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.

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You can use a hot plate to boil water and keep beverages and other liquids warm.

Step 1

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.

Step 2

Fill the small saucepan or heat-safe container with water.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Unplug the hot plate, and remove the saucepan. Let the hot plate cool down to room temperature before putting it away.