Selecting the right cooktop for your new kitchen certainly qualifies as a dreadful dilemma. You could be confused between traditional and heavy-duty gas cooktops, streamlined radiant electric smoothtops or their cutting-edge variants popularly known as Induction cooktops. While there are respective pros and cons to each, there’s no denying to the fact that an induction cooktop is by far the safest and most convenient option for modern kitchens.
Widely renowned for their style, sleek appearance, safe operation and steadfast performance, induction cooktops have gained an irreplaceable spot in high-end kitchens. But, as with any other kitchen accessory for that matter, not all induction cooktops are created equal, the best induction cooktops will have you enticed over the countless benefits associated with them.
If you already comprehend the benefits and are set to buy an induction cooktop for your kitchen, you definitely need it to last long and serve your requirements right. That’s where you could lend a hand from reliable induction cooktop reviews. Having researched about them in great detail for over 50 hours, picking apart the claims of top-rated induction cooktops in our testing lab and flicking through countless first-hand reviews from existing users; we believe that the list we bring you today is in itself an exhaustive collection of the best 30 and 36 inch induction cooktops on the market in 2020.
Best Induction Cooktop Reviews 2020
- Fits perfectly in your existing 36 inch cutout
- Inherently easy to clean
- Seamless black smoothtop complements modern kitchen schemes
- Functional arrangement of elements; all appropriately powered
- Glass Touch Controls
- 5 hot surface indicator lights
- Requires special induction cookware
- Slight buzzing noise on long usages
If you’ve been in the market for top rated induction cooktops for a while, there’s no way you haven’t crossed paths with models form Frigidaire. Unanimously leading the kitchen and appliance industry, Frigidaire has had a rich history of producing feature-packed, sleek and functional kitchen essentials with cooktops as one of their constant assets. Induction cooktops from Frigidaire are contemporary, robust, versatile and durable, not to mention their benevolent after sales customer support totally makes them one of the best in the business.
This one is no different. With a seamless black vitroceramic glass surface, the Frigidaire FGIC3666TB is one of the sleekest 36 Inch Induction cooktops on the market. The 5 element induction cooktop comes with all the generic benefits of induction cooking. Meaning, the smoothtop itself stays cool while its transfers heat to your cookware. This, by extension, means that the cooktop is extremely easy to clean and maintain while and after cooking.
Further, the cooktop comes with a guaranteed fit. Frigidaire takes care of any modifications required to your existing 36” cutout to esure a seamless fit. Additionally, the cooking elements are powered and positioned appropriately giving you a comprehensive range of options for your busiest times in the kitchen. The central 10-inch element is the most powerful of all and has an output range of 2500/3800 induction watts.
Similarly, the left and right front burners measure 8” and are powered at 2300/3200 induction watts each. Both the rear elements of the induction cooktop are again symmetric measuring 7” and are rated at 1800/2600 induction watts. As evident, the cooktop has a truly complete range of heating elements that are powerful, safe and easy to clean. All in all, a great buy if you value aesthetics alongside relentless performance.
- Installs flush with the countertop for a seamless finish
- Bridge elements allow you to evenly heat long griddles
- Powerful central 11” element
- Smooth vitroceramic black smoothtop
- Glass touch controls with individual burner timers
- Approved for installation over single wall oven
- As with all induction cooktops, requires magnetic pans
Empava has to be among one of the most prevalent kitchen supplies brands across the states. Being one of the very few companies that manufactures unique, classy, minimalistic yet durable kitchen essentials, the brand is a go-to for most thrifty households. This 36 Inch Induction cooktop too conforms to the brand core principles.
Priced a notch lower than our top 36” induction cooktop selection form Frigidaire, this one from Empava might just hit the sweet spot for some of our readers. With a similar 5 burner configuration, the cooktop offers almost similar benefits with one clear added edge. The 15” x 8” bridge elements on either side can be used to evenly heat big pots and elongated griddles for making pancakes. Both bridge elements are essentially pairs of individual elements that can be used simultaneously to be used as one unit.
The base plate of the unit is glass ceramic; which is prone to scratches. You might have to take extra measures to prevent scratches on the cooktop. The large central element measures 11 inches and is powered for a high-heat output rated at 13000 BTUs. The pair of burners on either sides are coupled 7 and 8 inch burners with a power output of 7000 and 9000 BTUs each. The user interface is a glass-touch panel including timer settings for individual burners. Additionally, the unit comes with child lock feature and hot surface indicators.
If you have a 30 Inch cutout or a 36” induction cooktop just feels too big for your kitchen, this smaller variant might just be the perfect cooktop fitting your size and functionality requirements. The Frigidaire FPIC3095MS is a sleek 4 element induction cooktop that installs flush with your countertop or over your existing electric wall oven. With no protruding rim above the lines of your countertop, the cooktop gives your kitchen a subtle yet elegant feel. The model score A1 in terms of overall appearance.
