Best Mini Hob 2019 – Buyer’s Guide

Mini hobs are portable, tabletop cooking appliances which can give you extra cooking space or more cooking possibilities when you are on a trip or have a small kitchen.

There are three broad categories, just as with conventional hobs – induction, electric and gas. The most suitable for you will depend on what you will be cooking, where it will be used and how frequently. Some are better for constant, high-pressure use than others, and some reach higher temperatures with more ease.

Picking the best mini hob for your needs can be a big task, especially as you’ll probably be relying on it a lot. Here is our pick of the best tabletop and portable hobs available at the moment which should help narrow down your decision.

The Best Mini Hobs – Our Top Picks

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
Duronic HP2BK Hot Plate
  • Dimensions: 54.3 x 22.8 x 10cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2500W
  • Material: Cast Iron
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Tefal IH201840 Everyday Induction Hob
  • Dimensions: 34.2 x 27.6 x 5.6 cm
  • Plates: One
  • Power: 2100W
  • Material: Ceramic
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Campingaz Chef Folding Double Burner Stove and Grill
  • Dimensions: 59.5 x 32.5 x 9 cm (when closed)
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: Gas
  • Material: Steel
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Best Electric Mini Hob

Russell Hobbs Mini Hob 15199

Compact and portable with easy to navigate rotary controls, this Russell Hobbs table top hob is a great budget choice for anyone who will want a hob for both occasional or temporary use.

The two solid heating plates are great if you want to be making two pans of food at the same time, as they both keep the heat isolated. Lights come on when the hob is heating up, and they go off to tell you that the desired temperature has been hit.

It is a little slow to heat up, but once done they hold the temperature well until it is time to turn them off. The larger ring reaches 1500W and the smaller 750W, which is great if you need a low heat to gently boil or keep something warm. They’re sealed around the edges to protect against spillages, but obviously, care is still needed with this.

A little niggle we had was the fact that the markers on the dials are the same black colour as the actual dials and are slightly raised, so they are quite difficult to read, especially if you are in low light. They are well marked, but the visibility is poor.

There is no thermostatic cut-out or timer, so you’d have to take care when using it and place it on a heatproof surface, but this is something which should be done with any model. Overall it is a great price and keeps clean well, perfect if you’re having the kitchen refitted or current cooker is being repaired.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 28 x 7.8 x 46.8 cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2250W
  • Material: Stainless Steel

+ Downloads

Russell Hobbs Mini Hob User Manual

Download

We like

  • Heat is held well
  • Power lights
  • Clean design

We dislike

  • Temperature indicators hard to read

Final Verdict

If you need something to help you out when hob space is running low, then this pick is ideal and the price is well worth it.

Duronic HP2BK Hot Plate

A practical solution for anybody low on space, this tabletop hot plate doesn’t take up much space and can be stored away in a cupboard or shelving and brought out as and when required.

It is also great for anyone who will be cooking on the go, as it isn’t too bulky to be transported around. Thermostatically controlled, the larger ring (187mm) can heat up to 1500W and the smaller ring (152mm) up to 1000W.

As they are made from cast iron, they’re not just sturdy but also easy to clean and take care of. They’re corrosion resistant too, so should stay working well for a long time without becoming damaged.

We liked the two handles either side for easy movement. Even if the hob is still hot, you can move the appliance around without risking injury, as long as you are still careful. Great if you will be cooking it in the kitchen and transporting to the table to serve, but want to keep it warm on the residual heat.

Overheat protection will ensure that if it encounters any problems or becomes hotter than it should be, it will turn itself off. There are also non-slip feet on the base, so it stays in place when you need it to the most.

The thermostat seemed to be very fine-tuned which we liked; while other portable mini hobs seem to struggle slightly with the lower temperatures, this one handled keeping food warm and low boils very well.

Likewise, it also got up to high temperatures well. We could fry a steak, make a stir-fry and rapid boil with ease. It takes a little while to get used to the overall apparatus and picking the correct temperatures, but once you do, control is a breeze.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 54.3 x 22.8 x 10cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2500W
  • Material: Cast Iron

We like

  • Heats up quickly
  • Versatile temperature selection
  • Handles

We dislike

  • Cleaning is a bit difficult as marks aren’t removed easily

Final Verdict

Overall, to say it is an electric hot plate model (which usually aren’t the greatest at heating and cooling), it performs incredibly well, perhaps on par with some halogen models. We were pleasantly surprised.

Sensiohome Gourmet GBSDHP001 Double Boiling Ring

Simple to use and with a clean, flat design, this Sensiohome mini hob features two cooking rings to give you plenty of extra space and options.

Able to both boil pots and bring them down to a simmer, it is perfectly versatile for use as a substitute for a built-in hob, for instance, if you are short on space in your kitchen or need a bit of overflow for a busy Christmas or Sunday dinner.

It is also compact in size, so doesn’t take up much area. One large and one small hot plate is perfect for multitasking, so you can boil a pot of pasta and prepare a sauce from scratch at the same time without having to compromise.

