Dual burners, automatic shutoff, built in timer. Good enough to be a solid backup for large stove top or provide additional burners.
Expensive, eight heat settings on one burner, five on the other -- not as much variation as competing units.
Trim design with a low price. Has digital controls and auto shutoff. Heats quickly and cooks evenly. Wipes clean with ease.
A few faulty burners weren't working when they arrived. Sometimes gives confusing error messages for no apparent reasons.
Very compact unit at a great price. A whopping 52 temperature settings. Easy-to-use controls.
Some durability issues over time. Occasionally gives unknown error messages.
LED display is easy to read. Digital controls make it simple to find the exact temperatures for specific needs.
Not quite as portable as some of its competitors.
When it comes to home cooktops, induction burners are becoming more and more popular, and for good reason. They allow you to cook more quickly, make clean up a breeze, and don’t use as much energy as other cooktops. What’s not to like?
The only real drawback to an induction stove is its high price tag — which is why freestanding induction burners are an ideal alternative.
The burners are a countertop appliance that provides the same results as an induction stove at more budget-friendly price point. They’re an especially handy appliance for the holidays, or other special occasions when you’re cooking for large groups, and you need to increase your kitchen’s cooking capacity.
But to get the most out of your induction burners, you have to choose the right model — which means knowing what size, temperature settings, and other features to look for to ensure that it’s the best fit for your cooking needs.
Ready to buy an induction burner? Take a look at our top recommendations.For general info on shopping for induction burners, continue reading our shopping guide.
Induction burners use an electromagnetic field to heat pans up quickly, while the rest of the cooking surface remains cool.
Because of the electromagnetic field, only pots and pans that are made of ferrous metals (like cast iron or steel) can be used with it.
You can test whether specific cookware will work on the burners with a magnet — if the magnet sticks to the pan, you can use it with the induction burners.
With a freestanding induction burner, you can increase the cooking surface in your kitchen to make it easier to prepare meals for larger groups, without having to replace your entire stove.
Induction burners heat up more quickly than other types of cooktops, so you can cook your meals more quickly.
While the burner heats up quickly, the rest of the induction cooking surface stays cool, so you’re less likely to burn yourself.
Induction burners use less energy than other types of burners because the rest of the cooking surface doesn’t heat up.
Because only the burners get hot, induction burners are less likely to heat up your kitchen while you’re cooking.
It’s usually easier to clean induction burners since the area surrounding the burners stays cool, preventing spills and messes from cooking onto the surface.
Most tabletop induction cooktops feature a single burner. However, you can find some larger models that include two burners.
A single-burner style obviously takes up less countertop space, but a two-burner style provides more cooking space. Take the size of your kitchen and the group that you usually cook for into account when choosing the right number of burners for your needs.
An induction burner’s power is measured in watts. For the most effective portable induction cooktop, opt for one with at least 1,200 to 1,800 watts.
If you leave your induction burner in your kitchen, the appliance weight doesn’t really matter. However, if you plan to travel with a set of burners, you’ll want to choose a lightweight design, so it’s highly portable. Look for a model between five and seven pounds if you plan to take it camping or on other road trips.
For the most control over your cooking, it helps to choose an induction burner with a variety of temperature settings. Some models offer as few as five temperature settings, while others offer as many as fifty. The more settings that the burners have, the more precisely you’ll be able to adjust the temperature.
For example, a model with fifty settings may allow you to adjust the temperature in 10 degree increments, while those with fewer temperature settings may only allow you to adjust in 50 or 100 degree increments.
When you’re cooking on induction burners, it helps to have a built-in timer, so you know exactly how long to cook your food. Some models have timers that allow you to make one minute adjustments, which allows for the most precision. Others may only allow you to adjust the timer in five minute increments.
It’s also important to consider the maximum limit for the timer — some burners may have a limit as high as 10 hours, while others only allow for 60 minutes or less.
For safety reasons, it’s best to choose induction burners that have an automatic shut-off feature. In most cases, the appliance will automatically turn itself off if it doesn’t detect a pan on its cooking surface for a fixed period of time, such as 30 seconds. That means you don’t have to worry about a fire breaking out if you forget to turn off the burner after you’ve removed your food.
Most induction burners feature touchpad controls that make it extremely easy to turn on and operate the cooktop. It’s also important to choose a model with a clear digital display, which allows you to see the precise temperature that the burner is set to. You’ll also be able to keep track of the timer function with the digital display.
Some induction burners have settings to make using the appliance even easier. For example, you can find models with a Fast Boil setting or Keep Warm button, which takes all of the guesswork out of preparing your recipes.
If you have small children at home, you may want a model with a safety lock system as well. When the lock is activated, the burners can’t be turned on, so you don’t have to worry about little hands burning themselves.
Induction burners vary in price based on their size, power, and number of burners, but you can typically expect to pay between $50 and $270.
For a single induction burner, you’ll usually pay between $50 and $120.
For a double induction burner, you’ll usually pay $120 and $270.
Make sure that the bottom of your pots and pans are clean before placing them on the induction burners. Debris on the bottom of cookware can affect your cooking results.
Keep your pots and pans centered on the induction burners, or your food may not cook evenly.
Avoid using cookware with warped bottoms on induction burners. Pots and pans must be in full contact with burners for proper performance.
Don’t keep magnetically charged items, like credit cards, near your induction burners, or they may affect your cooking results.
To prevent damage to the cooktop surface, don’t rest items on your induction burners when they’re not in use.
Q. Are induction burners safe?
A. Induction burners are actually one of the safer freestanding cooktop options. That’s because only the burners get hot, while the rest of the cooktop surface stays cool. As a a result, you’re less likely to burn yourself, or allow other items like kitchen towels to ignite.
Q. What types of cookware are not compatible with induction burners?
A. You shouldn’t use glass, ceramic, copper, or aluminum pots and pans on induction burners, because they’re not magnetic. Cast iron, stainless steel, and enameled iron and steel all work well with induction burners.
Q. How do you clean induction burners?
A. Unplug the burners, and make sure they’re completely cool before cleaning. Wipe away any wet spills with a damp sponge. For cooked-on messes, dab a small amount of ceramic cooktop cleaner on the spots. Use a paper towel to rub the cleaner in, and spread it evenly across the entire surface. Let the cleaner sit on the burners for a few minutes before wiping it away with a clean, dry cloth.
BestReviews wants to be better. Please take our 3-minute survey,
and give us feedback about your visit today.