Induction Pros

Induction Pros

Budget Portable Induction Cooktops

Frying pan on induction cooktop

If you are looking for an energy efficient, quick and precise way of preparing delicious food, induction cookers are an affordable option.  The most popular induction cooktops are the portable freestanding ones that have one or two burners.  These devices vary in temperature and power levels, safety features, design, and cooking surface dimensions.  

How Induction Cooking Works

Conventional electric or gas stoves distribute heat differently than induction cooktops.  Food is heated on standard ovens when an open flame or a hot surface comes into contact with the bottom of the cooking vessel. Whereas with induction technology, the cooking vessel generates the heat.  This type of cooktop contains a ceramic plate with a coil underneath it. When the unit is turned on, an electric current passes through the coil producing a magnetic field.  Electric currents are then generated in the vessel's metal when an induction ready pot or pan is placed on the cooktop.  The surface is then heated, with the heat being transferred to the pot or pan containing the food or liquid.

Chef's Star 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop

Chef's Star 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner - 120V / 60Hz - Black

The Chef's Star 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner - 120V / 60Hz - Black is a portable kitchen appliance that has many positive attributes and is reasonably priced.

Chef's Star 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner - 120V / 60Hz - Black
  • 15 power levels ( 200 - 1800 Watts ) | 15 temperature settings ( 140 Degrees Fahrenheit to 465 Degree Fahrenheit )
  • Digital control panel | Built-in count-down digital timer ( 1 min increments up to 2 hours and 59 minutes )
  • Compatible with induction ready cookware ( cast aluminum enameled iron and steel | stainless steel with a magnetic bottom | or cast iron )
  • Safety features include being equipped with pan detection system and diagnostic error message system
  • 120V / 60Hz AC / ETL & FCC approved | 1 Year Warranty

Advantages

The Chef’s Star 1800W induction burner is reasonably priced and has a wide range of settings and many useful design features. It offers 15 power level and 15 temperature settings, allowing the food to be cooked in a precise manner. The digital control panel with LED, displays the power level and temperature (one at a time). The countdown timer is helpful to people who prefer to multi-task in the kitchen or are more comfortable setting a timer and knowing the unit will shut off when the time is up. A safety feature of this unit is that it will only operate if a pot or pan is on the cooktop.

In terms of design, this device is compact and lightweight, making handling easy.  Another nice feature is that the fan can circulate air to the magnetic coils due to the four small legs that are attached to the bottom of the unit. This prevents the coils from overheating.

This affordable and well-designed unit can be used for many cooking activities including frying, boiling eggs, making soup or stew or braising. It has more temperature and power controls than the other two cooktops we reviewed for this article.

Disadvantages

One complaint about this unit is that the display goes back to default when the temperature or wattage settings are changed.

Rosewill RHAI-16001 1800W Induction Cooker Cooktop with Stainless Steel Pot

Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10' 3.5 Qt 18-8 Stainless Steel Pot, Gold, RHAI-16001

The Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10" 3.5 Qt 18-8 Stainless Steel Pot, Gold, RHAI-16001 is a user-friendly unit packed with features for individuals who want to cook meals efficiently and precisely. A stainless-steel pot and removable lid are included with this cooker.

Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10" 3.5 Qt 18-8 Stainless Steel Pot, Gold, RHAI-16001
  • Polished A-grade Crystal Plate Surface; LED Large Screen Display, 4 digits; Built-in Digital 3-Hour Timer setting; Touch Control Panel
  • 8 Power levels from 300 to 1800 Watts: 300w, 500w, 700w, 1000w, 1200w, 1400w, 1600w, 1800w
  • 8 Temperature Settings from 150 to 450 °: 150 °, 200 °, 260 °, 300 °, 350 °, 400 °, 425 °, 450 °
  • New plate top pattern design; Included 18-8 10" 3.5 Qt Stainless Steel Pot
  • Cookware Suitability Detection, Overheating Protection function

Advantages

The Rosewill 1800 Watt Induction Cooker Cooktop , Included 10" 3.5 Qt 18-8 Stainless Steel Pot, Gold, RHAI-16001 has eight power levels and eight temperature settings.  The temperature range is 150°F-450 °F.  The power range is 300-1800 Watts.  