They heat up reasonably quickly, but also cool better than a few of the other ceramic hobs we reviewed, which is good both for safety and reducing the heat when needed for a recipe, such as frying. Because of this, it isn’t ideal for keeping food warm on residual heat.

The power cable is approximately 1.5 metres long, which is more generous than most other models that sit under 1 metre and make positioning a bit more limited.

We can see that keeping it clean could be an issue, as spills and stains were not easy to remove with ordinary cleaning products. Other reviewers have commented on similar problems, where sauces or other spillages have occurred and have left a permanent mark. This doesn’t take away from the actual performance of the hob but is worth bearing in mind if you are a bit of a messy cook or like to keep your cleaning to a minimum.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: H7 x W46 x D28cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2500W
  • Material: Ceramic

We like

  • Heats up well and in good time
  • Dial controls are well marked and easy to select

We dislike

  • Cleaning seems like it would be difficult

Final Verdict

We'd be happy with this hob if we needed a bit of extra space or a temporary solution to our cooking needs. A handy little appliance to have around.

Lloytron E832 Table Top Twin Hob Hot Plates

Robust and with accurate temperature control, this is one of the cheapest double ring hobs on our list, but you wouldn’t know it by the performance.

If you’re on a budget or just need something to last temporarily, then it will cope well with the task. It is quite compact, so great for storing away and bringing out as and when needed.

It heats up quickly enough, especially for a hot plate model. The heat range is also generous, from keeping it on low for food to stay warm, to boiling pasta and crafting stir-fries. It also seems to keep the heat well, not dropping the temperature at any point which is great.

In fact, if anything, the cast iron design causes a heat delay when turning it off, so it will hold the heat for a good few minutes afterwards. Good if you want to keep something warm, but also bear it in mind for preventing food from burning.

The markings on each dial are quite clear, but they do seem like they’d easily wear away with a lot of use so getting familiar with the workings is important.

Overall, for under £30, it is a great item for any temporary use or as and when you need it. We don’t know if it would be able to cope with everyday long-lasting use, but for camping trips or until a permanent solution is found it would be fine.

There is a single hob option too if this is more appropriate to your needs.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 47 x 27.5 x 8 cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2250W
  • Material: Cast Iron

+ Downloads

Lloytron E832 Table Top Twin Hob Hot Plates

Download

We like

  • Clean design
  • Well-marked control dials

We dislike

  • Not the sturdiest of builds

Final Verdict

Well-built and with a good temperature control and selection, this hob is a great price for what you actually get.

Best Induction Mini Hob

Tefal IH201840 Everyday Induction Hob

A brilliant single plate induction hob which is very popular amongst table top hob users, this Tefal cooking plate is perfectly versatile.

There are six cooking functions – Manual, Heat Milk, Stew, Stir Fry, Deep Fry, Boil Water – as well as nine power levels from 450W to 2100W. Great if you want an all-in-one hob which can fry your vegetables and bacon just as well as it can craft a casserole.

The preset functions automatically determine the correct temperature for the task, but the manual option allows you to set your own boundaries and everyday cooking demands.

The black ceramic plate is scratch proof and flat, so it is easy to clean and keep in good order. It is suitable for use with conduction-compliant pots with a base width of 12-25cm.

A two-hour timer will allow you to time your cooking and ensure it isn’t left on for too long, and the LED display screen can tell you exactly which settings have been chosen before you get going, for an extra level of precision. When not in use, it will turn off after five minutes of being left on idle.

We found that it sometimes turned off when being used as well, particularly if it was on a very powerful setting such as the deep fry option and therefore very hot. This was not a massive problem, as it only took a few minutes to cool down enough for it to restart again. Just be prepared to be interrupted a little bit.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 34.2 x 27.6 x 5.6 cm
  • Plates: One
  • Power: 2100W
  • Material: Ceramic

+ Downloads

Tefal IH201840 Everyday Induction Hob User Manual

Download

We like

  • Great for high-temperature cooking
  • Six presets for accurate temperature control

We dislike

  • Low temperatures don’t work well - the lowest you get is a boil

Final Verdict

It comes a very close second to our top induction pick, and actually tops it slightly in terms of performance, but we like having the luxury of a twin ring. However, if you know you will only require a single hob, this is a great top choice.

VonShef Twin Induction Hob

Ideal for limited space scenarios such as small kitchens, bedsits, student accommodation or caravans, this is an efficient and easy to use table top hob to add extra cooking space.

Induction cooking is a safe method, and this is an efficient and quick device. The control is simple, thanks to touch controls and an LED display for accuracy. There are ten heat settings, adjustable between 60 and 240°, so no matter the task, it is up to the job. An in-built timer can be set up to three hours, so you can leave a one-pot meal ticking over without having to watch it like a hawk or risk forgetting about it.

Because of the toughened black glass top and scratch resistant plates, cleaning is a breeze. Just wipe with a damp cloth as soon as it cools down. There is no thermostat which kicks in at a certain temperature, so it maintains a constant heat.

Instructions state that each hob can accommodate a pan of around 28cm diameter, although we’d say it could handle a bit larger than this. It is only appropriate for induction-suitable pans.

