Induction cookers are gaining quite a bit of popularity in kitchens all over the world, mainly because of their efficiency, speed, and clean operation. Not to mention the fact that they only heat the vessel instead of the countertop or cooking top. You can actually put your hand on the ceramic cooking top on an induction cooker, and it will feel cold as room temperature even though the bowl of soup placed on the plate will be boiling hot. Here are our four top picks when it comes to single burner induction cooktops. Choose the one that has sufficient presets for whatever you plan to cook, and fits into your budget. Each one has its strengths and weaknesses, so best to get one that meets your specific requirements.
Secura Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
The 8100MC is the most well balanced single-burner induction cooktop that we could find. It impressed us with its maximum heating power of 1800W, as well as the amazingly easy to use control panel. There are 10 temperature levels (140F to 460F) along with 10 power level presets (200 to 1800 W). The buttons are located on a well positioned slanted front control panel, and the LCD readout shows the temperature, timer, and power. Right next to the LCD display, you have the plus and minus buttons for increasing and decreasing temperature respectively.
The powerful electronic magnet allows this cooktop to respond instantly to any temperature shift commands, and you will be able to monitor the actual temperature by watching the LCD screen which is constantly updated by the sensor array underneath the top plate. There is an auto-shutoff feature that instantly switches off the cooker if no pan is detected on the top for more than 60 seconds. It also comes with a low and high voltage warning system.
STAR BUDGET PICK
NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop
If you want a super affordable and really compact single burner induction cooktop, then you MUST take a look at the NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop 2 (PIC2). Despite being so cheap, it can achieve temperatures as high as 575F, with a minimum heating temperature of 100F. The shape is very compact, and resembles a slightly thick Frisbee. The control panel is easy to operate and is equipped with a backlit LCD display that shows temperature, timer readings, etc.
There are buttons for various pre-programmed cooking modes such as boil, simmer, fry, stir-fry, sauté, steam, sear, and slow cook. You can even barbecue and grill on it, and it claims to use 70% less energy than gas or electric stoves with similar heating power. The PIC2 comes with automatic shut-off as well as pan detection. You can program the PIC2 to carry out multiple cooking sequences, and the temperature can be adjusted in 10 degree increments from the base temp of 100F, all the way up to 570F.
Duxtop Portable Sensor Touch Induction Cooktop
The 8300ST from Duxtop is basically the big brother of our top pick, the 8100MC. Just like the 8100MC, this particular single burner induction countertop also features a maximum heating power of 1800W. The biggest difference between these two is the new and improved control panel on the 8300ST. Unlike the 8100MC which features a conventional button based control panel, the 8300ST has an illuminated touch sensing control panel located right on the cooking top itself.
The cooking top plate is very attractive with a polished black finish that is incredibly easy to wipe clean, and the controls are located towards the base of the plate. The entire bottom section acts as an illuminated touchscreen display, with options to select cooking preset, temperatures, set timers, etc. You can change the temperature in 10F intervals, from 140F all the way up to 460F. This ETL approved induction cooktop also features a lock function, low and high voltage warning, as well as pan detection and auto-shutoff.
Duxtop LCD Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
Okay, here we have yet another induction cooktop from Duxtop. No, it’s not because we are being paid by them, but there simply is no other competitor out there that offers better features than Duxtop at this price point. They are simply miles ahead of the competition when it comes to making quality single burner induction cooktops. Just take a look at any single burner induction cooktop review on the internet and you’ll get an idea of what we mean.
The 9600LS is the costliest induction cooktop on this list, and is the also the most powerful model on our list. The reason this could not be our top pick is the diminishing returns that you get with increasing price points. The price to performance ratio of the 9600LS is not as amazing as the 8100MC, but it sure packs some really awesome features that you will love. There is a front control panel with both touch and button controls, and the blue backlit LCD display looks very good in low light.
The matte finished dark grey top fits in perfectly with any kitchen décor and the safety lock key allows you to lock the device within seconds. Temperature can be varied in 1 degree increments between 100F and 460F, and there are 20 preset temperature ranges, that you can easily select from the control panel. The maximum heating power is 1800W, and there are several cooking presets that you can reprogram and customize.
Choosing The Best Single Burner Induction Cooktop
The trick to an induction burner is magnetic induction. By using the power of a special high frequency oscillator, large magnetic coil, and some pretty impressive magnetic field manipulation circuits, the induction cooker envelops the cookware placed on the top plate inside a powerful high frequency magnetic field. The cookware must be magnetic itself, made from a ferrous substance, or at least have a ferrous base. The more magnetic the material of the bowl or pot, the faster it will heat up. The best cookware materials for induction cookers happen to be iron, iron alloys, and certain varieties of stainless steel.
Modern induction cookers are capable of cooking food at insanely fast rates, since they transfer all of the energy straight to the vessel, instead of dissipating heat into the surroundings. This increases efficiency and reduces your cooking times by up to 50 percent. Not to mention the fact that you won’t need to be wary of accidentally burning your fingers by touching the top plate. Also, just like a gas stove, the heat is delivered to the vessel instantly, and whenever you make a change in the temperature from the digital console, it is reflected immediately in the vessel. There is no delay for changing the temperature like with an electric coil based heater.
So how do you select the perfect single burner induction cooker for yourself? Basically, if you plan on buying a single burner induction cooktop then you should not focus too much on the tech specifications. Instead look at the radius of the cooking area, the material of the cooktop plate, and the quality of the cooling system inside (A better quality cooling system equals less noise). You will also have to consider the number of safety features implemented in the cooker, such as auto-shutoff, child safety lock, temperature alarms, anti-spill, etc. Make sure that the top plate is made from a material that is easy to clean, so that you can conveniently wipe off all the stains and spills after you are done with cooking. Presets, timers, temperature controls, etc. are all factors to be considered.