Last Updated on October 13, 2021 by Boniface Muriuki
Technology has crept into different spheres of life – and the kitchen is certainly among the biggest beneficiaries. The invention of induction cooking is one of the most revolutionary occurrences. It has improved how we prepare our meals immensely.
If you lay your hands on the best induction cooktop for the money, then you can be sure that you’ll never look back.
But what exactly is an induction cooktop? How does it work?
Well, these questions may sound sophisticated now, but you’ll get every bit of its working rationale by the time you’re through with reading this comprehensive guide.
What is Induction Cooking
Induction cooking refers to a cooking technology that uses electromagnetic currents to heat the pans directly.
Unlike traditional cooking, this method does not rely on conduction, convection, or radiation to heat your food. Consequently, heating occurs faster, thus resulting in a quicker cooking process.
However, you must have the best cookware for induction cooktops to ensure that you enjoy these benefits. Such cookware must have magnetic properties – a magnet should stick on the surface effortlessly.
The ideal cookware are made of stainless steel and iron. However, you should note that not all stainless steel cookware are magnetic.
How Does Induction Cooking Work?
Induction cooking is an efficient, quick, and convenient way of making your meals. Just like the name suggests, the technique relies on induction heating of your cookware as opposed to the use of thermal conduction, radiation, or convection.
To achieve the induction, your best induction cooktop for the money must have a coil of copper wire that’s usually under the cookware. Alternating electric current will pass through the wire, which will result in an oscillating magnetic field.
The magnetic field will in turn induce an electrical current that will heat the cooking vessel.
Also, the cookware must be thick enough to offer sufficient resistance to current flow, thus resulting in better and faster heating.
If you only own aluminum and copper cooking vessels, then you cannot use your best induction cooktop for the money.
As such, shopping for the cooktop must always be accompanied by a budget for the ideal stainless steel, carbon steel, enameled, and cast iron cookware.
Best Induction Cooktop for the Money – Comparison
|NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop Pro Chef Commercial-Grade NSF-Certified 1800-watt Induction Cooktop||- A series of magnetic induction coils in the 8-inch cooking surface
-Tested and certified by NSF International
- NuWave Cooktop, you can sear a gourmet steak at 575°F or keep sauces warm at 100°F
|Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner, Gold 8100MC/BT-180G3||- Uses 120V 15 amp electrical outlet - standard in all North American homes; lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage
-Built-in count-down digital timer with 1 minute increments up to 170 minutes; 10 temperature range from 140 °F to 460 °F; 10 power levels from 200 to 1800 Watts
-The auto-pan detection will shut the unit automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected
|NutriChef Double Induction Cooktop - Portable 120V Portable Digital Ceramic Dual Burner w/ Kids Safety Lock||- 2 Circular Top Panel Heating Zones with Independent Configurable Temperature Zone Setting & a Digital LCD Display Screen
-120v Electric Induction cooktop
|Max Burton #6450 Digital LCD 1800 Watt Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner||-120V AC Power, standard in all homes. Energy efficient, portable, lightweight and easy to use.
-Digital temperature control from 100°F to 450°F, in 25°F increments. Digital timer with 1 minute increments up to 180 minutes.
|Rosewill Induction Cooker 1800 Watt, 5 Pre-Programmed Induction Cooktop||-5 Pre-Programmed Settings: Warm Milk, Soup, Stir Fry, Fry, Hot Pot
-Polished A-grade Crystal Plate Surface
-LED Large Screen Display, 4 digits
Best Induction Cooktop for the Money
1. NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop Pro Chef Commercial-Grade NSF-Certified 1800-watt Induction Cooktop
NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop is surely the best induction cooktop for the money. It uses advanced technology to ensure that you get the best induction cooking results.
The 1800-watt cooktop has several magnetic induction coils in its 8-inches cooking surface, which ensures that it heats faster than most of the cooktops in the market.
The product is NSF-certified, which means that it meets all construction standards. It has unique round construction makes it highly portable and stylish.
