Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Aug 5, 2013 06:06 AM

Your best recipes/ideas for cooking using a single hotplate

The gas supply to my apartment has been out for a week, and the interim cooking solution supplied by the gas company is a single hotplate. So far I've been making do with salads and sandwiches, but I have no eta on when the repairs will be done and I know I'm going to want to cook something hot soon.

So I have an electric kettle, a toaster and a single hotplate. My mind is going blank in terms of what I'd usually make in one pot/pan, aside from the usual eggs or beans on toast.

For those of you that have used/currently use a hotplate, what are your favourite/best meals? And do you tend to stick one-pan wonders, or are you happy to use it for several processes for one meal?

Thanks in advance for the tips - I think all the freezing showers have taken away my recipe brain!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. If its large enough and you can set the temperature low, can you use it to make a stew or a curry?

    Do you have a rice cooker, or any interest in investing in one? Would really give you more options to work with one-dish meals made on the hotplate. And a rice cooker is a good investment beyond your immediate need.

    3 Replies
    1. re: BernalKC

      It's fairly small (in size) and power (1500w) but, as I've discovered tonight, the whole unit gets very hot. I wouldn't be keen on using it for a stew or anything slow-cooked, because I think it's incredibly low-range and not designed to be on for more than maybe 20 minutes. Will definitely be looking into a rice cooker if this goes on for very long - don't currently have one as I live alone and I never thought it was worth it for the volume.

      1. re: ultimatepotato

        Rice cookers (at least mine) are just as good for cooking a half cup of rice as 2-3 cups. Its one of those things that, now that I own one, I can't imagine every living without it.

        1. re: BernalKC

          For smaller amounts (1 cup or less), I use a microwave.

    2. I'll start out by admitting that I have never used a hot plate. That said, a few things come to mind:

      1. Poached salmon. You don't need to get it super-hot so it should work if you don't try to cook too much at once.

      2. I keep intending to try this recipe that I found on Pinterest (with a few changes, of course!):

      3. Quesadillas. Not exciting but fast and tasty.

      4. My favorite broke dinner: cabbage and ramen. Sautee the cabbage with ginger, garlic, soy, and sesame oil (powdered spices are fine) then toss in a packet of slightly undercooked ramen noodles (these can actually be done in the microwave or left sitting in boiling water for a few minutes). Finish them all up in the pan together, with or without a bit of the seasoning packet.

      5. Sloppy joes. Again, not that exciting but always good. My recipe: saute an onion, add ground beef, drain once cooked. Add 1 bottle of Heinz chili sauce and cook until hot. Not the most sophisticated recipe but I love it.

      Good luck!

      1 Reply
      1. re: wandajune6

        Thanks for the ideas - I had forgotten about quesadillas, and I just made something similar to your ramen. Had to look up sloppy joes!

      2. I have been limited to two induction hotplates during renovation. Don't hesitate to buy a second plate, preferably induction, until this is over. That will let you do a starch and a main at the same time. If you have or can acquire a pressure cooker, that will add to quick meals immeasurably.

        Dried beans were my best friend, for chili, stews, and cassoulet. Canned beans would speed things up.

        The only thing I missed was high heat searing and broiling. Easy to live without for a few weeks.

        Here is a photo of beef ribs slow cooked over a burner-plate.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jayt90

          I'm hoping to avoid getting to the point of buying extra appliances as it's just me by myself (all dinner parties cancelled for the foreseeable!) but those ribs look fantastic, thanks!

        2. I've made all sorts of things on a single hotplate, any "one pot" meal can be made on a hotplate really.

          The best advice I have is to remember that you can actually do multiple things on a single hotplate. For example, if you cook tomato sauce in one pan, it will stay hot enough sitting, covered in its pan while you cook pasta. Then just toss the two together in the (now empty) pasta pot over the heat to finish. Works well. Rice the same way - keeps warm long enough to cook something in a skillet to go with it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: thimes

            Thank you - I'm sure if this stretches towards the next weekend I'll start the multi-pot options.

            1. re: ultimatepotato

              you can also do a lot with steaming - from simple things (vegetables/shrimp/chicken/etc) to more "adventurous" like chinese steamed buns (bao) to change things up a little.

            2. re: thimes

              I want to second thimes' advice: you can do multiple things on a single burner. Rice and pasta just as thimes says. Meat or chicken can wait long enough to do a simple green veg. I have been working with a single burner for awhile now and it has barely slowed me down, just a matter of thinking through the steps a bit.

            3. I've made a decent steak on a hotplate, believe it or not. Helps to have a good cut of meat, though.