The smoothtop’s surface is spotless black ceramic glass and provides excellent contrast in light themed kitchens. The controls are sensitive glass touch located at the front of the cooktop. The unit includes 4 hot surface indicators integrated into the cooktop’s surface.
Of the 4 elements, the 10” right front burner is rated for the highest ouput at 2500/3400 Induction watts. Coming in slightly lower, the 8” left rear burner peaks at 2300/3200 Induction watts. Sitting even lower on the power rating scale, the left front element measures 7” and is rated at 1800/2600 watts. The right rear burner is the least powerful of all and is suitable for low-heat cooking like melting chocolate or thickening sauces. The burner measures 6” and has a power output of 1450/2000 watts.
Embodying the notion of Empava kitchen essentials being reliable, functional and yet affordable, this induction cooktop stands toe-to-toe with other overpriced models. Unlike our previous selection from Empava, this one omits the bridge element feature and hence is available at a fraction of its price. The cooktop is still feature-rich with all the necessary ones in place.
The cooktop features a smooth black tempered glass surface with intuitive glass touch controls on the front of the unit. The control panel also includes a child lock setting for added safety against unsupervised operation. Adding to the features, the cooktop’s surface comes integrated with hot surface indicator lights that tell if the elements are too hot to touch. While the cooktop surface remains relatively cooler as compared to radiant electric cooktops, the surface might still retain some heat moments after the pots are taken off of the element.
The five element cooktop is divided in three categories with regards to power outputs. The central element is the largest at 11 inches and peaks at 3700 watts of heating capacity. The pair of burners on the left measure 6.5 inches each and are have a maximum hearting output of 2000 watts each. Similarly, the right pair of burners share the same configurations. Measuring 7.5 inches in diameter, both heating elements have a decent power rating of 2400 watts. The combination makes for a comprehensive permutation of heating capacities and surely will take care of your busiest cooking hours.
Looking for a really inexpensive induction cooktop or just don’t have a thing for popular branded models? Either way, you should check out this affordable 30” induction cooktop. Having a rather simple build and appearance, this one isn’t the prettiest to look at. But, unless you value aesthetics over consistent performance, the cooktop does the job.
With a smooth black cooktop surface, integrated glass-touch controls and 4 defined heating elements, the cooktop is at par with standards of other best-selling induction cooktops on this list. Further, with protection functions including child lock and auto-shutoff features, the cooktop really packs great value for this price. However, the cooktop skips on some heating power when compared to our other picks.
Of the 4 elements, the pair making the primary diagonal measure 6.3” each and can attain 1500 watts of maximum output. With 9 heating levels building up to 1500 watts, you could use the burners for anything from melting chocolate to boiling soups. The other diagonally paired couple of burners measure 7.1” in diameter and have an augmented maximum range of heating power. Being able to attain 2000 watts on the maximum setting, both burners can very well handle tasks requiring a high heat. Besides, the cooktop accompanies the general benefits of induction cooking like convenient operation and effortless cleaning.
Induction Cooktops - A Comprehensive Buying Guide
What is an Induction Cooktop?
Cooktops are used for applying heat to the base of pots and pans during meal preparations. They have been modernized by coupling new technologies that are cutting edge. Induction cooktops use electricity as a fuel type and look similar to any other ceramic cooktop highlighting distinct cooking zones. The technology following induction cooking is electromagnetic.
The electromagnetic coils are being placed beneath the cooktop surface that transfers energy into metal objects which in result generate heat. This heat is utilized in heating the cooking vessels while the cooktop itself remains cool. This not only makes the cooktop surface safer but also offers an enormous amount of cooking power. Induction cooktops can be found in 30″ and 36″ inches standard widths with 4 or five elements besides smaller 2 burner induction cooktops.
Types of Induction Cooktops
1. Portable Induction Cooktop
They mostly incorporate single element induction cooktops which means there is only one cooking zone. They are quite small and weigh just a couple of pounds. They generally have a maximum wattage of 1800W and operate at 120V. They are comparatively cheaper and it is convenient to carry them around. You can use them with other cooking units for simultaneous preparation of different meals.
We’ve reviewed some popular models while comparing with their top rivals. You may refer to it here: NuWave Portable Induction Cooktop Review.
2. Fixed Countertop Induction Cooktop
They are flat sculptured ceramic glass units that you can install permanently into your kitchen countertop. They tend to blend well with every kitchen décor and offers a modern look to your kitchen space as well. They are available in a variety of cooking zone layouts accommodating up to five elements. As they need to be installed by a professional, it can turn out to be an expensive choice for you. These cooktops may be standard or might be sometimes seen with a downdraft venting system. Both variants carry similar benefits with the latter being self sufficient for kitchen ventilation.
3. Oven Induction Cooktops
They are mostly owned by large households and restaurants as they are ideal to satisfy large amounts of cooking requirements. They are integrated with four or five cooking zones so that multiple meals can be prepared at one time. They incline towards the expensive side and need quite a large installation space as well.