What makes this cooktop outstanding is its precise temperature control features! Unlike many other cooktops that only allow you to use 140°F to 420°F, the NuWave cooktop allows you to cook your meals using temperatures as high as 575°F.
Even better, the cooktop has an in-built digital thermometer that allows you to adjust your cooking temperature in 5 degrees increments with a simple touch of a button. Its automatic shutoff feature coupled with the pan-detection feature guarantees operational safety.
Also, you can opt for the two-burner NuWave cooktop with the same efficacy. However, the double cooker splits the energy into 900/1800 watts.
- Highly efficient
- Easy to program
- Smooth cooking surface for easy cleaning
- Allows temperatures of more than 500 degrees, unlike other cooktops
- Relatively noisy, especially when using light stainless steel cookware
This Duxtop induction cooktop is one of the most affordable single burner cooktops. It uses 120V with a 15 amp electrical outlet.
Additionally, the cooktop has a highly digitized control panel for guaranteed ease of operation.
If you’d want a cooker that gives you the leeway to undertake other assignments during your cooking escapades, then Duxtop 8100MC/BT-180G3 is your ideal choice.
It integrates a count-down timer with 60 minutes increments of up to 170 minutes! Even better, the cooktop has 10 temperature options ranging from 140 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit with power levels of 200-1800 watts.
To cater to outdoor cooking, this cooker is lightweight and highly portable. It has a compact shape for ease of handling and storage during transportation.
Even when you have children and pets, this cooker will fit the bill! It has auto-shutoff features which ensure that it stops producing heat when you remove the pan. Interestingly, its auto-pan detection feature is customized to ensure that it only detects sizable cookware.
This unique cooktop is easy to clean since it has a smooth cooking surface. Additionally, it is approved by ETL and comes with a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.
If you need more than one burner, then you can go for the equivalent Duxtop two-burner induction cooktop option which offer the same efficacy.
- Has both single and double burners option
- Ideal for outdoor cooking as it is portable
- Easy to clean
- Control panel is not sensitive. It calls for long pressing
3. NutriChef Double Induction Cooktop – Portable 120V Portable Digital Ceramic Dual Burner w/ Kids Safety Lock
This double induction cooktop comes with a tempered glass cooking surface. It is relatively lightweight and has a simple plug-in design for convenient placement on a table or countertop.
It has a “keep warm” feature that allows you to cook your meals and keep them warm for as long as you want! This eliminates the need of reheating your food, which is both healthy and economical.
Its system has panel touch button controls with a conspicuous LCD digital display for ease of operation. Its non-stick and stain-resistant cooking area is both aesthetic and highly effective.
Additionally, the cooktop has two heating zones with 2 circular top panel heating zones. You can also change from one cooking mode to another with a simple touch of a button!
Reading through all the benefits of this cooktop may mislead you into thinking that it’s a fuel guzzler. But that’s not true!
This cooktop uses 120V and heats up pretty fast. It has a lock function to ensure that your children are safe when using the appliance. The lightweight and the compact cooktop is compatible with steel, cast iron, stainless steel, and enameled iron.
- Easy to clean
- Ideal for both home and outdoor cooking
- Highly energy efficient
- Only works with flat bottomed pans
This is a 120V AC power cooktop that’s lightweight and ideal for you if you’re looking for the best portable induction cooktop for the money.
It is uniquely shaped with a slanting LCD control panel, which guarantees ease of access, thus making it easy to key in your preferred settings.
Its digital temperature control allows for temperatures ranging from 100°F to 450°F. You can adjust the temperature using a simple-to-use button with 25 degrees increments.
Even better, this cooktop comes with a digital time with a 1-minute increment per button press. It can set the cooking time of up to 180 minutes, which gives you adequate time to cook whatever meal you want. Once complete, the cooker will turn off automatically, which ensures safety.
