Person cooking over a portable induction cooktop
Credit: Courtesy of Hestan Cue

The 5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops—There's One For Every Type of Home Cook

These cooktops are efficient, fast, save energy, and can be used just about anywhere.
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Portable induction cooktops are small, easy to clean, and maintain more consistent cooking temperatures than traditional gas or electric cooktops. Additionally, Chef Tu David Phu, a Top Chef alum and author of the upcoming book Memory of Taste, says he likes this energy-saving cooktop because "you can boil water in under a minute, and it doesn't produce excessive heat."

Portable induction cooktops are great for sous vide cooking, making candy, and deep frying, as well as using in small spaces such as dorm rooms, campers, and vans. They're also fun for entertaining (you can use them to make fondue or hot pot). These cooktops come in a wide range of prices and most include timers, but it's important to remember that because they work by creating a magnetic field between the pot and the magnetic coils beneath the cooking surface, they require cookware that is magnetic such as cast iron, enameled cast iron, and stainless steel fully clad cookware.

Best Portable Induction Cook Tops of 2023

Portable induction cooktop on solid background
Credit: Courtesy of Hestan Cue

Best Cookware and Recipe App Connected: Hestan Cue Countertop Induction Cooktop

$199, hestan.com

Chef Tu David Phu is a fan of the Hestan Cue which he uses for cooking demos and classes. "It's commercial quality induction system at home," he says. "I've gone through so many induction cooktops prior. I've had mine for two years and [am] yet to have an issue with it." The Bluetooth 'smart probe' thermometer makes it easier to use the connected features even without the expensive additional connected cookware and recipe app. There are a few caveats, though: The manual mode only allows you to set it according to 10 levels rather than by temperature, the power pulses which makes maintaining a precise temperature is tricky, and the Bluetooth connection can be flaky.

Portable induction cooktop on solid background
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Overall: Nuwave Gold Precision Induction Cooktop

A favorite with online reviewers, this cooktop from Nuwave has a wider temperature range than most portable induction cooktops. It heats from 100-575 degrees in 10-degree increments and can handle a pot up to 50 pounds. It also comes with an induction ready nonstick pan and is smaller and lighter than other models. Some reviewers found consistency in heating varied with the size and type of pan used, and the 9-inch circumference is on the smaller side.

Portable induction cooktop on solid background
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon Portable induction cooktop on solid background

Best Splurge: Breville PolyScience Control Freak

$1,499.95, amazon.

A high-end model used in some of the top restaurants in the world, Luis Villavelazquez, pastry chef and owner of Les Elements, a dessert restaurant in San Francisco, says the Control Freak offers an incredibly high degree of precision. "I use it for the quick heat, up to boiling, and then a quick downgrade to a simmer for careful reducing," he says. He particularly likes it for controlled frying noting that it does double duty as a fryer for donuts. The combination of a probe and sensor allow you to know and control the temperature of the cooking vessel as well as the contents. Although there aren't built in recipes or a database, you can create and store recipes on a USB drive.

Portable induction cooktop on solid background
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Dual Cooktop: Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop

If you're having your kitchen remodeled, or you're renting an apartment with a lousy stove, this dual cooktop could be a lifesaver, as it has been for Villavelazquez who notes, "The smaller side only heats up to about half the power but is great for double boiling chocolate, heating up liquids carefully such as Hollandaise or sabayon. The larger burner side heats up more and is great for general cooking, it takes a bit to heat up to a boil but still gets the job done." He says there is a drawback, however: "The larger burner goes to heat 8, the small heat 5, and I don't know the temperature designations."

Portable induction cooktop on solid background
Credit: Courtesy of Amazon

Best Bargain: Hamilton Beach Induction Portable Cooktop

$59.99, amazon.com

The Hamilton Beach cooktop allows you to set the temperature at one of 10 levels or in Fahrenheit from 175-450 degrees (or Celsius) in 25 degree increments, although in tests the temperature is not always exact. It also has a power boost function to add a 30 second burst of extra heat. At under 6 pounds it's light enough to take on a road trip. The cooktop shuts off automatically if it senses there is no pot or pan.