Portable induction cookers have brought a new lifestyle in cooking activities. If you are looking for the best one, most experts and users would recommend this Duxtop LCD 9600LS Portable Induction Cooktop.
It’s so energy efficient that it’s often also used for off the grid households and camping.
Here’s The Hands on Channel using one:
However, this option might not be suitable for some people because each person may have different needs and expectations. To understand which portable induction cooktop is best for you, let’s have a thorough discussion about it.
What is a Portable Induction Cooktop?
An induction cooktop works by inducting electromagnetism into the cookware. Although it gets the power from electricity, an induction cooktop is entirely different from the electric stove.
In an electric stove, the electricity will generate heat on the stove. Anything you put above the stove will get burned and hot. But with an induction stove, the device will only generate electromagnetic fields. This electromagnetism will cause the cookware to heat up and cook whatever is in it.
Hence, you need specially designed cookware for the system to work. Induction cookware requires magnetic materials, or else they will not work. There will be no heat generated. If you place your palm on the surface of the cooktop, it won’t get burned or heated at all because there is no magnetism in your hand.
Cookware materials that can be suitable for induction cooktops are cast iron, steel, and magnetic stainless steel. Ceramic cookware can also work if they have a layer of iron inside it. On the other hand, non-magnetic materials will not work unless the cookwares have a layer of magnetic material inserted.
I’ve written this entire post on the best cookware sets for induction which is a great read if you’re deciding to buy one of these portable cooktops.
Induction cooktops are available in many variations for many purposes, from individual to commercial uses. One highly popular type is the portable induction cooktop, which offers many benefits that conventional stove can’t do.
Let’s look at them in a quick overview, and after that, I’ll discuss each of them some more:
|Overall best: Duxtop 9600 LS||
|Most power: NuWave PIC Pro (1800w)|
|Best cheap portable induction cooktop: Rosewill RHAI-13001|
|Best value for money: Duxtop 8100MC|
|Best for Travellers and Campers: Max Burton 6450|
|Best portable induction cooktop pan set: NuWave Flex|
|Affordable induction cooktop with Double Burners: NutriChef||
|Best induction cooktop with 2 burners: Cuisinart ICT 60|
Best Portable Induction Cooktops reviewed
With many choices out there, you might get overwhelmed in choosing which portable induction cooktop to buy. As a guideline, you can consider some of the most recommended portable induction cooktops as listed below.
However, what seems to be the best for someone doesn’t mean it would be best for you too.
When you have no specific requirements, these are what you can consider buying.
Overall best: Duxtop 9600 LS
Duxtop 9600 LS offers an optimal balance between price and features. It has 20 power levels ranging from 100 to 1800 watts. The temperature setting is available in 20 levels, ranging from 100° to 464° F. Cooking would be much under control. The energy efficiency of this cooktop is 83%.
A timer of up to 10 hours makes it possible for slow-cooking without you having to waste your time to recheck the stove. Duxtop 9600LS comes with an 8-inch coil, which is ideal for most cookware.
Most power: NuWave PIC Pro (1800w)
NuWave is best for its precision. While most induction cookers can’t be accurate with their temperature adjustment, NuWave Pro can make it with only five degrees of tolerance. The device offers 52 temperature levels from 100° to 575° Fahrenheit. This range is wider than the common induction cooktops.
A 12-inch cooking surface with an 8-inch coil makes it possible to cook with a large pan without consuming much energy. NuWave Pro Precision Induction Cooktop offers 15 power levels better control of cooking and energy efficiency.
Its maximum run time is up to 100 hours, which is pretty much similar to unlimited because nobody cooks that long without a break.
Best cheap portable induction cooktop: Rosewill RHAI-13001
A portable induction cooktop doesn’t have to be expensive to be good. Some are affordable yet highly useful.
Rosewill RHAI-13001 comes with eight levels of power and eight levels of temperature. With less than $70 for the device, you will also get a versatile stainless steel pot with a lid. This cooktop provides a timer with a maximum period of three hours, which is enough for most cooking methods.
Rosewill RHAI-13001 has a sleek and stylish design with a digital control panel and polished crystal surface. If you are on a tight budget but hope to get the best of it, you need to consider this particular cooktop.
Best value for money: Duxtop 8100MC
As the leading brand in a portable induction cooktop, Duxtop also provides an affordable type. With less than $50, this cooktop has all the basic features to give you a wonderful cooking activity. There are 10 power levels, which is enough to get your cooking under control.
