Best Overall: Duxtop 9100MC
Thousands of people have praised the unbeatable high-quality and affordability of the Duxtop 9100MC. This cooktop can be used almost anywhere in the home, or in an RV, thanks to its modest size (16.3″ x 12.7″ x 3.8″). Its magnetic feature sets it above most portable induction cookers on the market, enabling it to keep your pots and pans secure and in position as you craft your meals.
Although this model is far more powerful, it still boasts almost the exact same portability and compactness as its predecessor, the Duxtop 8100MC. It is beautifully sleek and black, weighing only 5lbs and 2oz, at 11.4″ x 14″ x 2.5″.
Its primary safety features include auto-pan and overheat protection, though it is also equipped with an automatic diagnostic error message system and a low and high voltage warning system.
The cooktop features 15 distinct power levels for the best possible cooking experience, all ranging from 200-1800 Watts. There are 15 available temperature control settings on the LCD Sensor touch unit, from a low of 140°-460° degrees fahrenheit.
The Duxtop portable induction cooktop is incredibly durable, having lasted many customers for over four years, even when traveling daily. It comes with a one year manufacturer’s warranty for customers buying the 9100MC model, in which time customers can send their units in for repairs, as long as damages were caused by personal, everyday use (as opposed to commercial).
If you’re looking for maximum control and convenience at a great dollar value, the Duxtop 9100MC may be a great fit for you. All of these features make this the best induction cooktop in our eyes, if you’re looking for a portable stove.
- Incredibly durable, has been reported to last well past four years
- Produces highly consistent heat in 15 distinct settings
- Shuts off with timer, which can last up to 170 minutes
- May have temperature overshoots/unevenness at the beginning of use, depending on cookware material
Most Affordable: Rosewill RHAI-13001
Even with its relatively small price tag, this portable induction stove is still distinguished by several convenient, high-performance features that set it right at the top with even the priciest appliances.
Slender and black, this induction cooktop is lightweight and compact at 8.2lbs. The dimension is only 7″ x 12.1″ x 15.5″ in size. You can choose to purchase either a pre-programmed or non-programmed unit, but keep in mind that the size will differ with this choice. (Although it is not much heavier at 8.6lbs, the pre-programmed alternative is 14.8″ x 11.73″ x 2.36″ in size.)
These portable induction cooktops are known to heat up quite quickly, giving users the most streamlined cooking experience possible. There are eight distinct temperature control settings, ranging from 150°-450° degrees fahrenheit on both the non- and pre-programmed designs. If you’re looking for slightly more convenience, the pre-programmed option comes with five settings:
- Hot pot
Although many have attested to this cooktop’s durability, I would exercise caution with what types of cookware you use with it. Since it is so thin, you may not be able to use heavy cookware with this unit.
This cooktop only has a 30-day warranty from the date of purchase for credit, replacement, or repair. After one year, it can only be returned for repair.
The Rosewill portable induction stove is perfect for those with a limited budget yet still need more control and ease in their cooking experience.
- Both non- and pre-programmed designs have eight distinct temperature settings
- The pre-programmed unit has five unique cooking options for ease of use
- The pre-programmed design is much larger than the alternative, reducing compactness
Fastest to Heat: NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop
If you’re willing to pay a slightly higher price for your portable induction cooktop, you can have even greater ease in the kitchen, thanks to the NuWave PIC’s rapid heating. (It can bring water to a boil in as little as 2-3 minutes!)
This unit deviates from the typical induction cooktop design, featuring a rounded rather than a square shape. It is noticeably bigger than the previously mentioned products, although it is still lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage, at only 6.9lbs and 14.37″ x 15.94″ x 6.3″.
The NuWave is one of the best portable induction cooktops on the market. It is unbelievably flexible, with over 50 distinct temperature control settings between 100°-575° degrees fahrenheit and six pre-programmed settings. It can store up to 100 hours of program memory and requires 70% less energy than standard gas or electric stoves.
One aspect to keep an eye on with this cooktop is the durability of its control panel features. Unfortunately, the cooktop is not very durable, specifically regarding the plastic buttons. Still, when handled reasonably, the NuWave can last more than five years.
The precision induction cooktop is covered for up to one year after the purchase date. If you experience any complications with your unit, you can have it repaired or replaced within that time.
If you’re seeking speedy cooking with minimal hassle, the NuWave PIC may be the great fit for your kitchen.
- Stunning flexibility in temperature settings (52 options with six pre-programmed settings)
- Incredibly energy-efficient, requiring 70% less energy than standard ranges
- Rapid heating: can boil water in only 2-3 minutes
- Plastic buttons can be damaged relatively easily
Wi-Fi Enabled: Tasty by Cuisinart One Top
For even greater convenience in your cooking, Cuisinart created a smart induction cooktop that you can operate via a mobile application on your phone or the in-unit control panel.
