The 5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops of 2023
Jun 17, 2023
Our space-saving top picks offer sleek design, precise temperature control, and energy efficiency.
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Food & Wine / David Hattan
Induction cooktops are an energy-efficient alternative to gas and electric cooking. Using electromagnetism, the system transfers the heat directly to the induction-safe cookware instead of around it for optimal heat absorption and precise temperature control. This also means that the surface remains cool to the touch, which is a plus in terms of safety. Whether you have a small space that doesn’t fit a full stovetop range, need a travel-friendly cooking surface, or simply want extra cooking space when entertaining crowds, a portable induction cooktop can make your work a simple task.
To bring you the best portable induction cooktops, we looked for models that melded the convenience of a compact design with modern and classic features, from LCD displays to options with two heating zones. Not just limited to on-and-off, high-and-low settings: These cooktops can shut off automatically and offer other features like child safety locks and built-in timers. Read on to see why our top picks are worth your money.
From childproofing features to 20 temperature settings, this compact cooktop puts high efficiency in a small package.
It emits a high-pitched whistle at times.
Our best overall choice, the Duxtop 9600LS Portable Induction Cooktop is the perfect model to get you started with this lesser-known cooking method. It’s equipped with 1800 watts of power and 20 preset temperature level settings, ranging from 100 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. For a moderate price point, its features are abundant, including an easy-to-read LCD sensor, a keep-warm setting, a quick boil button, auto shut-off, a child safety lock, and warning systems to alert you of both high and low voltage.
You can even purchase magnetic cookware by the brand so that you are ready to use the cooktop right away, and the line includes a saucepan, frying pan, and stockpot. Note that high-pitched whistling sounds are common and are not cause for alarm.
Price at time of publish: $140
Featuring 10 temperature ranges and 10 power levels, it covers all your basic stovetop cooking needs.
It doesn’t have boil and keep-warm settings.
A more affordable choice than the Duxtop cooktop above, the 8100MC model is only slightly pared down and still gives you everything you need for induction cooking. The similarities between the two models are that they both offer temperature presets up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit, a timer function, and 1800 watts of power. The timer settings go up to 170 minutes, which is more than sufficient for most culinary preparations, and the LED display is straightforward and easy to read.
The features this model lacks are boiling and keep-warm functions as well as a child safety lock. It’s also a little smaller and less visually appealing, but overall it performs almost the same as the higher-end version.
Price at time of publish: $65
Impeccable temperature accuracy and stability make this model ideal for professionals.
It’s more expensive than some multiple-burner induction cooktops.
For serious home cooks and professionals, the Breville Induction Cooking System will set you up for success as well as any cooktop could. It offers optimal temperature precision with its through-glass sensor that directly measures the pan’s temperature and its included probe control that clips onto your cookware, maintaining your desired temperature within 1.8 degrees.
You can set it between 86 and 482 degrees Fahrenheit for any duration and save your go-to settings as presets, which is ideal for delicate recipes like sauces, ganaches, and curds. From simmering to deep frying, this cooktop helps you do it all effortlessly. Although on the pricier side, customers claim this cooktop is the best culinary investment they’ve made.
Price at time of publish: $1,500
This double induction cooktop is great for families while still being compact.
The left side gets up to 1800 watts, while the right gets up to 1000 watts.
When one burner isn’t enough, this double induction cooktop is our favorite two-burner model that offers more cooking space without taking up too much counter space. You can sauté vegetables on one side, while searing meat on the other, enabling you to prepare full meals in a snap.
Because each side has its own control system, there’s no confusion over the settings and sensor display. There are 20 power levels up to 1800 watts, 20 temperature settings up to 460 degrees Fahrenheit, and eight cooking modes, including frying eggs, heating milk, and boiling water. Plus, it has similar features to other Duxtop models, such as a child safety lock, voltage warning system, and a quick-to-clean surface.
Price at time of publish: $276
Compact and intuitive, it’s a beginner-friendly unit that can work with a limited power supply.
It might be too small for some, and the button-heavy control panel might be a bit overwhelming.
Ideal for student housing, camping, and people who adventure on the road, the NuWave is an affordable cooktop and our choice for the best lightweight; it’s also a little smaller than other units on our list, making it particularly convenient for tight spaces. This cooktop doesn’t run short on features, though: It has power settings — ranging from 600 to 1300 watts — that enable its use with limited electricity, 45 precise temperature settings up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, and an auto shut-off function when your food is done cooking. Surprisingly sturdy and durable, it can support up to 50 pounds and has a shatterproof glass top.
Price at time of publish: $60
The Duxtop 9600LS Portable Induction Cooktop is full of features for the moderate price of $110. With 20 temperature settings, an easy-to-use LCD display, and other useful features, it has everything you need in a portable induction cooktop. For professionals, the Breville PolyScience The Control Freak is a luxury choice with unmatched precision.
Your burner should fit well in the space where you’ll be using it, so it’s important that it isn’t too large. This is especially true if using it in a tight space like a dorm room or RV. Additionally, you’ll want to choose a size that’s suitable for the induction-friendly cookware you own.
When choosing the right portable induction cooktop for your needs, you’ll want to look at the model’s power levels and temperature settings. For power levels, portable induction cooktops typically range from 100 to 1800 watts. The higher the wattage, the faster it heats up but the more energy it requires. As for temperature settings, most models start at 100 degrees Fahrenheit and reach boiling point.
Portable induction cooktops come with one-touch buttons on their control panels. High-end models will let you choose temperature down to the degree, while more affordable options offer 10- to 20-degree increments. If you have children or are prone to accidents, you’ll want to choose a cooktop with features like automatic shut-off and safety locks. Other settings to look for are boiling buttons, keep-warm functions, and cooking presets.
Induction cooktops, whether portable or not, require magnetism in order to transfer heat. Any type of pot or pan that involves magnets will work, including cast iron and stainless steel. Brands such as Le Cruset and All-Clad work on induction burners. You’ll want to avoid glass, aluminum, and copper-clad cookware.
They’re very quick and easy to clean, requiring a simple wipe-down. First, let the surface cool down, and then use a damp towel with dish soap. To remove stains, dab the area with distilled white vinegar and sprinkle a little bit of baking soda for extra help.
Contributor Ariane Resnick is a special diet private chef, certified nutritionist, and lifestyle writer with two decades of culinary and literary experience. Her work has been featured in Simply Recipes, The Spruce Eats, Clean Plates, Huffington Post, Verywell, and more. For this article, she conducted market research and used her professional knowledge to determine the best portable induction cooktops for every home cook. Best Overall: Best Value: Best Splurge: Best Double:Best Lightweight:Price at time of publish: $140Size:Weight: Maximum Power: Number of Temperature Settings: Price at time of publish: $65Size: Weight: Maximum Power: Number of Temperature Settings: Price at time of publish: $1,500Size: Weight: Maximum Power: Number of Temperature Settings: Price at time of publish: $276Size: Weight: Maximum Power: Number of Temperature Settings: Price at time of publish: $60Size: Weight: Maximum Power: Number of Temperature Settings: