6 Best Portable Induction Cooktop Reviews of 2019

So what is the big deal about portable induction stovetops?

Maybe you’ve heard they are a cook’s “next big thing” or, quite possibly if you are like many people, you have never heard of portable induction cooktops (PIC) at all!

In this article we will go through everything you need to know about portable induction stove tops:

What is induction cooking?

Induction cooking uses magnetic induction (as opposed to thermal conduction from an electric element or the flame of a gas burner) to heat up the pot or pan directly and not the burner alone.

This results in a super-fast increase in temperature cooking your food, and boiling water, in record time. There are lots of cookware available for portable induction cookers. But let’s first look at how the induction cooktop works.

How do induction cooktops work?

Let’s get down to a little science so that you can understand how induction stovetops work (which will help you to more clearly understand the benefits of switching to an induction stovetop explained more thoroughly in the next section).

According to Wikipedia, “a coil of copper wire is placed under the cooking pot and an alternating electric current is passed through it.

The resulting oscillating magnetic field induces a magnetic flux which repeatedly magnetises the pot, treating it like the lossy magnetic core of a transformer.

This produces large eddy currents in the pot, which because of the resistance of the pot, heats it”.

What are the benefits of induction cookers?

Alright, so there was a lot of science (that may or may not gone right over your head) but what you really want to know is: what does induction cooking actually mean for you as a cook?

What benefit, if any, will you derive from using an induction stovetop that cannot be achieved using a traditional electric or gas stove?

Actually, there are many reasons that induction cookers are such a hot (pardon the pun) topic right now. We’re pretty sure that once you see the benefits of induction cooking, you’ll never return to your old methods! Onto the portable induction cooktop reviews!

Energy efficient

Remember we talked about how magnetic induction heats up the pots directly so that all the heat is retained in the pot and not lost to the surrounding air (in other words, the pot heats up really quickly)? Well, when we said quickly, we meant it; in induction cooking, water has been known to boil in as little as a minute or two (compared to four to five minutes in traditional stovetops)!

ONE MINUTE! The faster your food cooks the less energy you will use (not to mention how much time you will save). Induction stovetops are the most efficient way of cooking because less electricity is wasted, which saves both time and money!

Another related bonus is that because all of the heat is directly transferred to the pots and pans, the cooktops are easy to clean (messes don’t get baked in and dried up), plus the top is flat and smooth so quick to wipe down.

One of the greatest aspects of induction cooking is that excess heat from the burner does not add to the ambient heat of the room in which you are cooking in the same way a normal stove does.

The heat from cooking that is usually added to your home can increase your electricity bills in summer (if you have ever used the stove or oven to cook a meal on a hot day you will know exactly what we are talking about here) as the ambient air temperature in your home goes up, the air conditioning, fans, and the stove’s vent will be working overtime as well.

In induction cooking this doesn’t happen because only the pot itself heats up and no additional warmth is added into the surrounding air. So summer time is cooking time!

Convinced you need a portable induction stovetop yet? If not, don’t worry, there are still more benefits to induction cooking still to come!

Safety

  • Ever accidentally left the stove on?
  • Or left gas pouring out of a burner with no flame?
  • Ever have a child switch on a stove without your knowledge?

Well accidental and dangerous mishaps, be gone! Induction stovetops bring a new level of safety to your home. Induction cooktops switch off automatically when there is no pot on the element (it is able to do this by monitoring the amount of power being delivered).

Never leave your home wondering if you left the stove on again!

Something to be aware of

Not even the greatest product in the world is perfect for everyone, not even the induction cooktop.

It has been suggested that people who have cardiac pacemakers (or other electronic medical implants) should steer clear of magnetic fields. Although so far, most of the research currently available seems to indicate that using an induction stove is okay, we suggest that you check with your doctor before investing in this particular appliance.

Also, it is important to be aware that the induction cooktop may actually interfere with nearby radio receivers.

What Pots and Pans Can I Use on an Induction Stovetop?

One of the most popular questions regarding cooking on an induction stove is regarding what types of pots and pans can be used to cook on the appliance.

Have you ever wondered if you can you use the ordinary pots and pans that you already have stacked neatly in your kitchen cupboard?

The short answer to that question is, maybe.

Cookware needs to be specifically suited, although that doesn’t mean that it needs to be specifically created, for an induction stove (though a pot suitable for the induction surface can almost always be used on your regular cook top). To be used on an induction stove, the pots and pans must be made from (or at least contain) a ferromagnetic metal, for example cast iron, black metal, or iron pans will work on induction stoves. Stainless steel pans maybe compatible with an induction cooking surface but only if the bottom of the pot is made from a magnetic grade of stainless steel.

