A portable induction cooktop is your best option for a small kitchen, an RV or even a small cabin. It doesn’t take up much space, is easily stowed away after use, and most importantly: It’s very safe to use.
In contrary to other cooktops, it doesn’t contain a heating element. Instead it generates an electromagnetic field, which heats up the bottom of your pots and pans. The bottom of your cookware becomes the actual heating element, and it’s extremely efficient.
Below are the best portable induction cooktops according to our research and review process.
- Best overall
Duxtop 9610LS Portable Induction Cooktop
- Best on a budget
Duxtop 8100MC Portable Induction Cooktop
- Best double burner
Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop
- Best design
Taste by Cuisinart Tasty One Top
- Best professional
Duxtop P961LS Commercial Countertop Burner
Best overall: Duxtop BT-200DZ Portable Induction Cooktop
Duxtop 9610LS Portable Induction Cooktop
The Duxtop 9610LS performs extremely well and has smooth surface that allows for easy cleaning. This is by far our favorite choice.
Pros: Great performance – heats up any compatible pot or pan fast, sleek design, touch sensitive control panel, many useful features, easy to clean after use, safety lock.
Cons: The temperature increments make it difficult to simmer, only a small area in the middle heats up your pots and pans, doesn’t do well with low temperatures in general, only works in Fahrenheit.
The Duxtop 9610LS offers great performance and many useful features, so you can make the best of any kitchen regardless of size.
We appreciate how fast it heats up any pan or pot that are compatible with induction, as it allows us to cook our meals quicker and more efficiently. If you spill anything by accident, there’s no need to worry either. The sleek design with smooth surfaces makes it easy to wipe down the entire unit after use, with little risk of food getting stuck in crevises.
The illuminated digital display gives you great control during cooking, and you’ll find plenty of extra features for all your needs. We like the slanted control panel because it allows for easier use with oversized cookware.
On the opposite aspect, the temperature doesn’t seem fit to simmer at all. If you like slow cooking and maintaining a low temperature, the 18-degree temperature increments could cause a bit of trouble. We would’ve liked the option to switch between Fahrenheit and Celsius as well, but this isn’t a dealbreaker at all.
Best on a budget: Duxtop 8500ST Portable Induction Cooktop
Duxtop 8500ST Portable Induction Cooktop
The Duxtop 8500ST offers great value and is a great choice for those seeking an affordable yet versatile cooktop.
Pros: Easy to clean, nice and sleek design, great price:quality ratio, lightweight and portable, simple to operate.
Cons: Only 15 temperature settings from 140 to 460 degrees F, no quick-heat feature, few users had issues with some pots or pans not being recognized.
The Duxtop 8500ST Portable Induction Cooktop offers unparalleled value in a simple, lightweight package. With this single burner you can set up a kitchen anywhere, and start cooking within minutes. There’s no preheating necessary, and the surface is easily wiped clean after use.
We like how nice and sleek this induction cooktop is, and how well is works for many purposes. You might struggle a bit with the temperature increments though, because each step increases/decreases the temperature with a little over 21 degrees – slightly higher than other models.
It took us a few minutes to figure out how it works though, but after reading the manual it’s quite straightforward. It has a few useful features such as timer and child lock, and we liked the option to set the actual cooking temperature rather than just a number between 1 and 15.
We do miss a quick heat-feature on this model though, which means that reaching boiling point could take a bit longer than with other models. It does pull 1800 Watts like other models do, but there’s no option to quickly switch a quick heat-feature on or off.
There were a few complaints about this cooktop being unable to recognize small pots and pans, but we haven’t been able to verify this issue ourselves and we’re unsure whether it’s the cooktop or the cookware that are at fault here.
Best double burner: Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop
Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop
The Cuisinart ICT-60 has two induction burners, allowing you to cook entire meals faster – a great option for a small kitchenette.
Pros: Two individual burners, practical size, timers for both burners, surface of each burner is easy to clean.
Cons: Wattage is split between the burners, less efficient than single burners, no quick heat feature, no safety lock.
While a double induction cooktop splits the wattage between two burners, ultimately generating less heat than a single burner, you might want to consider this option anyway.
Only rarely do you need to turn your induction cooktop all the way up anyway, unless you only use it to heat up water, so this could potentially make a great purchase.
With the Cuisinart ICT-60 you can cook entire meals in no time, and it fits perfectly on a countertop in any small kitchen you can imagine. We like it because of how simple and easy it is to use, and after cooking you can easily wipe off the surface areas with a damp cloth.
Both burners have individual control panels and their own timer feature. The control panel isn’t slanted though, which could cause a bit of a problem with oversize cookware.
It doesn’t have a quick heat feature, and there’s no safety lock. However, it does take more than one step to actually heat up the cookware. You’ll have to turn it on first though, and then choose the heat level.
