In this guide, you will find 5 best portable induction cooktops, with the budget option coming at a price of $50 and the high-end model costing as much as $150. There is an overview of the five main types of these appliances, which will help you to decide which one you will opt for. Find a list of beneficial tips on how to use the device more effectively and read the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

Induction cooktops cook food faster than gas and radiant electric cooktops. They are easy to clean because the surface doesn't get hot. If food spills, it doesn't begin to cake onto the surface. You can wipe the surface clean either after or while cooking as long as you're careful to not touch the pan.

Anyone who wants to save time or increase the safety of their kitchen should buy an induction cooktop. This kitchen appliance is already popular in Europe and is slowly gaining traction in the US.

As the appliance becomes less expensive in the US, more consumers make the switch. You can find portable cooktops in the $50-$300 range. If you're searching for a new portable cooktop, it could be time to upgrade to induction.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

How Does A Portable Induction Cooktop Work?

A lot of people are surprised when they learn that the cooking surface doesn't get hot. Induction cooktops operate with electromagnetic energy to heat the pan without heating the cooktop surface itself.

The electromagnetic coils inside the appliance activate when they detect the right kind of metal on the surface. And they excite the iron items inside the pan or pot you place on the stovetop.

Iron and stainless steel pans will work on the cooktop. You can test if a pan will work by sticking a magnet on the bottom. If the magnet attached to the bottom, the pan will work on an induction cooktop.

What Are The Types And Their Differences?

Single-Element Portable Induction Cooktop

This type of portable induction cooktop consists of one cooking zone. You could use it in a kitchenette or for an additional cooking zone in your current kitchen setup.

Because of its portability, you could even set it on the dining room table to help keep a dish warm. Single-element portable induction cooktops can also be used in dorms, motorhomes and holiday homes.

If you've been on the fence about whether or not to get an induction cooktop, you can start with a single-element to see if you like it without spending a lot of money.

Multi-Element Portable Induction Cooktop

A multi-element portable induction cooktop has several cooking zones. You can find appliances with 2-5 induction burners. Multi-element portable induction cooktops are used for cooking for more than one person and meals that require more than one burner to create.

Built-in Portable Induction Cooktop Unit

You can install a built-in induction unit into the counter through a cut-out that matches the size of the appliance. Built-in induction cooktops look like they're part of the counter for a smooth, seamless appearance. They might be the right choice for you if you are positive that you want this design and you don't plan on moving anytime soon.

Freestanding Countertop Induction Unit

A freestanding induction unit comes with an electric oven. You could choose this type if you like having the stovetop and oven all in one appliance. They used to cost over $1,000, but you can now find them under $1,000.

Because renters aren't allowed to make major changes to a house's construction, this may be the right option for them, especially if the counter space is small. Freestanding countertop induction units could also be used in outdoor cooking setups.

Commercial Induction Unit

Commercial induction units are built with greater durability to withstand the demanding environments in restaurants and other commercial buildings. Their electrical circuits have higher industrial protection ratings for additional safety in case an accident occurs during commercial use.

What To Look For When Buying A Product?

When buying a portable induction cooktop, power usage is important to look at. You need to make sure it doesn't use more power than your outlet can handle. Higher power is also correlated with higher cooking temperature. Look for induction cooktops that have flat controls for easy cleaning and automatic shutoff for additional safety.

TOP-5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops

Find a review of 5 appliances within the price range from $50 to $150. It starts with the high-end device with a digital display and a wide temperature range and ends with a budget model. The latter has its benefits as well, such as a child safety lock and touch buttons.

Professional Portable Induction Cooktop | Duxtop

Duxtop - Professional Portable Induction Cooktop: photo

A commercial portable induction cooktop, this single-element appliance has an angled viewing control and a digital countdown timer. You can set the timer as long as 10 hours in one-minute increments for precision. If you plan on using the induction burner to keep food warm, use the keep warm setting. When cookware isn't detected for one minute, the unit automatically shuts off for safety in the commercial environment. Its temperature settings range from 100-460℉.

Duxtop: Check the current price

Dual Electric Induction Cooker | NutriChef

NutriChef - Dual Electric Induction Cooker: photo

The NutriChef Dual Electric Induction Cooker has two cooking zones, a digital LCD display screen for each zone and child safety lock. You can choose between several cooking modes, such as water, steam, and fry. Its flat ceramic glass surface is stain-resistant, nonstick and easy to clean. You can use the dual induction cooktop on the counter or on a table.

NutriChef: Check the current price

Induction Cooktop With 8-Heat Setting Control | Cuisinart

Induction Cooktop With 8-Heat Setting Control: photoCuisinart is a well-known brand in the industry, considered one of the top brands. Its single-element induction cooktop has an eight-heat setting temperature control ranging from low to high. After a pan is removed, the cooktop automatically turns off within 30 seconds. This is convenient if you sometimes forget to turn the stove off while cooking. It also has a 150-minute timer.

