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If you’re designing a new kitchen from scratch or want to swap out an outdated electric range for a newer, faster model, you're on the right track considering the newest and flashiest kind of cooktop: induction. These sleek and seamless stoves are powered by electricity but conduct heat via an electromagnetic field. The heat transfer is much faster and more efficient, which speeds up your cooking process meaningfully and reduces ambient heat loss. Of course, there are many things to consider.
"When selecting a new range or cooktop, performance is critical," says Kerrie Kelly, creative director at the Kerrie Kelly Design Lab. "A high wattage allows for commercial-grade cooking performance, while a low wattage turndown allows for a perfect, even simmer. You want something that will be easy to clean and aesthetically pleasing for years to come. And, of course, color and finish options are very important for choosing the ideal piece to suit your unique kitchen style."
With Kerrie's advice in mind, I researched the top induction cooktops. If you're looking for a 30-inch cooktop, the Frigidaire FFIC3026TB Electric Induction Smoothtop Style Cooktop is my top choice. For larger 5-element 36-inch cooktops, I really like the GE Profile PHP9036DJBB 36-Inch Induction Cooktop.
Whether you're on a budget or ready to splurge, here are the best induction cooktops.
Best Overall, 30-Inch: Frigidaire FFIC3026TB Electric Induction Smoothtop Style Cooktop
What We Love: Technology to automatically pan detect pan size, precise temperature, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: Center element is only 10 inches
This super powerful 4-elements induction cooktop from Frigidaire has the must-need features without breaking the bank. The feature I find the most useful is that induction elements can detect the size of your cookware, which limits ambient heat loss and keeps the exposed cooking surface cool and safer.
Of the four cooking zones, the center 10-inch element packs a maximum power of 2500 watts to heat food at a lightning-fast rate. And for lower and slower cooking, the True Temp Melt and Hold settings maintain a gentle low temperature without burning. There's a built-in timer to help you keep track of what you're cooking, and this can be installed above a compatible electric oven. The burners do light up with red when they’re hot, a clear visual clue to stay clear, while everywhere else on the cooktop stays cool.
Dimensions: 30.6 x 21.5 x 4.4 inches | Max Power Level: 2500 watts | Number of Elements: 4
Best Overall, 36-Inch: GE Profile PHP9036DJBB 36-Inch Induction Cooktop
What We Love: Powerful 11-inch power boil element, single "All Off" button, two burners can synchronize, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: Pricey
This spacious 36-inch cooktop has five unique heating zones, including a large 11-inch center element that reaches 3700 watts for super-fast boiling. The left-hand side front and back heating elements, 7-inch and 8-inch respectively, have a handy sync function so they can operate as a single continuous burner for a stovetop griddle or large rectangular pan. All five zones automatically detect your pan's size and turn off when the pan has been removed.
For safety, this GE Profile cooktop has a hot surface indicator light, an all-off function, and a lock. It’s controlled with a sleek touch panel for a fully smooth look and easy-to-operate cooking experience. Plus, GE guarantees its cooktops are made to fit your space, or GE will help pay for your modifications.
Dimensions: 36.1 x 20.5 x 4.6 inch | Max Power Level: 3700 watts | Number of Elements: 5
Best Budget: Empava EMPV-IDC30 30-inch Induction Cooktop
What We Love: Hot surface indicator, child lock, 2-year warranty
What We Don't Love: Not ADA compliant
Despite its wallet-friendly price tag, this Empava 4-burner cooktop packs plenty of power and useful features. The largest 10-inch burner is powered by 2700 watts of electricity, with the other three burners ranging from 6 to 8 inches and at least 1800 watts. Speaking of sizes, the cooktop can detect the diameter of your cookware so it only heats as much of the burner as is necessary to avoid heat loss and a potential safety hazard.
All of the elements have 9 heat settings from the gentle simmer and melt, to "performance boost" for when you need water to rapidly boil. Despite its price, this has a lot of safety features. The cooktop has a lockout feature and auto-off for child safety. But it also has an "H" setting for when an element is too hot to touch, even if there's no cookware atop. Empava backs its stoves with a 2-year warranty, longer than most induction manufacturers.
Dimensions: 30 x 21 x 2.12 inch | Max Power Level: 2700 watts | Number of Elements: 4
Best Smart: Samsung NZ30K7880US 30-Inch Induction Cooktop
What We Love: Virtual flame indicates heat level, flex burner offers more versatility, ADA compliant
What We Don't Love: Expensive
Harness all of the power of this mighty induction cooktop from anywhere in your home with a Bluetooth connection. All you need is a smartphone to monitor the cooktop, check that you turned the burner off from the dining table, turn on your range hood, or sync your cooktop with your fan. But this Samsung cooktop has another very useful feature.
"When it comes to choosing, gas, electric, or induction, it certainly depends on what your priorities are," says Kelly. "Induction is more efficient and environmentally friendly than gas, but gas ranges offer the intuitive visual of a flame, and tend to have more of a traditional look for a kitchen." If you find yourself missing that visual, this cooktop might be for you. Both the 11-inch center element and 6-inch right element have LED lighting resembling a virtual flame that mirrors the heat level. This way you can easily see what element is on and how high the heat is.
