When you have guests around for a BBQ, rushing back and forth to your kitchen to use your stove can leave them feeling neglected and leave you completely out of the loop. If your grill doesn’t come with a side burner, you can simply use a portable electric stove for heating up your sauces, sides, or cooking delicate items that are better suited to stove-top cooking, without having to go inside.
To save you time and effort researching, we’ve reviewed the most popular models, so you’ll find the best portable electric stove for your BBQ right here.
- 1 Best Portable Electric Stoves
- 1.1 Cusimax Hot Plate Electric Single Burner
- 1.2 Duxtop Portable Induction Stove
- 1.3 Duxtop Portable Double Induction Stove
- 1.4 Cusimax Portable Electric Double Cooktop
- 1.5 NuWave Precision Induction Stove
- 1.6 AmazonBasics Portable Induction Stove Burner
- 1.7 Elite Gourmet Countertop Electric Hot Burner
- 1.8 IMUSA USA Electric Single Burner
- 1.9 Tasty One Top Smart Induction Stove
- 2 Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Portable Electric Stove
- 3 Type of Stove – Heating Method
- 4 Safety Tips For a Using Electric Portable Stove
- 5 Final Thoughts
Best Portable Electric Stoves
Looking for the best portable electric stove for use as a side burner? Here is our top-rated selection of nine of the best models.
Cusimax Hot Plate Electric Single Burner
Durable, robust, and great value for money, if you are looking for a cast iron portable electric stove for use in your summer kitchen the Cusimax Hot Plate Electric Single Burner makes an excellent choice. Its cast-iron hot plate works with all pan types, retaining a maximum amount of heat to keep your BBQ sides or sauces warm even after you’ve switched it off.
This unit has a durable, easy-to-clean stainless steel body, so you won’t have to worry about it getting damaged during your backyard cooking sessions. As it weighs just 5.83lbs, it’s also easy to carry over to your cook station, with a compact size for convenient storage. Just be aware that the body will, understandably, get very hot during use, so make sure it cools down completely before storing.
Powerwise, this single burner electric stove has a 1500W output, so it’s a good choice for rapid heat. It has a front temperature dial with seven pre-set power levels, making it very simple to use. When used for the first time, this stove will give off a strong chemical odor, but this will fade with time and it’s barely noticeable when using it as a BBQ side burner outdoors.
Duxtop Portable Induction Stove
The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop makes an ideal choice if you are looking for a modern, easy-to-clean electric side burner stove.
Rated 1800W, this high-powered induction model heats up very quickly, although note that the actual heating area is a little small, so make sure that you use it with induction-ready pans that have a high level of conductivity to ensure a more even heat distribution. Using high-quality induction pans will also help to reduce the noise this stove can make.
One of the main advantages of this type of portable electric stove is that it has a glass cooktop with touchscreen controls. This means that it is incredibly easy to wipe clean after use with nowhere for dirt or spills to get trapped, plus as it’s an induction stove it cools down really quickly after use so you can clean it up and put it away in just a few minutes.
Thanks to the 15 preset temperature and power levels, you can get your pan simmering or boiling, just how you want it to. The temperature can be set in increments of 20 degrees between 140-460 degrees F, with 15 power settings between 200W-1800W. This large range of settings makes this portable induction stove a really versatile model that can be used to cook a wide variety of dishes, while the safety lock button makes it a safer choice to use at family gatherings.
Duxtop Portable Double Induction Stove
For entertaining large groups, you’ll want to opt for the Duxtop LCD Portable Double Induction Cooktop. With dual burners, one rated 1000W and the second at 1800W, with a total maximum of 1800W power, this double induction stove will allow you to cater for more people or to serve up extra dishes at your next BBQ.
Thanks to its glass cooktop with touchscreen controls, this unit is very easy to wipe clean. The controls and LCD allow you to select from 20 preset temperature and power settings, plus for extra ease of use, there is also a boil and a keep warm button. Once your dish is cooking away, use the built-in timer to remind you when it’s done while you turn your attention to your grill. The safety lock system will prevent you, or anyone else, from inadvertently changing your settings.
Like many induction stoves, this one can also be a little noisy, depending on the quality of the induction-ready cookware that you are using. Plus, as you’d expect, with it being a double burner, you will need extra space by your grill to use it, as well as for storing it.
