There are many ways to cook and bake in a tiny house. Many tiny kitchens contain small and compact ovens, but it’s important not to forget just how useful electric or gas cooktops can be.
With so many options out there it can be hard to decide which tiny house cooktop is best for you. Since every inch of space is precious in tiny house kitchens, it’s important to choose the right cooktop for you.
In this blog post we will discuss the pros and cons of each type of cooktop (gas, electric or induction) in order to help you make an informed decision about which one is right for your tiny home.
We’ll also cover what the most space-saving options are for each type of cooktop also taking into account things like power usage and practicality.
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Table of Contents:
- Do tiny homes have kitchen cooktops and stovetops?
- What is the smallest size cooktop?
- Which type of kitchen cooktop is best for my tiny house?
Do tiny homes have kitchen cooktops and stovetops?
Many people looking to downsize and move into a tiny house often wonder what appliances are available in the kitchen area. Cooktops and stovetops are common in regular size houses but do tiny homes have them too?
The answer is yes, most tiny homes do have kitchen cooktops or stovetops! In fact, many tiny homes are designed with a kitchen that includes all of the amenities: oven, range top, sink and dishwasher.
Cooktops are especially useful if you do not have a full-size oven in your tiny house. Many people decide to opt for a small microwave or toaster oven so they can cook food, but this is not practical to use on a continual basis. So being able to fry food on a cooktop is a great alternative.
The best part about cooktops is that they are usually less expensive than ovens, and can be installed in a tiny house without taking up too much space or adding much to the cost of construction!
You can even buy portable cooktops that you can take outside or store away in cabinets.
What is the smallest size cooktop?
The smallest cooktop we found was 11.8 inches wide by 7.9 inches long. It’s a single burner hotplate by Techwood. The burner itself is 7.5 inches in diameter so it will fit small to medium-sized pots and pans.
Generally, one burner hot plate cooktops are the smallest. Options available on Amazon range from 11.5 to 17.5 inches wide and 10 to 14 inches long. This depends on how large the burner is, whether the controls and dials are on the top or side of the cooktop and what type of energy it uses (electric or gas).
If you want a one-burner cooktop then you will probably have to settle for a portable hot plate, rather than a permanent in-built appliance.
If you want more than one burner, there’s always the option to upgrade to more.
Two burner cooktops can be easily built into your tiny house countertop, or there are lots of portable options available.
The key difference is that ones with two burners are either longer or wider. Ask yourself how many burners you will need to use at once!
Sizes for two-burner cooktops available on Amazon range from 20.5 to 25 inches wide and 11 to 17 inches long. This also depends on whether you have a gas or electric cooktop, the size of the burners and where the dials are located.
The smallest double-burner cooktop we found was this 12″ built-in electric cooktop by GASLAND which measures 20.5 inches wide by 11.3 inches long.
The GASLAND 12″ Built-in Electric Cooktop is a high quality electric cooktop with 2 different cooking zones (6.7″ and 7.9″). It has 9 power levels and you can easily switch to different levels quickly, such as from boil to simmer.
The digital sensor touch controls help to easily control the electric cooker heating and it comes with a multifunctional timer so you can set it to turn the cooking zones off automatically when the time is up.
However, if you want more than two burners, you can choose to have up to six of them on your countertop. Of course, this will take up considerably more space than one or two burners, but if you’re a keen chef, it may be worth the extra space.
One important point to consider is how large the pots and pans you cook with are. You’ll want to measure the diameter of your largest pot or pan, and then check if the burner you want to buy will support it.
If your tiny house kitchen counter is not very wide or deep and you want an in-built cooktop then you should consider having a custom cooktop made. You’ll need to talk with your builder about which size burner you want on the counter and how many you want too.
Lastly, another way to save space other than opting for a small tiny house cooktop, is to choose a portable hot plate. This means it won’t always sit on your countertop and you will be able to use the free space when it is not in use.
Which type of kitchen cooktop is best for my tiny house?
There are many differences between the two main types of tiny house cooktop: gas and electric.
There are also some more subtle distinctions between electric and induction cooktops which we will also discuss.
To find the best type of cooktop for your tiny homes, you must consider:
- The power and resources required to use the two different types of cooktops
- The cleanup required (particularly for gas)
- The cost of the unit
- How quickly it heats up or cools down
- Portability of the unit
We’ll cover all these points in the following section.
Induction vs electric vs gas tiny house cooktops
Cooktops are generally powered in one of two ways: electricity or gas.