Other safety features that come with this cooktop include auto-shutoff in case of overheating, short-circuit, or overvoltage; incompatible/small cookware detection; and child lock features.
- Easy to use
- Highly efficient
- Highly responsive control panel
- Easy to clean
- A bit pricey
The Rosewill Induction Cooktop comes with 5 pre-programmed settings which give you the leeway to choose your ideal menu without a hassle.
The settings are based on the internationally recommended cook temperature for specific meals such as milk and soup.
The appliance is finished with a polished A-grade crystal plate surface that’s not only aesthetic but also offers a highly convenient cooking surface.
Additionally, the cooktop has a large LED display screen with 4 digits for easy operation. It has 8 temperature settings that range from 150 to 450 degrees.
Even better, this cooktop is ETC/FCC compliant for guaranteed safety.
- Easy to clean
- Highly responsive control panel
- Aesthetic design
- Only available as a single burner
Best Induction Cooktop – Multiple Burners
If you’re not limited by budget, you can consider more sophisticated induction cooktops. These cooktops offer exceptional service as they have up to 6 burners.
However, a majority of them are relatively big and maybe limiting when you need outdoor cooking.
All in all, their elegance, efficacy, and versatility are worthwhile. I undoubtedly vouch for them if you’re not budget-constrained. They include:
- 9 level power control with sensitive temperature indicator
- 8100 total Watt with 240 Vac/60Hz
- High-quality glass
- Two independent heating zones with burner’s power ranging from 200W to 1800W
- 6 temperature modes
- Digital sensor controls
- 12-month warranty
3. 36″ Built-in Induction Cooktop, GASLAND Chef IH90BF 240V Electric Induction Hob, Drop-in 5 Burner Induction Stovetop
- 5 powerful cooking zones suitable for AC220-240V with a maximum power of up to 7400W
- Digital sensor touch controls
- Highly digitized safety features
- Multifunctional time
- Hot surface indicator
- Pan size sensor
- 9 heat level settings
- Has a heating element of up to 2700 watt
Best Induction Cooktop for the Money – Buying Guide
Buying the best induction cooktop for the money is not a walk in the park. It requires intensive research since it’s a long term investment.
Now that we’ve looked at various options available to you depending on your budget, let’s look at all the features you should consider before settling for the best induction cooktop for the money.
How Induction Cooktops Work – Backed by Science
The working rationale of your best induction cooktop for the money is pretty straightforward. It uses the concept of Magnetic Induction to generate heat instantly.
For your induction cooking to be effective, you must have the following two necessities:
- An induction cooktop
- An induction cookware
An induction cooktop has a coil (made of copper) through which electric current passes. This will produce eddy currents.
But what exactly are Eddy currents?
Well, I will save you the jargon and explain this in a simple-to-understand language.
When an electric current passes through the coil, it creates a magnetic field. If the current is AC (most electricity current is alternating), the magnetic field will constantly change direction in rhythm with the alternating current (AC).
If you have an electric conductor (the induction cookware) placed on the quickly alternating magnetic field, the magnetic lines will penetrate the cookware. This will create the Eddy Currents.
Due to the resistance of the material (the cookware), the Eddy currents will produce heat. This explains the need to have good conductor induction cookware if you need to achieve the best results with this appliance.
Only ferrous materials will produce Eddy current when they come into contact with an alternating magnetic field. As such, make sure that you evaluate the ability of any cookware to conduct electricity before buying it.
How to Choose the Best Induction Cooktop for the Money
When you step out to buy the best induction cooktop for the money, there are several factors you should consider. This way, you’ll be guaranteed of getting one that’s within your budget yet highly effective.
However, you can be sure that getting the best induction cooktop will set you a few hundred bucks. Never be too excited with questionably cheap deals, since buying this appliance is a long term investment.
I would advise that you invest in it and get all the features you need and durability as a bonus.
If that sounds tricky, then you shouldn’t worry. This section will offer a comprehensive analysis of all the details you should know before settling for your best induction cooktop for the money.