Given its high performance and excellent ease of use, all in all, the Duxtop LCD Portable Double Induction Cooktop makes a good, reliable choice for using in your outdoor cooking space, especially if you need more than one side burner.
Cusimax Portable Electric Double Cooktop
Looking for a double burner portable electric stove that you can use with your existing cookware? The Cusimax Portable Electric Double Stove is not only a highly durable, easy to clean model, it is also a lot cheaper than induction double burners. Unlike cast iron models, this infrared double burner portable electric stove heats up rapidly, so you won’t have to wait around for it to reach your desired cooking temperature.
Compatible with all cookware, this portable stove has durable ceramic glass-topped burners, making it much easier to clean than your standard cast iron ones. Its stainless steel body can withstand frequent use, ideal for outdoor cooking all summer long. Thanks to the front double dials with seven pre-set temperature levels, it’s extremely easy to use.
At 1800W maximum output, this unit is pretty much on a par with most others in our review in terms of power consumption, however, be aware that each burner is limited to a maximum of 900W. So, if you are looking to rapidly cook at high temperatures, you would be better off with another model from our selection.
Also, this model is only suitable for use with cookware up to seven inches in diameter, so check if your pots and pans will be suitable before you order.
NuWave Precision Induction Stove
When you’re cooking with your side burner, having precise temperature control can really help for certain dishes, especially if you are cooking sous vide for example.
The NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop gives you much more control than regular induction cooktops, providing 52 different temperature levels. Simply select your desired cooking temperature in 10-degree increments between 100-575 degrees F for perfectly cooked food.
Aside from its impressive temperature control, this model also comes with Programmable Stage Cooking functionality with over 100 hours of memory and performance. Plus the built-in timer has an automatic shut-off, so you won’t have to worry about rushing over if you’re tied up with your grilling. Easy to clean, thanks to its glass top, this unit has a space-saving circular design making it easy to store.
As you would expect, this unit’s superior performance comes at a cost, making it a lot more expensive than your average single portable induction cooktop. Also, while the buttons are easy to use, they could be more durable, given this model’s high purchase price.
Nonetheless, if you need a precise single induction burner, the NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop makes the best choice.
AmazonBasics Portable Induction Stove Burner
The AmazonBasics Portable Induction Cooktop Burner is a great budget buy. If you are looking for an easy to use and clean induction side burner, you won’t find a better deal.
At 1800W, this portable induction stove will be powerful enough for all of your needs, with a temperature range between 160-440 degrees F. You can also select one of the eight power levels if you don’t want to cook at a specific temperature.
Despite its low price, this unit also has a child lock, which is also really useful to stop you from accidentally altering your temperature, plus a three-hour timer and a pause function. Its black glass cooktop makes it very easy to wipe clean, plus it has all of the regular safety protections such as overheat protection and a voltage warning.
While this unit is a great value for money purchase, note that the induction coil is only around four inches wide. So, although you can use this stove with pans up to 12 inches wide, only the central four inches will heat effectively. If you are not cooking a liquid-based dish, make sure you use an induction-ready pan with a good thick base to improve heat distribution. Also, the instructions could be clearer.
If you are looking for a low-priced side burner for your grill, you’ll struggle to find a better model for the money.
Elite Gourmet Countertop Electric Hot Burner
Whether you are on a tight budget or are just looking for a cheap portable electric stove for heating up sauces and cooking sides while you BBQ, this model by Elite Gourmet is one of the cheapest models on the market. Basic and very simple to use, this electric stove has a heavy-duty cast iron burner that provides good heat distribution with 1000W power.
Turn the front dial to one of the five preset power levels, or turn it to the maximum setting for boiling and minimum for keeping your food warm. Raised on four non-slip rubber feet, this handy little stove stays securely in place while you cook, without damaging your outdoor cooking area. As it is made from cast iron, it is suitable for all cookware types and can accommodate pans up to 9.5 inches.
When new, make sure that you don’t test it inside, as it will produce a strong chemical odor until the protective coating substances have burnt off. Aside from this, the only real issue with this model is that the power cord is fairly short, so you may need to have a heavy-duty extension cord lined up.
