This all new way of cooking is faster, more precise and more energy efficient than traditional gas or electric cooking.
In this guide you will learn about induction cooking and our induction cooktop reviews compare models to help you choose the best induction cooktop for you and your kitchen.
Top 7: Best Induction Cooktops
Brand & Model
# Heating Elements
13.3" x 12.5"
17.4" x 27.2"
13" x 11.5"
In our model comparison chart, wattage is based on max watts. Some heating elements on cooktop may only reach a fraction of that wattage.
It's important to double check your installation site and the manufacturer's measurements before purchasing a unit.
We have included general widths and sizes in our chart's specifications. Exact sizes may vary. For example, a 30" induction smoothtop may actually need 30.7" of space for installation.
Induction Cooktop Reviews
Frigidaire FGIC3067MB Smoothtop
The Frigidaire 30” induction cooktop has 4 burners with a whopping 3400 watts per element. This blows most portable units out of the water.
It has all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a stove or cooktop including hot surface indicators and express controls.
The following video demonstration is of the Frigidaire FGIC3667MB 36" model.
This unit needs to be installed into a cooktop inset, but if you are savvy enough you won’t require a contractor to do it.
There are a couple things that we aren’t fond of, but they aren’t deal breakers.
Fingerprints and scratches! Because the unit is black, fingerprints show up quite easily. No matter how much you clean the cooktop, you’re bound to see fingerprints soon after.
It’s just one of those things you’ll have to get used to. The cooktop can and will be scratched at some point but they are not as easy to see as fingerprints.
A common problem with induction cooktops and ranges is some are quite particular on the size of cookware that you use with them.
SEE ALSO: Best Induction Cookware
The Frigidaire cooktop is very forgiving so you don’t have to worry about finding proper 10” cookware sets. You will find that even 8” pans will work perfectly fine.
We love this 30” induction cooktop because its 4 burners have a lot of cooking power by a reputable brand name and will fit in to most cooktop insets.
Whirlpool W5CE3024XB Smoothtop
For those who are on a budget, Whirlpool offers a cheaper alternative to the Frigidaire.
It’s a 30” induction cooktop that hopefully won’t break the bank. If it’s going to drain your account you might want to try a portable option instead.
Its 4 elements come in two different sizes, 6” (1200 watt) and 9” (2400 watt).
While the heating power is slightly less than the Frigidaire, the 6” elements are still in the upper end of what portable cooktops provide. So there should be no worry about trying to boil water or sear steaks quickly.
Of course this is not a portable induction cooktop as it weighs 45 pounds and will need to be installed in your kitchen.
The black surface is sleek but they all end up with the same issues with fingerprints and scratches. Again, not a deal breaker but it is something to be aware of.
All the bells and whistles are included such as surface indicators and dishwasher safe knobs.
The Whirlpool smoothtop may be more budget friendly for those looking for a full size range with all the features that similar units have.
Max Burton 6200 Portable Cooktop
The Max Burton 6200 is our top pick because it offers a lot of value and quality in an affordable price range for our budget.
There are other induction cooktops that come close, but the Max Burton is able to work well with less than perfect cookware.
And by that we mean cookware that isn’t perfectly flat due to heat exposure over time.
The temperature range of the Max Burton cooktop is between 100F - 450F degrees which is suitable to cook just about anything. 1800 watts is pretty much the highest you’re going to see for portable induction cooktops and will heat and cook food very quickly compared to lower wattage models.
The timer has a 3hr maximum and will automatically shut off. However, we don’t recommend setting and forgetting what you’re cooking because there still is the chance for things to burn or catch fire.
The 6200 deluxe model is made with stainless steel which is a little heavier duty compared to the 6000 model which is made with black plastic. We like the look of both models, but the extra durability with the stainless makes this a no brainer.
Waring Pro ICT400 Portable Double Burner
If you want to go all out on a portable cooktop this may be a great option. It has two burners and is supposed to use up to 70% less than conventional cooktops.
The burners shut off 30 seconds after a pot or pan is removed.
The safety features are very cool too, the left burner will never be as hot as the right burner because the left one has 8 heat settings while the right burner has 5 heat settings.