Electric cooktops contain a coiled wire that is covered in metal. When you turn on the cooktop, electricity flows into the wire, heating it up, which in turn heats up the glass-ceramic material (the burner) above it.
Halogen electric cooktops work in the same way, except they use rings of halogen bulbs to heat up the burners, rather than an electric coiled wire.
Induction cooktops are also powered by electricity but work in a different way to conventional electric cooktops. Instead of heating a coiled wire, they directly heat the glass surface (the burner) using magnetic fields.
This means that the temperature can be changed very quickly if needed by simply changing the strength of the magnetic field.
However, gas cooktops are powered in a completely different way to electric and induction cooktops.
Different types of gas are used as the power source. Before gas reaches the burner, it is mixed with oxygen so it is combustible.
As it makes its way to the burner, a gas pilot light sends a small spark to ignite the gas-oxygen mixture, which then heats up the burner.
When you adjust the temperature on the gas burner, the gas supply is either increased or decreased to create a stronger or weaker flame.
But the question is, which type of cooktop is better suited for tiny homes?
We’ll cover the main points of what to consider when choosing your tiny house cooktop.
Power and resources
Firstly, when deciding on either a gas or electric tiny house cooktop you must consider the power and resources each uses up.
Electric cooktops of course use electricity to create heat. Even for small meals where you’re only heating one cooktop, you may struggle to power it if you’re living off-grid in your tiny house and using only solar power.
However, if you’re connected to the electrical grid, the electric cooktop will be more viable, as you don’t have to worry about a finite amount of electricity.
Gas cooktops, on the other hand, use an alternate energy source to electricity and do not use up the precious power that your solar panels generate.
You will need a source of either natural gas or propane in your tiny house, which will need replacing every so often.
Propane contains more energy than natural gas, so you will need less of it to heat your tiny house cooktops or stovetops. This is great news for tiny house owners as it takes up far less room than storing natural gas would.
This is why you should consider purchasing a propane cooktop instead of one that uses natural gas.
In terms of energy efficiency, electric cooktops conduct most of the energy created directly into the pots and pans you cook with.
Gas cooktops are rather inefficient in this way, as they only conduct around 40% of the heat created to your utensils (compared to around 75% for electric cooktops). This is because the heat escapes into the air, rather than being directed into the utensils.
However, traditional electric cooktops take longer to heat up burners and the utensils themselves, meaning you will be using electricity for longer than you would gas.
If you want to use electricity for your cooktop or stovetop, consider using an induction cooktop that heats up burners and utensils faster.
Cleaning and maintenance
Another important point to consider between electric and gas tiny house cooktops is how easy they are each to clean.
Generally, people find that electric cooktops are easier to clean than gas ones because you don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in the burner holes or around and below the heating elements.
Electric cooktops are smooth so can just be wiped over with a damp cloth, while gas units may need to be cleaned with water and brushes.
If you want the dual option of being able to take your hob outside and cook food in nature, it must be small, portable and not a permanent fixture in your kitchen.
Many campers who like to cook in the outdoors opt for gas burners, mainly because you’re far away from an electrical hookup.
If you are able to cook with electric hot plates outside, then consider using an induction hob as they are the much safer option.
Gas burners have the risk of a naked flame and standard electric hot plates leave a hot surface you can burn yourself on. Induction hot plates, however, heat up the bottom of pots and pans directly so you’re not left with a hot surface that could cause burns or catch fire.
Time to heat and cool
Another difference between gas, induction and conventional electric hobs is the time they take to change temperature.
Induction cooktops are the fastest to respond when you turn the temperature dial up or down. This is due to the fact they use electromagnetic fields to heat up the bottom of pots and pans.
As soon as your change the temperature dial, the strength of the electromagnetic force changes which controls the heat of the pan.
The speed in how quickly a hob cools down after being turned off can be important when cooking eggs or something that needs only short bursts of high power such as sauteing onions and garlic.
Gas burners also change temperature instantly when you turn the dial, where electric cooktops usually take at least a minute to reach the new temperature. This is because gas cooktops use flames to heat the pan, which changes temperature much faster than electric coils.
One way to solve this problem with electric cooktops is to heat up two burners at different temperatures and move pans from one to the other when you need to.
Moving pans around is easy with an electric cooktop, as the flat surface allows you to slide the pan from one hob to the other easily.
Gas hobs require you to lift pots and pans from one burner to another.
The last point to consider when choosing the right cooktop for your time home is the cost.
Prices range quite a bit between gas, electric and induction tiny house cooktops.
