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Gourmet chefs and casual cooks alike can benefit from an induction cooktop. It not only keeps messes at bay, but it can also be installed in a variety of different homes and kitchen set-ups. Unlike electric versions, they don't use a radiant coil to heat up. Unlike gas models, they don't require a flame either. Instead, each of these induction cooktops uses electromagnetic fields to conduct heat and create a tasty meal for your table.
The advantage to this type of engineering is that the heat is directly transferred to the cookware, and will stop as soon as you remove a pot or pan. Baked-on spills are also a non-issue, which is convenient whether you're cooking on your kitchen island or in an RV.
Here, the best induction cooktops for every set-up and type of chef.
Best Overall: GE Profile PHP9036SJSS 36 in. Built-In Electric Induction Cooktop with 5 Elements
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 5 x 36.12 x 20.5 inches | Max Power Level: 3,700 Watts | Number of Burners: 5
Can accommodate larger cookware
Low temperature setting
Controls can be locked
On the expensive side
Can scratch easily
This four-burner induction cooktop is popular thanks to its easy operation, quick-cleaning surface, and efficient heating abilities. Digital touch controls allow you to adjust heating functions for each burner, and a sync feature allows control of two, 7-inch burners at once for heating a larger griddle and oversized cookware. The largest burner measures 11 inches across and has 3,700 Watts of power, while a small burner measures 6 inches across and has a low temperature setting that's perfect for melting butter.
You'll appreciate that this induction cooktop is made with lots of safety features, like a cool-to-the-touch surface, and a lock button which disables controls while you clean. While newbies to induction cooking may be surprised by the buzz of the magnets inside the cooktop, it's actually a routine aspect of this style and is not concerning. Like most induction cooktops, this model heats very quickly and offers similar control of cooking with gas, that's great for any type of chef.
Best Budget: Empava EMPV-IDC24 24 in. 4 Elements Black Induction Cooktop
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 2.12 x 23.25 x 20.5 inches | Max Power Level: 2,700 Watts | Number of Burners: 4
Can be installed over a wall oven
Nine unique power levels
No burner syncing
Applies power in 30-second intervals
The benefits of a drop-in induction cooktop often come with a steep price tag, but this model from Empava gives you the same efficiency for less than $500. With a 24-inch-wide design and four burners, this unit delivers the same cooking power and clean look of other induction cooktops, just at a fraction of the price.
The four burners range in size from 6 to 8 inches in diameter. There are a total of nine different power levels, as well as a power boosting mode for prepping meals quickly. Now, it does skip some features found on other models, such as burners that can be linked together to create a larger cooking area. However, if you want instant, adjustable heat and the convenience of an induction cooktop, then this is certainly the model for you.
Best Splurge: Thermador CIT36XWBB 36 in. Masterpiece Series Smart Electric Induction Cooktop
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 4.5 x 37 x 21.25 inches | Max Power Level: 5,500 Watts | Number of Burners: 6
Can place cookware anywhere on the surface
Equipped with WiFi
Has a larger footprint
Thermador is one of the leading names in gourmet induction cooktops, and the Masterpiece Series Smart Electric Induction Cooktop leaves little to be desired in terms of function and performance. This splurge-worthy cooktop offers a total of 56 inductor elements, and allows essentially limitless placement options for up to six pots and pans. Cookware detection enables the model to sense the presence and size of a pan, while a full-color, interactive touch display helps you to make adjustments for cooking temperature and wattage.
You’ll spend a considerable amount on this Thermador cooktop, but the precision and versatility of this gourmet appliance is tough to beat. Ultimately, this is a top-notch pick for gourmets.
Best 30-Inch: FRIGIDAIRE GALLERY FGIC3066TB 30 in. Smooth Electric Induction Cooktop
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 2.88 x 30.75 x 21.5 inches | Max Power Level: 3,800 Watts | Number of Burners: 4
Comes with a fit guarantee
Can quickly boil a pot of water
Controls can be locked
On the expensive side
Can't fit two large pieces of cookware at one time
This model from Frigidaire is a great option for anyone seeking a small, 30-inch induction cooktop. Like most other models in this size range, it has four burners but leaves nothing in lacking in terms of power and performance. A larger burner measures 10 inches across, delivers 3,800 Watts of power, and includes a Power Boil feature that brings a pot to a rolling boil in less than two minutes.
