Interested in Finding the Best Induction Cooktop You Can Buy?

kitchen displaying its cooktop

Many new devices have revolutionized the way people get things done in the kitchen. One of these is an induction cooktop, which involves a modern way of cooking. If you have an interest in cooking this way, you might want to look into the best induction cooktop options that are available.

Induction cooktops are very unique. They utilize the principles of physics to do their job in a way that seems to defy logic.

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But, of course, not all induction cooktops are equal. Some simply are better than others, which is why it’s a good idea to look for the one that would be the best induction cooktop for you. This way, you’ll know that you’re making a good investment in this revolutionary kitchen technology.

What Is an Induction Cooktop?

Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner, Gold

Most cooktops use an element that involves electricity or gas in order to produce heat. However, induction cooktops heat your cookware directly.

These cooktops have been around since the early 1900s, but they’ve only become mainstream in the United States in the past few decades.

So what exactly is an induction cooktop, you ask? Essentially, it’s a cooktop that uses an electromagnetic field to heat up your cookware. The cooking surface itself won’t heat up, and neither will your kitchen.

Induction cooking is a pretty unique mechanism that seems to defy basic logic — how can you heat up a pot or pan if the surface underneath it is still cool to the touch? However, if you understand the physics behind the best induction cooktop, it definitely makes sense.

And on top of that, it’s really cool!

How Induction Cooking Works

GE PHP9036DJBB 36 Inch Cooktop with 5 Induction, 3,700-Watt Element,...

The traditional gas or electric stove that you’re probably used to utilize thermal conduction to heat up your pots and pans. This means that the gas or electric element transfers heat from a burner to your cookware. However, induction cooking doesn’t use thermal conduction at all, at least not within the stove.

Instead, it uses the principle of magnetic induction. It utilizes electric currents that directly heat your cooking vessel, and very quickly, too. Electromagnetism turns your cooking vessel into an actual cooker, creating heat energy inside the pot or pan itself, rather than pushing the heat in from an outside source.

What is induction?

MDC 3500 Watt Commercial Induction Cooktop Burner, Induction Hot plate

When people refer to induction, they’re actually talking about electromagnetic induction. They just don’t say the whole term because it’s too long. If you want to know what induction is, it’s basically just the phenomenon of generating electricity using magnetic forces.

Electricity and magnetism aren’t two separate things. They’re actually significantly connected.

Hans Christian Oersted, a Danish physicist, found in 1820 that when a fluctuating electric current travels down a wire, it creates a magnetic field around the wire. One year later, Andre-Marie Ampere, a French physicist, took it even further by finding that two wires that carried fluctuating electric currents would either attract or repel one another when placed in close proximity, just like two magnets.

When people refer to induction, they’re actually talking about electromagnetic induction. They just don’t say the whole term because it’s too long.

Induction involves the use of magnetism to create electricity.

This is because of the magnetic fields that each of the wires were creating.

Then, in 1821, Michael Faraday, an English chemist, and physicist, used a magnet, a piece of wire, and an electric current to create a primitive electric motor. Ten years later, he showed that rotating a coil of wire through a magnetic field would create an electric current.

Now, it’s common knowledge in the world of physics that electricity and magnetism are strongly connected, and one can create the other in a variety of situations.

The main thing you need to know about induction cooking is that a changing electric current can create magnetism, and a changing magnetic field can create electricity. Induction involves the use of magnetism to create electricity.

How does an induction cooktop operate?

K&H Double 2 Burner Dual 24' Built-in Induction Electric Stove Ceramic...

An induction cooktop has many different components that work together to heat up your food. However, it doesn’t get hot on its own. The way it operates is very different from a traditional cooktop.

The basic structure

The surface of an induction cooktop is typically made of glass, ceramic, or some combination of the two. Inside, there’s a coil of metal that’s controlled by electricity. When you turn on the power, you cause a current to flow through this coil, and this will create a magnetic field all around it and right above it.

The mechanism within the cooktop

You should keep in mind that a simple direct electric current, which is constantly going in the same direction, is going to produce a constant magnetic field. This won’t cook your food.

One of these cooktops will need to use an alternating current, one that keeps switching direction, in order to create the fluctuating magnetic field that’s necessary to produce heat.

If you put the power on and put an appropriate cooking vessel on top, the magnetic field that the cooktop creates will penetrate the metal of the pan. Then, the fluctuating magnetic field will be moving around within the sides and base of the pan. This causes an electric current to flow through the pan as well, in a whirling and swirling manner.

And the magic continues in the pan…

Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10' 3.5 Qt 18-8...

The electric current will have a lot of energy that can’t really go anywhere. The technical term for this is an “eddy current.” It’ll dissipate its energy within the crystalline structure of the metal, causing the metal pot or pan to heat up.

Something really interesting about this is that no heat will be produced unless there is an actual metal cooking vessel in the appropriate space. The current can be flowing through the coil, producing the necessary magnetic field, but it won’t create any heat without the pot or pan to receive the energy of the eddy currents.