The smart cooktop also has two 1800-watt square elements that can operate as one continuous "Flex Zone" burner, for four elements total. With the controls operable by swiping or with a magnetic dial, all the elements have 15 unique heat settings, including a power boost level, for highly precise cooking. There are even simmer and melt modes, the latter maintaining a low and slow temperature for delicate ingredients like chocolate and butter.
Dimensions: 30 x 21.25 x 4 inches | Max Power Level: 3600 watts | Number of Elements: 4
Best Splurge: Café CHP95362MSS 36-inch Smart Induction Cooktop
What We Love: Powerful largest element, 5 individual timers, control mode for precise temperature
What We Don't Love: Proprietary app doesn't have many functions
For a sleek and gleaming stovetop that will match most modern kitchen decor, you can’t go wrong with this high-performing induction 36-inch option from Cafe that comes in a stylish gray finish. It has five powerful elements in various sizes, including a large center 3700-watt burner with power boil technology. It claims that it will bring a quart of water to boil in less than 2 minutes. On the left side of the cooktop, the two 7-inch burners can sync to become one large, continuous cooking surface.
This cooktop's special features include the control mode that lets users dial into a specific temperature, accurate to within one degree Fahrenheit, to maintain an even cooking temperature. Additionally, a separate time can be set for each element, a function that will come in handy during big holiday dinners or weekend meal prep. This cooktop is also able to connect to your home Wi-Fi and is compatible with Hestan Cue Smart Cookware. Lastly, a control lock gives parents an added safety mechanism that prevents burners from being accidentally turned on.
Dimensions: 36 x 20.4 x 4.6 inches | Max Power Level: 3700 watts | Number of Elements: 5
If you're looking for a 30-inch cooktop, the Frigidaire FFIC3026TB Electric Induction Smoothtop Style Cooktop has everything you need at an affordable price. But if you're looking for truly futuristic cooking, the Samsung NZ30K7880US 30-Inch Induction Cooktop will be a welcome addition to any smart kitchen.
How We Selected
To narrow down the best induction cooktops, our writer Lizzy Briskin consulted a kitchen appliance expert and performed in-depth product research and testing. She then considered important specs such as range size and the number of burners, price point, high-tech features, and durability. She also interviewed kitchen designer and appliance expert Kerrie Kelly for insight on how to select the best induction cooktops for every kind of kitchen and home cook.
What to Look for When Buying an Induction Cooktop
Features and Settings
There are a few handy features that many induction cooktops are now equipped with. Many have child lock features and a built-in auto-off. These add a considerable level of safety so you don’t have to worry about leaving an element on when you’re out of the house. Other features to look for include flex space, in which two or more burners can be synced to create one larger cooking zone. Even more advanced models have Wi-Fi compatibility, which allows you to connect with and control your stove while in another room.
The higher the wattage, the faster your food will reach high temperatures. This is handy for things like boiling water—in some cases, you can reach a boil on induction in half the time it takes on a gas stove. However, high wattage can also mean your food burns more easily, so be wary of cranking the burner up to the highest setting every time. That being said, the induction cooktops on this list have wide temperature ranges. Some even have melt settings that maintain a steady low temperature without burning. In general, the larger the wattage scale, the more versatile your stove will be.
Compared to electric and gas stovetops, induction surfaces are much easier to maintain. There are no food-trapping grates to maneuver around for one thing. Plus, because the heat is confined only to the heating element, food is much less likely to become cooked and hardened onto your stove. Still, the best way to keep your cooking surface clean is to wipe up spills right away with a soft, damp towel. For a more thorough clean, you’ll want to be gentle as harsh sponges or steel wool can damage the ceramic in your cooktop. Use an induction-specific cleanser or a one-to-one solution of white vinegar and baking soda to remove stuck-on messes with a soft cloth.
How can you tell the difference between electrical and induction cooktops?
At first glance, most induction cooktops are indistinguishable from electric (at least the kind without coils). The cooking surface is smooth, continuous, and has round heating elements controlled by a touch screen or set of dials. However, once you start cooking, the differences become apparent. For starters, induction stovetops will not heat up without iron-containing magnetic pots or pans. Secondly, the heat transfer happens much more rapidly on an induction surface than on an electric one. In addition, only the burner gets hot on an induction surface. There is very-little-to-no residual heat that escapes and makes the rest of the stovetop hot.
Can you use cast iron on induction cooktops?
Yes, cast-iron cookware is compatible with induction cooktops. That includes higher-end enamel-coated cast iron cookware. The best way to tell if cookware will work on an induction cooktop is to place a magnet against the bottom. If it sticks, you should be good to go!
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We thoroughly research the top products on the market to identify the best tools, appliances, and gadgets for home cooks. From tried-and-true brands to up-and-coming newcomers worth paying attention to, we stay in the loop about all things kitchen-related so you never miss a bite.
Lizzy Briskin, a chef, food writer, and recipe developer thoroughly researched all of the products on this list with an eye toward important features, value, and customer reviews.
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