The Cuisinart cooktop’s colorful design makes it a lively addition to any kitchen. It takes a pentagonal shape, another form that deviates from the typical square layouts you’ll find among most of the best portable induction cooktops. Though it is still compact for easy handling, it’s a bit on the heavier side, weighing in at 9.68lbs but 13.75″ x 14″ x 3.25″.
There’s no other way to describe this cooktop than truly “smart!” This model is incredibly well equipped to monitor several aspects of the induction cooking process, from the pot’s or pan’s surface temperature to that of the meat or liquids inside. Whether you are near or far, you can still control your meal, as the unit can be operated manually or remotely through your phone.
Unfortunately, U.S. customers are the only ones whose cooktops will be protected by the limited 12-month warranty. You will need to register your cooktop and retain your proof of purchase to be able to send it out for repair.
If you want mobile control features and a pop of color (and don’t mind the relatively heavy design), the Cuisinart smart cooktop is the best choice for you.
- Can be controlled either remotely or manually
- Through the Tasty app, you also get access to hundreds of recipes and step-by-step meal guides
- Food temperature is monitored in addition to pot’s or pan’s surface heat
- Only U.S. customers can access warranty
Most Precise: Breville Control Freak Induction System
Not all who use portable induction cooktops are casual home cooks. In many cases, these portable stoves are needed in even more formal, professional settings like commercial kitchens. Fortunately, the Breville induction system is the ideal solution.
The Breville cooktop is rectangular in shape, with a sharp black and silver design. It is the heaviest of the line-up here, weighing 16.2lbs with the following dimensions: 19″ x 13.5″ x 5″.
This cooktop functions with the greatest accuracy of all the models discussed here, as it can measure, set, and hold almost 400 different temperature control settings between 86°-482° degrees fahrenheit. Check the liquids’ temperature using the Probe Control for even greater precision and store your most-used temperature profiles for ease of access with the Create function.
Because of its commercial make, this cooktop is incomparably durable, suitable for use with even the most active chefs. It’s made with stainless steel, offering extensive resistance to scratches and nicks.
The Control Freak cooktop is protected by a two-year warranty. Customers who wish to learn more about the available protections and conditions can request additional information from Customer Service.
For the working chefs who need a more travel- or instructional-friendly appliance in their workspace without compromising performance and precision, the Breville Control Freak cooktop is the choice for you.
- There are nearly 400 separate temperature settings to choose from, ranging from 86°-482°F
- You can save temperature profiles for one-touch activation later
- Temperatures are measured every two seconds, providing the greatest accuracy
- Warranty is not included for home use since this is intended for commercial cooking
Good for Beginners: Tramontina 8-Piece Induction Cooking System
The Tramontina cooktop provides a full beginner’s package for up-and-coming cooks. This 8-piece system includes a double burner portable induction cooktop, 8″ saute pan, 1.5-quart sauce pan, 3-quart sauce pan and 5-quart covered dutch oven, and lids. The unit is easy to use, offering the perfect learning experience for those just getting comfortable in their portable kitchen. (Something I will be taking advantage of when acclimating to RV life!)
Though it does not have the sharp, sleek look that characterizes most of the best portable induction cooktops, this model is still portable and doused in black, enabling it to fit into any kitchen aesthetic. It is relatively large at about 24″ x 9.6″ x 22″ and weighing about 12 lbs, so keep its size in mind when deciding where you might use this cooktop. The unit also features overheat protection to keep you and your food safe during operation.
To provide you with the greatest level of control (while avoiding an overwhelming number of options), the Tramontina is designed with ten distinct power levels. If you need to walk away while cooking, activate the built-in timer to ensure the meal doesn’t overcook. The LCD will also alert you to basic errors to help you stay on track.
These Tramontina cooktops have been confirmed to last for more than two years, and the complementary pot will last just as long, thanks to the durable enamel coating. If any problems arise during that time, you can request warranty information directly from Tramontina’s Customer Service personnel.
If you’re just getting started in induction cooking, you will do best with the full, easy-to-use setup provided by Tramontina’s 8-piece system.
- Sold as a full package, including cookware
- Ten distinct power levels for optimal control
- It is quite big for an induction cooktop, even for beginners
Best Upgrade: Duxtop E200A
You may have used your current induction cooktop to the end of its lifespan or have grown dissatisfied with its performance. If so, you need an upgrade! Those who already have experience with an induction countertop burner and are in the market for a new one should consider the Duxtop E200A.
