The Best Induction Cooktops, According to a Chef

On the go or at home, these professional-approved induction burners and cooktops are our favorites, with the GE Profile 36-inch Built-In Touch Control Induction Cooktop landing in our top spot.

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Thermador Masterpiece Series
Photo: Aj Madison

If you watch food or cooking shows, you'll notice that most professional chefs use gas stoves. And while that's great to get a pan ripping hot, quickly reduce a pan sauce, or wow a crowd with a huge plume of flames, a home cook's needs are much different than a professional's. Gas can be great for certain things, but new research shows that gas stoves can leak natural gas into the air even when they're not in use, not to mention the safety concerns if you have small hands in the kitchen or tend to be forgetful with your kitchen rags. Induction cooktops emerge as the obvious alternative. Raise your hand if you're team no dangerous fire in the kitchen!

Sleek and flat, the totally homogenous surface is a snap to clean, as you can just wipe it down in a few strokes—much easier than standard gas ranges says Frank Muser, manager of Goldie and Dizengoff, Philadelphia's favorite falafel and hummus hot spots. Plus, inductions cool down nearly instantly, so there's no risk of ever setting things on fire or suffering an errant burn when cleaning. Induction cooktops are also more energy-efficient and easily the most convenient of the mobile burner choices.

In determining the best induction burners, I considered a number of factors including temperature control, smart features, size, and durability—plus, my own hands-on experience as a long-time restaurant cook and avid home cook. Whether you're looking for a brand new, built-in induction range or a portable induction burner, there's something for every budget and lifestyle on our list, starting with our top choice, the GE Profile 36-inch with built-in touch control.

Our Favorites

Best Overall: GE Profile 36-Inch Built-In Touch Control Induction Cooktop

GE Profile Profile 36 in. Electric Induction Cooktop in Black with 5 Elements and Exact Fit
Home Depot

Also available at AJ Madison.

Why It's Great

  • Multiple burner sizes
  • Range of temperature settings
  • Combined heating capabilities
  • Multiple timers

Grain of Salt

  • Expensive
  • Larger size

If you're looking for the Swiss Army cooktop, look no further. This is a beginner-friendly cooktop that can match the skill of even the most seasoned home chef. Customers rave over how lightning fast the burners are to heat up. But, possibly, more importantly, the GE Profile (model PHP9036SJSS) can easily maintain lower temperatures for things like simmering, warming, or just performing more delicate tasks like browning butter. Plus, the largest burner is a staggering 11 inches, big enough for even enameled cast iron Dutch ovens.

The sync burner feature allows you to combine burners and control both at the same time for precise heating across larger cookware like a grill pan or griddle. If you're someone who often cooks for a crowd, this is a handy feature because it increases the size of the cookware you can use. This cooktop also features a pan sensor that detects the size and shape of your cookware so the elements only heat to the size you need.

Since this is a built-in cooktop, it needs to be installed. While the large size is great for whipping up nearly anything, it does mean that the size may not fit in some kitchens. Or, that installation will be more difficult because more cutting may be necessary. On top of the already high cost, this means the GE Profile is a more expensive choice.

The Details: Built-in; four burners; 36 by 19 inches; 1,800 to 3,700 W power

Best Budget: iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop

iSiLER 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop

Also available at Wayfair.

Why It's Great

  • Low price
  • Easy-to-use control panel
  • Lightweight

Grain of Salt

  • Erratic temperature
  • Small heating area and not many presets

If getting the best bang for your buck is at the top of your list, the iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop is the burner for you. At under $60, this burner doesn't have some of the extra bells and whistles, but it gets the job done. It boasts 20 preset power levels ranging from 100 to 1800 W, and 20 preset temperatures between 100 and 460 degrees. Additionally, there are two preset buttons, one for boiling water and a "keep warm" feature. Like many burners on this list, it also has a child lock. This burner's lightweight design and unfussy buttons make it easy to use and even easier to take on the go.

Unfortunately, the dimensions make this burner relatively bulky with what feels like wasted space, given the smaller than average heating area. Larger pans may overtake the area of the heating element, leading to uneven cooking. Even so, this model still made the list for its no-nonsense user interface and unbeatable price tag.

The Details: Portable; single burner; 11.6 by 14.2 inches; 100 to 1800 W power

Best Portable: Duxtop 9600LS Induction Cooktop

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

Why It's Great

  • Lightweight and easy to move around
  • Variety of power and temperature settings
  • Maintains even heat

Grain of Salt

  • Loud
  • Sensitive temperature control

The Duxtop 9600LS has the sleek design and high-end feel of a luxury built-in induction cooktop with the advantage of portability. The lightweight body makes it easy to take this burner on the go. There's a mode for every task with 20 temperatures and 20 power presets. The sophisticated heating element maintains incredibly even heat, making tasks like getting a good, hard sear on a steak in a cast iron pan a breeze. The heating area is a whopping 8 inches wide, so it's easy to accommodate larger pans. This is my go-to burner for any on-location cooking I've done in restaurants in the past.

