Pros / This hot plate is small enough to travel with.
Cons / It tends to run hot – you need to watch it carefully so you don’t burn your food.
Verdict / The Continental CE23309 performed surprisingly well in our tests considering its low price. You need to keep an eye on it because some foods heat fast, but it is a good budget option.
Considering its price, this 1,100-watt hot plate’s performance surprised us during our tests. The Continental CE23309 only took eight minutes and five seconds to bring water to a full boil on its highest temperature setting. Also, when we tested its low setting, it took only 13 minutes and eight seconds to melt chocolate.
However, our crepe test turned out to be a bit trickier for it – when we made our first crepe, we found the CE23309’s medium heat setting was too hot. The crepe cooked in seconds and browned well, although it was a bit dark. We prepared the second crepe on low heat and got better results. Both crepes were completely cooked and tasted good.
The Continental CE23309 measures 9 x 9 x 3.5 inches and has a heating surface of 5.75 inches, making it one of the smallest hot plates we tested. Since it weighs a mere 1.7 pounds, you can pack it in a suitcase and use it to make meals in your hotel room. However, its 22-inch power cord is the shortest of the hot plates we reviewed and may prove inconvenient.
The CE23309 has three temperature settings that range from 150 degrees to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Unlike more expensive models, it doesn’t have a digital display with buttons. Instead, you change the temperature by turning a knob.
Also, it doesn’t have a power button – it turns on when you plug it in. This poses a safety risk, and you need to be vigilant about unplugging the CE23309 when you’re done using it. A red light glows when the hot plate is plugged in, and it has an auto shut-off feature.
It doesn’t have a grounding cord, and although Continental advertises it includes nonskid feet, they don’t work very well. If you want a coil hot plate with this safety feature, check out the Aroma AHP-303.
Continental includes a standard one-year warranty with the CE23309. This hot plate is also easy to clean – you simply lift the coil and wipe down the drip tray with a bit of soap and water.