Hot plates are a common sight in many kitchens but their uses and advantages go beyond that!
A hot-plate (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hot_plate) is nothing but a portable self-contained tabletop small appliance which has two or more electric heating elements for heating. They also come with gas burners.
As the name suggests, these hot plates can be used as a standalone appliance. In many households, these are commonly used as a substitute for burners either from an oven or a stove. So next time if a kitchen stove is not or convenient for use, the hot plates can serve your purpose. You can indeed use them for cooking as they are extremely portable that is a great advantage during house parties. You can use them for sauté work or desserts on a table side or a buffet.
For laboratorial settings and practices, these hot plates are usually used for heating glassware and the content in it. Some of them also contain a magnetic stirrer that automatically stirs the heated liquid in the glassware.
These are extremely useful in lab works because baths can be hazards if they spill, overheat or ignite. The main advantage of the hot plates is the cost. They are available at a very low cost in the market which allows them to be the most used appliance in this developing world. Those who have a limited budget, please do not worry, the most considered appropriate technology is here- hot plate. It is extremely pocket friendly and comes within the budget.
Working of a hot plate
It provides heating by using a disposable butane fuel cartridge. Usually after sparking an igniter, the hot plates will burn for 1.5 hours approx.
- It is possible and easy to heat stuff with disposable gas
- It is available in larger sizes as compared to the induction cookers
- Check for the surfaces as they can get very hot at times
- The generated heat takes time to adjust
Safety comes first
It is a known fact that safety is always good. You should keep some safety tips in mind while using a hot plate:-
- Before heating content in a bath, check for the glassware’s heat resistance, cracks. Also, do remember that do not put any glassware on the plate directly. Apart from this, make sure that the surface of the hotplate is always larger than the vessel being heated.
- Add boiling stones while bringing the liquids to boil. This will help in facilitating the process.
- Do not condense any content/ material in a vessel until and unless it is completely dry. Even a single drop of moisture can eventually crack your vessel.
- For heating liquids, a smart idea would be to set the temperature at medium or medium high setting.
- Do not heat a metal plate on a hot plate as this can damage the appliance and often poses a shock risk.
- Always use tongs or any rubber coated, heat resistant gripping devices while removing any object from a hot plate. This goes for pouring hot liquids too.
- It is advisable not to store any flammable or volatile materials in the vicinity of a hot plate. Also, it is best to chuck out an old and worn-out hot plate for flammable materials.
- Before using a hot plate, check carefully for corrosions in order to avoid any spark hazard.
- Last but not the least, always remembers to turn it off after using.
Taking Care of your hot plate
- A general cleaning way for your hot plate is to wipe the exterior surfaces with a piece of cloth dampened slightly. You can use a mild soap solution.
- Do not use a vinegar solution for cleaning as it is just a myth.
- Always keep the hot plate in cool and dry place. Try to avoid it from moisture as to keep it away from corrosion and rust.
As mentioned earlier, the hot plates can be a good companion in lab works and in daily use as they come at a very reasonable price as compared to other heating appliances. You just have to take good and proper precautions and care for it.