Cuisinart: Check the current price

1800W Portable Induction Cooktop | Secura

Secura - Portable Induction Cooktop 1800W: photo

This single-element portable induction cooktop has 15 power levels with temperature ranging from 140-460℉. The control panel is digital and angled. You can set the countdown timer up to 170 minutes in one-minute increments. The induction cooktop also features diagnostic error message system and auto-pan detection.

Secura: Check the current price

Portable Induction Cooktop With 9 Power Levels | iSiLER 

iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop With 9 Power Levels: photo

Under $60, the iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop is one of your most inexpensive options in single-element induction stovetops. It has nine temperature levels ranging from 140-460°F, a digital display and sensitive large touch buttons. You can set the timer as long as three hours in one-minute increments. Safety features include child safety lock, overheating protection and rounded edges.

iSiLER: Check the current price

Comparative Chart Of 5 Portable Induction Cooktop Effectiveness

Product Features

Duxtop

Angled viewing
digital display
10-hour countdown timer
warm setting
automatic shutoff
100-460℉ temperature range
Effectiveness: 10

NutriChef

Digital LCD display, cooking modes
nonstick
stain-resistant
child safety lock
Effectiveness: 9

Cuisinart

Eight-heat setting temperature from low to high, automatic shutoff
150-minute timer
Effectiveness: 9

Secura

15 power levels
140-460℉ temperature range
angled viewing
digital display
170-minute countdown timer
auto-pan detection
diagnostic error message system
Effectiveness: 8

iSiLER

Nine temperature levels
140-460°F temperature range
digital display
sensitive large touch buttons
3-hour countdown timer
overheating protection
rounded edges
child safety lock
Effectiveness: 6

FAQ 

Which brand of a portable induction cooktop is the best?
There are many brands of these devices that produce quality appliances, such as Duxtop, Nutrichef and Cuisinart. Which one is the best comes down to personal preference.

Are they energy-efficient?
These appliances are energy-efficient because less heat is wasted compared to other types of stovetops. All of the models listed above are considered energy-efficient.

Are these appliances safe? Can they cause a fire?
They are safe, but as with anything, it's possible to get hurt. If you were to put a sheet of paper underneath a pan, then that is a fire risk. Although the cooking surface doesn't get hot, the pan does. These appliances are safer than gas and radiant electric. If you want additional safety, consider choosing Duxtop LCD P961LS or Cuisinart ICT-30 086279096142. They automatically turn off when no cookware is detected for a certain time period.

Where to buy a portable induction cooktop?
You can buy the product on Amazon, Walmart and other stores that sell kitchen appliances. All of the products listed above are available on Amazon.

What pots to use on this appliance?
Pots and pans with magnetic bottoms, such as stainless steel, iron, carbon steel and graniteware, work on these appliances. You can test a pot by sticking a magnet on the bottom. If the magnet attaches, then the pot will work on the cooktop. There is a misconception that you need special pans, but there are plenty of options in stainless steel and iron pots that people may have in their homes already. Some manufacturers include a looped image on the package or bottom of the pan to indicate it works with induction.

Pros & Cons Of Using

Pros

Induction cooktops deliver 80-90% of electromagnetic energy produced to the food. Regular electric stovetops transfer 70% of created heat to the food, and gas cooktops only deliver 38% of the heat to the food. Because induction cooktops transfer a higher percentage of heat to the pan's contents, they cook your food faster than gas and electric stovetops.

The temperature controls are precise, and you can use a wide range of temperatures. Water takes three minutes or less to boil. The average temperature range of an induction cooktop is 100.75-665.5°F, which is a wider range than gas stovetops.

Because the cooktop surface stays cool, young children won't burn themselves if they touch it. You can also clean up spills immediately without worrying about accidentally burning yourself.

The cooktop is easy to clean because of it's smooth, flat design and the fact that food doesn't bake onto it while cooking.

Cons

Cast iron easily scratches an induction cooktop, so you must be careful when using that type of cookware.

Not all stainless steel is created the same. Stainless steel that has iron in it will work on an induction cooktop, but stainless steel made from nickel alloy doesn't work.

Wok pans may not work well on the induction cooktop because of their rounded bottoms.

Tips & Life-Hacks For These Appliances

  • You can use a Silpat baking mat underneath the pan to protect the glass surface from scratches when using cast iron cookware.
  • If you have a pot or pan that's not compatible with induction, you can use an induction disk to cook with it on the induction cooktop. An induction disk is a metal plate you can put between the cooktop and your pot.
  • Another available feature is visual cues that help you gauge the heat's strength. Are you using low heat or high heat? This could be in the form of an LED blue flame licking up the sides of your pan.
  • Some induction cooktops come with auto-sizing pan detection. You can place the pot anywhere on the stovetop and it will begin cooking your food. It can add another layer of convenience when you juggle more than one pan.

Conclusion

Portable induction cooktops are easy to move around as needed, and they are an inexpensive option for a kitchen stovetop setup. Who says you need to buy a range or a built-in cooktop? You can cook meals just as well on a portable induction cooktop.