The Best Induction Cooktop Reviews:
A Buyer’s Guide
Your cooktop is probably the single most important and most-used item in your kitchen. Most of us use our cooktops every day, oftentimes several times per day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Having a good cooktop can mean the difference between cooking feeling like a chore or being a real joy as it should be.
A bad cooktop can be a real eyesore, heat up the entire kitchen, take forever to heat and can be a real pain to clean. And, if you don’t enjoy cooking there’s a good chance you’ll eat out more, grab quick snacks and generally not eat as well.
Well, the good news is that new induction technology removes practically all of these issues. They’re attractive, heat up in a jiffy without heating the entire kitchen and are a snap to clean. Below you’ll find my full discussion of this great new technology covering what exactly induction is, pros and cons, the different induction options available and my top picks. I even review induction cookware, how to clean your induction appliance and the best cleaning products.
- Induction Cooktop Comparison Table
- What is Induction Cooking?
- Induction Cooking Pros and Cons
- Different Types of Induction Appliances
- Top Induction Cooktops
- Other Quality Induction Cooktops
- Features Any Induction Cooktop Must Have
Induction Cooktop Comparison Table
What is Induction Cooking?
If you’re new to induction cooking, read here for more information. The quick version is that induction uses electromagnetic fields to heat up the cookware itself when it comes in contact with the cooktop. This technology has been around in Europe for quite a while but has rapidly been gaining popularity in the U.S. as prices have come down and more and more great options have hit the market in the last few years. In fact, most higher-end ranges now combine convection ovens with induction burners.
Induction Cooking Pros and Cons
Overall, I’m definitely a fan of induction cooking but you have to decide if it’s right for you. In the pro columns, induction cooking is very energy efficient with more heat going into the cookware rather than into the kitchen (no roasting hot kitchens, yay!). These cooktops work incredibly fast; you can boil a cup or two of water in less than 2 minutes. They also cool down fast, making them safer and making clean-up much easier. Finally, the heat is nice and even; no more burn spots in the middle of the pan.
On the negative side, induction cooking is still more expensive than standard electric though prices are dropping quickly. I discuss several options below – including portable units – that are quite affordable. Also, induction cookware works with magnetic fields which means your cookware has to be magnetic. So, your current cookware might work or you might need to upgrade. I write about cookware here. Finally, some customers don’t like the low hum that comes from induction cooking though this can really be addressed by picking the right cookware. See my full discussion on pros and cons.
Different Types of Induction Appliances
Similar to electric or gas, induction appliances come in a variety of sizes, shapes and price ranges for everyone’s need and budget. It is important that you know the different types of offerings in order to make the decision about which option best suits your needs.
If you’re looking for the full induction cooking experience but already have a great range, an induction cooktop may be just what you’re looking for. This is a drop-in unit that is permanently mounted on your countertop, just like a standard electric or gas cooktop.
These usually have 4 or 5 burners of various sizes. They have all of the features of induction cooktops found on top of high-end ranges. These units are quite a bit more expensive than electric cooktops with most brands in the $1,000 to $2,000 range, though there are some less expensive 2 and 3 burner units. Full cooktops may require an electric power upgrade to 240V if you don’t have it so make sure you add that into your budget.
If you’re looking for a full range upgrade and want the latest and greatest technology, then an induction range is right for you. The term “induction range” is actually a little confusing. There aren’t any induction ovens yet, so what this really means is an induction cooktop on top of a convection oven. You get the fast, even cooking of both types of cooking in one appliance; it’s a real win-win!
The only real downside is cost. These ranges run at least double the cost of an electric range. Is it worth it? I think so but it really depends on your preferences and budget. See my full review of the best induction stoves and ranges here.
Portable Induction Cooktops
Induction is a great benefit to cooking. Speed, even cooking, easy clean-up. What’s not to like? Well, there’s the cost. Upgrading to a full sized cooktop or range is a big investment. Maybe you just want to check induction out and see if it’s worth it. Or maybe you’re in an RV or apartment and don’t have the space. Maybe you already have a great range/cooktop.
Well, you’re in luck. Portables are light, single-burner units that you can just plug in and use. You won’t get all the features or power of a full cooktop, but you still get many of the benefits at a fraction of the price. Many popular models retail around $60 so it’s easy to give a portable cooktop a try. I’ve looked at all the best induction burners. You can see my portable induction burner reviews here. I've also done in-depth review on two of the most popular portables, the NuWave and the Duxtop.
Best Induction Brands
There are numerous induction cooking brands. For full-sized cooktops and ranges, you’ll recognize all of the big name appliance brands. Some of the most well-known that I’ve written about below include GE, Frigidaire, Electrolux and Bosch. Other great brands include Wolf, Jenn-Aire, Thermador, Miele, Viking, and Maytag/Kitchenaid.
