The brand Cusimax produces a wide range of kitchen appliances with positive reviews from users. Cusimax’s 1500W Portable Hot Plate intrigued us and we were eager to find out how well it performed under the heat of our tests. Over the course of several weeks, we used the burner to cook everything from gently to hard boiled to searing. Would this be the electric burner you are looking for? There are pros and cons to both options.
According to a sticker on the burner, the unit would emit an odor when it was turned on for the first time. It needs to burn off manufacturing residue. To eliminate the odor, we suggest heating the burner on high before using it for the first time.
Considering its small price tag, this electric burner performs quite well. When the cast iron burner was hot, it held the heat, so turning it off did not immediately stop the cooking process. It will keep food warm as the burner slowly cools, but if you need to stop the cooking process immediately, you’ll have to remove the pan from the burner. Since the entire unit stays warm after cooking, you won’t be able to move it without sturdy oven mitts.
The burner has a diameter of about 7.5 inches, and the manufacturer recommends using pans with a diameter less than 7.1 inches. The manufacturer’s responses to customer queries clarify that a larger pan could cause the unit to malfunction. Those dimensions refer to the bottom of the pan that is in contact with the heating plate; a chef’s pan or a wok with a smaller base and a wider top would work, but you might not want to use this with a giant frying pan.
The water temperature hovered around 125 degrees when we tested the low-temperature setting with a pot filled with water. The temperature is 10 degrees below the safe holding temperature of 135 degrees for cooked food, so it could be an issue if the burner is used on a buffet or if low-and-slow cooking is planned. However, some users might prefer a lower temperature for delicate foods that require gentle cooking.
A problem we had with this hot plate was how hot the housing got, particularly when we cooked on high heat for a long time. The exterior of the unit as well as the knobs were hot, so we had to use an oven mitt to turn it off. Unplugging it might have been a better choice. At the lowest cooking temperatures, the housing did not get as hot, but even at medium heat cooking, it was hotter than we liked. We suggest placing it on something that would protect the surface if it is placed on a surface that could be damaged by heat.
With its matte black color and brushed metal dials, this hot plate isn’t the prettiest. It’s more likely to blend into the background, which is probably what you want when you’re cooking.
A design element we found odd was the position of the arrows used to set the dials. On the top surface of the left-hand knob, which turns the unit on and off, is an indicator arrow. The right-hand knob, which controls the temperature, has an arrow at 9 o’clock on the front of the unit. Why not place both indicators on top or on the front? While it’s not an issue, it seems odd to us.
The word “Max” does not align with the indicator arrow when you turn the temperature dial to its highest heat. It’s not a problem, but it’s another odd design feature.
After a few uses, the cast iron burner developed a few white spots that wouldn’t come off with a soapy toothbrush. However, this didn’t affect the cooking, but people who value aesthetics might be bothered by this.
One knob toggles the burner on and off, and a second knob controls the temperature with numbers indicating how hot it is. One amber light will display when the burner is actively heating, cycling on and off as it strives to maintain the desired temperature.
The price of this product is about the same as its footprint, so if you need to add an extra burner for holiday cooking or low-temperature warming, it shouldn’t be difficult to purchase.
Cusimax 1500W Portable Hot Plate vs. Duxtop Induction Cooktop 9100MC
Although this Duxtop is more expensive than the Cusimax we tested, it won’t break the bank. Using an induction cooktop allows you to heat metal pans without heating the cooktop itself. As a result, the heat won’t be wasted, and the unit won’t get too hot when cooking. It’s also easy to clean since the Duxtop is digital, without knobs or dials. Its downside is that it requires induction compatible cookware.
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We also have compiled a guide that will help you choose portable electric stove, if you are looking for the best one.