The keyword in that sentence is magnetic.

Aluminum or copperare not compatible (at least, not as materials on their own) on an induction cooktop because magnetic and electrical properties of those particular metals.

So, now that you know that induction stoves work using magnetism, and that the cookware needs to be compatible, here’s a simple at test that you can conduct at home to see if you have the right pots and pans. If a magnet sticks well to the sole of the pan, your cookware will work on an induction cooking surface.

Also, check the packaging on the cookware as some will include the symbol which indicates that the set can be used on an induction cooking surface.

There are many things to consider before buying an induction cookware set for your cooktop. For more tips on buying the best cookware for your induction stovetop read The 6 Best Induction Cookware Sets.

What is the Difference between a Portable Induction Cooktop and a Hot Plate?

This is a common question because, frankly, at first glance they pretty much look the same. But as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover!

Both a portable induction cooktop and a hot plate are, as the name of the first suggests, easy to transport from place to place and are standalone heating units consisting of one or more plates which heat up. There are, however, several fundamental differences between the two.

First of all, the traditional hotplate consists of electric heating elements or gas burners.

On the other hand, as described earlier in the article, a portable induction cooktop operates using magnetism, directly with a compatible pot, to heat up the cookware directly. Although both the portable induction stovetop and the typical hotplate can easily be moved from place to place, the hotplate will stay hot for a long time after the burner has been switched off.

In the case of the induction cooktop, the element will only heat up when there is a compatible cookware piece on top and the unit is switched on.

Once the piece is removed or the unit is switched off, the entire cooktop will be cool; which makes it easier to move, or pack away, sooner.

This makes the portable induction stovetop the preferred option for small spaces where the unit can be tucked away out of sight when not in use or while travelling from place to place.

It’s also perfect when needing to move the unit from room to room (so cook your food in the kitchen, then remove the PIC and place in the dining area to be used as a warming platform).

How to Choose an Induction Stovetop?

So by now you are probably convinced that it’s time to induction in your kitchen.

The next big question is how to choose the right induction cooktop for your family.

To help you decide, we’ve reviewed six brands (three single and three double portable induction stovetops) currently on the market.

So which brand makes the best portable induction cooktop?

What is the difference between a single cooktop and double cooktop?

This is pretty self-explanatory, but in case you were afraid to ask, a single portable induction stove has only one plate and can accommodate only one pot at a time. As you can probably infer, a double PIC has two plates and can fit two pots or pans at a time.

Here we will review the following single and double induction cooktops:

The Best Portable Induction Cooktop Reviews – Single Stovetops

1. DuxtopLCD 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner

(Best All Around!)

The Duxtop Induction Cooktop is safe to use, fast and easy to clean.

This versatile and feature rich cooktop is great for entertaining; and is so beautiful you can even use it as a warming platform or extra cooking area at even the most stylish of events.

Awesome extras, the digital LCD sensor-touch control panel has a child safety lock system (simply press and hold the Safety Lock Key for three seconds in order to activate), a Fast Boil button, and a Keep Warm button.

This portable induction cooktop uses 120 volts, 15 amps of electricity (standard in all homes), and is, of course, lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage.

This model has a built-in count-down digital timer with one minute increments (up to 10 hours), and 20 temperature ranges from 100°F to 460°F.

This appliance includes a 5-foot cord and the entire unit comes with a one-year manufacturer’s warranty.

As with most induction stovetops, the auto-pan detection will shut the unit off automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware, or the incorrect cookware, is detected.

Of course don’t forget that to use this (or any other induction cooktop) you will need to have a compatible set of cookware. Start by checking to see if a magnet will stick to the bottom of your existing set. If it does, those pots and pans can be used on the induction stove top. If not, check out this article on how to select an induction ready cookware set.

There have been a few updates to this set including the addition of a boiling and warming buttons that are great additions. Both automatically initiate the timer for 10 minutes and 30 minutes respectively.

The LCD display is also a significant improvement over the old LED display and much easier to read.

2. NuWave PIC Pro Highest Powered Induction Cooktop 1800W

(Quickest To Heat Up)

This NuWave model has had a number of updates that have made this portable induction stovetop even better.

For example, this model now has a larger heating surface of 9 1/2 inch; the original NuWave PIC had only a 9 inch surface.

In addition, this portable stovetop now comes with 94 temperature settings (set in 5-degree temperature increments).

