Hot Plates (for Boiling Water)


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Hot Plates (for Boiling Water)

Postby JoeCha » Feb 17th, '09, 15:14

Ok...so I've ordered a tetsubin. I need a heat source for boiling water. I've read in numerous places that hot plates are best suited for this (when not using a brazier).

I've also been given advice against induction heating...and, at this point in time, I'm going to heed that advice.

So, the question now becomes, which hot plate? Do any of you have suggestions based on first had experience?

I'm in the US when considering voltage, but I'd be happy to use a converter if a particular hot plate is vastly superior.

I did a search on "hot plates" but didn't see any posts directly related to purchasing them, or providing reviews of specific products. If I missed something I apologize in advance.

-- Joe
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Postby wyardley » Feb 17th, '09, 16:00

I've got a Waring 1300W hot plate (w/ a cast iron plate on top, which probably slightly slows down the initial heating process) that I just started using with a glass kettle. Maybe it will heat faster with a heavy iron tetsubin, since the whole thing would conduct heat, but it takes quite a while to bring the glass kettle to a boil on the hot plate. Even after the 5 or so minutes it takes to heat the hot plate, it takes a good 15-18 minutes to bring about a liter of water to a boil. It seems slightly faster to heat it on my gas range first (even with a heavy cast iron trivet), then move to the hot plate.

See also:
viewtopic.php?t=8138 if you haven't already.
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Postby JoeCha » Feb 17th, '09, 16:38

Thanks for the reply wyardley. That's a long time to boil some water. I'm not saying that I need my water boiled in 5 minutes, but 20-25 minutes is much longer than I expected.

I've heard (or read) somewhere that taking too long to boil water could be detrimental to the water quality? Have you noticed any reduction in the quality of your water when it takes that long to boil? Or, is the adage I'm referring to mean don't take 60 minutes to boil your water?

I have a gas range as well, but I was told that heating tetsubins directly over them could be hazardous to the tets.

I am considering a ceramic coated 1/4" steel plate to block the flame of the range. Maybe that will be my better option. Then I can use the plate for when I heat the water over an open fire as well. Any thoughts on that?

-- Joe
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Postby JoeCha » Feb 17th, '09, 16:42

One more quick question to you wyardley. How much water are you boiling? Just so I have a point of reference.
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Postby battra » Feb 17th, '09, 16:55

From another tetsubin thread:
battra wrote:I use the hot plates of a normal electric stove, which works fine - for me it takes about seven minutes to heat 0.7 litres of water to the boil, but this will of course vary with things like plate effect, tetsubin bottom area, tetsubin weight,...
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Postby mr. Less » Feb 17th, '09, 17:19

i am curious myself about the best duration for boiling water.What duration is too short , and which is to long.
and offcourse the preferred duration...
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Postby wyardley » Feb 17th, '09, 17:21

JoeCha wrote:One more quick question to you wyardley. How much water are you boiling? Just so I have a point of reference.


^^ I said above. Roughly a liter (it's a 1.2L kettle, and it's probably about 3/4 full usually.
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Postby JoeCha » Feb 17th, '09, 17:24

Sorry.
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Postby Smells_Familiar » Feb 17th, '09, 18:21

JoeCha wrote:I am considering a ceramic coated 1/4" steel plate to block the flame of the range. Maybe that will be my better option. Then I can use the plate for when I heat the water over an open fire as well. Any thoughts on that?

-- Joe


man, try that and let us know how it works (sounds perfect to me). if you want an all-in-one sit down tea sanctuary you'll likely need some sort of semi-portable device, but for quick and convenient use, this ceramic plate sounds like a solution!
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Re: Hot Plates (for Boiling Water)

Postby snafu » Feb 17th, '09, 18:43

JoeCha wrote:I've also been given advice against induction heating...and, at this point in time, I'm going to heed that advice.


Just curious, what are the reasons for this advice? I've been thinking of buying an induction plate for making tea on a sailboat.
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Postby chingwa » Feb 17th, '09, 20:29

Well you're on the right track. a gas burner WILL rust out the bottom of your tetsubin. and it will start doing so pretty quick. Within a week or two mine had a nice orangey substance eating away at the bottom :D

I tried placing a pan over the gas and then having the tetsubin on top of that... similar to your coated plate. I found this to be excrutiatingly slow... and I eventually gave up. not only is it slow, but the longer that water sits in your tetsubin without it heating properly the more likely it will be to rust out from the inside.

