Thinking of buying an induction cooktop for your kitchen or as a portable cooking device? There are many different types of induction cooktops on the market today but what they have in common are quick heating and energy efficiency.
Using an electromagnetic field, induction cooktops direct heat towards your cookware instead of the surrounding air, and in that way deliver precise heat. They leave your cooking surface cool and don’t heat up your kitchen. Induction cooktops are more energy efficient than gas or electric stovetops, and thus they save you money.
Induction cooktops are quite safe. Since the surface does not get hot, you won’t burn your fingers if you touch it. Any sauces you spill onto the cooking surface will not burn, which makes them easier to clean up.
You just have to remember to always use cookware made of iron materials such as steel or cast iron. Some cookware made of stainless steel might work, but not others. Other types of cookware, such as aluminum, glass, or ceramic, will not work. The cooktop works with a magnet, and so the cookware you use must attract a magnet.
Let’s find out about some of the most popular induction cooktops on the market today:
Best overall: Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop BT-M20B
The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop is affordable and very highly rated on Amazon. It’s a great choice for home kitchens, dorm rooms, backyard cooking, boats, RVs, you name it! This sleek, black device features 15 preset power levels and temperature ranges (from 140 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit), and plugs into a normal electrical outlet.
It heats up quickly and offers more rapid cooking times than gas or electric, and it creates less heat and steam. Go from zero to 350 degrees Fahrenheit in less than a minute. It also cools down more quickly.
This cooktop is super portable, and is easily moved outside for fun times in the summer. It is lightweight, which makes transport simple. Use it to cook burgers, veggies, or even brew tea. The heat control is delicate and easy to control. The cord is long, so you don’t have to be immediately beside an outlet.
It is durable and long lasting.
This device has a digital control panel and a large, clear LED display that is easy to view, even from a distance. The built in timer counts down from up to 170 minutes.
It uses between 200 and 1800 watts of power, depending on the settings used. It has an 83% energy efficiency rating, and is 50% more powerful than a gas stove.
As with most induction cooktops, this device keeps you safe from burns. It also has an added safety feature: if it detects that your cookware is not magnetic, it will turn off the heat after a minute. Other safety features include overheat protection, a diagnostic error message system, and a warning system that alerts you to low and high voltages.
It is easy to clean; like all induction cooktops, it will not burn your food if it spills over onto the cooking surface. Simply wipe up the mess with a damp towel.
One drawback is users find the fan on this device to be quite noisy. Also keep in mind you will likely need to buy special cookware if this is the first time you are buying an induction cooktop. In addition, some users have found issues when heating on very low heat; at low settings, the device cycles the magnetic field on and off, which makes simmering a challenge. And if you use a small pan, the device might not sense it properly.
- 15 preset power levels/temperature ranges
- Large, clear LED display
- 83% energy efficiency
- Safe with overheat protection and various warning systems
- Fan is noisy
- Issues cooking on very low heat
- Might not sense small pans properly
Most high tech: Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop with LCD Sensor BT-200DZ
The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop with LCD Sensor is a step up from the previous model we described, as has a high tech, touch-sensor. It has 20 preset power and temperature levels (ranging from 100 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit), using 110 to 1800 watts of power. All controls are shown on its digital touch-screen display.
It is affordable, as well as sleek, simplistic, powerful, well designed, and much loved by users. It has many positive reviews from customers who are impressed by its quality and easy handling. It is lightweight, portable, and compact for easy transport, storage, and handling. Use it in your home kitchen, dorm room, RV, boat, or just about anywhere!
Like the previously described Duxtop cooktop, this one offers 83% energy efficiency, which makes it more efficient than gas or electric, and it heats up, cooks, and cools down faster than gas or electric.
Its digital LCD sensor and touch control panel are quite impressive. They are easy to view and control, and offer features such as the fast boil button and up to 10-hour timer. There is also a keep warm button, which maintains a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 minutes. Simply touch the panel to adjust the power, temperature, function, to set the timer, or to turn on other features.
It has a child safety lock which maintains the timer and cooking settings you’ve preprogrammed if your child accidentally changes them. Another safety feature is its auto-pan detection: the device automatically stops after a minute if the wrong type of cookware (or no cookware) is used. It also has overheat protection and various warning systems.
As with all induction cooktops, this device requires cookware made of iron materials such as steel or cast iron. In order for the sensor to work, and to ensure uniform heating, your cookware needs to be at least five inches in diameter.
The non-stick glass surface is easy to clean with just a wipe from a damp towel.
One drawback is the high pitched sound that may emit from your cookware while using this device. The fan is also quite loud.
- 20 preset power levels/temperature ranges
- High tech touch sensor system
- Sleek, simplistic, and well designed
- Fast boil button, 10-hour timer, keep warm button and other features
- Child lock and other safety features
- 83% energy efficiency
Most budget-friendly: Rosewill Induction Cooktop RHAI-16001
The sleek and elegant Rosewill Induction Cooktop is very budget-friendly and perfect for those who are new to induction cooktops. Use it to fry, stir fry, deep fry, braise, roast, and boil. Users love it for making hot pot meals.