In addition, the digital controls let you quickly adjust cooking temperatures when searing steaks or simmering sauces. Frigidaire also offers a fit guarantee and will compensate homeowners up to $300 for any modifications that need to be made during installation. This peace of mind—along with easy and powerful operation—make this a top-notch purchase.
Best 36-Inch: Bosch NIT8669UC 800 Series 36 in. Induction Cooktop in Black with 5 Elements
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 4.44 x 37 x 21.25 inches | Max Power Level: 5,400 Watts | Number of Burners: 5
Heats quickly and evenly
Variety of temperature settings
Smart features can be tricky
Make room for more culinary masterpieces with this 36-inch induction cooktop by Bosch. More space means more elements to prep your favorite meals wherever you are. The Bosch NIT8669UC combines the versatility with advanced control, as it allows for 17 different temperature settings. The largest burner is 12 inches across, and has 3,300 Watts of power—but an additional power boost gives this unit a max setting of 5,400 Watts.
This 36-inch cooktop also includes intuitive cooking features, like an AutoChef setting that monitors cooking temperatures and automatically adjusts the heat. This can be useful when frying eggs, stirring vegetables, and cooking cutlets in the pan.
Best Smart: Cafe CHP95362MSS 36 in. Smart Induction Cooktop
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 4.63 x 36 x 20.38 inches | Max Power Level: 3,700 Watts | Number of Burners: 5
Guided cooking function
Burners can sync
Equipped with WiFi
Has a larger footprint
This model from Cafe takes the concept of a smart induction cooktop to a new level. Equipped with built-in WiFi, this 36-inch model has five burners which are ready to whip up any culinary feast. You can gain inspiration as well as new skills by using the appliance’s Gourmet Guided Cooking function. Simply follow along with video recipes from professional chefs while the cooktop works to adjust the temperature, time, and cooking pace, and turn out mouthwatering dishes.
This Cafe model's additional features are on par with other full-featured models. There are two, 7-inch elements that can be synchronized for even cooking with large pots, griddles, and more. There's also digital touch controls that help you adjust the temperature with a quick swipe of the finger. A precise control mode keeps target temperatures within one degree for accurate cooking, and tops off this stellar, intuitive pick.
Best Two-Burner: Kenyon B81335 Silken 21 in. 240V Induction Cooktop with 2 Burners
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 3.1 x 21 x 21 inches | Max Power Level: 1,300 Watts | Number of Burners: 2
Easy to clean
Good for small living
No smart features
Not as powerful as other models
A two-burner induction cooktop gives you the instant heat and quick power of induction cooking, just in a small space. Often installed in a compact kitchen, boat, RV, or suite, this model from Kenyon only measures 21 inches wide and has two, 6.5-inch burners that offer 1,300 Watts of power each.
This model has 16 temperature settings, along with an individual timer for each burner. You'll appreciate how easy it is to clean the ceramic glass cooktop, but a silicone mat is also included to protect against spills and to keep pots from sliding on the smooth surface.
Best Portable: Cuisinart ICT-60 12 in. Glass Double Induction Cooktop
Fuel Type: Induction | Dimensions: 2.5 x 23.5 x 14.25 inches | Max Power Level: 1,600 Watts | Number of Burners: 2
Automatically shuts off
No burner syncing
No smart features
With dual side-by-side burners, and a total cooktop width of 23.5 inches, this pick offers plenty of cooking power for those who need a portable appliance. The left burner has eight temperature settings, while the smaller, right burner has five. If you only want to use one at a time, you're in luck. Each burner has an on and off switch, and an individual timer that can be set for up to 150 minutes.
Compared to more basic hot plates, Cuisinart's double-burner induction cooktop offers more rapid heating and powerful cooking temperatures. To combat this, it also has built-in safety features, such as an automatic shut-off that cuts off heat to the burner 30 seconds after a pan is removed. This is ideal for anyone in tiny spaces, or who frequently forgets to tend to their kitchen appliances.
When it comes to an induction cooktop, our top pick is the GE PHP9036SJSS (view at Home Depot) which offers four burners, intuitive digital controls, and efficient heating abilities. This model is easy to operate, and can handle oversized cookware or a griddle. If you're looking to spend less, the Empava EMPV-IDC24 (view at Walmart) doesn't have the ability to sync many burners, but offers four cooking elements and lots of power at a lower price.