Of course, once the cooking vessel heats up, it’ll heat up the food within as well. This will actually use thermal conduction, since the pot or pan will be passing heat energy directly to the food. It’ll also use convection, as the food moves around in the pan and carries heat with it.

While the pot or pan is heating up, the cooktop itself will remain cool to the touch. However, this doesn’t mean that an induction cooktop can never get hot. You should be careful never to touch the surface after you’ve just used it for cooking, since the heat from the pot or pan can transfer to the cooktop and make it hot.

Comparison Table

Pros and Cons of Induction Cooktops

There are many pros and cons that come with induction cooktops, even when we’re talking about the best induction cooktop options.

Pros

There are many reasons why induction cooktops are growing in popularity. The following are some advantages that these cooktops have over the traditional ones.

One of the major advantages of induction cooking is how quickly you can do it. The fastest induction elements beat pretty much everyone else. If you’re trying to bring six quarts of water to a near boil, it’ll take two to four minutes less than competing gas or electric elements.

Speed

One of the major advantages of induction cooking is how quickly you can do it. The fastest induction elements beat pretty much everyone else. If you’re trying to bring six quarts of water to a near boil, it’ll take two to four minutes less than competing gas or electric elements.

Safety

Of course, induction cooktops can get hot, just like anything else. But they can only get hot because something else that’s hot is touching them, namely your pot or pan. Because they’re not actually generating heat outside of your pot or pan, they’ll never get as hot as the traditional cooktop or burner.

If you happen to turn on an induction cooktop accidentally without putting cookware on top, there won’t be any heat at all. This is a nice safety feature, especially if you have young kids at home who are likely to touch the stove.

Efficiency and precision

Because induction cooking heats up cookware directly, rather than indirectly as gas and electric stoves do, it’s much more efficient. Induction can deliver about 80 to 90 percent of its electromagnetic energy to the food you’re cooking.

In contrast, an electric stove only converts about 70 percent and a gas stove a mere 38 percent.This means induction cooktops can heat up much more quickly, as we’ve already mentioned. They also have a wider range of temperatures. They reach a maximum temperature of 665.5 degrees Fahrenheit, while gas stoves can only go up to 428 degrees.

While electric stoves can go up to 741.8 degrees Fahrenheit on average, they take much longer to cool down when you’re switching temperatures. In effect, the temperature controls on an induction cooktop are much more precise.

When you adjust the heat settings, it’s an instantaneous reaction within the cookware, rather than a long wait for burners to cool down or heat up.

You can also get the temperatures pretty low on one of these cooktops, going all the way down to 100.75 degrees Fahrenheit. Gas cooktops can only go down to 126.56 degrees.

And radiant electric cooktops can get down to 92.2 degrees, but just like at the upper limits, it takes a while and isn’t as precise.

Cons

Though induction cooktops come with some great advantages, they’re definitely not perfect. There are few reasons why an induction cooktop wouldn’t be for everyone, even if it’s the best induction cooktop out there.

Pickiness with pots, pans, and thermometers

If you’re using a traditional cooktop, you can buy whatever pots and pans you want. This isn’t the case with an induction cooktop. If you’re shopping for new pots and pans, you should look for ones that are marked “induction-compatible.”

In the case where you want to know whether the cookware you already have will work on an induction cooktop, you can test this with a magnet. If a magnet sticks strongly to the bottom of any given pot or pan, it’ll probably work on an induction cooktop.

If you use digital meat thermometers, you should keep in mind that the magnetic field of an induction cooktop can interfere with its operation. Because of this, you might actually need to get an analog thermometer if you want to use a meat thermometer.

Noise

Traditional cooktops are usually pretty quiet, but induction cooktops are a different story. Especially at higher settings, you’ll probably be hearing a hum or buzz.

Even at lower settings, you’ll hear clicking noises, which would be the element electronics. You’ll also hear the cooling fan that operates for the electronics. Heavy, flat-bottomed cookware can help minimize the vibrations, but you’ll likely always be hearing some noise with an induction cooktop.

Types of Induction Cooktops

cooktop near a small plant pot in white kitchen

image source: unsplash

When you’re looking for the best induction cooktop, you should consider that there are different types from which you can choose. All of these types come with their own advantages. The one that would work best for you depends on your own preferences.

Portable

Just as the name implies, these induction cooktops are small and portable. They typically only weigh a couple of pounds. You can easily take them from one place to another.

This is a great choice for anyone who doesn’t necessarily want to confine their cooking to their own kitchen. If you want to cook at someone else’s house or do a lot of outdoor cooking, this might be the category of the best induction cooktop for you.

Fixed

These induction cooktops have to stay in one place. In fact, each one is permanently fixed to a surface.

These usually look really good in your kitchen and blend in really well. However, you should take into consideration that they typically require professional installation. If the price is a consideration when you’re choosing the best induction cooktop for you, you should keep that in mind.

A lot of people may venture to install the fixed model themselves, but this probably won’t be a good idea. This is particularly true if they don’t have experience with electrical appliances. In almost every case, a professional should be the one to do the installation.

