Cooking at an open campfire may be fun, adventurous, and Instagram-worthy, but time-efficient and practical? Not so much. Thankfully, portable induction cooktops have stepped into the ring, bringing with them an array of time- and money-saving benefits — and changing the cooking game for campers and travelers everywhere.
Unlike many stovetops that rely on a gas-burning flame to provide heat, induction cooktops instead use magnetic induction — an electronically-controlled coil of metal inside the device — to heat up the cooking vessel directly, so the pot or pan itself becomes the conductor of the heat. Since all the heat is contained inside the cooking vessel and not coming from the outside (like a flame), induction stovetops typically cook food quicker and save time and energy in the process.
Another great perk of induction cooktops — and why you simply can’t compare them to regular portable hot plates — is that they cool down almost immediately after you turn the device off. Plus, the lack of an open flame reassuringly increases the safety factor.
One thing to keep in mind is that the pots and pans you use on induction cooktops should be made from a ferromagnetic metal, like stainless steel or cast iron. Unless they have a magnetic-grade material layer on the bottom, aluminum, glass, or copper pots and pans are not compatible with induction cooktops. Quick test: if a refrigerator magnet sticks to the bottom of your pan, you’re good to go.
The Best Portable Induction Cooktops for Traveling
We browsed through thousands of reviews from real shoppers to find the best portable induction cooktops that’ll come in handy in a variety of situations. While these little appliances are no-brainers for traveling, RVing, and camping because of their efficiency, ease-of-use, and portability, that doesn’t mean they’re not useful in other situations, too. In fact, many customers say they use them as the main cooktop in their house; not to mention, they’re a great option for dorm rooms and student housing.
Here are the 10 best portable induction cooktops, according to customer reviews.
- Best Overall: Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
- Best Lightweight: NuWave Pic Flex Induction Hot Plate
- Best Slim: Sunpentown Induction Cooktop
- Best Single Burner: Hamilton Beach Single Induction Cooktop
- Best Double Burner: Cusimax Portable Electric Stove
- Best Splurge: Goodful By Cuisinart One Top Induction & Sous Vide
- Best with Pot: Rosewill 1800-Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop
- Most High-Tech: Duxtop Portable Induction LCD Sensor Touch Cooktop
- Best with Child Safety Lock: iSiler Portable Induction Cooktop
- Best Scratch-Resistant: Aobosi induction Hob Cooktop
Best Overall: Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
With more than 4,000 perfect five-star reviews on Amazon, the Duxtop 1800-Watt Portable Induction Cooktop is one of the highest-rated portable induction cooktops currently available. Featuring 15 pre-set power levels and temperature ranges, a built-in timer, a clear LED display, and an easy-to-use control panel, this convenient and compact kitchen tool is a no-brainer. It also has a smart pan-detection feature for added safety: If it detects cookware with a non-magnetic bottom (or none at all) the heat will automatically shut off after one minute. "Heats up lightning fast and offers more control," one shopper wrote. "More energy efficient than gas or electric. Lighter than you'd think, making portability easy. Cools down quicker."
To buy: amazon.com, $73
Best Lightweight: NuWave Pic Flex Induction Hot Plate
At just four pounds and two inches tall, the lightweight NuWave Pic Flex induction hot plate is a breeze to pack up and take with you whenever you want a hot meal on the go. The small, travel-friendly size doesn't mean it's not powerful, though: It has a wide temperature setting range that goes up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit and is easily controlled by its digital display. It comes with a nine-inch compatible frying pan and heats up fast — it can bring water to a boil in as little as 90 seconds — so you can get to cooking pronto. While many reviewers note how well it works in trailers and campsites, one customer likes it so much that they use it in place of a stovetop in their house, adding that it's "much more precise" and that "everything comes out cooked but not overcooked or burned."
To buy: amazon.com, $70
Best Slim: Sunpentown Induction Cooktop
If you don't have much space and need a cooktop that you can store away discretely and easily once you're done using it, the slim, 4.5-pound Sunpentown Induction Cooktop is your best bet. The sleek all-digital display allows you to choose between cooking and warming modes, along with seven power settings and 13 temperature settings reaching 390 degrees Fahrenheit. It also has a built-in timer and touch-control functionality, including a touch-control lock for added safety. Numerous reviewers mentioned how quickly it heats up, which allows them to cook their food faster and have their meal ready in no time. One even said it works "twice as fast" as their microwave.