When you buy this device, you will also receive a 10 inch, 3.5 quart stainless steel pot to use with the cooktop’s polished A-grade crystal plate surface. The magnetic pot works perfectly with this induction cooker to whip up your favorite dishes. Try the cooktop with your other cookware. If you can stick a magnet to your pan, it will work with the cooktop.
This device runs on up to 1800 watts of power (power level depends on the temperature you choose). It is energy efficient, and heats up quickly, thus saving you cooking time, as well as energy and money.
It has a large LED display and an intuitive touch control panel with eight power levels and eight temperature settings, ranging from 150 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a built in three-hour timer which automatically shuts off the cooker when finished.
It is lightweight in design. It is also compact and takes up very little counter space. If you need to free up more space, you can easily store it away once it cools down.
It has a safety child lock. Other safety features include cookware suitability detection and an ability to protect against overheating. And, as with all induction cooktops, it protects you from burns because the glass surface stays cool. Be careful though, as the cooktop heats faster than a gas or electric stove, and can heat your pan faster than you might expect.
You can choose between the programmed or non-programmed version of this cooktop. Many users do not feel the programmed version is necessary. Others choose the programmed version for ease of use when setting and choosing temperatures.
One drawback is if you choose a lower temperature, the power will fluctuate on and off. Also, the pot that comes with it is a bit thin and might not be very durable.
- Comes with cooking pot
- Large LED display and control panel
- Eight temperature/power levels
- Child lock and other safety features
- Power fluctuates at lower temperature settings
- Cooking pot is a bit thin
Best on Amazon: Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop ICT-60
The Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop offers you two burners side by side. The left burner has eight settings, and the right burner has five. The cooktop heats up quickly and consistently while you are cooking. It directs heat right into your cookware rather than heating up your entire kitchen.
It is compact and portable. Use it in your boat, patio, RV, etc. Or keep it in your kitchen as your actual cooktop. You can also use the two burners in addition to your regular stove for the ultimate in cooking capacity – ideal when entertaining a crowd.
There are on/off switches and individual timers for each burner. Each timer counts down from a maximum of 150 minutes. All of the controls show up in a bright LED display. The buttons are slightly raised, which is great if you or someone else who will be using it is visually impaired.
If you remove your pan from the burner and forget to turn it off, there is no need to worry. The heat will automatically turn off within 30 sections. Using this cooktop is a safe, exhaust-free, and flame-free way to cook all your favorite recipes.
This powerful device uses 70% less energy than gas or electrical cooktops, which makes it very energy- and cost-efficient
One drawback is the timer does not shut off by itself. You have to shut it off manually.
- Two burners with individual timers
- Left burner has eight settings and right burner has five settings
- Compact and portable
- Bright LED display with slightly raised buttons
- Safety features
- Timer only shuts off manually
What to look for in an induction cooktop
Now that you’ve seen some of the most popular induction cooktops on the market today, let’s look into what features are most important when looking to buy one.
Your size requirements depend on what you are using the cooktop for and how much space you have available. Small cooktops are popular since they can easily fit into a small space. However, larger cooktops can accommodate a larger crowd and have better air circulation for cooling, which increases the durability of the device.
Induction cooktops tend to have defined cooking zones. Larger cooking zones can better accommodate larger cookware.
All the settings for your induction cooker are housed in the control panel. It shows temperature, power, and preset settings for the device. There are different types of control panels available, such as touch sensor controls, press button controls, and rotating knob controls. Touch sensor panels are more expensive. The controls and element should not be too close together.
Make sure your device has a nice range of temperature settings, including some low settings. Ideally, this should range from 140 to 430 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you travel often, a portable cooktop can be invaluable.
Make sure your device has a timer. Ideally, the timer should range up to 170 minutes, in increments of one minute. Also make sure the timer shuts off automatically after the time allotted.
Find out if your cooktop has safety features such as automatic pan detection, where the device will stop if it does not sense the proper cookware being used. Some cooktops have other safety sensors that monitor the temperature of the cookware, ensuring you do not leave the power on. They may also auto shut off which turns the burner off if it is overheating or the cookware is removed.
Some have a child lock.
There are many other features to choose from when you are considering an induction cooktop. Below are just a few.
Auto heat up will cook at a higher temperature for a set amount of time, and then drop to a lower temperature for simmering.
Overflow control will beep and shut down if liquid or food overflows onto the controls. You can simply clean the spill and start again.
Sometimes you just want to use the induction cooktop to warm your food and some devices will offer a food warming feature to keep it at a simmer.
Some induction cookers have an indented spot to put a wok, for the ultimate in stir frying. You can also use a typical flat induction cooker and simply buy a wok that is compatible with the device.
Finally, a few new models offer LED flames to add to the visual appeal of your cooking.