Induction cooktops provide a faster and more energy-efficient option for cooking food, but they’re not all made equal. Unlike some electric cooktop ranges, induction cooktops can give you boiling water in under a minute, and they have smart control panels which respond quickly to prevent food from burning or boiling over. Induction cooktops are easily-installed additions to countertops, ideal for those who have ovens installed elsewhere or who just want some extra cooking capacity for their home. The best induction cooktops are cutting edge kitchen technology, and while they look similar to more traditional models, they operate very differently.
The electromagnetic coils which power an induction cooktop give it a huge range of control and, well, power, by directing heat straight to your cookware. This means you don’t need to wait for a burner to heat up, as the metal in your cookware responds to these electromagnetic coils directly.
One of the main advantages of this technology is that it won’t burn food onto the surface of your cooktop if it spills or boils over, as there’s nothing to heat it up and make it stick to the surface. That makes induction cooktops incredibly easy to clean, and it also makes them a great deal safer. The one major downside of buying an induction cooktop is the often-steep price that comes attached. This is because you’ll need a specific type of metal cookware to work with induction cooktops, so if you don’t already have pans which fit the bill, that’ll add another upfront cost to your investment. In this guide we’ve found cheap induction cooktops, models with no expenses spared, and everything in between. Just keep reading to see our top picks.
1. KitchenAid KICU509XSS: Best induction cooktop overall
This is the best induction cooktop overall
Cooking zones: 4 | Bridge zone: Yes | Temperature settings: 12 | Power boost: Yes
This is an average-price induction cooker, without the bells and whistles of some of the more high-tech options in this lineup. However, what it does it does very well. The KitchenAid KICU509XSS has outstanding performance, cooking and safety features. This cooktop has four individual heat elements ranging from 6 to 11 inches in diameter. The 11-inch heat element was one of the largest that we saw on any induction cooktop. It also has a bridge element, which means you can connect two heat elements into one larger element – ideal for when you use large pieces of cookware such as a griddle. Pan detection and control lock functions ensure the heat elements are on only when you need them.
The power range on the cooktop is 1,400 watts to 3,700 watts, which is the widest of any induction cooktop we looked at. This lets you cook food the way you want, whether you're simmering vegetables or searing or frying food. There are also 12 temperature settings to allow you to cook with greater precision. This cooktop has a melt feature specifically for melting things like butter and chocolate without overcooking. There is not, however, a warming feature to let you warm food without overcooking it.
The KitchenAid cooktop has touch controls to easily adjust settings. It has safety features to prevent fires and other accidents. The control lock prevents it from being turned on accidentally. You can disable all controls when the cooktop is powered on. But when it's powered off, the control pad does not work. If a burner is kept on after a pan has been removed, it gives you a one-minute warning and then signs off. An H lights up on the cooktop to let you know when the surface is hot even if you are done cooking and the burners are turned off. KitchenAid also has excellent customer support.
2. Frigidaire Gallery FGIC3066TB: Best budget induction cooktop
This is the best low-price induction cooktop we found
Cooking zones: 4 | Bridge element : Yes | Temperature settings: 9 | Power boost: Yes
The Frigidaire FGIC3066TB has a simple, easy-to-use interface, dedicated controls for each burner, excellent cooking capabilities and an advanced feature set at a reasonable price. It is the best value of any cooktop we looked at.
The touch controls are excellent and easy to use. It has some nice features that enhance its use, such as pan size detection, which detects the size of pan you’re cooking with and adjusts the heating element to match it. A warming feature is designed to keep your food warm without overcooking it. There are nine heating temperatures and a power boost feature, which raises the temperature for 10 minutes if you want to do things like boil water fast.
This Frigidaire induction cooktop has four burners that range in power from 1,450 watts to 3,400 watts, which is plenty of power to cook food of all kinds, but it is an average range of power for these appliances. The burner sizes are also about average, ranging from 6 to 10 inches. This cooktop does have a bridge element option that allows you to sync two heat elements to create one large element for cooking on griddles and other oversized cookware.