GE is one of the largest and most trusted companies in the world and they’re virtually synonymous with appliances ranging from ovens to refrigerators to fans. Their top rated induction cooktops and ranges are part of their Profile and Cafe series. Overall, I’m a big fan of GE’s quality, innovation and customer service.
Frigidaire has been in the appliance business for nearly as long as GE. In fact, it lays claim to developing the first self-contained refrigerator in 1918. The company has a strong history of quality, functional appliances at a very reasonable price. If you’re looking to try induction without breaking the bank, this may be the brand for you. Frigidaire has been owned by Electrolux since 1986.
Electrolux may be less well known in the US than GE or Frigidaire because it’s Swedish based. But don’t let that scare you away. It’s a global appliance company that’s been in business since the early 1900s. Like the others, it has a reputation for quality and service plus a very distinctive European styling.
Like Electrolux, Bosch is a great brand that isn’t quite as well known in the U.S. Bosch is actually a huge German multi-national company that develops all kinds of cutting edge technology, kind of similar to GE. It has developed a reputation for high-end, stylish products and great customer service. Think Mercedes-Benz of appliances!
Top Induction Cooktops
Functionality, reliability and price are the major factors that most buyers look for when purchasing major appliances. And these are some of the main factors I looked at when creating my list of the best induction cookers.
Looking at the best induction cooktop reviews can definitely narrow down your options because it will give you insight into which models and brands are the most popular and trusted. Following are the top rated induction cooktops according to buyers.
I’m a big fan of GE appliances. In my experience, GE just makes a solid product all-around with all the features you need and exceptional reliability. This cooktop is no exception.
GE’s Cafe line is “restaurant-inspired” which means it’s meant for serious cooks. This is clear from the quality, construction and solid, professional look. It also costs a bit more than many other brands and GE’s own Profile line but the difference isn’t huge.
It has 5 burners ranging in size from 6” to 11”. The largest burner provides 3700W which is plenty for most needs. The two 7” burners can be used together with a custom griddle option. This cooktop is loaded with other great options too. It has different timers for each burner and a lockout option to keep you and your kids safe.
The look of this cooktop is very professional and one of the most attractive on the market. The dark gray is actually smooth but has a beveled appearance under the surface. Customer really like the glide-touch blue LED controls. They definitely pop from the grey background.
Overall, this is one of the most highly rated offerings on the market. It costs a bit more but has a great mix of brand, quality, features and a classy look.
Many people don’t know that the Swedish company Electrolux is the second largest appliance maker in the world. Electrolux has been around for nearly 100 years and is really making a name for itself in induction cooking. It has several cooktop offerings and this one has the highest customer ratings.
Like most 36” models, the Electrolux has 5 burners. These include one 6”, one 7”, two 8” and a dual 7”/11” element. The dual element is a really nice feature that adjusts the burner to the size of your cookware. No need to use extra energy heating an 11” element if the 7” will do.
The Electrolux is also incredibly powerful. The 11” burner generates a huge 4,800W of power. This is the most powerful I have seen and will really cut down on cooking time.
Electrolux cooktops also have a distinct look with light cross marking for the burners. Customers rave about the precision control. They really like the blue LED lights and ease of adjusting temperatures. In fact, customers rave about the whole product. It has one of the highest cooktop ratings on Amazon.
If you’ve got your mind set on an upgrade to this great new technology but don’t want to break the bank, then the Frigidaire may be just the model for you. At 30” wide, it’s a bit smaller than some of our other top picks that come in at 36”. And it has only 4 burners instead of the 5 found on larger models. But, really, how often do you use all 5 burners at the same time?
The cooktop has 6”, 7”, 8” and 10” burners to cover just about any need. It also has a handy power boost option for when you want to heat up food fast.
The Frigidaire lines are clean and simple with white accents and control on a high-gloss black surface. Some customers complain that it’s too shiny so any fingerprints or other marks really show but this is true for most ceramic-glass cooktops. The burners have cross-shaped markings rather than circular outlines for a different look. Some like it; some don’t. It’s really a matter of taste.
Overall, the Frigidaire brand has been around for decades and has a good reputation for reliability and affordability. In fact, the price is hard to beat, coming in several hundred dollars less than most competitors. The Frigidaire cooktop is definitely worth a look with its blend of brand, customer satisfaction and functionality.
GE’s entire Profile series has a distinctive appearance with clean, simple lines that add an understated classy look. Plus, if you already have GE appliances in your kitchen, it mixes and matches very well. This model is a lovely stainless steel on black with a stainless steel frame.
