Pros / This induction hot plate has a panel lock for safety.
Cons / Sunpentown’s hot plate doesn’t brown as evenly as some of the other top-rated cooktops on our list.
Verdict / Sunpentown’s induction hot plate offers the fastest heating time of any of the hot plates on our lineup. It also does very well at heating foods slowly and gently at its lowest setting.
During the winter, you may be grateful for a gas or electric stove that simultaneously cooks your food and warms up your kitchen, but during the summer, it might mean a higher electric bill as you crank your air conditioner up to combat the heat generated by your cooktop. An induction hot plate like Sunpentown’s SR-1884SS doesn’t heat the ambient air around the hot plate, so it’s more energy efficient than traditional electric and gas hot plates.
This induction hot plate by SPT creates heat faster than any other hot plate that we tested, but it can also heat food slowly and delicately on lower settings, if needed. It includes 13 heat settings, so there’s very little guesswork on your end – you control the temperature of your pot or pan from 100 to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. This is also the only hot plate on our lineup that offers both a safety lock for the control panel and an automatic shut off feature. This SPT easily earned the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award because it scores so well in our tests and includes features that others do not.
- Time to Boil Water
- Time to Melt Chocolate
- Browning Score
- Number of Power Settings
Performance & Energy
Water in a stainless steel pot came to a full rolling boil very quickly on the SPT induction cooktop – faster than any other hot plate we tested, in fact. The single burner hot plate turned to the highest setting started boiling water within seconds. On the flip side, SPT’s induction hot plate set on its lowest setting barely emitted heat, slowly bringing water to a simmer in a double boiler to melt chocolate. The countertop hot plate unit performs these dual functions – warming and cooking – very well. The lowest settings don’t actually offer constant heat, but rather the plate regulates heat in the same way traditional electric hot plates do by heating for a short period of time and then cycling off for a few seconds and then repeating the process.
When we tested the hot plate’s ability to heat a pan evenly in order to brown foods consistently, we found that it did a decent job, but we had to readjust the medium setting to a lower temperature to prevent too much browning. There’s always a bit of a learning curve with an induction cooktop compared to an electric hot plate, though, so keep that in mind if your hot plate seems to be cooking at a higher temperature.
The amount of control you have over this 1650-watt induction hot plate is broken down to 13 different heating settings and temperatures, which you can access through the digital control panel. In order to start cooking on SPT’s hot plate, you will need to do three things: plug it in, press the power button and put a ferromagnetic pot or pan on the surface. The hot plate automatically detects when there’s a pan with an appropriate metal on it. Likewise, it won’t work with pots made of aluminum or glass. Induction burners require iron or stainless steel cookware to work because they use electromagnetism to create heat in the pot or pan, rather than transfer heat from the hot plate to the pan. The SPT induction cooktop includes a timer that will track your cooking for almost 10 hours, so you can slow cook foods, set the timer and the unit will shut off when the timer stops. The nonskid feet help keep your induction cooktop in one place on your countertop, even if you accidentally bump it.
Safety & Warranty
All of the hot plates on our lineup, including this induction cooktop from SPT, come with a manufacturer guarantee that the appliances are free from defects. However, if you find that your hot plate is defective, you have one year from the date of purchase to return it to the appliance maker, which will replace the parts or the unit free of charge.
Induction burners are the safest type of hot plate you can use – the ceramic plate on the SPT induction cooktop stayed relatively cool to the touch around the pan even while the unit was on. You have to be careful after removing the pan from the hot plate, though, because the pan will conduct heat to the surface of the hot plate. It cools quickly, though. As far as safety goes, the SPT induction hot plate includes a feature that allows you to lock the control panel, which helps prevent anyone from accidentally turning the heat up on a dish or inadvertently turning it on. Also, the unit will turn off automatically if you remove the pot or pan or when the timer goes off.
Although SPT’s induction hot plate didn’t have the highest overall score in our performance tests, it remains the best hot plate on our lineup. Because of its ability to heat quicker than any other hot plate, its useful features, like a timer and nonskid feet and especially its built-in safety precautions, like the control panel lock and auto shut off feature, it tops the list of the best hot plates.