What would you need an induction cooktop for? Well, the main selling points are that it can cook much faster than a traditional cooker, more efficiently, and it can stay cool to the touch.
These cookers work by creating a magnetic field, which then makes your cookware produce heat. Magnetic field is doesn't emit the heat by itself, hence the induction cooktop can remain cool to the touch.
The main advantage is that it can cook very fast, also any adjustments in temperature are provided instantly, just like with cooking on gas.
Since the induction cooker doesn't get hot by itself, but only when there is some cookware on top of it, it means you can usually leave it on without worrying about wasted energy or safety hazard.
One downside to induction cooking is that your cookware has to be appropriate, with a ferrous bottom to help generate the heat. That frequently means you will need to invest in some new pans and pots, unless they are suitable already. To test whether your cookware is induction-safe, you can simply stick a magnet to the bottom. If it doesn't fall off and sticks firmly, it means your pot or pan can be used for induction cooking.
There are several things to look for when shopping for an induction cooker, that will increase safety and efficiency of your cooking.
These shows you weather the power is on, or was on and cooking, but the surface is still hot after cooking.
This feature is present in most induction cooktops today. It basically means that when the heating element gets too hot, it will automatically be turned off or down. That normally happens when, for example, you remove a pot from a working cooktop.
The sensor controls how hot the cookware gets. For examle, if you leave an empty pot on the cooker, it will automatically turn the power down to prevent any damage to the pot or the cooker itself.
It's always good to have one, even though induction cooktops are usually much safer than gas or radiant cookers. (at least when there is no cookware left on them)
If there is a spill on the cooktop, with overflow protection it will power off and emit a beeping sound. Usually as soon as you clean the spill you will be able to continue cooking.
These features will set the heat to the highest setting initially. After the food or liquid started boiling, or after a pre-set amount time, the heat will be automatically reduced.
These are some of the most interesting models we found:
AID-509 is a portable induction cooktop, which heats much faster and promises up to 70% increase in cooking efficiency compared to traditional cookers. It features seven heat settings and a programmable 180 minute timer. Aroma Housewares has an automatic shut-off, which means it will function only when you put an induction-suitable cookware in place. When you remove it, it will automatically power off. Its dimensions are 13 x 11.6 .2.2 inches. Weight: 6 pounds.
This double burner from True Induction is both powerful (1800 Watts) and portable. It is specially suited for small spaces such as RVs or tiny homes. The surface is made of ceramic glass, which should be easy to clean as the induction cooktop doesn't burn the food or liquids that come to contact with it. It has a built-in safety sensor, which will automatically turn the cooktop off when the cookware is removed from the burner. Also, it has a maximum operating temperature of 450 degrees and will turn the heat down if necessary to prevent overheating. It weighs just over 11 pounds and measures 23.6 x 14.1 x 2.5 inches.