Our best portable induction cooktop reviews will help you find the right induction burner for your home. These energy saving and energy efficient appliances are a great way to prepare stovetop dishes with precision.
Below are the 5 best small induction cooktops. We cover everything you need to know to pick the model best suited to your needs.
- Induction Cooker Comparison Table
- Top Portable Induction Cooktop Reviews 2020
- 1. Best Pick- Duxtop 9600LS Portable Induction Cooktop
- 2. Secura 9100MC Portable Induction Cooktop
- 3. NuWave 30242 Lightweight Induction Cooktop
- 4. Rosewill RHAI-15001 Induction Cooktop
- 5. Best Pick-Duxtop 8100MC Portable Induction Cooktop
- Portable Induction Cooktop Buyer’s Guide
- What is Induction Cooking?
- What is the difference between Induction, Gas and Electric Cooktops?
- Benefits of Induction Cooking
- Important Features
- Frequently Asked Questions
Induction Cooker Comparison Table
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Top Portable Induction Cooktop Reviews 2020
We researched and rated these cooktops based on their performance, features and overall value.
These cooktops use electromagnetic energy to directly heat your cooking pan. They are a precise and reliable way to prepare stovetop meals in a fast and energy efficient manner.
If you have a pacemaker, you should be aware that the magnetic energy they produce could negatively affect your device. It’s best to talk to your doctor before using an induction cooktop.
Each of these induction cooktops are an excellent option for your kitchen. They have unique functions and features that set them apart in a crowded field.
The Duxtop was an easy choice for the best induction cooktop for two main reasons. It is reasonably priced and has a lot of great features.
It is ideal for pans with a diameter of 5 to 8 inches. However, you can use a pan up to 11.5 inches wide.
The digital unit has touchscreen controls. This feature makes it easy to read your settings and make changes on the fly. It also has a child screen lock. So an accidental touch won’t change your settings while the lock is on.
In addition, the countdown timer can be set from 1 minute up to 10 hours. However, you must push a button every 120 minutes or the until will automatically shut off.
The Duxtop is a reasonable size. It measures 11.4 x 14 inches, weighs 5.75 pounds and stands 2.5 inches tall. The control screen is angled so you can easily see it around a pan when you are cooking.
This stove has 20 temperature settings from 100-460 degrees F. It also has 20 power settings from 100-1800 watts. Therefore, it is easy to find the right setting to cook with.
These features make the Duxtop one of the most flexible induction cookers in our review. It’s ideal for making a range of dishes. It is lightweight so it’s easy to move and store. It can handle vessels up to 25 pounds in weight. So it’s a good choice for soups and pressure cookers.
The electrical cord is 5 feet long. Therefore, this unit is perfect for countertop and table side cooking. It comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- 20 temperature settings for any type of cooking.
- 5-foot power cord is ideal when a power outlet isn’t right by the table.
- Digital screen with sensor touch makes it easy to see your settings.
- Two year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Not ideal for large scale cooking or canning.
- Timer can be set for up to 10 hours, but the unit will automatically shut off if no buttons have been pressed for 120 minutes.
The Secura induction cooktop has some similarities to the Duxtop models. This is no surprise since the two companies are related.
Secura is the parent company to Duxtop. Therefore, you will often see both names on a Secura brand unit.
This model is a good alternative to the more expensive Duxtop 9600. It has almost as many features. The digital LCD display makes it easy to see your settings. The control panel is made from buttons covered in a smooth plastic shield. This makes it easy to clean.
The Secura has 15 temperature settings ranging from 140-460 degrees F. It also has 15 power settings from 200-1800 watts. This makes it almost as flexible as our top choice Duxtop model.
This unit measures 11.4 x 14 inches and stands 2.5 inches tall. So it is the same size as the above Duxtop model. It also weighs 5.75 pounds, so is easy to transport and store away.
It is a very reasonable option for most home cooks. Additionally, the countdown timer can be set from 1 to 170 minutes. However, the unit will shut down after 120 minutes if no buttons are pressed.
The Secura works very well with pans ranging from 4.5 inches to 8 inches in diameter. However, it can handle up to an 11.5-inch pan. The angled control panel makes it easy to see around a pan on the cooktop.
So you can keep an eye on your settings while you use it. The power cord is 6 feet long. Therefore, it’s the longest one in our review. Lastly, it comes with a 2 year manufacturer’s warranty.
- Angled, digital LCD screen makes it easy to see your settings while using it.
- 6-foot long power cord makes it convenient to place this unit wherever you need it.
- 2-year manufacturer’s warranty.
- The timer can be set for 170 minutes but the unit turns off after 120 minutes unless a button is pushed.
