Induction cook tops are becoming very popular and portable induction burners are a great way to try out induction cooking. We’ve reviewed feedback from across the web and narrowed down the criteria to select the best induction hot plate. From our reviewing we’ve chosen the Duxtop 8100MC Portable Induction Cooktop as the best portable induction cooktop for most people. Continue reading to get the details.
Our Number One Pick:
Duxtop 8100MC 1800W Portable Induction Hot Plate
The Duxtop 8100MC portable induction burner is an amazingly inexpensively priced induction cooktop that is plenty powerful for most cooks and comes with enough basic features to please most people.
The controls are well laid out and easy to use, cooks food and boils water faster than most competitors, and has safety features to prevent overheating. The cooktop surface is a ceramic glass which makes cleanup easier than some of the competitors.
Probably the best feature when compared to the competition is that the burner will not turn off for one minute after the pot or pan has been removed. This may sound trivial but many of the competitors shut power off only seconds after removing the pan. This can be frustrating if you need to move the pot or pan away briefly while cooking.
If you’re looking to try out induction cooking or just need a solid hot plate that can get the job done inexpensively then the Duxtop is a great choice for the money.
NuWave PIC Gold 1500W Portable Induction Hot Plate
The NuWave PIC Gold is a great alternative to the Duxtop if you’d like a few more features. It does lack a bit of power but is still competitive. Some of the features it boasts are:
- 52 heating settings
- Delay function
- Sear function
- Auto On/Off
- 1 hour default timer
- Internal memory to store customized cooking programs
The main downsides of the NuWave are the higher price point and the lower power of 1500 watts vs the 1800 watts of the Duxtop.
Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Hot Plate
If you need a little more versatility and a double burner cooktop could help you out then the Cuisinart ICT-60 is a great option. The price is right and it comes from the well known and respected Cuisinart company.
Features are fairly similar to the Duxtop so it’s not as feature rich as the NuWave but it’s more than adequate for most home cooks. The burners turn off 30 seconds after a pan is removed which is half the time of the Duxtop but not terribly short either.
There are 8 heat settings for the larger left burner and 5 for the smaller right burner. There are individual 150 minute times for each burner and power controls for each separately.
The 1800 watts is more than powerful enough for most although don’t expect the smaller burner to do duty for the more extreme tasks such as boiling water. It’s strictly for lesser demanding jobs.
Things To Keep In Mind
Are induction cooktops more energy efficient?
Yes, but the amount of energy you would recoup by using an induction cooktop may not make it financially worth while to choose induction based on this reason alone. One great benefit of the efficiency is the speed with which you can cook or how fast you can boil water compared to other methods. Boiling water can be twice as fast with induction when compared to gas burners. Another great benefit from the efficiency of induction is the reduced heat emitted into the kitchen. This is especially noticeable on hot summer days.
What kind of pots can I use on an induction cooktop?
Not any old pot or pan will do with an induction cooktop. You’ll need to make sure that you buy induction compatible cookware if you don’t already have some. If you have a magnet handy you can check and see if your current cookware is compatible. Place the magnet to the bottom of the pot or pan you’re testing and if it sticks then most likely the pot or pan will work fine. Obviously cookware made of glass or ceramic won’t work. Cast iron cookware is a great choice. Stainless steel is also popular. If you’d like to learn more about induction cookware check out our article covering the best non stick induction cookware.
Do induction cooktops scratch easily?
The ceramic glass surface of most induction cooktops is quite durable however heavier cookware like cast iron could scratch the surface if not handled with care. If you’re concerned about scratches there are some polishing compounds available to deal with the scratches. To prevent scratches just use care and don’t unnecessarily slide your cookware around, especially the heavier cast iron.
Are induction cooktops safe?
They are generally more safe than gas or electric cooktops. The cooktop itself does not get hot to heat the pot or pan although it will get warm from the radiated heat from the pan back to the cooktop surface. Induction burners “induce” the pan itself to heat via magnetism. In effect, the pan is the heating element.
This doesn’t mean there aren’t any concerns. It would be wise not to use metal utensils for instance. Also, you should be cautious about rings and other jewelry that could heat up when placed within the magnetic field. The field itself is very small and doesn’t extend much beyond the bottom of the pan or pot but care should still be taken.
Best Induction Portable Cooktop
The Duxtop 8100MC is our pick for the overall best hot plate but the NuWave PIC Gold is a worthy runner up for the extra features. The Cuisinart Double Induction Burner is great for those that need 2 burners. If you need more power from your induction cooktop you’ll need to be prepared to get a model that can plug into a 220v outlet vs the standard 110v outlets we have in our homes in the United States. If you currently have an electric cooktop you almost certainly have one of these already but it wouldn’t be very convenient to unplug it every time you want to bring out the induction cooktop. If you’re using it for the portability when camping you may have luck with more powerful outlets at campgrounds.
Otherwise we suggest stepping up to an integrated induction cooktop. These are great additions to complement your existing cooking setup or just to experiment with induction cooking.