The 5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops of 2024

For saving space or for culinary adventures on the go, try one of these portable cooktops

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The 5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops of 2024

A portable induction cooktop is a small, standalone appliance that cooks using electromagnetic induction. Unlike traditional stovetops, induction cooktops use electromagnetic induction to heat the cookware directly. Since induction doesn’t use flames or direct heat, these cooktops are safer to use than an electric hot plate, and they have the added advantage of heating up quickly.

That’s what makes these portable devices so handy; you can use them while traveling or as an extra burner when your range is maxed out. 

To find the best induction cooktops out there, we tested 16 different models and evaluated them based on features that would make them a valuable addition to your kitchen, from lightning-fast heating to precise temperature control. Here are our favorite cooktops that seamlessly blend functionality and style.

What we like: The accurate and precise temperature control.

What to know: It doesn’t have a rapid boil feature.

The Breville PolyScience "Control Freak" is a standout appliance that left a lasting impression on us. What distinguishes this cooktop from the rest is its extraordinary precision in maintaining temperatures with unparalleled accuracy. The ability to control the temperature down to a single degree was our favorite part about this cooktop. Being able to control the temperature with this level of precision makes it easy for this portable cooktop to tackle everything from frying to more delicate sauces.

For further control (you can see why this model is called the “Control Freak”), this model also comes with a temperature probe that you can insert into your pot or pan to monitor the temperature of your food—especially helpful for functions like frying. And if you’re worried this model can’t take the heat, the internal cooling fan lets you cook away without the unit having to shut down due to overheating.

Despite these added features, we found the operation to be simple and easy to use; it allowed us to experiment with various recipes without having to navigate complex settings. One feature we would add? A rapid boil system. Otherwise, we love the control and versatility of the Breville. While this device isn’t cheap, we feel that the Control Freak's superior precision and performance make it a worthy addition to your kitchen.

Number of Burners: 1 | Min Temp: 77°F | Max Temp: 482°F | Cooking Surface: 11.5 inches

What we like: Lightweight design and double-burner efficiency.

What to know: No extra frills or advanced safety features.

With the NutriChef’s dual burners and flexibility for simultaneous meal preparation, this cooktop provides a dependable cooking solution. We found the temperature control to be intuitive and responsive, allowing us to easily fine-tune heat levels for various cooking tasks. We loved the two separate cooking surfaces, which allowed us to have one component cooking while heating up another.

This cooktop presents a cost-effective solution to a smaller or older home stovetop—or an upgrade to outdoor cooking for camping gourmands. Its compact design makes it an ideal addition to any kitchen, particularly those with limited space, and it’s very nearly silent during use.

While we found advanced features lacking, the NutriChef Portable Double Burner Induction Cooktop will appeal to home chefs looking for a simple, dependable cooking solution without extraneous frills.

Number of Burners: 2 | Min Temp: 140°F | Max Temp: 460°F | Cooking Surface: 8 inches

What we like: Minimalistic design, easy to clean and a built-in boil setting.

What to know: No other special presets other than the fast-boil option.

The Duxtop Induction Cooktop is a dependable kitchen workhorse we loved for its simple functionality. We appreciated its quick-heating capabilities, which allow for rapid and efficient cooking. The user-friendly digital control panel makes temperature adjustments simple, with 20 temperature settings that you can increase by 20-degree increments.

The Duxtop 9600LS's lightweight design impressed us, and the built-in boil setting was a nice feature. We found it extremely user-friendly, and even without extra bells and whistles, it outperformed our expectations. The smooth surface and minimalistic design of the Duxtop Induction Cooktop make it easy to wipe clean, and it’s compact enough to store easily. If you value simplicity and dependability, this induction cooktop is a valuable addition to your kitchen toolkit. Number of Burners: 1 | Min Temp: 100°F | Max Temp: 460°F | Cooking Surface: 8 inches

What we like: Abundant safety features and temperature presets. 

What to know: The unit makes a high-pitched mechanical sound when in use.

You really can’t beat the convenience of dual burners, especially when cooking for a crowd, and we love this double-burner Duxtop model. During our testing, we found this portable cooktop to be very user-friendly. We were able to tweak the temperature one degree at a time, and it includes helpful presets like “boil” and “keep warm” functions.

This model also comes with safety features like auto-pan detection, where if you remove a pan for more than 60 seconds, the unit automatically shuts off. We also liked that the burners can be "locked" to prevent the heat level and timer from changing by accident. 

One downside we found was this model emitted a high-pitched mechanical sound when we set the temperature and when it was cooking at a high temperature, which some folks will undoubtedly find irritating. Still, we liked the Duxtop Double Induction Cooktop's compact and portable design, and we think it’s an excellent double-burner option.

Number of Burners: 2 | Min Temp: 100°F | Max Temp: 460°F | Cooking Surface: 16 inches total (8 inches each)

What we like: Child-lock feature and sleek, minimalist design.

What to know: Touchscreen buttons are very sensitive to bumps and grease.

The iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop is a sturdy and durable kitchen companion that we loved for its ease of use and price. The sleek look of the iSiLER is perfect for the apartment minimalist or even a posh glamper. We loved the child lock feature, and it’s not just for kids. The touchscreen is extremely sensitive, and the child lock prevented us from inadvertently changing the settings by bumping into it or fumbling with the other controls. By using this handy feature, your settings are saved even if you bump the cooktop. Phew!

We found this to be an excellent option for spartans with smaller cookware. Weighing just under 6 pounds and measuring a little over a foot long and a foot wide, the iSiler is easy to store. We also found it very quiet while operating; we heard a low humming noise but did not find this overly distracting. While it has few features, we appreciated the dependability and ease of use that this induction cooktop brought to our kitchens.