The lack of an open fire or a hot surface to heat your pot or pan makes cleaning the unit easy. Typically with regular stoves the heat produced bakes food on to the stove itself making it very difficult to clean.
Unfortunately this cooktop does not have low heat setting which means that delicate sauces or chocolate are not workable on the cooktop unless you can stir like your life depended on it.
We would have thought that a lower heat setting would have made sense, but for everyday cooking this shouldn't be much of a problem.
If you need more than just 1 heating element and portability, the Waring Pro ICT400 is one option to consider.
NuWave PIC Pro Portable
For those of us who prefer something with a smaller profile, the NuWave induction cooktop might be the one for you.
The temperature controls and digital screen makes it very easy to control the cooking temperature.
However, unlike other induction cooktops the cooking surface remains quite hot even after cooking.
The following video comparison is of the NuWave PIC which is 1/2 inch smaller than the pro version.
The cooking area has small circles that indicate the areas that are specified for cooking.
The white circle must be in contact with the pan for it to cook while the larger circle measures the magnetic field. You will have to place your cookware on it properly in order for the heat to be equally distributed.
Because of the single 1800w burner, this model can boil water in 90 seconds which is extremely fast compared to gas stoves or electric cookers.
The smaller profile of this induction cooktop makes it ideal for those who are cramped for space such as small apartment or dorm kitchens. NuWave also offers the PIC Pro in alternative colors, such as White Diamond, but it may not be ideal depending on your budget.
Secura 9100MC Portable
The Secura 9100MC is ETL approved and has digital controls with a timer of up to 170 minutes which is nice to have just in case you forget that it's on.
The cooktop automatically shuts down after every 60 seconds when there is no cooking pan on it, helping to make it a safer cooking appliance to use.
Just like all induction cooktops you will need compatible cookware to use it. The rule of thumb is if a magnet sticks then it should work. However, you could use an induction interface disk which would allow you to use any of your existing cookware.
This cooktop to saves energy by detecting the size of the cooking pan and adjusting accordingly to make sure that little energy is wasted. We're not sure exactly how much those savings would add up to, but it's nice to know they built this unit with energy savings in mind.
We like the Secura's portable induction cooktop because it compares with other 1800 watt options, but it also will shut itself off when there is no pot or pan on it. Extra safety features are always welcomed in our kitchen!
Pros and Cons
Although electromagnetic cooktops are significantly more expensive than any traditional type of cooktop, the pros involved may make this expense well worth it.
- Heats fast
- Easy to clean
- Saves energy
- Safe (pacemakers be careful)
- Looks great
1. Enjoy fast, accurate results!
Electromagnetic cooktops have become very popular with professional cooks and chefs because results are instant and precise. Once you become used to selecting the level of cooking intensity by "the numbers" you will be thrilled with the quick and accurate results.
2. Cleanup is simplicity itself!
The surface of this device is smooth and easy to clean. The surface is usually one piece glass or ceramic that can be wiped clean.
The surface away from the heating elements does not get hot like a traditional stove which means that there is less chance for food to be baked on it. Drips and splatters can simply be wiped up with a damp cloth.
3. Save energy!
The US Department of Energy tells us that conventional gas and electric cooktops waste a lot of the energy they generate. This is not true with an induction cooktop.
They are approximately twice as energy efficient as either standard electric or gas cooktops. This is because they deliver the desired level of “heat” instantly and cook far faster than standard cooking methods.
4. Enjoy Tremendous Safety!
Having a cooktop that does not get hot adds a layer of safety to your cooking experience. Additionally, when you remove your pot or pan from the surface of the device, the burner turns off automatically. You will find that you can touch it almost instantly without feeling uncomfortable levels of heat.
5. Induction Cooktops Are Aesthetically Pleasing!
A smooth, glossy black induction cooktop looks good in any kitchen. You can purchase a freestanding single or double burner unit fairly affordably and add it attractively to your kitchen right now.
Of course there are some cons involved in induction cooking and cooktops.
Here are half-a-dozen that are commonly noted:
- Short learning curve
- Need new cookware
- Dependent on electricity
- Initial cost
- Small amount of noise
1. There’s A Learning Curve
Learning to cook using induction equipment is not intuitive. You must learn and memorize which settings get which results. That is exactly what the inventors of the microwave oven said several decades ago.