To buy: amazon.com, $62
Best Single Burner: Hamilton Beach Single Induction Cooktop
Budget-friendly and reliable, the Hamilton Beach Single Induction Cooktop is an Amazon's choice single burner induction cooktop with 10 heating levels and six cooking modes — including fry, boil, and simmer. Its easy-to-use control panel is extremely user-friendly, and its smooth glass surface means that cleaning is a matter of a simple wipe-down with a damp cloth. What's more, the numerous cooking modes included on the device mean you can use it for a variety of different meals. "I use this in my tiny camper, it is fantastic," one reviewer shared. "Cooks beautifully and is easy to clean and pack for traveling. Super nice temp control, almost as fast as gas."
To buy: amazon.com, $50 (originally $60)
Best Double Burner: Cusimax Portable Electric Stove
Just because you're traveling or camping doesn't mean that cooking has to be limited to one-pot meals. Thanks to Cusimax's portable stove that includes two burners, you can have two different dishes going at the same time. It heats up in seconds and has two easy-to-use temperature control knobs for each burner. There's also an automatic safety shut-off to prevent overheating and keep the device at its elected temperature. More than 500 customers left the dual burner a perfect five-star review, so you can trust that it'll work quickly, efficiently, and safely. "The 1200-watt infrared stove heats very quickly to whatever temperature is needed," one Amazon shopper said. "It heats up much quicker than my main full-size kitchen range."
To buy: amazon.com, $68 (originally $110)
Best Splurge: Goodful By Cuisinart One Top Induction & Sous Vide
At $150, the Goodful By Cuisinart One Top Induction Cooktop is definitely the priciest pick on the list, but well worth it according to reviewers. Equipped with built-in precision temperature control and 10 power levels, you have everything you need to grill, sauté, deep-fry, slow-cook, and sear your food while you're enjoying the great outdoors. The cooktop is made from crystal glass that's both incredibly durable and easy to clean, plus it's stocked with integrated sensors to determine the temperature of your cookware. But the real splurge-worthy part is that it can be controlled through the One Top app, which also gives you access to its Sous-Vide and Recipe Modes. "Love the versatility," one Williams Sonoma reviewer wrote. "And I love the sync-function with my smartphone."
To buy: williams-sonoma.com, $150
Best with Pot: Rosewill 1800-Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop
With the Rosewill 1800-Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop, you're given a compact, affordable appliance that makes the perfect starter portable induction cooktop. For just over $50, you'll not only get Rosewill's 1800-watt touch-control induction cooktop, but you'll also get a 10-inch stainless steel pot to go with it. Talk about a bargain! With a large LED display and a lightweight design, the no-frills cooktop comes with eight temperature settings that reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit, eight power levels, and a built-in timer and safety lock feature. "It saves me [from] having to go refill my propane tanks for my propane cook stove," an RV enthusiast shared on Amazon. "It is lightweight, easy to clean and the fan on the bottom helps to prevent it from overheating. I like the pan too, that was a neat bonus."
To buy: amazon.com, $55
Most High-Tech: Duxtop Portable Induction LCD Sensor Touch Cooktop
With the highest-rated and best-selling options, Duxtop has been a leading induction cooktop brand for over 10 years — and this high-tech, sensor-touch version from Duxtop is no different. The Duxtop Portable Induction LCD Sensor Touch Cooktop has 20 preset power and temperature levels — shown on an all-digital touch-screen display — so you can cook in a number of ways at the simple press of a button. And like most of Duxtop's appliances, this sleek cooktop has thousands of positive reviews from customers who cite its quality and ease-of-use. One of the many happy customers called it "simplistic, well-designed, and very powerful" while another said it's "the best induction cooktop for the money." If this model is out of stock during your next Amazon visit, shoppers assure that you'll also be in good hands with the Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop mentioned above.
To buy: amazon.com, $98 (originally $118)
Best with Child Safety Lock: ISiler Portable Induction Cooktop
Although induction cooktops are typically safer than regular electric or gas-burning stoves because of the lack of an open flame, you still wouldn't want kids getting near them or risking burns — and that's exactly why Isiler designed its 1800-watt cooktop with a child-proof safety lock. It has eight temperature settings and nine power levels — so you can use it for a variety of cooking functions — along with a digital touch-control display and overheating protection to ensure the device never surpasses your selected temperature. No wonder why it has more than 1,500 five-star ratings and hundreds of glowing reviews.
To buy: amazon.com, $60 (originally $70)
Best Scratch-Resistant: Aobosi induction Hob Cooktop
The Aobosi induction Hob Cooktop has more than 1,000 five-star ratings and reviews for its durable crystal glass-ceramic plate materials and quality construction, which is able to withstand any scratches and damage from cooking and traveling. The 1,800-watt model is also a favorite for its nine power levels, 10 temperature settings, automatic shut-off timer, child safety lock, and sleek touch screen display. "The surface does not scratch," one reviewer raved. "The stove is light and easy to carry, and can be quickly cooled. Overall, this is a good choice."
To buy: amazon.com, $58
Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.
Source: Read Full Article