An electric hot plate can be useful for heating up food and drink when you don't have access to a stove or for keeping already-hot foods warm. Although a hot plate is nowhere near as powerful as a full-size electric stove, you can use it to boil water for convenience foods such as instant coffee, tea or dehydrated soups. The key is to use a pot or other container that is appropriate for the size of the hot plate -- and to be patient.
Plug in your hot plate, and set the temperature to the desired level. If your hot plate doesn't have a temperature gauge, simply plug it in and give it about five minutes to get hot.
Fill the small saucepan or heat-safe container with water.
Place the saucepan or container onto the hot eye of the hot plate. Let it sit uncovered for 10 minutes or until it comes to a rolling boil.
Unplug the hot plate, and remove the saucepan. Let the hot plate cool down to room temperature before putting it away.