The fact is that human beings are very adaptable and once you get use to cooking in a new way, you will develop some sense of how your new cooking method works.
2. You May Need New Cookware
Because induction cooking is an electromagnetic method, your cookware cannot be made of ceramic, glass, copper or aluminum. When you hold a magnet against it, it must stick. If you have stainless steel or cast iron cookware now, you will not have a problem.
Some types of cookware are a mixture of metals and can be used with induction cooktops. For examples, see our guide on copper cookware.
3. There Is Some Expense Involved!
Induction cooktops are a new and innovative addition to the culinary world. Like all new technology, they are a bit costly at the moment, but prices have dropped and will continue to do so as the product becomes more and more popular.
Keep in mind that when you use an induction cooktop, you may save a significant amount of energy and this translates into saving money.
4. You’re In Trouble If There’s A Power Outage
It's important to note that you would probably not want to replace a gas cooktop with an induction cooktop because it is entirely dependent on electricity.
For this reason, if you have a power outage you would be unable to cook if you had only an induction cooktop. Of course the same holds true of having only an electric stovetop.
5. There’s A Little Noise
It should also be noted that induction cooktops do make a little noise. This is because they have cooling fans built in.
6. Pacemaker Users May Need To Take Precautions
The radio-frequency interference induction cooktops produce could be dangerous for people who are fitted with pacemakers; however, this risk is small.
These cooktops are no more hazardous in this respect than any other type of household electrical equipment.
What Is An Induction Cooktop?
Induction cooktops look very much like other ceramic type cooktops. The surface is made of strong, heat resistant glass/ceramic material. You place your pot or pan in a distinct cooking zone.
SEE ALSO: Best Cookware For Glass Top Stoves
Inside the cooking zone is a tightly wound metal coil When you turn the power on, the coil is filled with an alternating electric current, which produces a high frequency, invisible alternating magnetic field.
"If there is no pan in place on the cooking zone, there will be no change in the surface temperature of the cooktop."
When a pan is put in place, the magnetic field penetrates the iron contained in the metal and heat results. The magnetic field causes whirling electrical currents (aka: eddy currents) within the metal of the pan. This is what causes the heat.
As the pan heats up, the heat flows into the contents of the pan by the process of induction.
What Is Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking does not actually generate heat. Instead, it works using electromagnetic energy. The burners are electromagnets that transfer energy to your cookware. This causes the contents of pots to heat up as a result of the physics of induction.
This means that even when the ingredients of your pots are at the boiling point, the cooktop stays fairly cool. Naturally, some of the heat from the pots may transfer to the cooktop, but the cooking surface does not produce heat.
Induction vs Gas & Electric
Induction ranges generate the heat inside of your cookware. This means that they're more energy efficient than electric or gas ranges, but not by a large amount. This also means that the cooktop itself doesn't get hot.
If you were to turn an induction burner on high, you can stick your hand on the ceramic surface of your range safely. However, if you’ve already been cooking, the range itself will become extremely hot because heat will transfer to the cooktop itself.
Rule of thumb: Do not touch the cooktop unless it’s completely cool.
The biggest benefits to induction ranges are their temperature control and temperature transfer.
Even under-powered induction ranges are a bit more powerful than fairly high end gas ranges on high heat, and higher end models can be thirty or forty percent more powerful than consumer gas cooktops.
Additionally, since the heat is generated inside your cookware, it heats up VERY quickly when you turn the heat up.
This translates into very precise temperature control as well as incredibly fast heating times. You can boil water in a fraction of the time it might take on a gas or electric range.
Induction smoothtops and cooktops deliver the control and speed of a gas cooktop, but they are easy to clean and use a fraction of the energy used by gas or traditional electric cooktops.
If you get your electricity from wind or solar power, an induction cooktop provides a greener way to cook.
Couple this with the safety and good looks of an induction cooktop, and it’s easy to see that this new technology would make an excellent addition to any kitchen.
Because single burner induction cooktops are now readily and affordably available online and at local dealers, adding one to your cooking equipment is relatively simple and easy.
Did you enjoy this guide? Let us know in the comments with your favorite induction cooktop and induction cooking experiences.