Cleaning: Wipes clean
This burner is a sealed unit, so it’s safe to use a damp soapy sponge to remove food residue from the cast iron plate and ring and then wipe dry. The rest of the unit should be cleaned with a damp cloth.
Price: Good for your budget
An affordable little burner, this won’t break the budget. For about the same price, you could buy an electric frying pan to do some of the same tasks. However, this appliance can do so much more since you can use your own cookware, whether it’s a shallow frying pan or a tall saucepan.
Cuisinart Countertop Single Burner vs. Cadco CSR-3T Hot Plate
If you’re looking for a burner for extended use, we’re quite fond of the Cadco CSR-3T Hot Plate. Cadco makes equipment for caterers, so you can be sure this hot plate is heavy-duty. On the other hand, it looks like an industrial piece of equipment, so if that doesn’t fit your kitchen aesthetic, you might not get past the ventilation fins and visible seams. If you’re going to be cooking at a party or using the burner on a fancy buffet, the Cuisinart definitely has a better look.
Handy to have.
We liked the Cuisinart Countertop Single Burner as a spare burner or for use on a buffet. It’s small enough to be portable and easy to store, yet powerful enough to bring a pot of water to a boil. The price on this is very reasonable, so if you regularly have to shuffle pots on the stove when you’re cooking for parties, this could be a handy item to have tucked away for the times when you need it.
- Product Name Countertop Single Burner
- Product Brand Cuisinart
- MPN CB-30
- Price $59.95
- Product Dimensions 11.5 x 11 x 2.5 in.
- Material Stainless steel housing; cast iron burner
- Power 1,300 watts
- Warranty 1 year