Which gives you more temperature control (the original could only adjust in 10 degree segments).

NuWave does make several models so here is a breakdown of the available portable stovetops and their specifications:

  • NuWave pic 2 1300 watt model (10 degree temperature adjustment, 6.5″ heating surface)
  • NuWave pic 2 Gold 1500 watt model (10 degree temperature adjustment, 8″ heating surface)
  • NuWave pic 2 Pro 1800 watt model (5 degree temperature adjustment, 12″ cooking surface)

It may not seem like much, but the finer temperature segments of 5 degree Fahrenheit will help you to control your cooking precisely;

even melt chocolate without burning!

One important aspect to note is that after you have completed your cooking and turned off the stovetop, the fan does not continue to cool the cooking surface so this portable induction cooktop can stay warm to the touch for a while.

3. Secura 9100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner

(Best On Budget)

The Secura 9100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner has 15 power levels (ranging between 200 – 1800Watts), and a temperature ranging from 140 degrees Fahrenheit to 460 degrees Fahrenheit.

This little induction cooktop does everything it needs to do very well on a countertop; cooks your food without heating the entire room or counter.

The digital control panel has a built-in count-down timer (in one minute increments) up to 170 minutes.

The safety features include auto-pan detection, a diagnostic error message system, and a low and high voltage warning system.

This product is built to North American Electrical Standards and includes a 1-year warranty.

The settings and controls on this unit are clear and easy to understand; we’ve also heard kudos for the numbers which light up but are not LCD (which many people find to be tough to distinguish as they grow older).

The Best Portable Induction Cooktop Reviews – Double Stovetops

1. NuWave 30602 Double Precision Induction Cooktop Burner

(Fastest Heating)

The NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop (PIC) Double offers precise temperature control which are adjustable in 5 degree increments. With a minimum setting of 100 degrees Fahrenheit and an upper limit of 575 degrees Fahrenheit the NuWave Double PIC offers a wide temperature range.

We also really like the 2-hour Keep Warm feature, which also means this stovetop will be useful for more than just cooking.

It can also serve to keep food warm at your next event. This double stovetop also offers state-of-the-art programming technology, including 100 hours of memory so that you can program your favorite settings.

One thing we did notice with this portable double stove is that there is an on/off switch at the back of the unit which may (at first) go unnoticed by new users. Now you know.

2. True Induction MD-2B Mini Duo Portable Counter Inset Double Burner Induction Cooktop (120V)

(Most Versatile And User Friendly)

At this smaller size (only 20 1/2 x 14 inches), the True Induction Mini Duo Portable Counter Inset Induction Cooktop is the perfect addition for a small house, mobile home, or as a normal household appliance. It can also be inserted into your countertop for a seamless, custom fit look.

One feature that we really like on this model is that the burner begins to cool down immediately after the pan is removed. The pan detection feature will shut the unit off if it does not detect cookware, or compatible cookware,on the burner. The unit model cycles on and off after it has reached the desired temperature which means the cookware pot will remain at the set temperature (and not get too hot).

The face of this stovetop was created from a seamless ceramic glass surface the touch sensors are located underneath, making the unit so easy to clean. Just wipe down with a damp cloth.

As this is a double burner cooktop, the Mini Duo uses the True Induction’s patented power sharing technology which means both burners use the same plug and divide the power when both burners are in use).

The manufacturer’s warranty covers two years from date of purchase plus it comes with a 60-day trial period so you really can’t go wrong by trying out this model.

3. Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

(Best On Budget)

The dimensions of this cooktop are LWH: 14.25″ (length) x 23.5″ (width) x 2.5″ (height) so it is a little bigger than the True Induction Mini Duo Portable Counter Inset Induction Cooktop (above) but it is still a versatile and powerful tool that’s a great addition to any kitchen – big or small!

The appliance is manufactured with dual heat settings: eight settings on the left burner and five settings on the right burner. Eachburner is created with individual 150-minute timers and on/off switches (per burner).

As a safety feature, the unit turns off 30 seconds after pot or pan is removed.

The smooth glass surface looks sleek and wipes clean. Its compact and portable size makes it ideal for small spaces without a kitchen, such as dorm rooms, boats, patios or RVs. And because it’s portable, you can cook right at the table if you so choose!

The Bottom Line

That’s a lot of induction cooktops we reviewed.

So what’s the one tiny step you can take? The first step is always to determine what your needs are. Then choose the best induction cooktop to fit your needs.

Once you decide which induction cooktop to purchase, it’s time to choose your induction pots and pans.

Happy cooking!