3. Samsung NZ30K7880UG: Best high-end induction cooktop
This is the best high-end induction cooktop, with plenty of modern features to justify the price
Cooking zones: 4 | Bridge element: Yes | Temperature settings: 15 | Power boost: Yes
The Samsung NZ30K7880UG is a high-end induction cooktop which packs in plenty of features for tech-lovers, to justify its high price. One such feature is the magnetic dial attachment, which gives you extra, tactile control of the 15 temperature settings. There's also a bridge element for griddle cooking, and the largest cooking element of any cooktop we reviewed, at a diameter of 12-inches.
The Samsung NZ30K7880UG remotely connects to a smartphone app and WiFi, meaning you can monitor from afar as part of the Samsung NZ30K7880UG's extensive safety settings. This includes a two-phase safety warning when the cooktop is still warm after use, and a safety shutoff function which recognizes when you've left your cooking unattended for long periods.
Other than the price, the main drawback with the Samsung NZ30K7880UG is the sensitivity of its control panel, which can recognize spilled food and spatters at changes to its heat settings. This is a common issue across induction cooktops, and remote monitoring capabilities mean it shouldn't be too much bother.
4. Bosch Benchmark NITP069UC: Best induction cooktop for maximum cooking control
This is the best induction options for maximum cooking control
Cooking zones: 4 | Bridge element: Yes | Temperature settings: 17 | Power boost: Yes
The Bosch NITP066UC is an induction cooktop with a variety of advanced features for home cooks. It's one of the few on our lineup that provides power-boost capabilities on all four burners. By increasing the power on the burner, the power boost lets you heat water at a faster-than-normal rate. However, while all four burners feature the power boost, the burners are split into two groups, and only one element can use the power boost at a time.
In contrast to other cooktops, which typically have one big and three small burners, this cooktop has three large and one small. The burners range in size from 6 inches to 11 inches in diameter. The 11-inch burner is one of the largest heat elements we saw on this type of device. The design of the heat elements increases this cooktop's capabilities. Two of the circular heat elements combine with a rectangular element bridge to create a space for a griddle.
You have 17 settings to choose from, which gives you plenty of variety and includes settings that prevent food from being over- or undercooked. It has standout safety features, such as a control lock to ensure it’s not on when you don’t want it to be, and a pan detector, which will shut off the burner if it detects there is no pan on the burner.
5. GE Profile PHP9030DJBB: Best value induction cooktop
This is the best mid-priced induction cooktop
Cooking zones: 4 | Bridge element: Yes | Temperature settings: 7 | Power boost: No
The GE Profile PHP9030DJBB is one of the best induction cooktops when it comes to cooking performance. The four heat elements range between 1,800 and 3,700 watts of power. The power settings go below simmer for melting butter, and the upper settings are great for searing meat and boiling water. It has safety features including child locks, an alert to let you know a heat element is on, and a heat indicator light for each burner. The touch controls let you easily adjust the temperature with simple plus and minus buttons.
One of its few omissions is a power boost setting that would provide even more power to decrease cook times. Still, this is a high-functioning induction cooktop with all the features most people need, making it a great value option for those looking for an induction cooktop with a smaller up-front price.
Why Trust Us?
Since we started reviewing induction cooktops in 2013, we have spent more than 80 hours finding some of the best cooktops on the market and conducting in-depth research to help you find the cooktop that works best for you. We contacted manufacturers, professionals and industry insiders to get informed opinions and gather information that would lend more authority to our recommendations.
When putting together our guide to the best induction cooktops, we first did extensive online research to find some of the best models available. We were looking for common features as well as those that set certain models apart. All of the cooktops in our lineup are 30 inches wide. We only evaluated cooktops that feature four burners; however, many of these cooktops provide a bridge element that allows you to combine two burners to create one large heating element. Induction cooktops are more costly than electric or gas cooktops. The ones on our lineup fall within a price range of $500 to $2,500.
After finding some of the best cooktops out there we continued our research, comparing features to determine which are the best for different types of cooking. Our findings are included in our side-by-side comparison chart and our in-depth reviews and will help you find the best cooktop for your needs.
How Does Induction Cooking Work?
