There are many different induction cooktops in the market. It is very easy to come up with the attitude that once you have seen one induction cooktop, you have pretty much seen them all. While this may be true as far certain categories of appliances are concerned, that kind of thinking is not applicable to induction cooktop. Not by a long shot. The reason for this is because there are many different designs, also there are many different features emphasized by these design differences. If you do not know what you are doing, or you are just doing things by the seat of your pants, it is all too easy to come up with the decision that you are going to regret later.
You need to be both systematic and methodical when looking for the right portable induction cooktop. At the very least, please pay careful attention to the selection steps listed below. Now, keep in mind that these selection steps are not set in stone. You are not set in stone. Everybody is different. Everybody has various experiences. Everybody has different expectations.
With that said, by going through the criteria listed below, you increase the likelihood of making a truly informed decision. Why? These criteria are based on objective requirements that most people looking for a portable induction cooktop tend to agree on. Again, this does not apply across the board. It does not apply to all people at all times from all parts of the world. Still, by looking for a unit that has at least the majority of the features listed below, you can rest assured that the unit you have bought has a better than even chance of satisfying you for a long period of time.
Multiple Power Settings
This feature ensures that you have many different heat settings for your induction cooktop. This is very important because there are certain heat settings that you would like as a default. For example, if you do a lot of pan frying, you would like to have that as a default setting. If you, on the other hand, like to boil a lot of eggs or in general just boil a lot of water, you need that setting as well. The great thing about many portable induction cooktop models out there is that they have these settings pre-set. In fact, a lot of them even have icons that you simply click through to get the right temperature.
The great thing about induction cooking is that it directs heat directly where it needs to go. There is no heat lost to ambient air. There is no heat wasted due to dilution. Since the actual bottom of the metal pan placed on the induction surface is heated and not the surface itself, heat is generated quickly and goes to where it needs to go.
Even Heat Distribution
Depending on the design of the portable induction cooktop as well as the heating disc of the cookware placed on top of it, you can get optimal heat distribution. In other words, you avoid the most common problem of gas ranges where the heat tends to focus on a small area at the bottom of the pan. You do not have this problem with the induction process because the induction process magnetizes the whole bottom area of the metal cookware that you are using to cook. Since all the heat goes to that area, the heat is distributed evenly, and you are able to cook much faster.
Large Coil Width
It is really important when looking for portable induction cooktops to insist on large coil width. This is crucial because your pots and pans tend to come in many different sizes. You need a large width of magnetic coil so that even if you are using a huge pot or pan, there would be sufficient magnetic action to ensure optimal heat and faster cooking times. If the coil width is too small, you might have to wait a much longer period of time to make sure that the bottom of the pan is heated well enough.
You need a portable induction cooktop that has a very sturdy fan system. You do not want something that would break apart after a few months of use. You want something that can take a lot of punishment because you are going to be exposing this induction cooking appliance to the elements. You are going to be traveling with it, and it is going to be subjected to all sorts of punishment. The fans must be able to keep up. The fans must be able to stay in good shape regardless of the normal outdoor or portable environment you put appliance through.
Low Induction Sound
Many induction units are very loud. They produce a squealing noise because of the magnetic effect. Look for models that have a low sound volume. They do exist. You may need to pay a bit more, but they definitely deliver as far as peace of mind is concerned.
There are extra features that you should consider. I have lumped them all here because many people tend to have different priorities as far as these features are concerned. Still, you should not overlook these features. They may be very important as far as your personal circumstances are concerned.
Pay attention to angled controls. These are controls are flat that have a slight angle. This prevents the heat going to the control and blurring the controls. This way, you would be able to operate the induction cooktop for a long time to come.
You should also pay attention to the quality of the timer. The timer must be accurate and must be able to withstand the test of time. In many cases, people sell their induction cooktop or get rid of it once the timer goes out. At the very least, you use a timer that can withstand a lot of punishment.
Moreover, pay attention to the size of the portable unit that you are buying. Make sure that it fits your space.
It is also important to look at the energy rating of the induction cooktop. While induction cooktops in general tend to use up less energy, than the typical electric range, they do vary. So, pay attention to the induction cooktop’s particular energy consumption and compare it with other models. Additionally, this is very important because when you are out there, or you are moving around, you are not really sure about your portable energy sources. By making sure that your induction cooktop uses up as little energy as possible, you would be able to make the most use out of whatever limited portable energy sources you have access to.
Furthermore, pay attention to ease of cleanup. Your tabletop must be easy to wipe down.
Finally, insist on some sort of warranty.