Factors to Consider When Shopping for the Best Induction Cooktop for the Money
- What Type of Induction Cooktop is the Best for You?
Answering this question will narrow down your choices making it easy for you to choose the best induction cooktop for the money.
There are 3 main types of induction cooktops to consider, including:
1. Portable Cooktop
Buying the best portable induction cooktop should always be a priority if you love outdoor cooking adventures.
The cooktops may contain single or multiple burners. The more burners it has, the bulkier it will be.
2. Built-In Cooktops
Built-in cooktops are big and can measure up to 41 inches! Additionally, they have many burners offering the convenience of cooking many meals concurrently.
The downside of these cooktops is that they are not portable and may require quite a substantial kitchen space to fit in. As such, you must always ensure that you have enough storage space before buying one.
Additionally, you may require to engage an installation professional if you have no prior installation experience. This comes with added costs.
3. Full-Size Induction Cooktops
These are freestanding induction ranges that have both induction cooktops and ovens. While they are relatively pricey, these cooktops are highly efficient and classy. Some may come with two ovens for guaranteed versatility.
An ideal freestanding induction cooktop should be 30-36 inches. As such, you must always ensure that you have adequate space for storage.
Read more about Freestanding Electric Ranges for your consideration
Additionally, you should consider the electricity requirements of the range (150V to 240V is ideal). They may have a wattage of 1800 to 3700 watts per unit. This can either be split among the burners or fixed for each burner.
For easy cleaning, many homeowners prefer silver or black induction ranges. But you can choose a white one if you love bright colors.
- Power Sharing – Consider the Wattage
If you want an induction cooktop that comes with more than 2 burners, then you should understand how they share power.
While some have equal energy going to all burners, others will have some getting less. For example, one may have 600 watts while the other one has 1200 watts.
Overall, the temperature and wattage settings depend on the specific brand. As such, you should first check these settings before settling for a specific brand. Most of the ranges can achieve temperatures of 100-450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Most portable double and single cooktops have 1800W, which is enough to help you accomplish your cooking without a hassle.
Most manufacturers indicate the TOTAL wattage of the cooktop. If it’s written 1800 watts, it means that when using two burners, it can only achieve 900W each. In some cases, the burners may have different wattage. For example, 1200W and 600W.
As such, you should check whether your best induction cooktop for the money has wattage for specific burners or the total wattage will be split when using all the burners.
- Which Induction Cooktop Design is Best for You?
The ease of using your best induction cooktop for the money depends on its design. It should be compatible with the available kitchen space without leading to congestion.
The cooktops come in either frame or edgeless design. Almost all portable induction cooktops have a unique housing, a control panel, and a ceramic/glass surface.
For the edgeless, the cooktop lacks edges and it appears like a smartphone. The control panel is almost the same level as the cooking surface.
Whichever design you choose, just ensure that the control panel is easily accessible. Also, ensure that the design meets all your needs adequately.
Other Crucial Features that Determines the Efficacy of an Induction Cooktop
While induction cooking will revolutionize your cooking, you must always ensure that it has the following crucial features to achieve the best results:
- Timer Settings
Having an induction cooktop with accurate timer settings is a plus. It allows you to set the exact time that you want your meals to cook. As such, you’ll eliminate the risk of overcooking.
Even better, this setting is highly convenient. Once you set it up, you can continue working on other chores. When the time is up, the cooktop will shut down automatically. This guarantees safety.
- Easy-to-Understand Preset Menus
While not all induction cooktop comes with preset menus, we recommend that you look for one with the settings.
The menus help you to use the appliance as a beginner. It has several cooking functions such as boil, fry, grill, milk, and stir. You only choose that which matches your needs, thus eliminating the chance of burning and guaranteeing well-cooked meals.
- Voltage Display
This feature is tailor-made to enable you to monitor your daily electrical consumption. If you want to save on electricity, your best induction cooktop for the money should work effectively with low voltage.