Induction cooktops provide faster and more energy-efficient results because they distribute the heat directly to your cookware, instead of to a burner that then heats up your pot or pan. The heating element or burner on an induction cooktop is an electromagnet, and when a magnetic metal such as your cookware is on it, it creates an electric current, which results in heat. This allows heat to be directly transferred to the cookware and its contents.
There are numerous benefits to this type of technology, but one great advantage is how quickly it heats up food and water in your cooking vessels. With an electric stove, for example, the electric coil must first heat up, and heat is then transferred to the pot. With induction cooktops, you don't have to heat up any coil – the heat is directly transferred to the pot. This makes these cooktops much more energy-efficient compared to its gas and electric counterparts. Furthermore, this allows you to quickly adjust the temperature of the element without waiting for the coil to heat up or cool down.
However, one drawback to this cooktop technology is that these products are known to be much louder than electric or gas stovetops. They can make a loud hum due to the magnetic currents, and the frequency of the sound varies depending on several factors, including the setting and the material and quality of the cookware you use.
Do I Need New Pots and Pans?
Induction cooktops require special cookware. To use this advanced technology, you must be able to create an electronic current for the cooking vessel to heat up. Induction cooktops only work with cookware made with magnetic materials, such as stainless steel or cast iron. To ensure your cookware works on the cooktop, you can perform a magnet test. If a magnet sticks to the bottom of your cooking vessel, it's most likely to work well with your induction cooktop. If a magnet does not stick, you may need to invest in new cookware made from different material in order to use the cooktop.
However, if you are determined to use stainless steel cookware with your induction cooktop, remember that not all stainless steel is created the same. Some works better than others on an induction cooktop. It is important to use the magnet test before making any purchases to ensure the cookware will work.
What Else Is Important?
When searching for the right cooktop, there are several things you should consider, such as the size of cooktop you desire, how many burners you need, and even the design and finish of the product. Here are a few additional characteristics that you should not forget when looking for the right induction cooktop for your home.
Induction cooktops are just as powerful as any gas or electric cooktop. Most cooktops range in power from 1,400 watts to 3,700 watts of power. Furthermore, some of the best cooktops offer a power-boost feature. With this feature, the heating element provides maximum power to heat up your dish, whether it is boiling water or searing food, to provide the fastest and most powerful results. Products with this feature ranked higher on our lineup than those that did not.
However, on some induction cooktops, elements are paired together and share an induction generator. This means that neither burner in the pair can use the maximum amount of power. If one burner is using a high amount of power, the other element can only use the remaining amount. Cooktops that feature four induction generators scored higher in this area than those with only two.
You can purchase a basic, compact induction cooktop for about $350. The cooktops in that price range have two burners and a maximum of about 1,800 watts. The least expensive model in our comparison, the Frigidaire FGIC3066TB, was priced at $729 at the time of this writing. It has four burners and is full-featured with power boost technology and other nice features. It doesn’t have the power of some more expensive models, but it’s still a great option for its price range. If you want all the power and features an induction cooktop can provide, you’ll usually spend well over $1,000.
Most induction cooktops drop right into your countertop. Aside from the product dimensions, you should also take a look at the cutout dimensions to ensure you have the right cutout space for it to fit properly. Induction cooktops' energy source is electricity, and if you are installing a new induction cooktop in your home, you may need the guidance of a professional electrician to ensure the electrical circuit can handle the power of the product.
Induction cooktops are flat. They don't feature any type of coil or grate that you have to remove and regularly clean. These units feature glass or ceramic surfaces, and all of the ones on our lineup boast touch controls so you can easily and quickly adjust the temperatures and settings. The flat surface means there are no drip pans or coils for food to fall into, which makes it simple to clean. Additionally, because the cooktop itself doesn't heat up, you don't have to spend time every night scraping off burnt food.
Even though little excess heat and hot air escapes from induction cooktops, odors, smoke and grease are still present, resulting in the need for a ventilation system. Range hoods, ventilation hoods and exhaust fans are all options. Few induction cooktops provide any type of ventilation system built into the device, so you will have to purchase a ventilation system separately.