It has 5 burners varying in power from a small 6” 1800W burner to a massive 11” 3700W burner that’s as powerful as anything on the market. Check the base of your pots though. Some customers have complained that the 11” is too big because if the base doesn’t contact the entire hob, the induction doesn’t work. Personally, I think an 11” is perfect for those large pots of pasta or soup but you be the judge.
The two 7” burners also have a Sync-Burner function where they can be “linked” for use with a griddle. This is definitely a nice feature, but some customer have complained that the heating is a bit uneven in this mode.
The controls have a nice definite feel and are located front and center for ease of use. It can take a bit of getting used to having the controls so close to the burners but they just don’t heat up the same way as gas or electric. Of course, the GE cooktop has all the bells and whistles too like hot burner indicators, an auto-shut-off if no pan is present and cooktop lockout to prevent the kids (or anyone else) from accidentally turning on the burners.
Pricewise, this model is quite reasonable as far as induction offerings go. With its mix of looks, functionality, GE reputation and price, it’s definitely worth checking out!
The Bosch brand is just plain classy with a reputation for high-end performance. The downside is price. You usually pay a premium for this brand. But that price tag isn’t overly steep in this cooktop making it worth a look.
Like the Frigidaire, this is a smaller 30” unit with 4 burners. The burners include two 6” elements, a 9” and an 11”. The 11” has a whopping 3600W capacity in power boost. This is guaranteed to get that big pot of water boiling really fast! In fact, this is most powerful 30” model I’ve found. So, if you’re looking for big performance in a compact package, this is the model for you.
In my opinion, the Bosch look just can’t be beat. The black burner circles on dark gray are understated but very classy. It has that Mercedes sedan kind of feel.
Finally, the Bosch cooktop is packed with features. The PotSense feature automatically sizes the element to the size of your cookware. Bosch’s Childlock function ensures controls aren’t turned on by accident. And, the SafeStart feature won’t allow the burner to turn on unless the right cookware is in place.
Overall, you will pay a premium for Bosch. But if you want class, performance and loads of features, this may be the model for you.
Other Quality Induction Cooktops
The True Induction is a great compromise if you can’t decide between a single-burner portable and a full-sized cooktop with 4 or 5 burners. It has 2 burners and up to 1800W of power, ideal for smaller kitchens or RVs.
This Electrolux model has many of the features of the larger 36” model we reviewed above in a more compact package. This price savings can be significant if you’re willing to give up one burner. And, of course, you still get that distinctive Electrolux styling.
Like the S2F3, this True Induction TI-3B is a great compromise, this time with 3 burners. With a rating of 3,400W, it’s getting pretty close to the full sized cooktops and is considerably more powerful than the S2F3.
This model has all of the great features of the 36” GE Profile we reviewed above in a more compact space. The only major difference is 4 burners instead of 5 though you still get the synched burners and 11” 3700W big burner. You’ll also save a couple of hundred dollars.
This model has all of the higher-end sophistication and functionality found throughout GE’s Cafe line of appliances. The main differences are one fewer burners and a cost savings of $200-300.
Features Any Induction Cooktop Must Have
While induction cooktops all perform many of the same basic functions, they come in a variety of size, shapes, looks and options. I’ve listed out several of the key features to keep in mind when you go shopping:
Appearance: Let’s face it; your cooktop is a real centerpiece of your kitchen. It’s got to match what you already have and it’s got to look good. The base cooktops come in black or stainless steel/gray. All have a smooth surface but a few have a textured appearance under the glass. The look of the burners range from circles to crosses while the colors of controls and LED lights can be red, white or blue.
Size: Built-in units mostly come in either 30” or 36” widths though there are units as small as 23.25" depending on your space and needs. If you’re replacing an existing cooktop, the size of the opening might drive your purchase decision.
Burners: Most 30” cooktops come with 4 burners while most 36” cooktops come with 5. But, the layout can vary a lot. Some have the largest burner in the back while others put it up front. So make sure to check if that specific cooktop layout works for you. There are also a few smaller units with 2 or 3 burners.
Power: Each burner is rated for watts. If the cooktop has a powerboost option it will have a rating for regular and powerboost options. If you regularly boil big pots of water, you’ll want a large burner rated to at least 3600W.
Price: Induction cooktops are still more expensive than electric and most gas cooktops but the range is pretty large. The smallest 2-3 burner built-in units can be found for less than $500. Basic 30” cooktops currently cost $1000-$1500. Larger, premium models generally cost $1500-2000 and up.
It can be overwhelming trying to choose the best induction cooktop for all the choices available. I strongly recommend reading customer reviews and avoiding the bad ones. In the end, it’s really about doing some fun research and deciding what’s most important for you. After all, there isn’t any “right” cooktop. There’s just the right cooktop for you needs. I hope this review helped. Happy shopping!
Product Images Sourced From Amazon.com