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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

21 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
194 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best portable induction cooktops

Last Updated November 2019

Induction cooktops have become all the rage in recent years. That’s probably because they heat up more quickly than other types of cooktops, which can not only help you get meals on the table faster but reduce your energy bills, too. If you’re not ready to upgrade to a new stove, a portable induction cooktop is an ideal alternative.

An induction cooktop uses magnetic induction to transfer electric currents that directly heat pots and pans. That allows the burner(s) to heat almost instantly for quick, efficient cooking. The cooktop fits on the countertop and plugs into a standard wall outlet. It’s a perfect option if you want to use induction cooking in your kitchen but don’t want to invest in a full-size cooktop or if you want to cook in a location that doesn’t have a stove, such as an office break room.

With our buying guide, you’ll have all the tips you need to find an excellent portable induction cooktop for your kitchen. We’ve even included some product recommendations if you really want to take all the stress out of shopping.

Portable induction cooktops can convert up to 90% of their electrical energy to heat, making them an energy-efficient option for your kitchen.

Key considerations

Size

When you’re shopping for a portable induction cooktop, size is a crucial factor. You want to be sure that the cooktop will fit on your countertop or other work surface and that it’s compact enough to be easy to move. Most of these cooktops measure 11 to 14 inches long and 14 to 24 inches wide. Keep in mind that a larger portable induction cooktop may be bulkier to carry, but most of them offer more cooking zones.

Cooking zones

  • Number: Most portable induction cooktops have a single cooking zone, or “burner,” which allows you to place one pot or pan on the cooktop at a time. However, you can find some portable models that have two cooking zones, so you’re able to cook with two pots or pans at once. A two-zone cooktop is larger and requires more countertop space, but it allows you to prepare a meal more quickly.

  • Size: For a portable induction cooktop to be useful, it must accommodate the pots and pans you use most often. If the pot is too large for the cooking zones on the cooktop, it won’t heat properly. Check each cooktop’s product specifications to determine the size of the cooking zone and verify that the pots you plan to use on it will fit.

User-friendly, energy-efficient convenience

If you want a portable induction cooktop that’s easy to use, it’s hard to top the Duxtop. Its digital touch-control LCD panel makes operation a breeze, and the Fast Boil and Keep Warm features allow you to perform common cooking functions with the press of a single button. We also love its 83% energy efficiency, making it more efficient than a traditional gas or electric stove.

Portable induction cooktop features

Temperatures

To make sure that you’re able to cook a wide range of recipes, it’s important to choose a portable induction cooktop with a variety of temperature settings. Instead of basic low, medium, and high, many portable induction cooktops allow you to see a specific temperature for more precise cooking. Most models offer a temperature range of 100°F to 475°F. However, some models simply offer from 6 to 20 numbered heat levels from low to high heat, so you can’t precisely set the cooking temperature.

Digital display/controls

Some portable induction cooktops are controlled manually with dials or knobs. Many high-end models offer digital controls with an LCD display for the most user-friendly operation. Many cooktops with digital controls provide a built-in timer, too.

Preset functions

For fuss-free cooking, choose a portable induction cooktop with preset cooking functions. These typically cover the basic cooking tasks, such as boiling, browning, or frying, and take the guesswork out of choosing the right temperature for the most efficient cooking.

Automatic functions

  • Pan detection: For safety reasons, many portable induction cooktops have an automatic pan detection feature. If there isn’t a pan on the cooktop, the appliance automatically turns itself off, so you never have to worry about starting a fire or wasting electricity.

  • Shutoff: Some portable induction cooktops automatically turn off when the maximum temperature is reached to prevent pots from burning or boiling over.

Safety lock

If you have small children in your home, it’s a good idea to choose a portable induction cooktop with a safety lock. When the lock is engaged, children can’t turn the cooktop on and risk injury.