What to Look for in an Induction Cooktop
Portable vs. built-in
An induction cooktop either has a portable or built-in design. The design that's a good fit for you will depend on where you plan on using your cooktop and your personal needs. A portable model can be unplugged and stored in a cabinet, much like another small appliance, making it a great pick for any household who's looking to expand their cooking space a bit or living small. A built-in cooktop will fit right into your countertops, and eliminate the need for a full range. This type of cooktop can feature multiple burners, too, but be more expensive upfront.
Number of burners
An induction cooktop can have anywhere from one to six burners. Typically, portable cooktops have just one or two, while built-in ones have upward of four or five. When shopping, you should consider what you're hoping to cook on your cooktop, and the type of cookware you have. While an induction cooktop will require compatible cookware that works with the magnetic technology, no matter what its size may be, a cooktop with four or five burners will give you more room for cooking. It'll be ideal in situation where you want to boil a large pot of water or prep several sides.
The amount of power your cooktop has will affect your cooking experience. A model with more power will allow you to boil a pot of water fast or sear a piece of meat, while one with less power will be good for simmering. Power is measured in Watts, and if your induction cooktop has multiple burners, those burners may range in power so you can have multiple cooking experiences at once. The burners of a cooktop can reach anywhere from 1,300 to 5,400 Watts of power, and typically you can set the power level much like you would the size of a flame in a gas-powered model. To find the right power settings for you, consider what you want to cook regularly on your cooktop.
In order to accommodate larger cookware, some induction cooktops have burners that can sync with each other. Essentially, these burners team up to create a more expansive cooking area. This feature can typically be found in smart or high-end models, or ones that can be installed over a wall oven. It's helpful when entertaining, warming side dishes, and preparing big meals like pasta with meatballs.
If an induction cooktop has a guided cooking feature, it'll adjust the temperature settings for you. In some cases, a guided cooking function follows along with a specific recipe that's synced to the unit. Other models will simply read the size and shape of your pan, and adjust the heat while you're frying, sautéing, or simmering a dish. To try out this feature, opt for a high-end or smart cooktop, and know it'll come in handy if you're new to cooking and want to ensure success.
Induction cooktops are usually outfitted with many safety features, but only some have a control lock. This feature locks the temperature settings you have set, so you don't accidentally bump into them or unknowingly increase the heat you apply to a pan. Whether you have children in your household or are a frequent entertainer, this feature will make sure your cooktop is being used properly and at the right times.
How do I clean an induction cooktop?
To clean an induction cooktop, you'll first want to make sure it's turned off and cooled down. Once the cooktop is cool, you can use a homemade cleaning solution or store-bought all-purpose cleaner with a degreaser on the cooktop. You should spread or spray the solution gently onto the surface, avoiding any rough cleaners or abrasive pads. From there, dip a soft sponge or cloth in fresh water, and wipe all the solution away. If tough, baked-on spills are still present, tackle them with baking soda and vinegar. For more cleaning tips, see our guide on how to clean a glass cooktop.
Can you use cast iron on an induction cooktop?
You cannot use cast iron cookware on an induction cooktop for two reasons. First, your cookware has to be compatible with the magnets within the cooktop, in order for heat to be applied to your pan. For this reason, many induction cooktops come with a compatible pot or pan, or owners go out and buy a set for themselves. Second, the smooth top of an induction cooktop is quite fragile and will scratch if you use cast iron on it. To preserve the stylish surface, it's best to use soft cookware, not use harsh or abrasive cleaners, and avoid dragging your cookware of the cooktop as much as possible. For more on this, see our guide on what not to do on a ceramic or glass cooktop.
What are the disadvantages of induction cooking?
While an induction cooktop is just as precise as a gas cooktop in terms of controls, it can be expensive in comparison. Not only is the cooktop itself expensive, but compatible cookware can add to the price tag. Another disadvantage of induction cooking is that it's very quick. While this is a good feature for a chef in a time crunch, many newbies to induction cooking will have to get used to how quickly it heats up and applies the heat to the pan, so they don't burn their food.
Why Trust The Spruce?
This article was edited and updated by Marisa Casciano, who is the large appliance expert for The Spruce. Throughout her career, she's researched the ins and outs of air purifiers, dishwashers, cooktops, and more in the home and lifestyle space. She's an avid home cook, with ample experience cooking on gas, electric, and smooth-top surfaces.