Like all induction burners, there is a light, high-pitched whining sound at high temperatures or power modes, though many customers report that this sound is especially loud with this model. One of the significant benefits of this model is the incredibly even heat across many different temperatures and power presets, though this means that the temperature settings are extremely sensitive. This can be a major bummer if you're trying to increase the power slightly and end up going too far and burning your food. If portability and consistent, even heat are a priority for you, this burner is a great choice; just make sure to keep an eye on the finicky temperature and power controls.

The Details: Portable; single burner; 14 by 11.5 inches; 100 to 1800 W power

"This is my go-to burner for any on-location cooking I've done in restaurants in the past."

Best Double: Cuisinart ICT-60 Double Induction Cooktop

Cuisinart Double Induction Cooktop
Williams Sonoma

Also available at Amazon.

Why It's Great

  • Two burners with individual controls
  • Inexpensive
  • Portable
  • Auto shut off

Grain of Salt

  • Can't combine burners
  • Minimal heat settings
  • Large footprint

For those looking to increase the number of burners in their kitchen or have a big job to do on the go, the Cuisinart ICT60 fits the bill. This portable induction cooktop features two burners. One side is a bit larger and has eight preset temperature settings, while the smaller side has five.

Depending on your needs, this burner is excellent for mixing tasks. I love to use a double burner like this with two different sizes and strengths for making pasta. The large side is great for bringing a big pot of water to a boil quickly, while the right side is perfect for bringing the pasta together with a pan sauce. The smaller burner is ideal for things like delicate butter sauces or keeping things prone to breaking, like hollandaise, warm without overheating and ruining them.

If your to-do list involves more tasks like building a pan gravy from the drippings in a large roasting pan or using a grill pan in lieu of the classic barbecue, this might not be the burner for you. The two burners can't really be combined, and their disparate sizes mean uneven heating and cooking across a surface that spans them both. Another thing to consider is this burner's footprint. This one is bulkier than most, even for a double burner, so if a small space is what you're working with, this burner might not be the best choice.

The Details: Portable; double burner; 14.25 by 21.5 inches; 1800 W power

Best Splurge: Thermador CIT30XWBB Masterpiece 30-inch Induction Smart Cooktop

Thermador Masterpiece Series CIT30XWBB 30 Inch Induction Smart Cooktop
Best Buy

Why It's Great:

  • Entire surface is usable
  • Cookware detection feature
  • Power booster
  • Wi-Fi connectivity to app

Grain of Salt:

  • Expensive
  • Difficult to use Smart features
  • Extra large

If you're looking for the best of the best, look no further than the Thermador CIT30XWBB. Really, what can't it do? The biggest selling point of this incredibly unique burner is that every centimeter of the nearly 660-square-inch surface is a usable heating area; you can heat a whopping five pieces of cookware at a time. Rather than being beholden to the traditional parameters of circular burners, the world is your burner! This is great when you're cooking for a holiday or just working on a meal with multiple components. Gone are the days of accidentally drying out mashed potatoes in the oven while trying to keep them warm when there's no more room on the cooktop.

The Thermador CIT30XWBB boasts a laundry list of luxury and smart features. One of the most user-friendly is its cookware detection feature. This means that the burner automatically detects the size and shape of whatever is in contact with the surface, and once you set the temperature, it follows the pan as you move it around the cooking surface. And if you need to bring that pot of water to a boil in a hurry, you can use the Power Boost feature to zap even more power to the heating area.

Additionally, Thermador sells companion temperature sensors that can be plopped right into the pot and programmed to communicate with the cooktop to bring food to a certain temperature and prevent over or undercooking. This cooktop also has wi-fi connectivity to an app that can connect to an accompanying hood. This means you can adjust controls like temperature, power setting, timers or even lighting if you have the hood installed while away from the kitchen.

If you don't have much experience using more sophisticated smart features on kitchen gadgets, the Thermador's many features may be difficult to use. Some home cooks have described these features as not intuitive, so it might take a while to get the hang of all that this cooktop offers. Moreover, for such a high price tag, some might not find the investment worth the time spent on figuring out all the hyper-specific features.

