If you’re looking for a safe but energy efficient cooking burner, nothing beats an induction cooktop. This type of cooktop uses electromagnetic fields instead of a heating coil or a flame to conduct heat. This means that the heat is created directly in the cookware so that the cooktop surface remains cool and safe to touch.
Most chefs use induction cooktops as an extra burner to keep food warm because it heats up almost instantly and maintains temperature really well. Newbie cooks love this type of cooktop because food cannot be charred on induction.
That’s because it offers precise control over temperature and doesn’t heat up the surrounding air as well. This makes for cooler kitchens and less stressful cooking.
The downside to this is that you have to have induction ready cookware. Because the appliance transfers heat through a magnetic field, the cookware needs to contain iron. Anything that’s made out of cast iron or magnetic stainless steel will work with an induction burner.
Here’s a tip if you want to check out whether your old pans are compatible: stick a fridge magnet to its bottom. If it stays put, the pan will work.
Other than that, its benefits far more outweigh the minor inconveniences. An induction cooktop is more energy efficient than gas or electric because there is no loss of energy during heat transfer from the heating coils to the bottom of the pan. Not only will this speed up your cooking, it will also lower your energy costs.
It’s also safer. Because it doesn’t emit gas or accidentally spread flame in nearby objects, your kitchen zone will become a more safer space to cook in. And because only the pan gets hot, the cooking surface remains cool to touch, the chance of accidental burns and scalding is much lower.
In the early years, an induction burner was an expensive thing to have. The more burners an induction range has, the more costly it was. But as it has become more mainstream, prices have become more affordable.
If you want to get one, your best choice would be a single induction burner, which works perfectly for dorms, small rooms, and tiny kitchens. You might use other small appliances in the same environment, like a small electric skillet or a portable blender.
Other than their portability, single induction burners also come with standard features that make cooking even easier. These include digital control panels with built-in timers and adjustable settings for power and heat levels.
They also have safety features like lock settings and automatic shut-off functions to prevent burn accidents and overheating. The way the cooktop heats itself makes it safer; just move the item from the direct vicinity of the burner’s electromagnetic field and it will immediately stop heating. Just don’t forget that the pan will still be hot though.
In this list, I’ve only included single induction burners because these portable devices are usually priced below $100 and are therefore affordable. But if you’re in the market for a cooking range, a multi-burner induction range is a solid investment. Like the portable versions, these use 10% less energy than a standard range making them a great cost-efficient option for households.
Here are my top 5 picks for the best induction cooktops.
The Best Induction Cooktops
- Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
- EurKitchen Portable Induction Cooktop Burner
- NutriChef Electric Induction CookTop
- CUSIMAX 1800W Portable Induction Burner
- SUNAVO Portable Induction Cooktop
1. Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
This is a glass cooktop single burner that heats up quickly and efficiently. A user has commented that when using this appliance to boil water, it will only take a quarter of the time needed to boil the same amount of water on a standard stovetop. Another said that it can handle deep frying food extremely well.
This induction burner has a special feature that detects the size of the size of the cooking pan base and automatically adjusts so that energy wastage is reduced. It’s also equipped with the standard auto-pan detection feature which turns off the heat when the pan is removed from the cooking surface and has a 60-second auto-shut shutdown function when no other cookware is detected.
It has 10 temperature settings which range from 140°F to 460°F and a 10-level power setting from 200W to 1800W. Its digital control panel is easy to use and features a built-in countdown digital timer up to 170 minutes.
It is also equipped with a diagnostic error message system and a low and high voltage warning system. This unit uses a standard 120V 15 amp electrical outlet. A 7-blade vent fan, meanwhile, prevents overheating by dissipating heat quickly.
Lightweight and portable, it’s also easy to clean. Just wipe the surface with a damp cloth after its cooled. It’s ETL approved and comes with a 2-year manufacturers warranty.
- Automatically detects pan size
- Elderly-friendly control interface; controls are raised and labeled in gold
- Temperature control is limited; one user noted the lack of a temp setting for simmering soups and stock
- Some might find the fan to be a little loud
2. EurKitchen Portable Induction Cooktop Burner
This is an updated model that features a new sleeve fan and a bigger heating coil that allows it to cook food 20-50% faster while using nearly 90% less power.
The extra large 7.75-inch heating coil ensures the heat is evenly distributed and that there are no hot spots during the cooking process. Whether you’re using a small sauce pan or large frying pan, the food will be cooked perfectly. The cooling fan, meanwhile, offers up to 30,000 hours of quieter cooling time.
It has 18 temperature settings which range from 120-460°F and 17 power levels, ranging from 200W-1800W. The temperature can be increased by 20-degree increments.
The LCD display has a 3-hour timer feature while the user interface is equipped with a single illuminated control wheel and touch sensor buttons for more precise and easier control.
Safety features include a surface temperature indicator, auto-pan safety timer, and an error detection function. ETL approved for use with 120V outlet, this portable induction burner comes with a protective cloth storage bag, a temperature guide, and a 1-year money-back guarantee.