Oven

These are meant to be used on top of an oven. They’re a great choice for large households, as well as restaurants that have a large number of customers at any given time. These cooktops can have as many as four to five burners or cooking zones.

The 5 Best Induction Cooktop Options

There are many products that can be considered the best induction cooktop out there. You have a variety of choices, but the one that you like is going to depend on your individual preferences. The following are five of the best induction cooktop options out there.

1. Secura Duxtop 8100MC Portable Induction Cooktop Burner

Sale
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner, Gold
  • Duxtop Induction Cooktop uses 120V 15 amp electrical outlet - standard in all North American homes; lightweight and...
  • Digital control panel. Built-in count-down digital timer with 1 minute increments up to 170 minutes; 10 temperature...
  • With no open flame or heating element, food does not burn-on the glass cooktop so this induction burner is easy to...

This is a great option for people who would want a portable induction cooktop. You can use it anywhere that has a standard 120-volt outlet. The temperature ranges between 140 and 160 degrees and the power levels range between 200 and 1800 watts.

Its compact size is an advantage; it’s only 13 by 11.5 inches, so it can fit in even tiny spaces. It has a user-friendly digital push-button control panel, as well as a built-in countdown timer that you can set for up to 170 minutes. It’s also easy to clean.

2. GE PHP9036DJBB Profile 36-Inch Black Electric Induction Cooktop

This induction cooktop has an impressive power rating of 3700 watts. It also comes with five burners, which you can either control individually or sync while you’re cooking.

You can easily select desired settings with the touch controls. There are also safety features on this unit that protect both you and the product, as well as the food you’re cooking. The main drawback is that you can’t turn off the beeping notification.

 

3. MDC 3500W Commercial Induction Cooktop

Sale
MDC 3500 Watt Commercial Induction Cooktop Burner, Induction Hot plate
  • 3500-watt commercial-quality induction cooktop with 5 power levels
  • Knob Switch controls and digital display;
  • temperature from 140 to 464 degrees F;overheat sensor; auto shut-off

This portable and lightweight induction cooktop is small, but it has a lot of power. It can support weights of up to 133 pounds. This product also has a single burner with 3500 watts of power.

The control knob is user-friendly. This cooktop also has a sensor that will shut the device off when it overheats. The main drawback is that you have to use an external thermometer to know your cooking temperature.

4. K&H INDH-3102Hx Double Burner Induction Cooktop

K&H Double 2 Burner Dual 24" Built-in Induction Electric Stove Ceramic...
  • POWERFUL AND PRECISE 17 power levels per cooking zone will be perfect to make any kind of meals from simmering to roast...
  • BUILT-IN AND FREE STANDING Two burners induction portable electric built-in stove top with scratch-resistant ceramic...
  • NORTH AMERICAN NORM ETL / UL safety certified and German designed / developed K&H cooktop from Kitchen and Home one...

One great thing about this option is that it comes with many security features, including protection against overheating, auto shut off at high temperatures, and a child lock.

You also get a digital timer that can control your cooking duration. There are 17 power levels available, and 3100 watts of power. The surface of the unit is made of ceramic glass that is scratch-resistant.

5. Rosewill 1900W Induction Cooktop

Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10" 3.5 Qt 18-8...
  • Polished A-grade Crystal Plate Surface; LED Large Screen Display, 4 digits; Built-in Digital 3-Hour Timer setting; Touch...
  • 8 Power levels from 300 to 1800 Watts: 300w, 500w, 700w, 1000w, 1200w, 1400w, 1600w, 1800w
  • 8 Temperature Settings from 150 to 450 °: 150 °, 200 °, 260 °, 300 °, 350 °, 400 °, 425 °, 450 °

This is a very popular option among those who are looking for the best induction cooktop, and for good reasons. It has a minimalist design, while still coming with all sorts of cutting-edge features. This jet-black cooktop has gold trim and comes with a high-quality stainless steel pot.

This device has eight power levels and temperature settings. It also has a large LED display, so you can see the temperature and cook time when you’re making a meal. It has controls that are easy to use, as well as a built-in digital timer that makes your job much easier.

And Now We’re Cooking!

As you can see, there are many reasons why you would want an induction cooktop. There are also many different types of induction cooktops from which you can choose. Which product is the best induction cooktop varies from person to person, depending on what exactly you’re looking for.

Induction cooktops are an example of how science can actually be amazing and fun. Even if you don’t want to learn all of the physics equations that are behind electromagnetism, you have to admit that the phenomenon is pretty cool — a device that can heat up your food more quickly than the traditional cooktop is actually not getting hot on its own.

You should definitely do your research before choosing the best induction cooktop for you, since it’s a significant purchase. It’s also a purchase that can have a big impact on your routine, especially if you do a lot of cooking. Choose wisely, and your induction cooktop can help you prepare many great meals for years to come!

Have you ever used an induction cooktop before? How did you like using it? Let us know what you think in the comments section!

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