Best design: Taste by Cuisinart Tasty One Top
Taste by Cuisinart Tasty One Top
Whether you’re planning on opening your own YouTube cooking channel or just want a stylish induction cooktop, the Tasty One Top comes in at #1.
Pros: Glass surface with rounded edges, easy to clean, beautiful design, controlled via app or simple control panel, advanced features with built-in recipes, thermometer included.
Cons: Price is a little steep, only gets hot in the middle which causes uneven cooking, limited heat settings.
You’ve probably heard of Tasty, a channel owned by BuzzFeed with millions of subscribers across multiple social media platforms. This portable induction cooktop was designed by Tasty, and they use it as a staple in their many cooking videos.
It’s a smart induction cooktop that connects to your smartphone through an app, granting you access to exciting recipes that you can easily make at home with the cooktop and thermometer. For instance, let’s say you want to make yourself a medium-rare steak. Normally, it would involve precision and a bit of guesswork to get it right. Not anymore. This cooktop allows you to insert a thermometer directly into your meat, and it will automatically shut off once the internal temperature has been reached.
Besides the smart features, we really love the design of this cooktop. Who said kitchen appliances have to look boring anyway? The smooth, soft curves as well as the round hot plate allows for easy cleaning with just a damp cloth. There are no crevices, and therefore food won’t get stuck easily.
All pros aside though, you’re looking at a hefty price tag and a form over function mindset. It definitely wasn’t designed with practicality in mind, as it would otherwise be rectangular in shape with a smaller footprint. We’ve also seen evidence that it only gets hot in the center, which is a bummer if you’re expecting to utilize the entire cooking area at once.
The app connectivity might be a little over the top for most people too, but if you like the style and want something that looks beautiful, this is definitely a winner. And it does actually perform quite well, as long as you allow your cookware to heat up properly before using it.
Best heavy-duty: Duxtop BT-C35-D Commercial Countertop Burner
Duxtop P961LS Commercial Countertop Burner
Whether you’re making large quantities of soup or sizzling a small steak, the heavy-duty Duxtop P961LS Commercial Countertop Burner is a great choice.
Pros: Professional look and feel, robust with a solid steel casing, slanted control panel for easy access during cooking, illuminated LED display, very high capacity (up to 65 pounds), automatic 10-minute power mode for quick heating.
Cons: Big and bulky design, a bit heavier than average, power levels are numeric.
If you want a portable induction cooktop that both looks and feels like a professional one, the Duxtop P961LS is a great choice. It costs a bit more than other models, but with a robust steel casing and an overall functional design, it’s worth it.
Whether you’re looking for a professional cooktop or just want one that’s more durable than other models, you won’t be disappointed with this one. It can easily hold large pots with a total weight of 65 pounds, whereas cheaper plastic models usually reach capacity around 20-25 pounds.
We’ve seen a few good reviews from people brewing their own beer. This requires a durable cooktop for the heating process, and the Duxtop P961Ls gets the job done with no problems whatsoever.
The slanted control panel along with multiple features makes for a versatile induction cooktop that works for most purposes we can think of. Consider it an additional cooktop for occasional use, or a permanent cooktop in a small kitchen – it does well in both cases.
Of course the most significant downside is the rather big and bulky design, and it is a bit heavier than the plastic models too. This didn’t come as a surprise to us, but if you’re seeking a lightweight induction cooktop you’d be better off with one of the plastic models.
Identifying the best portable induction cooktops
In an effort to pick only the best portable induction cooktops on the market, we initiated a large research process to better understand what people look for in a new cooktop. We’ve also consulted industry experts as well as actual chefs to learn what makes the best cooking experience.
The answer was clear, and we fully agree: Cooking has to be as easy as possible.
Fortunately, the induction cooktop makes it very easy to cook your own meals. Mainly because it doesn’t get hot like a gas burner or conventional electric cooktop, but also because it’s easy to clean afterwards.
Generally, safety is a big concern for most people. And for a good reason. Imagine you’re in an RV and cooking your meal. There isn’t a lot you can do if your gas burner catches on fire, and if food gets stuck to a burning hot surface it starts smoking within a matter of seconds. An induction cooktop is different, because it doesn’t have an actual heating element built into the surface. Instead, it relies on electromagnetism to heat up the bottom of your cookware instead. The surface of your induction cooktop still gets burning hot though, but it cools down in just a few minutes and food won’t stick as if it was a gas burner or a conventional burner.
So, in order to identify the best portable induction cooktops on the market, these were the factors we considered.
Performance – you want your induction cooktop to get hot so you can add a nice crust to your meat, but precision is important too.