- Plastic covered buttons are at risk of being cracked if pushed too hard.
- No child or screen lock, so an accidental touch could change your settings.
NuWave is a well known brand in induction cooktops. They make a variety of portable models. This model has a digital LCD screen on the front of the unit. Therefore, it won’t be obscured by a large pan.
The cooking surface is also round instead of square. So there’s no awkward corners you could bump into by accident while cooking.
This model is extremely flexible. It can handle the greatest range of cooking temperatures of any in our review. There are 52 temperature settings from 100 to 575 degrees F.
Its sensor is precise to within 10 degrees. This additional range and precision is very useful to have if induction cooktop is your primary stovetop.
The NuWave measures 14.5 x 12 inches and stands 2.5 inches tall. It weighs a light 5.4 pounds so it is easy to carry with you. In addition, it can handle pans with a diameter of 5 to 12 inches.
It also has 6 pre-programmed temperature settings and can be customized further. So this model is an ideal choice for those who are cooking more complicated dishes.
There is a drawback with this model. It has a steeper learning curve since it is more complicated to use and program. The power cord is only 3 feet in length. Therefore, you will have to use an appropriate extension cord that can handle up to 1500 watts.
Lastly, it is advertised as having a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty. However, the company will only honor the warranty if you buy your cooktop directly from them or from one of their authorized resellers. If you buy it on Amazon, you may not be covered under warranty.
- 52 temperature settings offers flexibility for a large range of cooking.
- User-friendly and easy to store
- Precise to within 10 degrees of the set temperature.
- 1-year warranty only if purchased directly from the company or authorized reseller.
- You may need to buy an extended warranty for full coverage.
- Steeper learning curve due to complex programming and range of options.
- 3-foot power cord limits where this unit can be used without an extension cord.
The feature that won the Rosewill a place on our list is the design of the digital touchscreen control panel. The controls are intuitive and simple to adjust. It is also the easiest induction cooktop to use.
It comes pre-programmed with 5 convenient settings for: warm, milk, soup, stir fry and hot pot. This makes choosing a setting for most cooking needs very easy.
You can also opt to use the 8 temperature settings from 150-400 degrees F. In addition, you can use the 8 power settings from 300 to 1800 watts.
The countdown timer works from 1 minute up to 3 hours. It will automatically turn the cooktop off when complete.
This is the smallest portable induction cooktop in our review. It measures 10.6 x 9.6 inches, stands 2.4 inches tall and weighs a mere 5.1 pounds. The largest pan you can use on it would be one with a 10-inch diameter bottom.
The main downside to this model are the limitations based on its size. It can’t use cookware that is larger than 10 inches wide. Also, the power cord is only 4.6 feet long. Therefore, it is harder to use in some locations without an appropriate extension cord.
However, these downsides may actually be beneficial for some users. This model could be a great option for people living in really small spaces like RV’s or dorm rooms.
It is also a solid choice for newer cooks or those who cook more simply since it’s so easy to learn and is reasonably priced. Lastly, it comes with a 1 year limited warranty.
- User-Friendy digital touchscreen controls are intuitive and simple to set.
- Timer can be set for up to 3 hours with automatic shut off at the end.
- Small and light weight option is ideal for RVs and dorm rooms.
- Small size limits the maximum size pan that can be used for cooking.
- 6-foot long power cord may make it harder to use when not right by an outlet.
- 1-year limited warranty
If you are looking to get as many features as possible but have a limited budget, then consider this Duxtop model. The digital LCD display makes it easy to read your settings while the plastic covered buttons are simple to set and change.
It is a versatile cooktop with 10 temperature settings ranging from 140 to 460 degree F. Additionally, it has 10 power settings that range from 200-1800 watts. This unit is as powerful as our top choice Duxtop but only slightly less flexible to cook with.
It comes with a countdown timer that can be set from 1 to 170 minutes. However, it will automatically shut off after 120 minutes if no buttons are pressed. This safety feature is helpful but does limit the usefulness of the longer timer.
The unit is larger than many. It measures 13 x 11.5 inches and stands 2.5 inches tall. It also weighs 6.5 pounds which is more than the others in this review. This model may be less useful in really tight spaces.
The biggest drawback is the design of the cooking surface and control panel. Since the control panel is flush with the cooking surface, you can not use a pan wider than 10 inches without the risk of damaging the controls. This limitation may be a real inconvenience for some cooks.
Still, this could be a good choice for a cook who doesn’t use larger pans or isn’t bothered by the extra space the unit takes up.
- Digital LCD screen makes reading and changing the settings simple.