Although the cost to power gas vs electric hobs differs depending on your situation, since we have already covered this previously we will only be taking into account the cost of the cooktop itself here.
Generally, portable hot plates and burners that can be used for camping and have lower output and energy efficiency will be cheaper compared to in-built cooktops with all the bells and whistles.
These portable hot plates can do a great job cooking in tiny houses and most less than $50.
If you want to upgrade to a higher-quality portable gas or electric hot plate, with perhaps two or more burners and additional features, these can still be less than $100.
For the most part, induction cooktops will always be more expensive than their standard electric cooktop counterparts. This is simply due to the way they operate – induction cooktops have many more advantages over electric models and their prices reflect that.
We’ll cover some of the best value induction, electric and gas tiny house cooktops that we’ve found on the web next.
The best tiny house induction cooktops
The Gastrorag Single Burner is a compact, lightweight induction hot plate perfect for tiny house and small spaces.
It’s just 1.5’’ tall and 4.5 lbs so you can easily lift it in and out of storage or transport it from room to room without fear of dropping or breaking it!
This burner detects size of cookware base automatically then customizes the appropriate heating surface area for optimal efficiency when using magnetic iron, cast iron, steel, enameled iron cookware with diameters between 4.8- 10.2′.
Keeping children safe is a priority, and we know how distracting cooking can be for even adults! With this unit, glitches are kept to a minimum.
The Child Safety Lock system prevents accidental activation, and Auto Pan Detection shuts down the unit automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected.
The GreenPan Countertop Induction Burner is the perfect utensil for high-quality cooking.
This machine’s sleek, user-friendly interface makes it easy to cook at a precise temperature with the flick of a switch.
The nonstick surface and quick-boil time enable you to produce delicious meals in a flash. The child lock capacity ensures safety when handling this appliance for even more efficiency.
The NutriChef Single Burner Induction Cooktop is like a traditional appliance but with one revolutionary, game-changing difference.
The unit features a 1500 watt stainless steel circular cooking surface and an induction plate to deliver efficient and quick heat to the cookware. It also has tempered glass for a beautiful look that can be easily cleaned.
This single burner stove’s design is perfect for small kitchens or even your RV because it doesn’t take up much space at all!
The best tiny house electric cooktops
The Techwood Single Burner Countertop Hot Plate is the perfect kitchen appliance for anyone who wants to cook with a wide variety of foods.
It’s the smallest and most compact hot plate we could find on the market!
The hot plate has an excellent design that allows you to use it in tiny kitchens or any small space and heats efficiently to cook a variety of foods such as sauces, scrambled eggs, grilled cheese, soup, pasta, vegetables and so much more.
It can be used with many types of cookware in your home, such as aluminium pans, copper pans, cast iron frying pans and non-magnetic stainless steel pans.
The Courant Electric Hotplate is a great addition to your kitchen. It has 1000 Watts of power so you can cook meals quickly and efficiently.
It features a flat hotplate design that saves space on your countertop and also makes it easy to store when not in use. It comes in two options: ceramic glass and stainless steel.
- The Temperature-regulating thermostat control knob allows you to choose the exact level of heat you want for cooking different types of food
- Skid-proof rubber feet protect your countertop from scratches and scuffs while the electric hot plate is on.
- The diameter of the burner is 6.1 inches
The Elite Gourmet Electric Cooktop is designed for heavy-duty cooking and frying in your tiny home, but it’s also perfect for preparing delicate recipes like oatmeal or a delicate risotto dessert.
It features 7-inch and 6-inch Cast Iron flat cooking plates that are nonstick and easy to clean up, as well as power indicator lights to offer added safety.
With 1,500 watts of powerful heating under the hood of this little cooktop, you can prepare even your most demanding dishes quickly–and with unmatched efficiency!
Its dual adjustable temperature controls make it easy to control and cook with.
The best tiny house gas cooktops
This stainless steel 12” gas cooktop features 2 high-efficiency sealed burners for reliable cooking performance and easy cleanup.
It comes ready with a setting for NGV natural gas when you buy it and a conversion kit included if you’d rather use propane.
Gas One portable butane stove is a sturdy, reliable choice for campers because it is easy to use and highly fuel-efficient.
The GasOne’s high output capacity makes this one of the most efficient butane-powered camping stove on the market – and its safety features make it safer than other models as well.
It includes a built-in cartridge injector safety feature which ejects canisters if they are defective or if they reach a maximum of 0.7 kilogram force pressure; this prevents gas cartridges from being damaged by too much pressure and allowing them to be used more safely in your equipment.