The temperature range is almost as wide as most devices, 140-464°F, although the levels are only 10. The timer works up to 170 minutes, which shouldn’t be a problem for most people. This model has a compact size, yet the coil diameter is 8 inches, just like most portable induction cooktops are.
Best for Travellers and Campers: Max Burton 6450
If you plan to go out much carrying your portable induction cooktop, you need it to be lightweight and versatile. Here is the best you can consider.
Max Burton 6450 is only 6 pounds, which is pretty light to carry along. It also has a compact size of 9.1 x 9.1 inches. There are 10 levels of power and 15 levels of temperature setting, which are more than enough for outdoor cooking.
For added safety, Max Burton 6450 has an auto shut-down feature. The burner will instantly stop when the sensor detects any cases of overheating, overvoltage, short circuit, unsuitable cookware, and 3-hours of non-stop usages.
Furthermore, a panel locking system avoids children randomly pressing the button. Now you can even camp and cook without the risk of burning the forest.
Best portable induction cooktop pan set: NuWave Flex
Being a famous brand in an induction cooktop, NuWave also offers a nit with high portability. NuWave Flex is impressively lightweight with only 4.25 pounds, which is probably the lightest amongst all portable induction cooktops. Its dimension is also relatively small, making it effortless to carry along for RV or camping.
There are three levels of power to control your cooking. The temperature levels are ranging from 100° to 500° F with 10° increments, making a total of 45 levels. The product includes a 9-inch non-stick frying pan, which is quite versatile and useful.
Affordable induction cooktop with Double Burners: NutriChef
A single burner might not be enough to satisfy your cooking spirit and requirement. You can get the induction cooktop with a double burner. Don’t worry, they are still portable.
NutriChef PKSTIND48 provides nine power levels with maximum wattages of 1800 watts. There are eight levels of temperature setting from 140° to 460° F. The tempered ceramic glass on the surface makes the cooktop sturdy and looks stylish.
The two burners each have 6.7 inches of the coil. You can use both at the same time for different kinds of cooking. The cooktop has multiple cooking modes for ease of control, including the “keep warm” option. You can set the timer for up to four hours.
Best induction cooktop with 2 burners: Cuisinart ICT 60
Cuisinart ICT 60 offers two burners with different specifications and sizes. You can use both simultaneously. The right one has eight power levels and a 7.5-inch heating zone. Meanwhile, the left one has five power levels and a 6-inch heating zone. Both can work for cookware with a maximum diameter of 10 inches.
This cooktop also offers a timer up to 150 minutes for each burner. For safety, the device will automatically turn off if the sensor detects no cookware on top in 30 seconds. Cuisinart ICT 60 is also lightweight and compact. It can be your choice if you need a double burner cooktop for traveling.
Best portable induction cooktop brands
Some brands are just that good. And when it comes specifically to a portable induction cooktop, these are the brands you need to look at first.
Both Duxtop and Secura are the brands owned by Secura Company. The company’s business is manufacturing kitchen appliances, where they started and stayed focused on Induction Cooktop.
Duxtop has many choices of a portable induction cooktop for varied purposes. The brand is highly reputable for its fine quality, even the low-budget ones. Besides the induction cooktop, the brand is also famous for the lines of induction-ready cookware.
NuWave is a company manufacturing small appliances with innovation. One of their best products is the series of Precision Induction Cooktop (PIC), which offers a feature to adjust the cooking temperature accurately for a finer result of cooking.
NuWave has a wide range of PIC, allowing everybody to get their tech-savvy cooking device that matches their needs. The brand is also famous for its NuWave Oven, which features energy-efficient smart technology.
The Benefits of a Portable Induction Cooktop
A portable induction cooktop offers many benefits that sound promising to bring a revolution in the cooking lifestyle. This innovation can solve some problems we have with conventional stoves. Here are some of those benefits:
The stove will not burn anything that is not magnetic. You can put a plastic bag above it and there will be no messy melting. The kitchen would be safe for your toddlers, even if they have curious little hands. Moreover, some portable induction cooktop even features an auto shut-down for avoiding unfortunate occurrences due to various reasons.
A regular gas stove takes a few minutes to reach the expected temperature. On the other hand, an induction cooktop takes less time because it responds instantly. You need just 3-4 minutes with it to boil a huge pan of water.