I eventually broke down and bought an induction plate. works great, heat is instant and it boils water FAST. (even faster than the gas stove). The induction plate doesn't have quite the same 'Elemental' effect of the iron and fire and water heating on the stove... it's a bit clinical, and so would be a normal electric plate.

I'd also be interested to hear what advice you were given against induction. so far I can't think of any drawbacks, except the price.
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Postby beachape » Feb 17th, '09, 23:27

I am also interested in people's thoughts on the safety of induction cooking. I've heard mixed reviews.

Chingwa- What type of induction plate are you using (how many watts, brand, where you got it, and how much)? How fast does it take to heat a tetsubin and how much water do you use?

Thanks for your help.
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Postby chingwa » Feb 18th, '09, 00:04

I got this model:
Waring Pro, induction cooktop
http://www.amazon.com/Waring-ICT100-Pro ... 272&sr=8-7

It works pretty well so far. it does have a noticeable fan noise, but apparently they all do. It isn't too loud really, but I wish it was completely silent.

My tetsubin holds approx 1.2L, but I usually only fill it to about 1L. on the medium heat setting it will boil this in about 6-7 minutes. On high it goes down to 4-5 minutes, though I usually don't do high. tea isn't always about how fast the water boils :) still this is noticeably faster than even the high burner on my stove top.

the only drawbacks I see to this model, besides the fan, is that if it's on and you remove the kettle without turning it off it will beep. Also it beeps with each button press and there is no way to control how loud the beeps are, and they are kind of loud. (1 button to turn it on, and then I jack up the setting 3 times to the medium setting.) The lower heat settings are wacky... instead of heating constantly at a lower temperature, they heat at the same temp as the medium setting but the induction element just oscillates on and off every couple seconds.

All this beats rust on the bottom of my tetsubin though. Plus I can place a towel (or a nice piece of aizome fabric) under the kettle while it's boiling. adds a little atmosphere to the whole experience :)
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Postby JoeCha » Feb 18th, '09, 11:49

Thanks for the reply chingwa. I already have an iron kettle that I use over my gas range so I know about the rust that you mentioned. However I did find that I can wipe mine off for the most part. That could just be the difference in stoves, iron, etc...I don't know.

All in all, I'm not too worried about a little rust. However, I've heard unsubstantiated stories about the tetsubins cracking. Of course, I have no proof and stories rarely provide the detail for me to draw any conclusions as to why, but that is my major hang up with using my range.

I understand your point about the pan over the gas too...I did for see it taking a bit longer. For that reason, I was thinking I'd maybe just go with 1/8th" or 1/16th" coated steal. The material I would be getting is from a company that makes custom laboratory/industrial grade hot plates, so presumably the plate is made to transfer heat very well. I don't know what thickness they will offer me, so I guess I'll just have to see how that works out. If everything else fails I'll just get a custom hot plate made.

All I can say about my aversion to induction is I trust the source I received the information from. Like the "cracking tetsubin", I've never gotten a good reason. From what I gather, it's not so much that induction is dangerous to you or the tetsubin, it's that it disrupts the chi of the water. (I understand that a hot plate running electricity through the plate would do much the same thing.) Of course, this doesn't mean I will never use induction...in fact it may end up being the only reasonable solution when I can't do it directly over coals.

WHAT REALLY WORRIES ME NOW THOUGH IS: can I use my tetsubin to hold my water while I'm brewing tea. I got the impression from your post that standing water in the tets, even for a short time is going to cause some problems.

Sorry to change the topic here. And sorry for the long post...I guess I talk a lot. I also understand that some or all of the above could be erroneous or simply my opinion.

-- Joe
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Postby olivierco » Feb 18th, '09, 12:10

JoeCha wrote:
From what I gather, it's not so much that induction is dangerous to you or the tetsubin, it's that it disrupts the chi of the water. (I understand that a hot plate running electricity through the plate would do much the same thing.)



With all electromagnetic waves (from natural or not sources) surrounding us, I don't think the chi of the water would be disrupted by induction.
Moreover, I doubt anyone could actually make the difference between water heated by induction, gas or coal in a blind test.
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