However, you should note that the amount of voltage for the appliance can affect the functionality of your induction cooktop. For example, an induction cooktop with 600 watts will be slower than one with 1800 watts.
- Automatic Pan Detection
This is an important safety feature. If your best induction cooktop for the money has the feature, it will detect the pan and start heating. Once you remove it, the heating will be turned off.
Most of the cooktops will shut off 60 seconds after removing your cookware. This will save energy.
This feature coupled with the auto-switch feature ensures that you avoid overheating your burner or even overcooking your meals.
- Safety Sensors and Child Lock
Safety should always be a priority in your kitchen! We recommend that you shop for a cooktop that’s connected to WI-FI or any other smart device. This way, all safety concerns will be relayed in real-time to your smart gadget.
Additionally, an induction cooktop with a child lock feature will ensure that your children are safe in the kitchen.
When you lock the cooktop, the cooking will continue but all the other features will be disabled, except for the Power Off button.
- Small Item Detection
What happens when your child places a fork/spoon on your cooktop’s burner? Wouldn’t it start heating causing immense risk?
Well, all these fears will be alleviated if your best induction cooktop for the money has small item detection features.
This unique feature ensures that power output will only be available when relatively large cookware is placed on the burner.
What are the Pros and Cons of an Induction Cooktop?
Now that we’ve looked at what you should consider before settling for your best induction cooktop for the money, it’s time that you understand the benefits and disadvantages of using an induction cooktop.
Advantages of Induction Cooking
- Faster Cooking. Induction cooking offers instant heating that enables you to cook your meals faster than when using conventional cooktops. Water will boil up to 50% quicker than when using an electric cooktop.
- Ease of Use. Your best induction cooktop for the money has many automated features that make cooking a breeze. You can select pre-set menus, which ensures that you only use the right temperature for your specific recipe.
- Easy to Clean. Most induction cooktops have a relatively smooth surface that’s easy to clean using a non-abrasive material. Just wipe off the dirt immediately after you’re through with cooking.
- Guaranteed Safety. Induction cooktops use an electromagnetic current to generate heat. They can only start heating when you place your pan on the burner since its functionality depends on the iron ions in the cookware. Even better, the cooktops have many safety features.
Cons of Using Induction Cooktop
- They are Pricey. Your best induction cooktop for the money is not cheap! It will set you back several hundred dollars. But it is worth every investment.
- Needs Special Cookware. Your ordinary aluminum cookware will not work with an induction cooktop! As such, you’ll need to buy special stainless steel or cast iron cookware
Does Induction Cooktop Make Noise?
Yes, an induction cooktop will make manageable noise. The noise will vary depending on the settings you’re using. For example, using high wattage will result in more noise.
However, you can reduce this noise by using relatively heavier cookware. For example, you will hear less noise when using heavy cast iron cookware than when using light stainless steel pans.
Best Induction Cooktop for the Money – The Bottom Line
Any modern kitchen will be incomplete without the best induction cooktop. This appliance offers convenience and safety.
However, buying the best induction cooktop on a budget can be tricky considering that this is a long-term investment. As such, you must ensure that you undertake comprehensive research before you settle for your best induction cooktop for the money.
If that sounds like a hassle, then we’ve got your back!
Yes, this article has everything that you need to shop for this crucial appliance. And yes, I used the same guide to get my NuWave Induction Cooktop. It has served me well without any regrets.
As such, you should go through this guide carefully and learn my first-hand tips on how to select the best induction cooktop for the money.
Even more impressive, this article compiles a research-based list of the best induction cooktop for the money in the market today. Buy yours and enjoy fast cooking and unmatched convenience!
Chef Boniface is a graduate in Culinary Arts from the Institute of Culinary Education, New York. He has worked in several restaurants and is currently the Head Chef at Cavali Restaurant.
He has excelled in developing unique recipes and influencing the menu at the restaurant. He prides himself in sharing his knowledge at thekitchenpot.com where he writes about the best cookware for various recipes.