Cooks in small spaces have come to rely heavily on the microwave.
Cheap and effective, the microwave is a decent way to keep yourself fed when you have limited room and other important things to think about.
But if you're getting tired of the limits of the microwave, then you might want to consider the portable induction cooktop.
The portable induction cooktop is a lightweight and effective unit that can be used to create a surprising range of dishes.
Useful for RVs, dormitories, and even family kitchens, the portable induction cooktop can be your main unit, or a handy extra for busy meals.
If you want to add the versatile induction cooktop to your kitchen, take a look at this guide. We have all the best induction cooktops available, and a buyer's guide to help you choose the right one for you.
The Duxtop 9620LS is the best portable induction cooktop for those who want to enjoy cooking in a more convenient way.
Duxtop is the top brand for portable induction cooktops, and the 9620LS is the latest triumph of the range.
The Duxtop 9620LS is a fantastic blend of high-end tech and easy-to-use features.
The control panel is intuitive to navigate, with big buttons that are soft touch, and a large LCD readout display.
Power mode and temperature mode allow the user to adjust the cooking style to suit their needs.
That means the Duxtop 9620LS is versatile, and you can do everything from sear steak to warm milk with the 20 preset levels.
It’s also one of the quietest cooktops on the market, so it won’t disturb your dinner guests or family.
It has a low profile design, which makes it easier to fit into small kitchens.
And the stylish finish means you'll want to bring the Duxtop 9620LS out for dinner parties (it works as a food warmer as well).
A double burner cooktop, the Duxtop 9620LS is perfect for families or adventurous cooks who have perhaps limited space.
For something smaller again, try the Duxtop 9600LS. It only has a single burner, but the same multitude of heating and cooking options.
- Child lock safety system - Safe for families, and protects against scalding.
- Energy efficient - No wasted energy from open heating elements.
- Power-sharing features - Avoid overloading with an efficient power-sharing system between burners.
- Vibrates at higher heat - At top heat, you might hear a vibration from your pots.
This NuWave Pic Flex Precision Induction cooktop is the most compact and sleek model we tested.
This cooktop is designed to be used in tight spaces, such as dorm rooms, apartments, and even boats.
The flat surface and lower weight makes the NuWave Pic Flex a versatile cooktop, able to be picked up and moved depending on your needs.
Take it with you on boats and RVs, and even to campgrounds.
The 3 wattage settings (600, 900, and 1300) adds to the adaptability, as it can be plugged in to different power outlets.
It may be small, but the NuWave Pic Flex definitely doesn't lack any power.
It can heat between a temperature range of 100 and 500 degrees Fahrenheit, capable of a hot sear or a gentle warm.
Adjust the heat in 10 degree increments with just the press of a button.
The Pic Flex also heats up quickly, so you won't be sitting around waiting for your water to boil.
Best of all, the NuWave is a budget portable cooktop, at less than $100.
- Programmable cooking temperatures - Program times and temperatures into the device, so you can cook your favorite meals with minimal fuss.
- Expansive temperature range - Cook between 100 and 500 degrees F.
- 3 wattage settings - Cook on the go, or plug in your unit alongside other appliances without overloading an outlet.
- Difficult to control temperature settings - The temperature adjusts at the press of a button, but users have found it lacks accuracy.
Also available for purchase from NuWaveNow.com.
Portable induction cooktops are fantastic for first apartments and dorm rooms.
If you're trying to keep costs low, and quality high, we think that the Rosewill induction cooktop is your best choice.
At about $70, this cooktop offers more bang for your buck than many others. It heats up fast, is easy to clean, and simple to use.
For shared dormitories, this quiet and compact device will fit right in.
The Rosewill doesn't have the features of some larger brands, but it does have simplicity.
A temperature range of 150 to 450 degrees F is slightly limited, but enough to cook rice, pasta, and stir-fry. It'll also get water boiling in no time at all.
The three-hour timer setting is also impressive, so you can set something bubbling while you get on with other tasks.
Rosewill have created an induction cooktop that's all about convenience.