Gas stoves and electric stoves are not very efficient as they release unused heat. But with an induction cooktop, it is the cookware that produces the heat to directly cook what is inside. Approximately, conventional stoves are only 41% efficient while an induction cooktop can go up to 80%.
Easier to Clean
With a flat surface and not many exposed parts, an induction cooktop is significantly easier to clean up. Just one wipe away would be enough to make it as good as new. This device is your real shortcut to say goodbye to a messy kitchen.
Thanks to the digital timer, now you can turn on your stove and leave it be. This feature is highly beneficial for slow cooking and steaming. You can be more productive with your time.
Not only you can set the cooking duration, but a portable induction cooktop also allows you to set the temperature each time you are cooking. However, there are limits to the temperature setting. It comes with levels to choose with varied ranges and increments for every device. However, those are pretty good for controlling our cooking.
What to Consider When Choosing A Portable Induction Cooktop
Just like any other device, portable induction cooktops come with various specifications. Some can be important to consider, while others are okay to ignore. It is vital to understand what those are and how they affect your cooking experience, so you know which model to buy. Here are some important ones to note:
Power is what you need to consider first when buying a portable induction cooktop. Each portable induction cooktop offers a few levels of wattage. The more options you have, the more control you have over the stove. What you need to see from the device are:
- how many power levels available the range between the lowest and the highest level
- how big are the jumps between levels
Unlike a conventional stove, most portable induction cooktop units have a limit on how long it can run without stopping. This might be an issue if you love spending long hours in the kitchen. But since most induction cooktop allows a long run time, this aspect should not be much of a trouble to consider.
This one is similar to the power levels but is less important to consider. Not every portable induction cooktop has a temperature setting. Some of them only offer multiple levels. Besides, most temperature settings are not very accurate.
The coil size determines how much electromagnets it can induct. But you don’t need to worry much about it. Even a smaller coil can still cook finely because the cookware will always distribute heat evenly to the food. However, this feature would be important if you plan to use large cookware.
Fan Type and Noise
Cheap portable induction cooktop units usually contain a low-quality fan, which would be noisy and easy to break. If you are sensitive to noise, you might need to ask to try turning it before agreeing to buy.
Weight and Dimension
Weight and dimension can be important, especially if you plan to bring your portable induction cooktop to travel. It can also matter if your kitchen is tiny. Some units are specially manufactured to be lightweight for better portability. However, better quality portable induction cooktop units are generally heavier.
Not every portable induction cooktop unit provides an automatic turn-off timer. If such features are important to you, make sure to check it on the specification list. The ranges of duration are varied. Alternatively, you can use a manual timer instead.
A good quality device usually offers a long warranty. Besides the duration, you also need to check what things got covered by a warranty. Furthermore, be sure to know how to make your claim.
Brand matters most of the time because of its reputation. Choosing the best brand would secure the quality of service, durability, and other important aspects you can’t figure out from the specification list.
Important Things to Know Before Buying Your First Portable Induction Cooktop
Operating and maintaining a portable induction cooktop is entirely different from a conventional gas stove. Things can be confusing, especially if you plan to switch to the induction cooktop for daily use. So here are important things you need to know.
An induction cooktop can consume up to 1800 watts of power. Can your home power supply that much without causing electrical instability in your house? This might be an issue if you used to use a gas stove before. But if you are using an electric stove before, there might not be any trouble.
Some Are Not Portable
Not all induction cooktops are portable. There are inset models for kitchen countertops, which require installation. If you need the portable one, make sure the model you buy is the portable type.
An induction cooktop can only work with magnetic cookware. A simple test can be done to see if your cookware is induction-ready. If a magnet can stick to it, then it is good to go. Otherwise, you would need some new cookware.
Double Burner Power
A double burner induction cooktop will share power. If you max out one of them, the other one would not be available for use. If you need both burners to work maximally, consider buying two units of single burner instead.
Each type of portable induction cooktop has different advantages and disadvantages. It is vital to know the specifications and how they may benefit you. This way, you can determine which one is best for you. Besides choosing the right one, you also must know how to take good care of it so your portable induction cooktop may last long.
If you’re not sure what to buy yet, you should also read my post on induction cooktops versus electric ones, I have all of the differences in use and energy consumption explained in that post so it’s a good read to learn more.