Pros / It is small enough to pack when you travel.
Cons / This a no-frills burner with few features.
Verdict / The small, basic IMUSA GAU-80305 works just fine and is a good option if you cook when you travel. However, there are faster, better burners out there.
IMUSA's 1,100-watt single burner is a decent low-cost option if you need a hot plate to cook when you travel. It doesn’t have sophisticated features like expensive induction burners do, but it heats food just fine.
When we tested this IMUSA hot plate in our lab, it brought room-temperature water to a boil in 10 minutes and six seconds, which is the third slowest time of the models we tested. In our next test, we cooked crepes with the burner to see how evenly it heats. One crepe was decently browned with some darker spots throughout. The second crepe fared better, yielding a somewhat more even color from one side to the next, although it wasn’t totally consistent across the crepe. Still, the taste and texture were fine. If you want a coil burner that heats more evenly, consider the Continental CE23309.
This no-frills burner surprised us when we tested its low heat setting by melting chocolate. It created smooth, fully melted chocolate in 10 minutes and six seconds, which is faster than many other hot plates we reviewed – including some of the more expensive and sophisticated induction hot plates.
This electric hot plate has three heat settings – high, medium and low – and the lowest temperature is still quite hot. As such, you need to stay attentive when you prepare delicate foods, such as chocolate, so it doesn’t scorch or burn them.
Only one other hot plate we tested is lighter than this IMUSA model, making it a good choice if you want a burner to take with you when you travel. It is also very compact, so you can stow it in your luggage or a tiny RV cabinet. The burner itself is 6 inches in diameter, which is a bit bigger than other coil hot plates we tested.