You may not be able to make complex dishes or host dinner parties, but you can cook a variety of foods quickly and easily.
- 8 temperature settings - Control the temperature well with a decent range of settings.
- Touch control panel - Easy to use, with a safety lock setting.
- Polished crystal plate surface - Very easy to clean, and food won't burn on.
- Uneven heating surface - The center gets hot, so watch out for burns.
Also available for purchase from RosewillHome.com.
Families will love this portable induction cooktop from iSiLER, which combines intuitive technology with excellent safety features.
The compact size means it fits neatly into busy kitchens, while an impressive top temperature setting gives the cooktop some versatility.
The touch buttons on the iSiLER are large and sensitive, adjusting the temperature and the timer with ease.
But if you're worried about little fingers playing with the settings, a child safety lock helps prevent accidents.
iSiLER have added to the safety features with rounded edges, which can prevent scratches and reduce the risk of knocks.
As an induction cooktop, the iSiLER works impressively well.
Adjust the temperature between 140 degrees F and 460 degrees F, to achieve either a gentle heat or a quick sear.
The temperature changes in 20 degree increments, with a longer press allowing for a 60 degree change.
It lacks some of the precision of other models, but we still think you'll find it easy to monitor the temperature with the iSiLER.
If you're looking for an easy-to-use cooktop that's safe for busy families, look no further than the iSiLER.
- 3-hour timer - A timer that can be adjusted between 1 minute and 3 hours, depending on what you're cooking.
- Premium glass surface - Resists wear, and wipes up quickly after use.
- Dual overheating protection - iSiLER maintains the set temperature with the thermostat.
- Jumps some temperatures - users have reported they can't set the temperature at 220 or 240 degrees.
Also available for purchase from iSiLER.com.
The Duxtop 9100MC was once the top choice for portable induction cooktops, but it's since been passed by the Duxtop 9600LC.
This is still a good option if you’re after a portable cooktop, and it’s often available for a cheaper price than the 9620LC (and much of the Duxtop range).
So, if you want a Duxtop without the large price tag, look no further than this compact unit.
This model has everything you need in a small cooktop.
There are 15 preset temperature levels, ranging from 140 to 460 degrees F, and 15 preset power levels.
The Duxtop 9100MC is portable and adaptable, and very easy-to-use.
If you want a blend of simplicity and quality, it really is hard to find anything better than the Duxtop 9100MC.
It does come at a slightly higher price tag than the budget models, but it's still a bargain for the features.
The well-thought-out design of the Duxtop 9100MC is another major selling point.
The buttons are large and sensitive, adjustable with just a quick press.
An angled LED screen makes it easy to read from across the room.
Finally, the sleek black finish looks good, and cleans up easily.
A classy design that combines functionality with high-tech additions.
- Trusted brand - Duxtop is one of the most popular portable cooktop brands, with a reputation for quality builds.
- 83 percent efficiency rating - Energy efficient, while maintaining a quick heat and fast cooking times.
- Multiple safety features - Auto-pan detection and over-heat protection make this a safer cooktop to use in limited space.
- Noisy - When the Duxtop is running, the fan can create a lot of noise.
Portable induction cooktops are becoming common as people become more aware of their many benefits.
The compact size makes them an ideal choice for dormitories and RVs, while the energy efficient output can save money and time.
When buying a portable induction cooktop, there are a few features you need to look for.
It isn't quite the same process as buying a standard range.
Take a look at this buyer's guide to find exactly what features to be aware of when buying your cooktop.
One of the primary reasons for purchasing an induction cooktop is the energy efficiency.
Because induction doesn't heat with an open flame, there's less wasted energy. Pans heat up quicker, for a faster cooking time.
Check the energy efficiency rating to ensure your cooktop is working as it should.
Induction cooktops come with both a maximum and a minimum temperature range.
An average range is between 150 degrees Fahrenheit and 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Higher end induction cooktops will have a larger range, reaching both higher and lower temperatures.
For most dishes, the basic temperature range will be enough.
However, if you plan for more complex cooking, it's worth considering a better temperature variety.
