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How to find the best portable induction cooktop

You’ve probably heard about induction cooking. It seems that it’s absolutely everywhere these days. But do you know what an induction cooktop is or why it might be worth adding these countertop burners to your kitchen lineup? 

All about induction cooktops

Induction is widely considered to be superior to electric and gas cooking. Why? It’s faster, easier to use, and a whole lot safer, too.

  • Without question, induction is the safest cooking technology. The key to induction is that the heat transfers directly to the cookware, so only the pans get hot, never the burners. In fact, the burners actually need magnetic cookware to function, so the burners automatically shut off once the cookware is removed. You never need to worry that you’ve left this cooktop on.
  • Induction cooking is significantly faster than either gas or electric cooktops. That magnetic reaction that happens when you place a pan on an induction burner happens instantaneously so your pan will completely heat through in less than a minute. You’ll be whipping up meals in no time, and we mean no time!  
  • Induction cooktops are so much more responsive than electric or gas cooktops. With electric cooktops, response time is very slow. You can lower the heat level, but it still takes significant time to adjust and you may end up having to remove a pot from the heated coil to prevent burning food. Since only the pan heats with an induction cooktop, there is minimal heat lingering in the burner when you adjust the setting.  
  • If you’re looking to spend more time enjoying the process of cooking and less time cleaning, induction cooktops are for you. Because the cooktop itself doesn’t heat up, spilled food will not stick to it. Simply wipe spills away — no nooks and crannies for food to get trapped in, just a smooth glass surface that cleans up in a snap!
  • Who wants to save money? Faster cooking times means you’re consuming less energy. Plus, the lack of residual heat that would normally surround your gas or electric cooktop means a cooler kitchen and lower energy costs!

What can your portable induction cooktop do? Depending on the model, you can use it to:

  • Dehydrate
  • Broil
  • Roast
  • Grill
  • Bake 
  • Steam
  • Fry
Mile Atanasov/Shutterstock

Why you need a portable induction cooktop

So now that you know about induction cooking, you may want to consider adding a portable induction cooktop to your home. After all, who couldn’t use extra countertop burners when entertaining for a holiday or big crowd?

Portable induction cooktops are perfect for adding extra cooking surfaces to a small kitchen and of course, they are indispensable when hosting large gatherings where you don’t have enough stove space.  

But what about the portability feature? Will there really be a reason you’ll want to pack up your induction cooktop and take it with you? Absolutely! So many people do it, that some portable induction cooktops actually come with travel bags. 

Maybe you’ve entered the chili cook-off at your daughter’s elementary school and countertop burners are at a premium. Or perhaps it’s just so hot inside that you want to cook outdoors. All you need is an extension cord and you can whip up dinner from your deck or patio. 

Which is the best induction hot plate for you?

Induction cooktops have a rather unwarranted reputation of being pricey, but there are many portable inductions cooktops that are very affordably priced.

  • You can get a single burner unit, with great customer reviews and loaded with features for under $100. There are even highly rated styles you can find under $50.

  • If you need more, there are styles that come with double burners, so you can cook twice as much in a fraction of the time! 

  • You can find lightweight induction hot plates that weigh just 4 pounds but can cook every bit as efficiently as other induction cooktops. 

Whatever your cooking needs and whatever your budget, if you are looking for a cooktop that will provide fast, even heating, lower energy costs, and cool-surface safety, then an induction cooktop is perfect for you.

Editors' Recommendations

Kim Renta
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kim has written for Bloomingdales, Movado, and various e-commerce wine sites. When she's not writing about wine and…
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