5 Best Induction Cooktops, According to Food Network Kitchen
If you’re shopping for a new cooktop or range, consider switching to induction. It’s fast, easy to control, safe, and efficient, all of which make it the state-of-the-art in stovetop cooking.
Our Top Induction Cooktop Picks
- Best Induction Cooktop Overall: GE Profile 30-in Induction Cooktop
- Best Value Induction Cooktop: Frigidaire 30-in Induction Cooktop
- Best Smart Induction Cooktop: Bosch Benchmark 30-in Induction Cooktop
- Best Induction Range: Frigidaire Gallery 30-in Induction Range
- Best Portable Induction Cooktop: Duxtop 9100 Portable Induction Burner
By Sharon Franke for Food Network Kitchen
An induction cooktop gives you the responsiveness of gas burners and even more speed than electric elements. Plus it offers precise control over whatever you’re cooking so your ribeye comes out a perfect medium-rare, your Hollandaise doesn’t curdle, and your ragu never scorches. As the surface stays cool, it’s safer and easier to clean. Another thing to love about induction: It’s energy efficient so it’s better for the environment and easier on your electric bill. While induction cooking appliances can be costly, prices have been dropping so that you can now buy an induction range or cooktop for $1000 or less on sale.
What Is Induction?
Induction ranges have the same smooth glass ceramic cooktops as electric ranges but below them there are coiled copper wires. When an electric current passes through the coils, a magnetic current is created which heats up pots and pans directly without heating the surface.
What Are the Benefits of Cooking with Induction?
- Induction cooktops heat up very quickly so that a big pot of spaghetti water can come to a boil in as little as 15 minutes.
- In addition, induction’s very responsive and gives you absolute control. You can turn down the heat under chicken soup before it starts to boil over or chocolate before it turns grainy.
- Induction cooking appliances are the most energy efficient. They’re about 5 to 10 percent more energy efficient that electric cooktops and 3 times more efficient than gas ones. That’s because heat is transferred directly to the cookware and none is lost into the air. It will cost you less to run the cooktop as well as operate your heating system. Although the savings to your household may be low, the more induction cooktops in use, the bigger the energy savings on a national level, which is ultimately better for the environment.
- The cooktop itself doesn’t heat up. That means splatters and boilovers aren’t likely to burn onto the smooth glass surface and be hard to clean off. You can just wipe them up with a wet sponge or paper towel. You’re also less likely to burn yourself on the cooktop. Keep in mind that the surface can get warm from contact with hot pots and pans.
Will I Need New Pots and Pans?
In order to work with induction, cookware must be magnetic. It’s easy to figure out: If a magnet sticks to the bottom of a pan, it will work on an induction cooktop. However while magnetic pots and pans may heat up, they need perfectly flat bottoms to distribute heat evenly. Turn your cookware upside down and place a ruler across the bottom. If the edge touches the pan evenly across the entire surface, it’ll heat up uniformly.
What To Look for When Buying an Induction Cooktop
- Power burner: As on all cooktops, there should be at least one high-powered burner for boiling water quickly and getting a good sear on steaks and chops. Look for at least 3,000 watts.
- Connectable elements: Some models have elements that work together to form a larger cooking area. You’ll find this handy when you want to use a griddle or fish poacher or deglaze a roasting pan.
- Pan detection: Cooktops are equipped with sensors that will prevent the cooktop from heating if your cookware isn’t induction safe or there’s no pan on an element. They’ll also turn off the cooktop if you remove a pan.
Pan size detection This feature will automatically adjust the heating area to the size of your cookware to give you the best performance.
How We Picked
In making our selections, we relied on our writer’s many years of testing cooktops and other cooking appliances as well as our staff’s experience using them in our test kitchen to develop recipes. We read professional reviews to see what other sites recommend as well as user comments to find out what home cooks like and don’t like about various products. We looked for appliances that have a history of good performance and being easy to use as well as safety features. Our picks include induction cooktops at a variety of pricepoints and configurations.
This article has been reviewed since its original publish date for accuracy, pricing and availability. We stand by our list of top induction cooktop picks.
All black glass with touch controls instead of knobs, this cooktop is sleek looking and has no crevices to collect dirt. It features 4 elements of varying power and size, including one that’s 11 inches in diameter and rates 3,7000 watts. It’s the one you’ll use on those nights when the macaroni water can’t boil fast enough or you’re browning a mess of burgers for the whole family in a big skillet. In addition, there are two 7-inch, medium-powered elements and one small, low wattage one for melting chocolate and butter when you’re making brownies. The two medium elements can be synced to form one oblong element to use for a stovetop grill or griddle.
To control the heat settings, you touch the settings on the glass surface which are indicated by red LED lights. The cooktop recognizes the size of the pan you’re using and automatically adjusts the heat. It also senses when there’s no pan on the element so if you take off a pan and forget to turn off the cooktop, no worries that you’re wasting energy. A touch control timer is right on the surface so you can easily time your vegetables as soon as they start cooking. GE offers a guarantee that this cooktop will be an exact fit for any 30-inch cooktop or it will reimburse you for up to $100 for installation. You can choose an all-black cooktop or a version with a flush stainless-steel border (pictured).
