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Here we are with portable hotpot. There’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than sitting around a table with your friends and family eating food that you all cooked together. And there’s no better way to do that than portable hotpot! From broths filled with mouth-numbing Szechuan peppers to mild Japanese shabu shabu, portable hotpot is fun and easy to do at home—if you have the right materials.
As the popularity of this traditional Asian cooking style continues to rise in the West, so does the availability of tabletop heat sources and appropriately shaped pots. But choosing is difficult, so that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to picking out the right portable hotpot cooker. If you still find yourself stuck after that, we’ve also included a list of our ten favorite hot pots—split into electric and non-electric categories—to start your search.
What Is A Portable Hotpot?
portable hotpot also known as soup-food or steamboat, is a Chinese cooking method, prepared with a simmering pot of soup stock at the dining table, containing a variety of East Asian foodstuffs and ingredients.
How Does Portable Hotpot Work?
portable hotpot require no external heat source (fire or electricity) in their preparation—all that is needed is just a bottle of water. The bottom of the packet contains a packet of quicklime which, when mixed with water, releases heat adequate for cooking the product.
- First tear open the heater bag.
- Place the meal in the bag against the heater pad.
- Pour the provided salt water pouch into the bag to start the heater.
- Fold the opening over and use the tape on the bag to keep it closed.
- Place the meal in the heater bag on a heat-safe surface.
Uses Of Portable Hotpot
- Designed to be a multipurpose cooking appliance, this portable hotpot is made from 304 food grade stainless steel which is rust-resistant. portable hotpot is constructed with a double wall design which minimizes the heat from reaching the exterior build.
- This portable hotpot is best for dormers or for people who need an electric pot to cook noodles, oatmeal, pasta, porridge, or soup. Portable hotpot is also designed with a wide shape so that people can easily reach in to cook their food when used for an oriental hot pot meal.
- Portable hotpot has a separate heating base. It can also be removed from its base for easy cleaning.
- Safety features include an overheating and boil dry protection. This electric hot pot also comes with a keep warm function.
Features Of Portable Hotpot
While there are not a lot of features that you can get from portable hotpot, there are certain functionalities that will make using such appliances more convenient to have around. A good example would be the safety features that some portable hotpot have. With their help, you will be able to multi-task in the kitchen without fearing that the appliance will burn down your house.
On top of this, a cording system is also what you should think of. It is better to get the one with a long cord so that you can connect it directly to the electricity outlet. You can also use an adapter or a power board. Still, direct cord connection may greatly support a strong power and prevent short circuits.
- nonstick ceramic marble coating and die-cast aluminum build
- ergonomic faux wood knob on the lid
- oven-safe pot, that can be used on induction, gas, electric, and halogen stoves
- standard diameter, but deeper than your average pot
- knob on lid and handles made of silicone for easy handling
Buying Guides To Choosing The Best Portable Hot Pots
As our list above shows, a lot of the best electric hot pots in the market today share the same qualities. As a result, taking a pick can be very challenging. Thus, how do you choose the right one for your home needs? To help you answer this, here are a few tips that you can look at to make a better decision on what to choose.
Set a Budget
Electric hot pots come at various price points, so it will be wise to set a budget when planning on getting one. You can definitely choose to skimp or splurge on these appliances – it is all up to you. Remember, however, that with electronic appliances, you often get what you pay for so it might be better to invest a little more and get the best ones.
Normally, regular mini electric hot pots would cost between $20 up to $50. But, it can be too small for a few people. If you are going to get the one used by only yourself, you do not need to invest a lot either.
Choose a Size
To make the most out of your purchase, you should also choose the right size of the electric hot pot for your home. If you will only really cook for yourself, get a smaller unit. If your entire household enjoys hot pot dinners, get a bigger one. Besides that, you can also choose a combo device that comes with both the electric grill and hot pot.
As noticed, there are also those hot pots that come in separate serves. This means that you can have two different flavors of your soup at the same time.
The average size of a hot pot ranges from 1L to 6L. Depending on how large a group you’re cooking for, this size range is more than sufficient enough to boil enough broth to feed them. The bigger ones are usually designed as double flavor pots and come with a separator. This means that you can cook two kinds of broth in the hot pot to give your meal more choice of flavors.
On occasion, you might stumble upon a smaller hot pot. These mini-hot pots are best for college dormers or singles living in tiny rooms. The same is true for mini kettles and small electric skillets. Small hot pots can also be used to boil eggs or noodles for an easy meal.
Warranty is a tricky thing when it comes to these products made overseas. Some brands have lousy warranties. Your best hope is reading through the customer feedback and pick one that has the most trustworthy reviews. If you can find a product with a multi-cooker rating, that would be a plus. This means that the appliance has been tested in a lab to confirm that it meets industry quality standards.
Hot pots either come in stainless steel or aluminum covered up with food grade plastic. As an industry standard, the Food Grade label is used to describe plastic that does not have BPA, PFOA, or any other toxic chemical that might leach into the food. But if you still have any concerns about the reliability of the label (this being an overseas-produced appliance, after all), stick to stainless steel.
Choosing the best electric hot pots for your home should not be a stressful task. If you know what you want and need, this guide will surely be a useful tool for you to narrow down your options and maybe even find your perfect match.