Around 100 degrees F is necessary for a warming plate and if you want to heat sauces.
Steak lovers might prefer a higher temperature, around 500 degrees F, to achieve that perfect sear.
Low quality portable cooktops will feature just a high and low temperature setting.
This is fine for basic dorm room cooking, or heating up meals in the RV.
But if you plan on using your cooktop in a more sophisticated manner, you probably want to take better control over the temperatures.
Even units with an impressive temperature range might have poor controls.
Ideally, you should be able to adjust the temperature by ten degrees, but keep an eye out for those that use 20 degree adjustments as well.
Much more than that, and you might find it tricky to control the heat from your induction cooktop.
It's important to check the safety ratings of any portable induction cooktop before purchasing. Many cooktops come with a child lock button.
When in use, the child lock prevents any of the buttons being pressed, so curious fingers can't suddenly turn the heat on.
Another safety feature to look out for is rounded edges.
These ensure that scratches and scrapes are less likely, and also reduce the risk of knocks and bumps.
Even with the child safety features included, we still recommend unplugging the cooktop when not in use.
Other safety features relate to the heating element.
Overheating protection ensures that your food won't burn, and you don't have to worry about the cooktop overloading the power.
Overheating protection is fairly standard, but check it's included before buying.
The power range influences how quick the induction cooktop will heat up, and the outlets you can use it with.
Most induction cooktops will feature one or two power levels, but the most advanced units will have multiple power settings available.
Portable cooktops are designed to be lightweight, able to fit in a dorm room or RV.
The design should ensure that there's no wasted surface area, with the buttons, screen, and cooking surface taking up all the space.
If you have a little more room, then you might consider a double burner portable cooktop.
These do take up more space, but with that comes a much greater versatility.
Both hobs should work at the same time, but at different temperatures, allowing you to make more complicated meals.
Induction hobs are about ease, and the timer is a big part of it. Set the timer, and you can let your food cook through without constantly checking the time.
Look for portable cooktops with timers that can go up to 3 hours.
This is suitable for most dishes. If you like a real slow cook, you may prefer a cooktop with a timer of 3 hours plus.
A big advantage of the induction hob is that it's easy to clean. This is partly due to the heating element.
As the surface doesn't get hot, food can't get burned on. Induction cooktops should have a smooth surface that can be easily wiped clean.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does An Induction Cooktop Work?
An induction cooker works by using electricity to create a magnetic field that heats the base of a magnetic pan.
The induction pan doesn't heat up on the surface, it only heats up the magnetic pan base.
Beneath the surface of the cooktop is an induction coil. This is typically made from copper wire.
When the induction cooktop is turned on, electricity passes through the copper wire, creating a magnetic field.
When a magnetic metal is placed onto the cooktop, the current passes through the pan, causing it to heat up.
What Pans Work With An Induction Cooktop?
Induction pans work using a magnetic field to create heat, so only magnetic pans can be used on the cooktop.
Other types of pans simply won't get hot. The best way to check if your pan can be heated on an induction burner is to hold a magnet to the base.
If the magnet sticks, you can use the pan. Cast iron pans can be used on cooktops.
If buying steel or aluminum pans, check they have an induction-compatible base.
Also, make sure your pans have a flat base.
As much of the base as possible needs to be touching the cooking surface in order to heat up evenly.
What Is The Best Portable Induction Cooktop?
The best portable induction cooktop brand is Duxtop.
They're a trusted brand, known for creating quality cooktops featuring the best technology. However, Duxtop can be expensive.
NuWave is perhaps less advanced, but more affordable. We also like cooktops from iSiLER and Rosewill.
When buying your cooktop, consider exactly what type of cooking you intend to use it for.
If you want a versatile unit for experimental cooking, try the Duxtop. For quick and simple meals, consider the NuWave.
Why Buy A Portable Induction Cooktop?
Portable induction cooktops offer many advantages over other types of cooktops.
They're compact, light, and easy to store. An induction cooktop is energy efficient, allowing you to heat food quickly and save money.
And thanks to the cool-touch surface, the induction cooktop is easy to wipe clean.