Number of Burners: 2 | Min Temp: 140°F | Max Temp: 460°F | Cooking Surface: 8 inches

The Breville PolyScience the Control Freak (view on Amazon) takes the induction cooktop cake from our team. The Breville PolyScience Control Freak is distinguished by its unrivaled precision in maintaining precise temperatures for consistent and flawless cooking results. Next in line is the NutriChef Portable Double Burner Induction Cooktop (view on Amazon), which doubles the cooking power and can travel just about anywhere. It’s a great supplementary addition to any kitchen.

When shopping for a portable induction cooktop, you will want to prioritize models with precise temperature control for greater cooking versatility. Make sure the cooktop has adjustable temperature settings so you can fine-tune heat levels to meet specific cooking needs. Look for units with clearly defined temperature increments and a responsive control interface for precise adjustments. This feature is especially important for tasks like simmering, boiling and sautéing, as it gives you the control you need to achieve the best cooking results. 

When you're in the midst of culinary creativity, the last thing you want is to be bogged down by complicated features. Look for a user-friendly interface that allows you to easily navigate the various settings. Choose a cooktop with clearly labeled controls, responsive touch panels and simple functions so you can focus on the joy of cooking rather than technology. From easy temperature adjustments to simple programming, the value of an intuitively designed portable induction cooktop is evident in its seamless integration into your kitchen routine.

Consider the importance of portability when choosing an induction cooktop to fit your active lifestyle. You'll want to choose a model that meets your need for flexibility and allows you to cook in various settings, whether you're updating your outdoor kitchen or making do with limited space indoors. Look for compact, lightweight designs that are simple to transport and store when not in use. Your induction cooktop's portability ensures that you are not confined to a fixed cooking space, allowing you to experiment with your culinary skills wherever inspiration strikes. Choosing a portable induction cooktop will enable you to bring the joy of cooking to any situation, whether you're a frequent traveler, a culinary enthusiast with a small kitchen or someone who simply values versatility.

We meticulously examined 16 models before selecting our top five portable induction cooktops for this product roundup. Our testing process concentrated on key performance indicators such as the time required to boil water, the evenness of heat distribution and the accuracy of temperature settings. These evaluations were supplemented by evaluating design elements, the presence of safety features and the genuine portability of each model. We also looked at usability, taking into account display clarity and cleaning convenience. We compiled all of our results to arrive at our final list.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop ($63 on Amazon): It impressed us with its compact and lightweight design—perfect for a student in a dorm or a frequent traveler—but the unit lacked the versatility we saw in other models.

Tramontina Guru 4 Piece Starter Set ($450 on Amazon): We loved the scale built into the cooktop, which makes weighing recipes right into the pan incredibly easy, and the temperature accuracy was phenomenal; however, the touch screen buttons on the cooktop were easily covered in grease which made it difficult to control.

NuWave PIC Double ($230 on Amazon): This product has a programmable clock feature, which is useful for home chefs and professional chefs alike, but the temperature control was inconsistent, and we found the sheer amount of buttons confusing and intimidating.

NuWave Gold Precision Induction Burner ($100 on Amazon): We appreciated this single-burner’s raised buttons and lightweight design, but we’re not sure it’s durable enough for daily wear-and-tear.

When turned on, a portable induction cooktop generates a magnetic field beneath its ceramic surface via electromagnetic induction. Ferrous (iron-based) cookware is required for cooking. As the induction cooktop interacts with the iron in the cookware, electrical currents are generated, directly heating the vessel's base. This method ensures rapid and precise heating and instant temperature control. Notably, the cooktop remains cool, reducing the risk of burns, and many models include safety features such as automatic shut-off.

Because of their clever design, portable induction cooktops have a safety advantage. Unlike gas or electric cooktops, induction cooktops do not use open flames or hot surfaces. Induction cooktops are safer to use because they only heat up when they come into contact with compatible cookware. The cooktop itself also remains cool to the touch, significantly lowering the risk of accidental burns. Furthermore, many induction cooktops include features such as automatic shut-off, which adds an extra layer of safety. Still, as with any element that uses heat, you should still be aware of the basics when it comes to kitchen safety.

Portable induction cooktops are well-known for their energy efficiency, with power ratings ranging from 1,200 to 1,800 watts. The precise power consumption varies depending on the model and setting, but this range represents the most common usage spectrum. One of the primary benefits of induction cooking is its focused and direct heat generation, which reduces energy waste. Induction cooktops are often more energy-efficient than traditional electric or gas cooktops because they heat the cookware directly, resulting in faster cooking times and lower power consumption.

It’s easy to determine whether your cookware is induction-compatible: Simply grab a magnet and see if it sticks firmly to the bottom of your pots and pans. Cookware with a ferrous (iron-based) bottom is required for induction cooktops, and the magnetic attraction indicates the presence of iron. Cast iron pans are an obvious choice, but some copper cookware is also induction-compatible. Manufacturers frequently mark their products to indicate induction compatibility, and with the growing popularity of induction cooking, many cookware sets can be used on an induction range.

This article was written by Pete Scherer, a former baker and current freelance writer. He is also a devoted home—and occasionally on-the-go—chef and used his extensive knowledge combined with insights from more than 16 different portable induction cooktop tests to write this piece.

This article was edited by Katie Tuttle, a food editor and contributor to publications such as Food & Wine and The Spruce Eats.

The 5 Best Portable Induction Cooktops of 2024

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