Benefits of Using an Induction Cooktop
1. Streamlined Appearance
Induction cooktops are featured with sleek and elegant designs that look quite appealing and trendy. They offer a modern feel and blend well with the contemporary kitchen decors. The surface of induction cooktops is usually integrated by using stainless steel, ceramic, glass-ceramic and porcelain. These materials not only enhance the aesthetics of your kitchen countertop but offer a convenient cleaning as well. To sustain their bright and shiny look, you need to clean them periodically with the help of ideal accessories such as sponges, soft cotton cloth and solutions for cooktops to avoid unnecessary scratches and discoloration.
2. Increased Safety
Safety is one of the major concerns whenever you are looking out for the modern cooktops in the market and induction models stand out in the list. Their baseplate doesn’t get heated up at all since the heat is created in the pan itself, which is placed on the cooking zone. This safety feature makes the induction units safer for amateurs and aspiring chefs. Additionally, the pan immediately gets cool down once the dial is turned off, which makes it a lot safer as you pour your sautéed vegetables onto a serving plate.
3. Easy to Clean
Since the surface of an induction cooktop never achieves a higher temperature, so the accidental spills, crumbs and occasional boil-overs do not turn into stubborn stains. Therefore, they just call for a quick swipe of sponge using an ideal solution instead of a good long scrub. Moreover, the smooth, glass cooktop makes the cleaning procedure, even more, easier and you can simply clean it by using ideal accessories such as cleaners, sponge and a soft cotton cloth. It saves a lot of hard work that goes into cleaning stains after the meal preparations which is a nightmare for the ones who handle everyday kitchen tasks.
If you have a medium-range budget for buying a new cooktop for your kitchen space, then the induction unit is a wise choice as most of them are quite cheaper than the electric radiant cooktops. You can buy one of the top-rated induction cooktops starting from the price range of $800, featuring up to four cooking zones along with some advanced features. On the contrary, if you are looking for a portable unit, then it starts at $49 which is quite affordable.
Factors to Consider when Buying an Induction Cooktop
Size is one of the important factors to consider while purchasing a new cooktop. Also, it’s essential to pen down the dimensions if you are planning to replace your old unit as it gives you an idea of the available space on your kitchen countertop. The 30-inch induction cooktop is the standard size which is popular among the buyers. It accommodates only two burners and thus you can prepare only two dishes simultaneously.
On the contrary, the 36-inch induction cooktop is the other model which is gaining attention as it accommodates up to 4 cooking zones and hence ideal for fast meal preparation. Other than these standard sizes, more compact and portable 2-burner Induction cooktops have been gaining popularity in the recent times.
2. Portable Vs Fixed Induction Cooktop
These are the two primary domains of Induction cooktops and which of the two brings more value entirely depends on the stage of a kitchen remodel and cooking requirements. If you like to cook more often in outdoor places, then the portable option is the one that you need.
On the contrary, if you are planning to replace your old kitchen cooktop and like to cook more often within your kitchen space, then the fixed model is more suitable for you. With this, you also need to consider the cost of the installation procedure, so ensure that everything falls into your budget.
3. Specialized Cookware
Induction cooktops are compatible with only special cookware made of magnetic-based materials such as cast iron or stainless steel. Therefore, if you are planning to buy an induction unit, then you may need to replace your old cookware. This adds up a hidden cost that most buyers realize later.
But, there is a great kitchen hack which can save you several dollars. You simply need to place a magnet at the bottom of the pot which is placed on the cooktop and if it sticks to the cooktop surface, it implies that it is compatible with your induction unit.
Induction cooktops consume power, but some power-efficient models in the market are integrated with certain power management features that save money in the long run. So, make sure to examine this during the purchase or you can do a bit of online research regarding a specific unit you are planning to buy.
Most of the induction units have a power rating in the range of 1000W and 1800W at 120V or 240V. Higher power rating means less cooking time and the higher electricity cost. Moreover, many cooktops come with adjustable power levels that allow you to set the amount of heat required for a particular food item.
5. Additional Features
A. Safety Sensors
Safety sensors examine the temperature of the bottom of the cookware. This helps in case of empty cookware left on the cooking zone with power on. It automatically adjusts the power output to avoid any damage to the cookware and the cooktop.
B. Auto Pan Detection
This feature turns off the heat as soon as the cookware is removed from the cooktop. Most of the cooktops automatically shut off after 60 seconds to avoid energy wastage.
C. Auto Shutoff
It turns off the cooking zone in case of overheating of cookware or in the event of removing the pan. Moreover, they get turned off if you place any cookware which is incompatible with the unit.
D. Child Lock
This feature is crucial, especially if you have children at home. It can lock the induction unit during use while any current operation will continue. The display settings remain active while all the features and functions get locked.
Buying an induction cooktop can be slightly expensive, especially if you have an inclination towards the high-end models. Therefore, we have compiled the detailed reviews of some of the cost-efficient and top-rated induction cooktops, so that you can make a smart and an ideal selection without breaking the bank. So, it’s the time for you to open your kitchen doors to embrace a remarkably superior cooktop technology present today.