In addition, this unit has a lock function that prevents the device from being accidentally turned on and an automatic shut off feature that turns the unit off when it senses overheating.  It is also equipped with a cookware detection that determines whether the cooking vessel placed on the cooktop will work with the unit. This prevents your pots and pans from being damaged thus saving money and aggravation.   

This induction cooktop comes with a stainless steel (18/10) 10 inch pot with a capacity of 3.5 quart. In terms of aesthetics, it is an elegantly designed device with a polished crystal cooking surface.

Disadvantages

Three drawbacks of the RHAI-16001 have been noted.  First, the pot that comes with it is thin. Second, the temperature increments are large.  Third, since the settings are all pre-programmed there is little flexibility in terms of temperature control.

Upgraded 2018 NutriChef Electric Burner Induction Cooker

Upgraded 2018 NutriChef Electric Burner Induction Cooker, Single Digital Portable cooktop Countertop stove Burner w/Kids Safety Lock - Made For Magnetic & Cast Iron  Pots - 120V  PKSTIND24

Pyle USA, the parent company of NutriChef, manufactures electronics and technology products. Their Upgraded 2018 NutriChef Electric Burner Induction Cooker, Single Digital Portable cooktop Countertop stove Burner w/Kids Safety Lock - Made For Magnetic & Cast Iron Pots - 120V PKSTIND24 has a tablet-like surface with an Digital LCD Display Screen. This interface allows you to monitor, the timer, temperature and power consumption. It is like most other portable induction cookers in that it has a variety of power and temperature levels, is easy to clean and is user-friendly.  

I was impressed with Pyle USA's customer service.  I emailed a list of questions and received a prompt reply. Their employee was clearly familiar with the unit and didn't merely rely on a user manual.

Upgraded 2018 NutriChef Electric Burner Induction Cooker, Single Digital Portable cooktop Countertop stove Burner w/Kids Safety Lock - Made For Magnetic & Cast Iron Pots - 120V PKSTIND24
  • DIGITAL CONTROL PANEL: This Professional Digital Countertop Induction Cooker electric burner Cooktop is equipped with a Digital LCD Display Screen so you can easily monitor the timer, temperature, power consumption, & local voltage of the burner
  • MANUAL CONTROL: You can manually control the power & temp levels of this kitchen tabletop burner. There are 10 power levels from 100 to 1500 Watt & 10 temperature levels from 140 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit to choose from for the single electric burner
  • SAFE COOKING: With the induction single burner is made to cook with magnetic pans or pan materials.Induction hob, it's the pan itself that generates the hea.with a Built in Child Safety Lock protects the little ones from injuries such as scalding
  • ENERGY EFFICIENT: This heavy duty 120v Electric Induction cooktop cooks food by using electromagnets so no heat is lost between the cooking surface & the pot which makes it highly energy-efficient & it also makes cooking a lot easier & faster
  • COMPACT & VERSATILE: This 5.9 inch portable single burner is compatible with steel, cast iron, enameled iron, stainless steel, flat bottom pan or pot with a diameter of 12 to 26 cm. This product is also lightweight & compact, great for home / outdoor cooking & its flat nonstick glass ceramic surface makes cleaning easy

Additional Product Facts

  • Power levels in Watts: 100, 200, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500.
  • Temperature settings in Fahrenheit: 140, 212, 250, 280, 310, 340, 370, 400, 430, 460.
  • Timer can be set up to 4 hours in one minute increments.
  • Ceramic tempered glass surface
  • Total unit size:  (L x W x H):  11.4" x 14.2" x 1.9"
  • Accommodates pots and pans w/ diameter of 4.7” to 10".
  • If cookware that is NOT induction compatible is placed on the cooktop, the unit will NOT automatically shutoff.  It will beep, alerting you the cookware will not work.
  • When cookware is removed from the cooktop surface, the unit will beep. 
  • The fan sound is comparable to a computer fan (per Pyle USA customer service).
  • Power cord length 4’9”

Advantages

  • Child Safety Lock
  • Straightforward control panel
  • ETL approved
  • FCC Part 18 Compliant
  • Prompt and informative customer service

Disadvantages

  • Maximum wattage is 1500W
  • Unit will not shut off if the voltage is too low or too high

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