Which induction cooktop is best?
Induction cooktops are convenient, energy-efficient alternatives to a traditional stovetop or full gas range. These cooktops use magnetic induction to heat pots and pans quickly — saving you time and money on your energy bills.
If you’re looking for a four-burner cooktop with lots of user-friendly features, the Empava Induction Cooktop is the top choice.
What to know before you buy an induction cooktop
Portable vs. built-in
There are two types of induction cooktops: portable and built-in.
- Portable induction cooktops can be unplugged and stored away when not in use. These are ideal for people with small kitchens and dorm rooms or for cooking outdoors.
- Built-in induction cooktops fit into your existing countertop and can easily act as your primary range. Built-in cooktops are often larger and more expensive than portable ones.
When purchasing an induction cooktop, you’ll want to consider the number of cooking zones — also called “burners.” Portable induction cooktops tend to have only one or two burners, while built-in cooktops may have up to six. A cooktop with multiple burners lets you cook different things at once, such as boiling water for pasta while stewing tomatoes for sauce. A smaller model will take up less counter space in your kitchen.
An induction cooktop’s power is measured in watts: the higher the wattage, the stronger the heat. One with more power will have burners that heat more quickly and are capable of heavier cooking tasks such as boiling water and searing meat. Many cooktops offer burners of varying wattage or have power controls that let you adjust the heat as needed.
What to look for in a quality induction cooktop
Look for an induction cooktop with varying temperature settings to accommodate different recipes and cooking styles. The more specific the temperature range, the better. While many cooktops only offer numbered heat levels, some offer precise settings, typically between 100 and 475 degrees, which give you ultimate control over the heat.
The most user-friendly induction cooktops are those with LCD display and digital controls, as opposed to manual controls such as dials and knobs. Some also include built-in digital timers as part of the display.
Some cooktops include convenient preset cooking functions that automatically set the ideal heat for basic tasks such as boiling, searing and frying. You’ll also find ones with automatic shut-off and pan detection. Shut-off turns off a burner when it reaches the maximum temperature, which can help keep pans from burning or boiling over. Pan detection turns off burners when there are no pans on the cooktop, saving energy and preventing electric fires.
A safety lock prevents the cooktop from being turned on accidentally. This is especially important if you live with small children.
How much you can expect to spend on an induction cooktop
A portable induction cooktop costs anywhere between $40-$250 depending on its quality, size and features. Built-in induction cooktops are more expensive, costing from $300 on the lower end to upward of $4,000 for the top of the line.
Induction cooktop FAQ
What kind of pans work with induction cooktops?
A. Because induction cooktops use magnets to heat up, they require pans that have magnetic components, such as cast iron and stainless steel. Most cookware made from iron or steel is compatible with induction. Pans made from aluminum, glass and copper don’t work with induction unless specifically manufactured to be induction compatible.
How do you clean an induction cooktop?
A. Induction cooktops have delicate surfaces that require careful cleaning and handling. Avoid harsh chemicals and cleaning solvents and anything that could scratch or damage the surface. Use soapy water and a soft sponge to remove any grime, then wipe clean with a microfiber cloth.
You can also make a gentle homemade cleaner by combining equal parts white vinegar and baking soda. Spray the cleaner on the cooktop and let sit for 30 minutes before wiping clean with a cloth. This can help lift any tough stuck-on grime without scouring the surface.
What’s the best induction cooktop to buy?
Top induction cooktop
What you need to know: This 30-inch-wide built-in cooktop has four burners from 6 to 10 inches in diameter, so you’re always using an efficient size for your pan.
What you’ll love: Nine heat settings range from “melt” to “rapid boil,” and the letter “H” appears on a hot burner’s surface so you never need to guess whether it’s on. A child-control lock keeps kids safe, and you can set the cooktop to turn off automatically when cooking is done. A red LED display and black glass offer a modern aesthetic.
What you should consider: It needs to be professionally installed.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top induction cooktop for the money
What you need to know: This single portable burner has serious power for its size and a host of user-friendly features.
What you’ll love: It has 2,100-watt power and 15 temperature levels to give you precise control over the heat. The built-in timer is convenient for timing recipes. It’s lightweight and portable for easy storage, making it ideal for small kitchens and dorm rooms. The LED display and sensor touch panel is intuitive to operate. The premium glass surface is easy to wipe clean. It includes a child safety lock.
What you should consider: It can be loud to operate, with some users reporting a high-pitched whistling sound.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This small, single-burner cooktop is easy to operate and ideal for small kitchens and dorm rooms.
What you’ll love: It’s lightweight, space-efficient and portable. It includes 10 easy-to-control temperature settings between 300 and 2,000 watts. It boils water impressively fast for its size. It includes a three-hour timer and a safety lock.
What you should consider: The small one-ring design isn’t suited for larger households.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Katy Severson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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