IMUSA USA Electric Single Burner
Inexpensive and easy to use, the IMUSA USA Electric Single Burner would make a good choice if you are looking for a basic stove for occasional use when grilling. Lightweight at just two pounds, its compact design makes it easy to store and carry to your outdoor cooking area.
While this unit has a good 1100W power rating, unfortunately, it does take quite a while to heat your food up as the coil burner is not the most effective design for efficient heat transfer. The front dial is very simple with low and high heat settings complete with a power indicator light, so you can tell at a glance whether or not your stove is heating up.
Unfortunately, aside from its slow heating, the main drawback to this stove is that it is pretty difficult to clean, making it less suitable for regular use. That said, if you are looking for a very cheap portable electric stove to use as a side burner for reheating sauces or other very basic heating tasks, this unit will get the job done.
Tasty One Top Smart Induction Stove
Stylish, with its bright blue color and unusual pentagon form, the Tasty One Top Smart Induction Cooktop is our favorite connected portable stove.
You can control it manually or remotely when you connect to your stove via the app. Follow one of the recipes from the app and your stove will adjust itself automatically, for extra easy cooking – this makes it a good choice for when you are cooking an additional dish but need to focus on your grill.
Thanks to its 1500W power, this connected stove heats up quickly and can cook at high temperatures as well as low ones. Its compact design makes for easy storage and transportation, while its good looks mean you can even use it at your table.
Thanks to this unit’s surface temperature sensor, you get an accurate reading of how hot you are cooking, while the included thermometer lets you know what temperature your food is internally. In fact, as this stove can hold your liquid temperature to within one degree, it also makes an excellent choice for cooking sous vide.
On the downside, the buttons could be more responsive for manual control, plus, if you are not going to be using it with the app, you may find that it is not that user-friendly. However, for use with the app and its included recipes, this connected portable electronic stove makes an excellent choice.
Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Portable Electric Stove
Unsure which is the best portable electric stove to go for? Check out our buyer’s guide and find out what are the most important features to consider when making your purchase.
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The price of a portable electric stove is generally dictated by type with single coil and cast iron burner models coming in around $15-$60.
Single induction models cost around $50 upwards, with infrared versions somewhere in between the two. Obviously, double burner units cost a lot more than single ones, so expect to double the amount if you need two burners.
Build quality, extra features, and ease of use are often better on more expensive models. Your budget should also reflect how often you intend on using your portable electric stove, be prepared to pay out more for a more durable model that will stand up to frequent use.
Also, be aware that purchasing some of the cheapest portable electric stoves can be a false economy as you may end up having to replace yours much earlier, or find that it is not powerful enough for your needs.
On the other hand, unless you are looking for a model with precise temperatures or Bluetooth connectivity, you should consider paying around $40-$100 for a single burner unit, or $80-$200 for a double. Induction stoves will be at the upper limit, with cast iron models at the lower.
Portability and Weight
If you will be storing your portable electric stove in your kitchen and carrying it out to use with your BBQ, you’ll want to look for a lightweight, compact model that is easy to store and carry. This will be less important if you have storage in your outdoor cook station.
Still, a lightweight model makes setting up much easier. Most portable electric stoves are lightweight, with even cast iron models weighing around five to seven pounds.
Obviously, double burner units will weigh considerably more and be much bulkier to carry and store.
From basic temperature dials to touchscreen controls with LCDs, all stoves will have some form of temperature settings. Some people prefer a basic 1-5 power level dial, while others prefer to cook by temperature with a figure displayed on screen.
However you prefer to cook, make sure that you take a look at your stove’s temperature settings, including any given temperature increments. Stoves with too large a gap between temperatures can be difficult to cook certain dishes with as you may have to keep turning them up and down to try to hold the right temperature.
Your portable electric stove will have a power rating in Watts. This is the maximum power, so if you are looking at a double burner model, take a closer look at the specific figures for each burner. Models rated around 1000W-1500W are going to be the most versatile, giving you faster heat up times and allowing you to cook hotter.
If you are opting for an induction model, bear in mind that as they transfer heat much more efficiently than other types of electric stove. This means that a portable induction stove with a lower wattage can easily outperform a cast iron, coil, or infrared model with a higher wattage.
Most hot plates are ceramic or glass. Here are the main differences between the two types.
Glass is typically used for induction stoves, although you will see some infrared versions that combine ceramic burners topped with glass. Glass cooktops are definitely the easiest to clean, with a smooth finish that can simply be wiped over when you are done.
Glass cooktops can scratch when used with rough cast iron pans in particular, however, this isn’t really likely to be an issue for you when you’re looking for a model to use as a BBQ side burner.
Ceramic is harder to wipe clean than glass, but it is very durable and retains heat for much longer. If you want to keep your side burner stove looking like new, avoid using abrasive scrubbing pads and cleaning products that will damage the look of your ceramic burner.
Ease of Cleaning
Coil and cast iron burners are often the most difficult to clean, while glass cooktops are the easiest. Also, pay attention to the controls, if you have any dials or protrusions where spills and dirt can build up, your stove is going to be harder to clean. Glass fronted touch sensor controls are the easiest to wipe over.
Number of Burners
Think carefully before you invest in a double burner model. While it can be really useful to have an extra burner, double burners take up a lot of extra space and are limited in power – when using both burners you’ll still be restricted to the unit’s maximum wattage.
If you frequently end up waiting for your sides and meals cooked on your side burner after alternating pans, then a double one is going to be eset for you. They are also a good choice if you regularly grill for large groups.
Otherwise for the occasional side dish or sauce, a single burner model will suffice, plus in the event of any extras, you can always use your home kitchen.
While some extras are seldom used gimmicks, others are extremely practical. Here are some of the most popular extra features that you will want to keep a lookout for when choosing your portable electric stove.
- Display with temperature reading.
- Temperature sensor.
- Overheating protection.
- Bluetooth connectivity.
- Pause button.
- Safety lock for induction models.
Type of Stove – Heating Method
Here are the main types of portable electric stove. Make sure that you consider each type carefully, as choosing your type of stove is one of the most important decisions when making your purchase.
- Rapid heat up – faster than cast iron and coil models.
- Retain heat – hot cooking surface after use.
- Can be used with all types of cookware.
- More energy-efficient than cast iron and coil models.
- Directly heat up your pan – saving time and energy.
- Instant heat.
- Cool down rapidly.
- Can only be used with induction-ready cookware.
- Cooktop not in contact with your pan will remain cool throughout cooking.
- Glass cooktop for easy cleaning – simply wipe after use.
- Can be used with all types of cookware.
- Can be difficult to clean.
- Not very energy-efficient.
- Takes a while to heat up.
- Good heat distribution.
- Retain heat after cooking.
- Slow to change temperature, both increasing and decreasing.
- Not very energy-efficient.
Choose your portable electric stove type depending on your needs. If you need a highly responsive model that heats up rapidly choose an induction or infrared model, or else if you want a slow heating version that retains heat longer go for a durable cast iron model.
Safety Tips For a Using Electric Portable Stove
To make sure that you stay safe when using your new portable electric stove, consider the following usage tips.
Always check your electric stove over before plugging it in for any signs of wear and tear.
Regular cleaning is essential to prevent a grease build up which could cause a fire.
Don’t store or carry your stove with the power cord stretched – you could weaken the connections.
Always wait until your stove has completely cooled before cleaning and storing your stove.
With so many excellent models to choose from, finding the best portable electric stove to use as a side burner can take a lot of time and effort.
If you are struggling to choose between the top-rated models in our reviews, you might like to take a second look at the Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop. At 1800W it’s a powerful model that you can use for all types of dishes to accompany your BBQ, even more so given its 15 different temperature and power levels for extra versatility. Easy to clean with its glass cooktop and touch button controls, this is one of the very best induction models around.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a double burner model, the Cusimax Portable Electric Double Stove is a great choice. Its dual infrared burners heat up rapidly and are also easy to clean thanks to their glass-topped ceramic construction. With its powerful 1800W rating, this double burner portable electric stove makes a really useful addition to any outdoor cook station.
If you are a hands-on griller and are looking for an easy way to cook an additional dish with minimal effort, opt for the Tasty One Top Smart Induction Cooktop. Download the app, select a recipe, and this connected electric portable stove will automatically adjust the temperature for you, leaving you more time to keep an eye on your ribs and brisket.