- Durable; one reviewer has been using it daily for three years and counting
- Reliable customer aftersales service
- Its front feet are not slip-proof
- The control panel body is made of plastic that can melt when in contact with a hot pan
3. NutriChef Electric Induction CookTop
This cooktop has a ceramic tempered glass cooking surface that’s best for cooking pans and pots with a diameter of 12 to 26 cm. It features a ·Circular Top Panel Heating Zone to maximize the cooking area and has a high powered heating element for easy and quick cooking.
It has 10 temperature settings from 140-460°Farenheit and 10 power levels from 100 to 1500W. You can manually adjust these settings through its Digital LCD display screen which also has a built-in timer and a sensor monitor for voltage.
This has a Child Safety Lock as a safety feature. It also has a built-in turbo fan for quicker system cool down to prevent overheating. The burner body is stain resistant and easy to clean.
Lightweight and portable, this burner is also easy to clean because it has a stain-resistant surface. The manufacturer guarantees that it’s safety certified and approved.
- Slim and compact size
- Great for use as an extra burner
- Controls aren’t intuitive; it may take a while to figure it out the first time
- Not for camping purposes; needs a flat surface to function well
4. CUSIMAX 1800W Portable Induction Burner
This induction cooktop is compatible for induction-ready cookware which have a base diameter of 4.7”(12cm) to 10.2″(26cm).
It has 10 temperature (140℉ to 464℉) and 9 power (200W to 1800W) levels. It can perform a variety of cooking functions: frying, boiling, steaming, slow boiling, and others.
Its Digital Sensor Touch Panel has a convenient and sensitive one-touch interface that allows you to easily adjust its various functions. It also comes with a 3-hour timer with 5-minute increments.
It is equipped with a 7-blade cooling fan for more efficient cooling and to prevent overheating. Safety features include non-slip rubber feet and a Child Safety Lock function. When not correctly used, the induction cooktop will show an E0 error and will automatically shut down after 60 seconds.
ETL certified, this cooktop comes with an 18-month replacement warranty.
- Easy to use; handicap-friendly
- 3-hour timer
- Some users found the vent fan too loud
5. SUNAVO Portable Induction Cooktop
This is an updated model that features a Shortcut Function button for boiling and frying. According to the manufacturer, 1000ml water can be boiled in just 3 minutes.
The cooktop has 15 levels of temperature and power. You can adjust it from its lowest setting (100°F) to the highest (460°F). Meanwhile, the power levels range from 100W to 1800W. This is suitable for all kinds of cooking tasks, like simmering or frying.
It comes with a Smart Touch control panel for easy use. For instance, you can go directly to 1800W with just a slight touch of the panel. It also has a built-in timer that can be set for 300 minutes.
Safety features include a Child Lock and a Self Diagnose function. If there is something wrong, the relevant code will flash on the screen. Also, if the cooktop cannot detect any cookware on its surface for 30 seconds, it will turn off automatically.
This model is ETL certified and comes with 2-year quality warranty.
- Heats up fast and has consistent temperature
- Temperature settings are displayed in degrees
- May take a while to figure out the temp settings; the operation manual is not user-friendly
- Some users commented on how loud the vent fans are
Buyers Guide to Picking Your Induction Cooktop
Check the temperature/power interval settings of a unit. Being able to switch between temperature and power settings will allow you to do more than just simmer or boil soups. For instance, if you want to deep fry, being able to switch to a temp setting will allow you to hit that specific temperature to make your deep fried food crunchy and tasty.
If you can, check for the material used for the electromagnetic coil. It should be certified pure copper wire but some manufacturers will cut costs by mixing copper with a cheap material. This will affect the magnetic induction so that the burner will not be able to cook quickly or evenly.
Cooking Zone Sizes
Pick a burner that has a cooking zone size compatible with your cookware. Large pans require a cooking zone diameter larger than 21 cms.
Some induction burners will have flexible cooking zones that can handle a specific number of sizes. Check the product manual for specific measurements.
The best cooktops have automated features that alert you if you’re not placing the pan properly on the cooking zone or are using a pan that’s not induction-compatible.
If you want to do some stir-frying, pick one that won’t shut off for a few seconds when the pan is lifted up from the cooking surface, as it's a standard feature among induction burners to shut down immediately after the pan leaves the surface.
A safety lock feature and a built-in timer are a must have for an induction burner. The first will prevent the kids from accidentally turning on the burner, while the second will allow you to preset the cooking time so that you can leave the burner without worrying it will overheat.
Check if the control panel is designed to be intuitive. There are three types: a rotating knob control, press button control, and a touch sensor controls. The touch sensor ones are more expensive but easier on those with arthritic hands. The controls should also not be placed close to the heating element.
Check to see if the LCD display shows everything you need to know when cooking. This includes the timer countdown, power settings, and temperature settings. Some will even show voltage regulation. The display should also be well illuminated enough to make it easy to read.
Look for rubber feet. An induction burner should weigh enough to make it stable on any level surface but the addition of rubber feet will make it less likely to slide around especially when you have a greasy countertop.
Pick a burner with a ceramic glass top that has minimal grooves or crevices where grease can build up easily. The smoother surface makes it easy to clean. It should only take an easy wipe down with a damp cloth when cleaning the surface of an induction burner.
Choose a cooktop with a reliable product warranty. The standard among appliances like these is 1 year but some may have 2 or more. Check the product pages if there are any issues with their aftersales services.