This unit is a boxy cooktop, sure, but it still retains the slick black and silver look that makes it suitable for any modern room or kitchen design. It’s a lightweight model, weighing about 8.98 lbs, with just a bit of bulk at 18″ x 13″ x 3″.
This compact cooktop is perfect for storage and use in even the smallest of kitchens and will keep users safe with its auto-pan detection, over-heat protection, and diagnostic error message systems. Exercise as much control over your meal as you like with the 20 pre-set power settings, ranging from 100-1800 Watts, and temperature levels, from 100°-460° degrees fahrenheit.
This model is protected by stainless-steel housing, ensuring that it will last you several years, as most Duxtop cookers are known to do. Still, any problems that arise during that time can be addressed under the two-year limited warranty. As long as you have proof of purchase and have only used the cooktop for your personal kitchen (aka, not commercially), you can send in your damaged unit for repair or replacement.
If you’re looking to upgrade your current cooktop, the Duxtop E200A is the way to go.
- There are 20 distinct power and temperature levels
- Includes a built-in, programmable timer (up to 170 minutes)
- Features a touch-sensitive LED control screen
- The cookware guide circles are inaccurate
- Doesn’t maintain consistent heat
Great for Dorm Living: iSiler Sensor Touch
Let’s face it: Even in college, cafeteria food just doesn’t hit the same as a home-cooked meal. When I was in school, I loved cooking my own food and wished I could have had the same culinary freedom in the dorm room as I did in an apartment. With this induction cooktop, you can have that and more.
This induction cooktop features a beautifully slender design, perfect for fitting on top of dorm room desks or public common room counters. It is extremely lightweight at only 6.56 lbs and only 11.6″ x 2.2″ x 14.2″ in size. Whether you decide to keep it in the dorm or take it back home on a seasonal break, this cooktop is perfect for the student on the go (or with little space).
It features a child safety lock and overheating protection, keeping the internal temperature below 563° degrees fahrenheit. Even with these protections, you can still use all 17 temperature settings, ranging from 140°-460° degrees fahrenheit.
One of the iSiler cooktop’s most unique features is its 6-blade whirlwind silent fan, which quickly dissipates heat. This feature helps to ensure the product’s long lifespan, although you should still be careful with it, as its thinness and light weight may predispose it to easy damage.
If you happen to notice any defects or malfunctions with your brand-new cooktop, you can request that the issue be addressed through iSiler’s 12-month warranty, starting from the date of purchase. Problems should only stem from everyday use to qualify.
College kids who want more control over their dining experience would be happy with the convenience and performance of the iSiler induction cooktop.
- Features a child safety lock
- Includes 18 distinct power levels and 17 temperature settings
- Extremely lightweight design at less than 7 lbs
- Temperature levels represent the heat in the coils, NOT the cooking temperatures, which can be confusing
- Only works with stainless steel, enamel, and cast iron cookware
Best Double Top: NuWave 30602 Double Precision Induction Cooktop
As much as I love having a single induction burner, I have to be honest – despite its energy efficiency and portability, the darn thing is insanely small! You have to be smart about what you cook (and the order you cook it in) to ensure your meal turns out appropriately since you can only fit one pan at a time. Luckily, NuWave heard our cries for help and proposed a resolution.
As one would expect, the double induction cooktop burner falls on the heavier side of these products since it is twice the size of most units. Although it still manages to be quite sleek in design, this cooktop weighs in at 17.4 lbs and measures 26″ x 4.8″ x 16.8″ inches.
Adding to its enhanced functionality, the NuWave double induction cooktop features over 90 distinct temperature levels (between 100°-575° degrees fahrenheit) and six unique pre-programmed temperature settings. If you’ve already finished cooking and need to keep the food warm, take advantage of the “Keep Warm” feature, which maintains food at 155° degrees fahrenheit.
This unit comes with a one-year warranty, in which time customers can have their cooktops replaced or repaired if any issues arise with standard use. However, keep in mind that any “misapplication” or misuse will disqualify your claim.
If you’re looking for a little more space but don’t want more than one induction cooktop, the NuWave Double Precision model is best for you.
- Twice the surface area and cooking power than most induction cooktops
- There are 94 temperatures to choose from when cooking
- Temperatures can be adjusted at 5° increments for maximum precision
- Temperatures represent the cooktop’s heat, rather than the pot’s or pan’s contents, which can be misleading
Knowing what features to watch out for is the most surefire way to find the best cooktop for your needs. Whether you’re prioritizing power, convenience, or versatility, be sure to keep all these points in mind.