- 10 temperature and power settings offer flexibility and value.
- 5-foot long power cord makes it ideal for tabletop and banquet cooking.
- Control panel design makes it less versatile than other models.
- 170 minute timer is limited by the 120-minute auto shut off.
- Control buttons are covered by a thin plastic shield which could crack with use.
Portable Induction Cooktop Buyer’s Guide
What is Induction Cooking?
Induction cooking works by using an internal coil that generates an electromagnetic current when electricity is applied. When a magnetized metal bottom pan is placed on the cooktop, the metal in the bottom of the pan reacts to that magnetic current. This causes the pan itself to heat up.
Heat can not be generated until the pan makes direct contact with the cooking surface, even if the unit is turned on. The metal in the bottom of the pan reacts to the magnetic current, producing smaller “eddy” currents in the pan itself. These eddy currents generate heat in the metal of the pan, which can then be used to cook your food.
The easiest way to think about this is that an induction cooktop turns your pan into the heating element, rather than using an element to heat the outside of the pan. It is the most energy efficient way to cook. Most of the heat produced in the pan goes to cook your food instead of being lost to the environment.
Induction cooktops look similar to modern electric ranges, but operate differently.
Here is a short video that explains how an induction cooktop works with your iron or steel pans to produce heat.
What is the difference between Induction, Gas and Electric Cooktops?
The difference between the range types is in how they make your pan hot.
A gas burner uses a flame to transfer heat energy to the bottom of your pan. This is referred to as convection heating which is the least energy efficient way to cook. An electric range uses a coil or plate that generates heat from electricity. The heat is transferred, or conducted, into the metal of the pan.
In contrast, induction ranges use electromagnetic currents to generate heat directly in the metal of the pan itself. While some of this heat will warm up the glass top or dissipate into the air, most of the heat is conducted from the pan into your food.
Benefits of Induction Cooking
There are several advantages to cooking with an induction cooktop. We’ll discuss them below.
Since the pan itself becomes a heating element, most of the energy is directly used by your pan to cook your food. There is much less heat lost to the surfaces of the rangetop or to the air. This means using an induction range is more energy efficient than using a gas or electric range top.
Due to their efficient use of heat energy, an induction cooktop usually cooks faster than their gas or electric cousins. The most common comparison is in how fast they can boil an equal amount of water.
The exact time will vary from model to model. However, in one scientific test a pot of water on an induction cooktop reached a rolling boil 3 to 4 minutes faster than the gas and electric burners.
Precise Temperature Control
Like a gas burner, an induction cooktop responds immediately to a change in its programming. If you increase the temperature or power, this change will be immediately transmitted from your cooktop to your pan. This precision makes it easier to cook delicate items like eggs and sauces. It also reduces the chance of accidentally burning your food.
A small sensor under the glass top will detect the temperature of your pan. This sensor will cycle the unit on and off as needed to keep the temperature close to the desired setting.
This makes it easier for you to to use your cooktop with a pressure cooker, or to simmer a big pot of chili or soup for several hours if needed. If you’re looking for some recipe ideas, check out these cookbooks here.
A child or setting lock is a really useful feature. It’s especially helpful in a digital touchscreen cooktop like our top choice, the Duxtop 9600. This feature locks in your settings. Therefore, your cooktop will continue working even if the screen or buttons are touched accidentally.
This feature is beneficial even if you don’t have children. For instance, if a drop of liquid lands on the control panel while you are using the cooktop (like a soup or fondue), the cooktop won’t change settings accidentally when the lock is engaged. It will continue on its last setting until you unlock it and make the change yourself.
Portable induction cooktops control the amount of heat they produce through two mode settings. Most models can be set using either mode. However, you can choose either a temperature or a power mode to cook with. It is the difference between deciding to cook at 200 degrees F vs cooking at low/500 watts.
The more options you have here, the easier it is to get your cooker to the exact temperature you need to cook with. Our top choice, the Duxtop 9600 cooktop, has 20 different temperature and power modes while the Rosewill has the least at 8.
More modes equals more flexibility. So if you plan to use your hot plate for many different purposes, an induction cooktop with more options may be very helpful to you. If you only plan to use it for more limited cooking, then you may be able to get by with a model that has fewer modes to choose from.
Electric Cord length
A longer electric cord might be a very helpful feature depending on where you plan to use your induction cooktop. If you want to use it for a buffet, or on a table for a hot pot or fondue, you will likely appreciate a cord of at least 5 feet.
It can be dangerous to use a cooktop with an extension cord, unless that cord is rated for the appropriate amount of wattage. Most induction cooktops will draw between 1300-1800 watts when on the highest setting, which standard extension cords can’t handle safely.