This black glass cooktop is simply a great buy. As the Frigidaire has touch controls on the surface, it has a clean contemporary look and can be wiped clean. It has four elements including a large rear one with a whopping 3800 watts of cooking prowess. You can also add a boost to each of the elements for extra quick results. Using the melt and hold feature, you can melt butter or keep food warm for up to an hour. You’ll find this cooktop couldn’t be easier to use; to increase the heat setting you slide your finger over the control.
Sensors built into the cooktop will alert you if your cookware isn’t induction safe, is the wrong size for the element, or isn’t making good conductivity with the cooktop. There’s a timer right in the cooktop so you don’t have to set your phone or scrounge around for a timing device. If you’re replacing an existing 30-inch cooktop and this model doesn’t fit in the cutout, Frigidaire will pay you up to $100 for the modification.
This Bosch offers all the benefits of induction cooking plus features including connectivity that expand its capabilities and make it even more convenient to use. Like our other choices, it looks modern with a black glass surface and touch controls. It’s available with or without stainless steel trim front and back. On the cooktop, you’ll find four elements including a large 11-inch one with a 3700-watt rating. Two of the elements can be combined into one cooking zone to accommodate a griddle when you’re making pancakes. In this large zone, you can activate a setting called PowerMove which divides it into 3 parts, each with a different power level. You can bring soup to a boil in one area and then simply slide the pot to another to maintain a simmer.
Each of the elements has a PowerBoost feature to pump up the heat when you want even faster results. In addition, you can set a timer for each element which makes it easy to keep track of your rice and your chicken at the same time. If you’re willing to purchase an accessory frying pan from Bosch, you can utilize AutoChef, which lets you know when oil is the correct temperature for adding food and regulates the oil as it fries. Like other induction cooktops, this cooktop detects the size of the pan and adjusts the heat and turns off if there’s no pot on an element.
Through Wi-FI you can connect the Bosch Benchmark to an app on a mobile device. This gives you remote control, which comes in handy for checking on cooking and controlling the heat from the laundry room. From the app you can access a recipe database and send a recipe’s settings to the cooktop. Syncing with Wi-Fi allows for remote diagnostics so that customer service can troubleshoot a problem before a service person comes to your house. Through the app, you can also connect your hood and a matching Bosch cooktop and program the hood to start up when you turn on the cooktop.
If you’re looking for an electric range and want to switch to induction, this is our number one choice. It has four burners of varying size and power. Up front on the right, you’ll find the largest and most powerful one, which is the one you’ll turn to most often for boiling water for pasta or tea or making steaks and chops. The cooktop senses if the non-magnetic cookware is being used and if so, won’t operate. In addition, it automatically detects what size pan you’re using and only sends as much heat as needed to the pan which helps control energy usage.
This range also has a large convection oven with 3 racks for making lots of cookies at once. It has a quick preheat setting for when you want to get a weekday tuna noodle casserole in the oven fast. When you use convection for baking, it will automatically convert the temperature you typically use for cakes or biscuits. There’s an air fry setting for making French fries and chicken nuggets without any oil. As the Frigidaire has both steam clean and self-clean functions, you can do quick touchups on a regular basis and a long, high temperature deep clean once a year. You can choose either a stainless steel or a black stainless-steel finish.
If you need an extra burner for your kitchen or to take to a summer rental or pot luck supper, this reasonably priced model is our top choice. For starters, it cooks evenly and quickly. The Duxtop burner has a very intuitive control panel that offers a choice of power or temperature modes. The power mode, with 15 settings, is the one you’ll use for bringing water to a boil or steaming rice. When you want to cook at a specific temperature, let’s say high heat for searing pork chops or a medium one for making caramel, you’ll turn to the temperature mode which offers 15 presets from 140 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit. You can set a timer for up to 170 minutes on either mode that will automatically shut off the burner. If you don’t use the timer, the unit will shut off after 2 hours. That means if you’re simmering a big pot of chili during a party, you won’t have to worry about remembering to turn off the burner.
The control panel on the Duxtop 9100 slopes downwards; if you’re using a large skillet that extends over the burner, it won’t rest on the controls where it can heat and damage them. If you don’t use magnetic cookware, the pan-detection feature will show a code on the screen and beep to alert you. Though the Duxtop beeps whenever a pan is lifted off the cooktop, unlike some induction burners, it won’t shut off, so you can lift a pan off the burner to flip a crepe or fold an omelet without having it turn off. Around the perimeter of the cooktop there’s a rim which collects grease and requires some detail work during cleaning.
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Sharon Franke has been testing and writing about kitchen equipment for over 30 years. Before becoming a cooking tools expert, she spent seven years working as a professional chef in New York City restaurants. In her free time, she's busy baking sourdough bread and rustling pots and pans on her own stove.