EXPERT TIP

A portable induction cooktop can make a humming or buzzing sound during operation due to the magnetic fields that the cooktop uses to heat up.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

As long as a pot or pan has an induction-compatible bottom, you can use it on your portable cooktop. That means a copper or aluminum pot that has an enameled iron or cast iron bottom is compatible.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

If you have a pacemaker, check with your doctor before using a portable induction cooktop.


Staff  | BestReviews

Portable induction cooktop prices

Portable induction cooktops vary in price based on the number of cooking zones and the special features included. Most models range from $40 to $260.

Inexpensive: The most affordable cooktops have a single cooking zone. They may or may not have digital controls, but they don’t offer many special features. These typically cost between $40 and $75.

Mid-range: These cooktops usually have a single cooking zone and digital controls. They usually offer a variety of special features, such as automatic pan detection and shutoff and a safety lock. These typically range from $75 to $127.

Expensive: The most expensive cooktops have two cooking zones and digital controls. They offer a variety of special features, such as automatic pan detection and shutoff and a safety lock. These typically cost between $127 and $260.

Powerful and versatile

The Secura is everything you need in a portable induction cooktop. Its digital control panel is extremely easy to use and allows you to choose from 15 temperature settings that span from 140°F to 460°F. The cooktop also offers 15 power levels up to 1800 watts, so it can handle nearly any recipe. We also like its diagnostic error message system that makes troubleshooting simple.

Tips

  • Use steel or iron cookware. Because portable induction cooktops utilize magnetic induction to heat up, you must use pots and pans made of magnetic materials on them. Cast iron and some stainless steel cookware are good options, but glass, copper, and aluminum are not. If you’re not sure whether a pot or pan would work with your portable induction cooktop, hold a magnet against the bottom of the cookware. If the magnet sticks to the cookware, you can use it on your cooktop.

  • Monitor cooking times. A portable induction cooktop tends to cook more quickly than traditional cooktops, so you might need to reduce your cooking time for some recipes.

  • Clean your cooktop carefully. Always turn off your cooktop before cleaning it. Clean up spills as soon as possible. Baked on messes are more difficult to remove. Make sure to use a product specifically meant for cleaning induction cooktops to prevent damage.

  • Take care using the cooktop. The surface of a portable induction cooktop can crack, so be careful when handling heavy objects over it.

Other products we considered

There are so many portable induction cooktops to choose from that you should easily be able to find a model that suits your cooking needs. We found a couple more if the ones in our matrix don’t suit. The iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop offers eight preset temperature levels and a timer so it’s easy to prepare your favorite recipes. It features nine preset cook functions for extremely user-friendly operation, too. We also love the hOmeLabs Portable Induction Cooktop because its digital one-touch LCD control panel allows you to operate the cooktop with the tip of your finger. It features a child safety lock system, too, so you don’t have to worry about little hands getting burned.

On average, it takes 25% to 50% less time to heat food on an induction cooktop.

FAQ

Q. Is a portable induction cooktop safe to use?

A. If used properly, a portable induction cooktop is perfectly safe to use. It uses electricity like many household appliances, so it’s a potential fire hazard if left on or unattended. Always keep an eye on your cooktop when you’re heating food, and don’t leave the appliance on after you’ve removed the pot or pan.

Q. Does a portable induction cooktop use a lot of energy?

A. A portable induction cooktop doesn’t use as much energy as other portable cooking appliances like a hot plate, toaster oven, or indoor grill. That’s because they’re able to cook more quickly than other appliances, so you don’t need to leave the cooktop on for as long as you might with other appliances.

Q. Can I use a portable induction cooktop on camping trips?

A. You can bring a portable induction cooktop with you on camping trips as long as you’re visiting a campsite that has electricity or you have a portable generator. The cooktop must be plugged into a standard outlet for operation.

The team that worked on this review
  • Alvina
    Alvina
    Photographer
  • Amos
    Amos
    Director of Photography
  • Branson
    Branson
    Videographer
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Ciera
    Ciera
    Digital Content Producer
  • Jennifer
    Jennifer
    Writer
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Web Producer
  • Vukan
    Vukan
    Post Production Editor

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