Induction Burners vs. Conventional Gas or Electric Burners
Even experts have attested to the superiority of an induction burner over standard gas or electric burners for home and professional use. When compared to gas, the most notable advantage of having an induction cooktop is speed. These appliances heat up the pot and its contents about 50% faster than most gas ranges can. With induction stovetops you also avoid the fire danger of an open flame, and should expect precise temperature control.
Additionally, when using an induction burner, your food will cook much more evenly and efficiently due to the reduced amount of heat lost. Instead of losing 60% of the heat as you would with a typical gas stove, the induction burner concentrates up to 90% of the generated heat into cast iron or stainless steel cookware, and thus, immediately into your food.
Induction burners also outperform electric ranges primarily due to their ability to rapidly cool down with features like the iSiler’s 6-blade fan. Without this, electric stovetops usually hold residual heat for quite a while, even after being turned off.
Compared with electric or gas stoves, portable induction stovetops have a flat ceramic glass surface which is relatively easy to clean.
Induction Cooktop Temperature Control
An induction cooktop provides the highest level of temperature control over the dish you’re preparing. Even a small portable burner can be incredibly responsive to changes in heat on a pan’s cook surface. It will adjust quickly to maintain a consistent temperature within the range you specify.
The Drawbacks of Induction Cooking
Despite their convenience and portability, induction stovetops are not always the best alternatives for cooking. Some of the most notable drawbacks of induction cooking include:
- Depending on the type of metals comprising your cookware, cooking may become noisy due to the vibrations created by the point of friction between the induction cooker with the pots and pans used atop it.
- Because there is so much heat concentrated into the cooking surface, it is very easy to burn your food. (I’ve learned the hard way… many times!)
- Not all cookware is compatible with induction cookers, so you may need to buy your dishes based on the model you prefer. Many nonstick cookware brands like Scanpan offer induction compatible versions of their base models at a slight upgrade in price. Our guide to best induction cookware suggests materials and price points to consider when picking pots and pans.
Lastly, perhaps one of the most common disadvantages of cooking with induction cooktops such as those listed here is the lack of space. When working with the single cookers, you will need to strategize your meal to ensure everything cooks correctly and in time. The only way to get around this is to buy more than one unit or a double model, which can get pricey.
Difference Between an Induction Cooktop and Hot Plate
Since they are both portable cooking appliances, induction cooktops and hot plates often get confused for one another. Admittedly, they are very similar. However, knowing one key distinction will help you avoid accidentally buying the wrong product for your kitchen.
Induction cooktops work by using electromagnetic field technology that cause the pots and pans to heat up, rather than generating heat within itself. This is why so much heat is transferred directly into the cookware. It is also what enables the cooktop to cease heating when the pots and pans are removed.
On the other hand, a hot plate heats up within itself, so the heat will be distributed differently, reducing precision, and potentially introducing burn hazards into the cooking process.
Things to Consider When Choosing an Induction Cooktop
As you can see, there are several factors to consider when shopping for a brand-new induction cooktop. Not only must you think about the size and weight of your appliance, depending on where you want to use it (in a standard home kitchen or on the road, in a campervan?), but the precision and breadth of available control and safety features.
Concerning efficiency, one of the most important features to review is the cooktop’s available temperature settings. A college student that cycles through the same few meals each week may not need too many options. On the other hand, someone cooking for their family or a practicing chef might require a wider array of temperature levels.
Safety is another one of the most prominent features that distinguish induction cooktops from standard stoves. So, you’ll want to pay special attention to the unit’s protective elements. Things like the iSiler’s child safety lock and the overheat protection systems integrated into most of the models discussed above are central to your and your family’s safety when using these units.
Note that the unit’s stability is a critical component of its safety. Determine if there are grips on the bottom of the cooktop, and consider its shape to decide whether it will sit safely and securely on your cooking surface of choice.
Finally, there’s convenience. Most induction cooktops are easy to clean, operate, and store. But there is some variance from one model to the next. You don’t want an appliance that is just as burdensome as your standard stove (or more so), so consider models like the Duxtop E200A that are designed with easy-to-clean ceramic glass surfaces.
The Duxtop 9100MC is, by far, the best portable induction cooktop on the market today. It’s affordable and highly flexible in its functionality while not offering so many programming options that it becomes overwhelming. However, in terms of safety, the iSiler Sensor Touch is a close runner-up, due primarily to its child safety lock feature.
Even with the handful of drawbacks that come with using induction cookers, there’s no denying just how convenient and helpful these appliances are. Consider the key features noted above to determine which of these incredible cooktops are right for you.
If you’re in the market for a multi-burner induction range and accompanying oven, then check out our guide to best induction ranges. While less portable and more expensive, a full range can be incredibly powerful if you have the space for it.