Features – a timer is useful when you’re boiling eggs or simmer a stew for a couple of hours, in order to remind you when your food is done. Other useful features include a power mode and a keep warm mode.
Safety – many induction cooktops have a safety lock that you can activate if you want to avoid it from heating up by accident. They shouldn’t get too hot to touch on the sides or the bottom either.
Durability – stability is important, and we were looking for sturdy cooktops with enough capacity to cook a bit of everything.
Ease of use – some cooktops are quite difficult to clean, but most induction cooktops are easily wiped off with a damp cloth. Look out for models with crevices around the edges though, as food could easily get stuck in these areas.
Induction cooktops vs. conventional electric or gas burners
Portable induction cooktops completely different from conventional electric and gas burners. Instead of heating your pots and pans with thermal conduction, convection or radiation, induction cooktops generate an electromagnetic field that causes the bottom of your cookware to act as a heating element. For a more scientific explanation, we refer to Wikipedia but would also recommend you to read about induction cooktops on Explain That Stuff.
Induction cooktops are therefore completely different from other cooktops due to the way it heats up your pans and pots, and this technology allows for quicker cooking as well as quick temperature adjustments. Ever wondered how to keep your soups from boiling over? Induction cooktops can prevent these accidents from growing bigger than necessary, as the heat is quickly reduced after you pressed the button, whereas gas and electric burners require a better reaction time.
Another difference between portable induction cooktops and conventional electric and gas burners are the features that they come with. Some induction cooktops come with timers, keep warm mode, power mode, and lots of different temperature settings. A gas burner would usually have no features, and most conventional cooktops don’t have any additional features either.
The induction cooktop tends to stay cooler than other types of cooktops as well. Mainly the surface, but also the casing. That means less food could burn onto the surfaces, preventing accidents from getting a heck lot worse. If a pot boils over, you can easily wipe if off afterwards.
Why are induction cooktops better?
As discussed above, induction cooktops are better for multiple reasons. The portable models make for perfect cooking equipment in any situation, and we believe it’s a whole lot safer to use than a gas burner or an electrical burner as both get incredibly hot.
Portable induction cooktops are better for following reasons:
- Easy of use. Just turn it on, adjust the temperature, and your cookware heats up quickly.
- Cleans easily after use. Because the surface of an induction cooktop doesn’t actually heat up, the chance of stuck-on food is minimized.
- Efficient. Because of the fast heating process, induction cooktops use less energy than conventional ones.
- Great features. Most induction cooktops come with great features such as power mode, keep warm mode, a timer, and a safety lock.
What pots and pans are induction compatible?
Are you wondering whether your old cookware is induction compatible or not? In another article we described two methods for checking if your cookware works with induction or not.
Generally, compatible materials include:
- Cast iron
- Enameled cast iron
- Carbon steel
- Stainless steel (unless it’s full stainless steel)
Incompatible materials include:
The best ways of checking for compatibility is to use a magnet on the bottom of your cookware.
If the magnet sticks to the bottom of a pan or a pot, it works with induction. This is because the bottom has to be magnetic, in order to work with the electromagnetic field that your induction cooktop generates once turned on.
Do portable induction cooktops use less power?
Back in 2010 The New York Times wrote the article “Is Induction Cooking Ready to Go Mainstream?” Since then, much have happened and induction cooktops are indeed going mainstream as we speak.
One of the major reasons is the energy usage. It still draws a good amount of energy during use, but it uses the energy in a much more efficiently.
This has been proven in a 2014 study by the Electric Power Research Institute for the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, where the results indicated that induction cooktops are better at adapting to different sizes cooking vessels whereas regular electric burners would radiate excess heat outwards if the cooking vessel was too small for the heating element in use.
The bottomline of this study was that if you happen to use many different sizes of cooking vessels that aren’t always a perfect fit for the heating surface, the induction cooktop could potentially save you a lot of electricity.
Another thing worth considering is that induction cooktops only take a few seconds to heat up your cookware, so you might be looking at an even bigger saving potential in comparison with regular electric and gas burners.
Where to place a portable induction cooktop?
A portable induction cooktop could be placed on any level surface, but we recommend taking a few safety precautions.
- Never place it on a plastic table.
- Never place it on a table cloth.
- Never place it directly on a wooden countertop.
- Never place it outside on a rainy day.
The best place for a portable induction cooktop would obviously be in your kitchen, but on a heat resistant surface. You just never know how hot it gets, and if an accident happens and your pot or pan tips over, you won’t ruin the countertop or table.
No matter what you’re cooking, we recommend that you place it on a fire resistant surface. You could also make use of a large wooden cutting board, as it makes a sturdy base.
Consider locating it near a window as well, so you could easily get some fresh air inside if you happen to burn your food. It happens to anyone from time to time.