A fan keeps the temperature constant and controlled, which is a great little feature for added efficiency. This is a little bit noisy though, more so than an ordinary fan assisted oven, which could become annoying with prolonged use. But at least you know it is working, and it keeps the electrics cool so it should improve the longevity.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 65.5 x 44 x 11 cm
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: 2800W
  • Material: Ceramic

We like

  • Great temperature range
  • Easy to keep clean
  • LED screen

We dislike

  • Noise of fan is a bit much

Final Verdict

Fast, effective and good control, this hob will assist you perfectly in the kitchen or wherever you'd like to take it with you.

Best Gas Mini Hob

Campingaz Chef Folding Double Burner Stove and Grill

Complete with easy piezo ignition and even a grill to help you with any toasting needs, this gas burner is a perfect all-in-one for any camping or barbecuing tasks.

It feels fairly sturdy and can fold down into an easy-to-carry case which is lightweight and great for popping in the car or caravan. Everything stays in place during the transportation, so is ready as soon as you open it up and need it.

For anyone who prefers gas cooking for the ease of control, you will love how easy it is to adjust each burner. Just turn the dial and watch the power of the burner adjust before your eyes – no difficult markers to read or waiting for the heating and cooling to happen.

Because of the fuel type, it isn’t ideal for use indoors, but would be great if you are a keen barbecuer in the Summer months and need something which you can rely on for a bit of extra space, especially as it will save you running in and out all the time.

All you need to buy is the fuel, an 8mm gas hose and a gas regulator which will fit your gas canister; then you are good to go. Propane and butane gas are both ideal.

It is nice to have the option of grilling, but you can only really fit two small slices of bread under at any one time, and it takes a little while to cook, so it is not something to be relied on. A nice touch, though.

So, if you are after a gas stove as it will be easier than an electric alternative when you’re camping or using it to cook your dinner outdoors, we think this Campingaz is the top pick out there.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 59.5 x 32.5 x 9 cm (when closed)
  • Plates: Two
  • Power: Gas
  • Material: Steel

+ Downloads

Campingaz Chef Folding Double Burner Stove and Grill

Download

We like

  • Good heat control
  • Feels sturdy for a portable item
  • Piezo ignition

We dislike

  • Grill is poor (but is probably an added extra for your needs anyway)

Final Verdict

If you are going camping or on holiday then a gas hob is a great option so you don't have to rely on having an electricity supply. This is one of the best out there, with plenty of control and power.

Help and Resources

Mini Hob Buying Guide

Electric, Induction Or Gas?

Electric and induction hobs are both very similar, but induction models are seen as being a bit more powerful, and they heat up faster, which could be better if you will be using the hob indoors as a permanent fixture. They also often have more adaptable heat control and reach higher temperatures, so can accommodate more tasks. This usually does come at a price, though.

Electric hotplate models are a bit slower at gaining heat, and many have thermostat controls which can mean it won’t reach as high a heat as an induction model. However, this could be good if you know you will be using it for low-heat tasks, such as heating vegetables or sauces when camping. They’re often a lot cheaper to buy, so could be the best option if you want something for intermediate use.

Gas models are primarily for outdoor use, for instance, if you are cooking outdoors and don’t want to have to rely on finding a power socket. They’re great for control and giving you a high heat, but you’d need to keep stocked up on the fuel if you’re using it frequently.

Price

Electric hobs are often the cheapest option. They start at around £20 for single plate models and £30 for doubles. They’re often quite limited with the temperature range, but are great for temporary solutions. Some of the higher-end models may be able to withstand continuous use in replacement of a built-in hob in a kitchen.

Gas mini hobs are also often quite well-priced but are only designed for occasional and outdoor use, so aren’t appropriate for a permanent solution.

Induction models are a bit more pricey, but the reliability and control is often a big jump up from ordinary ceramic plate models so could well be worth the extra money if you will be relying on it a lot.

Size

The dimensions of mini hobs greatly differ, but it could be very important to take note of them for your needs.

If you are transporting the hob and taking it on holiday, you will want one which is compact enough to use in a caravan or motorhome, or on an appropriate table. If you are using it in your kitchen as there isn’t enough space for an ordinary hob, take note of both the bench space you have, where you would be positioning it and also if you’d like to store it in between uses.

FAQs

Are My Pans Compatible With An Induction Hob?

If you have your eye on an induction hob for the quick heating and clean shape and design, ensuring your pans are compatible is important to ensure it works and save you from buying more.

Just place a magnet underneath the base. If it sticks, your pans are made from iron and can be used as induction hob saucepans. If not, pans currently on sale should state whether they are suitable or not.

Is A Mini Oven With A Hob Better?

If your kitchen is low on space, so you require both a table top oven and hob, there are plenty of all-in-one options out there, and we have reviewed some of the best. However, the power of the hob is often limited as most is centralised on the oven chamber. These hobs are only really designed for low-heat tasks. It is rare both parts can be used at the same time, too.

Therefore, if it is going to be important that you can use both at the same time and it is going to be able to handle a range of tasks, two separate models may be the best option.