Portable induction cooktops offer a safe, energy-efficient, and convenient cooking method at home or on the go. These innovative appliances rely on magnetic induction to release electricity, as heat, into cookware through copper coils. Since the cooktop itself doesn’t heat up unless there’s a pot or pan on it, the burners remain cool for an added safety feature.
Though they generally have only one or two burners, portable induction cooktops can come in handy as an additional location for frying, simmering, or boiling to augment your existing standard stove. Plus, since they’re compact and lightweight enough to transport, they’re a great choice for the campsite or an RV.
Read on to learn more about these appliances and why the following picks are some of the best portable induction cooktops on the market.
- BEST OVERALL: Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Rosewill Induction Cooktop with Stainless Steel Pot
- BEST DOUBLE BURNER: NutriChef Double Induction Cooktop
- TRAVEL PICK: NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop Flex
- HIGH-TECH PICK: iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop, 1800W
Before You Buy a Portable Induction Cooktop
Portable induction cooktops only work with flat-bottomed pots and pans made of magnetic material, such as stainless steel and cast iron. Not sure if your cookware will be compatible? Hold a magnet to the bottom and see if it sticks. If you really want a portable induction cooktop, you may have to invest in one or two new pieces of cookware as well.
These cooktops are corded and require plugging in to an electrical outlet (usually a standard 120 volt outlet, but larger models may require more power). Also, much as you may like the idea of an extra cooking surface in your kitchen, if your counter space is limited, you may not have room for one. Portable induction cooktops measure about 11 by 14 inches to 14 by 23 inches, and weigh between four and 12 pounds.
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Induction Cooktop
When shopping for a portable induction cooktop, evaluate the features and benefits of each model before making your choice. Factor in the following:
Size and Number of Burners
Portable induction cooktops come in different sizes, and the most common models have either one or two burners. If you want maximum portability without taking up too much space, a single-burner option is a smart choice. Alternatively, if you plan on using your induction cooktop to cook multiple items at once, one with two burners will optimize your cooking time.
Burner size varies too—and the dimensions of your cookware may dictate the optimal burner size. Most single-burner portable induction cooktops can accommodate pots and pans under 10 inches in diameter, but this varies based on the overall size of the cooktop.
The power of portable induction cooktops is measured in wattage (W) and indicates different cooking modes from simmer to boil. Maximum power differs depending on the model, but fortunately, most come with a range of power levels that can be increased or decreased depending on what you are cooking.
More settings mean more controlled cooking. Many cooktops start at around 100 watts and go all the way up to 1800 watts. The adjustable increments allow for more accuracy and control during cooking.
Range of Heating
Portable induction cooktops typically include a range of temperature settings, allowing you to dial in an ideal temperature for whatever you’re cooking. These specific temperature settings are more precise than the standard “low” to “high” settings of a conventional gas or electric stove.
What’s more, a major benefit of induction cooking is virtually instant temperature control, which allows for quick and precise cooking. Set a lower temperature for simmering and a higher temperature for boiling water. Since the temperature transitions rapidly when choosing a new heat setting, you’ll always have the right temperature.
Portable induction cooktops offer a number of bells and whistles that help promote efficient, convenient, and safe cooking. Some of these features include safety locks, built-in timers, and digital displays. Another added perk on some models is a compatible pot or pan.
Our Top Picks
The portable induction cooktops below were chosen for quality, price, and customer satisfaction. You’re sure to find one that suits your lifestyle, cook space, and budget.
This lightweight, single-burner cooktop by Duxtop uses a standard 120-volt, 15-amp electrical outlet and is compact enough for easy handling and storage. There are 10 different temperature settings between 140 and 460 degrees Fahrenheit, and 10 power levels ranging from 200 to 1800 watts.
The digital control panel includes a countdown timer for added convenience, along with a low and high-voltage warning system. Auto pan-detection shuts off the device after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected. This stylish portable induction cooktop comes in either a gold or silver finish.
This budget-friendly option boasts eight power levels and temperature settings with a maximum of 1800-watts of power and 450-degrees Fahrenheit. The large LED display and three-hour timer setting help for even more efficient cooking.
Perhaps the best part of this nicely-priced appliance is the included 3.5-quart stainless steel pot. Aesthetically, the cooktop has a seamless design and the crystal plate surface is well-suited for a variety of decor styles. Weighing just eight pounds, this compact appliance is easy to transport and versatile enough for use indoors or outdoors.
This double burner ceramic induction cooktop features two circular top panel heating zones, a digital LCD display, and adjustable temperature controls for more precise cooking. It also includes a warming function to keep cooked foods at the ideal temperature.
The tempered ceramic glass surface is nonstick and stain-resistant for fewer messes and easier cleanup. You can easily switch between cooking modes with a simple click of a button—and the built-in child safety lock helps prevent injuries by locking the operating buttons.
Portability is a top priority with NuWave’s single-burner Precision Induction Cooktop Flex. At 6 by 16 by 13 inches and 4.25 pounds, it’s ideal to take along on camping trips and other travels. Temperature settings range from 100- to 500-degrees Fahrenheit, and you can adjust the temperature in 10-degree increments for a total of 45 precise temperature settings.
With up to 1300-watts of power, this cooktop can handle multiple cooking methods including steaming, sauteing, and simmering. Program your favorite cooking functions using the built-in technology that comes with 100 hours of memory. Pack this portable induction cooktop and the included 9-inch non-stick frying pan on your next road trip for easy cooking anywhere.
With user-friendly touch controls, multiple cooking and safety settings, and a built-in timer, a portable induction cooktop doesn’t get more high-tech than this! Power ranges from 100-watts to 1800-watts for adjustable cooking, and temperature settings between 140-and 460-degrees Fahrenheit can be set in increments of 20, making the cooktop fully customizable.
The timer on this model can be set in one-minute increments with a maximum of three hours. Safety features include a child safety lock, rounded edges, and overheating protection that powers off the unit if the internal temperature exceeds your selected temperature. A built-in fan quickly dissipates heat to extend the product lifespan, and it even comes with a magnet to check cookware compatibility.
FAQs About Your New Portable Induction Cooktop
Still have questions about your new portable induction cooktop? Here is some helpful info to get you up to speed.
Q. How does a portable induction cooktop work?
A portable induction cooktop uses magnetic induction as opposed to direct heat. An electric current travels from copper coils in the cooktop to iron in the cookware, and releases electricity into the pan as heat. The burner only gets hot after receiving residual heat from the pot or pan.
Q. How do you use a portable induction cooktop?
Plug in the induction cooktop, place compatible cookware on top and power it on. Adjust the temperature and power controls as needed. Power off the appliance when you’re finished cooking.
Q. Where should you place a portable induction cooktop?
You can use portable induction cooktops in many places including houses, apartments, dorm rooms, and RVs. You will need to place it on a table or countertop within close proximity to an electric outlet.
Q. Do portable induction cooktops save energy?
Portable induction cooktops are more energy-efficient than conventional electric or gas burners. Since the pot or pan is the heat source, induction cooktops use about half the energy of gas and approximately 10 percent less energy than standard electric stovetops. They also allow for more precise temperature control and heat up more quickly than their electric or gas counterparts.