The Details: Built-in; has smart features; multiple burners; 31 by 21.25 inches; 3,500 to 5,500 W power

Our Takeaway

If you're looking for the sweet spot between smart features but not a top-of-the-line price to replace the range in your home kitchen, the GE Profile 36-inch Built-In Touch Control Induction Cooktop is the answer. It's our all-around favorite, hitting all the marks on temperature control, smart features, size, durability, and the list goes on. If portability is the name of the game for you, look no further than the Duxtop 9600LS. This is the one I have used time and time again in professional restaurant settings. This burner is a favorite among professional chefs and home cooks alike for its lightweight design and reliable heat.

How to Pick the Right Induction Burner

Portable vs. Built-in

When shopping for an induction cooktop, the first question you need to ask yourself is: Do you want a portable burner, or are you looking for a built-in option? For built-in models, you'll need to consider the dimensions of the space you have and if cutting out more if necessary is an option. Additionally, for cooktops like our luxury pick, the Thermador CIT30XWBB Masterpiece, there might be accompanying hoods or other technology that could be purchased as well.

For portable options, you might be looking for an extra burner or two for your home kitchen or something that can be used on the go in a setting where there isn't a traditional stove available. For these types, it's helpful to know how much space you have so you can choose the burner with a suitable sized footprint. If on-the-go cooking is your highest priority, picking a more lightweight model will increase portability.

Heating Capabilities

If you're mostly doing tasks like boiling big pots of water or making large portions of soup, you'll want a burner with a high heat capacity that can hold its heat steadily for long periods. For more meticulous tasks like sauteing or even sugar work, you'll be better off reaching for a model with more temperature settings to achieve more precise heat control. Francesco Elia, of Philadelphia's acclaimed Lark run by a James Beard Award finalist Nick Elmi, is a line cook, so he spends most of his time working on savory foods but says he often turns to portable induction burners for pastry. "Meringues, gels, or anything sugar-based. They heat more evenly than gas."

Common Questions

How do I clean an induction cooktop?

Many commercially made products on the market are made especially for cleaning induction cooktops, so grabbing one of those is a convenient choice. If you don't happen to have any on hand, a wet, soft sponge with a dab of dish soap is great for a quick wipe down. A damp kitchen towel or paper towel dipped in white vinegar will get the job done for stains or anything a bit more stubborn. Just make sure to avoid anything abrasive like scrubbies or cleaners with grit. Try a razor scraper for tough, cooked-on messes instead of the classic abrasive products.

How do induction cooktops work?

Induction cooktops contain a type of copper internal heating element that brings up the temperature through electromagnetic waves. This means that the heat is channeled directly into the cookware and is not absorbed by the appliance, which is highly energy-efficient compared to electric or gas stoves. It also means that the cookware holds heat more evenly and for longer. This is all encased in a glass panel that makes a smooth and flat surface for the cookware.

Do I need special pans?

It's true that only certain types of pans work on induction burners, but the good news is that you probably already have them in your kitchen. Since induction burners work through electromagnetic waves, the pots used need to be magnetic. The best cookware for induction is stainless steel and iron. This includes cast iron skillets and aluminum-clad cookware.

Unfortunately, regular aluminum cookware is incompatible, as is copper, clay, and glass cookware. Some retailers manufacture cookware made of incompatible materials, like copper, but adhere a stainless steel plate to the bottom, making it induction ready. There is no safety concern with using incompatible pans, they just won't activate the magnet, and thus, the induction cooktop won't heat up. If you're unsure of the material of your cookware or want to know if your cookware is made with the induction-friendly plate on the bottom, simply place the pot onto the surface and see if the cooktop recognizes it.

Will my recipes and cook times be the same?

Overall, most recipes will be unaffected. One of the many advantages of induction cooking is that they heat much faster than gas or electric stovetops, so things like boiling water or heating up pans to saute will happen much more quickly, but with temperature control and heat settings, you can set the burner to whatever suits your needs and proceed like normal.

Are induction cooktops as durable as gas or electric?

It may seem counterintuitive based on everything we know about glass, but induction cooktops are actually comparably durable to their gas and electric counterparts. The glass coating is meant to withstand the normal wear and tear of daily cooking. One thing to watch out for, though, is scratches. Beware of anything abrasive, whether it be on cookware or in cleaning processes. Scratches aren't the end of the world, though. Generally, they don't affect the function of the burner in the short term but may lead to damage that warrants replacing in the future.

Why Take Our Word for It?

Nick DeSimone wrote and compiled this piece. A long-time restaurant cook and avid home cook, Nick has spent most of the last decade working in restaurant kitchens learning the minutiae of professional cooking on a large scale. During this time, they have gleaned the best restaurant kitchen tips and tricks, learning what does, and more importantly, what does not work in a home kitchen setting. Nick has spent time in savory and pastry environments across many different types of cuisines. Through many years of recipe development and testing, Nick has done the trial and error legwork of testing everything from kitchen equipment to specialty ingredients.

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