Most cooktops in our review had a cord length of at least 5 feet. The exceptions were the Rosewill and the NuWave. We rated the NuWave lower due to its very short 3-foot cord, which limits where it can be easily used.
Special Magnetic Cookware Required
The biggest disadvantage is that portable induction cooktops only work with the right kinds of cookware. Glass, ceramic, aluminum, copper, typical nonstick frying pans and some non-magnetic stainless steel pans won’t work on an induction cooktop.
A general rule of thumb is that if a magnet will stick to the bottom of your pan, it should work on an induction cooker. However, each unit is a bit different. Some require a higher amount of magnetization than others to generate heat.
Cast iron, enameled cast iron, and magnetic types of stainless steel usually work best with induction cooktops. Copper and aluminum pans that have a layer of magnetic material sandwiched between them often work as well. You will have to check your pans and see which ones will work, or buy pans especially for the induction cooktop.
Your Pan Directly Effects Results
A dented, rusted or thin-bottomed pan with curved sides will not work well on your induction stove, if at all. The bottom of the pan has to make direct contact with the surface of the cooktop.
This is in order for the magnetic current to work on the pan. Even if the cooktop heats up an inferior pan, it may not get as hot as it should.
Unlike a conventional stove top, an induction unit will only produce heat in metal that is located directly above the magnetic coil. There is no extra heat radiating from the gas or electric burner to indirectly heat the sides of a curved pan.
This usually means that pans with a bottom diameter from 5.5 inches to 11 inches work best. The edges of the larger pan may not get as hot as the center, leading to uneven cooking results.
There is a learning curve to using an induction cooktop. You will have to pay close attention to your food the first few times you try using one. Each model will respond a bit differently. It is similar to learning to cook on an electric stove if you have only used a gas stove before.
One thing that is different about using an induction cooktop as compared to gas or electric is the sound. These cooktops have a fan that cycles on to keep the unit from overheating.
Since the magnetic current works on the metal pan directly, the metal occasionally makes a buzzing or pinging sound. It is completely normal but takes getting used to.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are induction cooktops more energy efficient than gas or electric cooktops?
A: Yes. Induction cooking is very energy efficient because most of the generated heat is used to cook your food, rather than being lost to the cooktop surface or the air.
The US Department of Energy claims that induction cooking is 84-90% energy efficient, while electric cooktops usually rate around 65-70% and gas a low 40-55%. The wide range in these numbers takes into account the variables between different models within each type.
Q: Is a portable induction cooktop as powerful as a built-in induction cooktop?
A: No. A portable unit is designed to work on a standard home 120 volt/15 amps outlet, while a built-in unit will use the same 220-volt outlet that a built-in electric range needs. The maximum power a portable unit can handle is 1800 watts. A built-in burner can handle up to 3200 watts.
Q: I have a pacemaker. Can I use an induction cooktop?
A: Please ask your doctor. Many pacemaker recipients can, in fact, use an induction cooktop safely. However, your doctor will be able to directly address your specific health situation and guide you to a safe answer.
Q: Do you have to use special pans with an induction cooktop?
A: Yes, you must use a pan with a magnetized metal bottom in order for an induction cooktop to work. Cast iron, enameled cast iron and magnetized stainless steel pans tend to work best. You can check your existing pans by seeing if a magnet will stick to the bottom. If it will, then they may work on an induction cooktop.
Portable induction cooktops are an energy efficient and fast way to prepare meals. They have the precision of gas cooking with the benefits of using electricity. They are suitable for kitchenettes, RVs and dorm rooms. In addition, they can be used at banquets and parties. Surprisingly, they can even be used for brewing, canning and crafts like soap making.
The best induction cooktop in our review is the Duxtop 9600. It has a digital touchscreen and 20 different temperature and power settings. This unit has something to please most every user. If the Duxtop is out of your price range, the less expensive Secura is a solid second choice and has almost as many settings and features.
The NuWave is an excellent option if you are looking for a premium induction stove and don’t mind the short 3-foot power cord. It has the most flexibility with its 52 temperature settings. Additionally, it will maintain its set temperature to within 10 degrees F.
The Rosewill is ideal for small homes and kitchens. It’s intuitive design makes it the most user-friendly cooktop in our review. If you have financial concerns but want a cooktop with a lot of flexibility, then consider the Budget Duxtop 8100. It is as powerful as the Best Duxtop 9600 and has almost as many temperature settings.
We hope that after reading our detailed portable induction cooktop reviews and comprehensive buying guide, you’ll have all the information you need to select the best portable induction cooktop that is perfect for your needs.