When you have outdoor activities planned for the family, you need to make sure there is plenty of food for everyone. While having cold options like sandwiches, fruit, and chopped vegetables is great, sometimes you also crave hot food while sitting around a campfire or hiking in the woods. One of the simplest ways to enjoy favorites like grilled cheese, campfire pies, hotdogs, and hamburgers is by using a portable induction cooktop.
Portable induction cooktops use electricity to produce electromagnetic waves which supply heat to special dishes and the food being prepared. All you need to do is charge the device (or plug it into an outlet in your RV), and turn it on when the time comes.
When choosing the right induction cooktop, it’s important to consider wattage, versatility, and the required power supply. Instead of doing the work yourself, I’ve identified six of the best portable induction cooktops that can be used just about anywhere. You just have to supply the food and fun!
Top 5 Portable Induction Cooktops
1. iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop
- 18 POWER LEVELS: Quickly choose your...
- 17 PRESET TEMPERATURE LEVELS: Adjustable...
- WIDE APPLICATIONS & PORTABLE: The...
- LONG 3-HOUR TIMER & SAFETY LOCK: Press...
- WEAR RESISTANCE & EASY MAINTENANCE:...
The iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop is a powerful and versatile option for families who want to cook meals on the go or who would simply like to be more energy efficient when preparing food at home. The design is sleek, simple, and straightforward. The technology inside the appliance could be described the same way. This is an advanced induction cooktop that will last for years and can be used again and again without difficulty.
One of the biggest perks of the iSiLER is the inclusion of numerous settings. You will be able to choose from nine different power levels ranging from 100W to 1800W. These are designed to recreate different cooking styles, including the ability to simmer, deep fry, boil, sauté, sear, steam, slow cook and grill. There are also eight pre-set temperatures ranging from 140°F to 460°F. Overheating protection alerts you when the appliance is starting to get too warm and needs to be shut off for safety purposes.
Unlike other portable induction cooktops, the iSiLER is clear about its dimensions. Each cooktop has enough cooking surface to manage pots and pans that measure between 3.9 in. and 8.6 in. Although this sounds small, it creates a uniform heating surface and is large enough to cook meals for families of around four. Plus, there is a 3-hour timer that can be started to begin food and let it cook on its own if you have family activities to attend to.
Besides these basics, the iSiLER has a child lock and deliberately rounded edges to improve safety and appliance stability. The surface also has added resistance to wear and scratches. It is great for families on the go and those who have small children with wandering fingers, since kids won’t be able to turn the cooktop on. That is definitely one of the main benefits of this cooktop and the reason it is one of my top picks.
What We Liked
- Multiple power levels and temperature settings
- Child lock included
- Rounded edges
- Overheat protection
- Extra wear resistance
What We Didn’t Like
- Somewhat inaccurate temperature settings
- Fan emits a lot of hot air
2. Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
- Duxtop Induction Cooktop uses 120V 15...
- Digital control panel. Built-in...
- With no open flame or heating element,...
- The auto-pan detection will shut the...
- Note: In order to use this and any other...
Duxtop is one of the most prominent manufacturers of portable induction cooktops, so I had high expectations for this appliance. This model in particular is one of the most powerful and has multiple power settings. The highest one reaches up to 1800W, while the lowest one is around 200W. There are ten separate settings that are easy to reach thanks to the buttons and manual settings of the cooktop. It should be noted this cooktop requires a 120V 15 amp electrical outlet, which is standard in North American homes.
One of the most unique features of the Duxtop 1800W is the built-in countdown digital timer with 1 minute increments up to 170 minutes. While the timer has a shorter maximum than other cooktops, it is also one of the only ones which allow you to adjust by the minute rather than in larger increments of time. There are additionally ten temperature settings – which is quite standard. These range from 140 °F to 460 °F.
The cooktop surface is quite easy to clean. It does not need any soap and can be wiped down with a damp cloth. The surface is also designed to not scratch or show wear and tear, which is excellent if you want an appliance that is durable and long-lasting. The interior has a 7-blade fan that rapidly dissipates heat to reduce internal wear and damage as well. Since the cooktop uses electromagnetic waves, you don’t have to worry about food burning on the surface.
Another great feature of this portable induction cooktop is the inclusion of an automatic shutoff. If the surface does not detect a pot or pan, it will shut the unit down automatically after 60 seconds. There is also a diagnostic error message, and warnings will display if the voltage being used is too high or too low.
As a final, excellent note, the Duxtop 1800W includes a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty and great customer service.
What We Liked
- Manufacturer’s warranty included
- Automatic shutoff
- Multiple wattages and temperatures
- Digital timer in 1-minute increments
- Easy to clean
What We Didn’t Like
- Temperatures are in large increments
- Can sometimes hear a high-pitched noise
3. AmazonBasics 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop
- Portable stovetop appliance for cooking...
- Safety features including pause,...
- Glass panel stovetop for easy cleaning
- Requires induction-compatible cookware...
- Perfect for small spaces without full...
The AmazonBasics 1800W portable induction cooktop is one of the more affordable options, which is great for a family on a budget. It is simple and straightforward and makes sure to include all of the basics one comes to expect in an induction cooktop. In particular, there are power settings from 200-1800 watts and ten different temperatures you can choose from.
Unlike some other portable induction cooktops, the AmazonBasics model was designed with RVs in mind and is great in small areas. It is a bit bulkier and more matte than other options but has clear instructions, easy to use buttons and a consistent heat source which properly and evenly heats food. The front has a small LCD display and a timer that can be set in increments for up to three hours.
The surface is easy to clean and should not burn food to it. There are also pre-set cooking controls. A warranty is available from Amazon and customer service is easy to contact.
Overall, this is a great low-range product. It is stable and durable and gets the job done. While it does not include many extra features, it still includes all of the necessities and is lightweight and easy to use just about anywhere. One potential downside is that the interior induction coil measures 4 in. rather than 5 in., which is the standard.
What We Liked
- Simple settings
- Easy to clean
- Short warranty available
What We Didn’t Like
- Small 4 in. induction coil
- The buttons are not intuitive
4. Furrion Portable RV Electric Induction Cooktop
- INDUCTION COOKTOP: The Portable RV...
- CONTROL PANEL WITH LED: The control...
- SAFETY FEATURES: The Furrion's Single...
- SMART TECHNOLOGY: Apart from the safety...
- WARRANTY: The Furrion's Induction...
The Furrion Portable RV Electric Induction Cooktop is one of the fanciest and most sophisticated models currently on the market. In many respects, it resembles a glossy black scale. However, it is a legitimate induction cooktop and includes many of the necessary features. For example, there are ten separate power levels up to 1800W and ten temperature setting sup to 460 degrees. It was designed with efficient cooking in a camper or trailer in mind.
Besides these basics, there are some features of the Furrion that set it apart. One of the most important is also one of the simplest: There are four rubber feet. Many other models just have a basic plastic base, but the Furrion has legitimate feet which prevent movement and leave enough space underneath the appliance for the fans to function properly. The surface has a wide black crystal glass top plate as well which is larger than average – 6 in. – and is easy to clean with a basic damp cloth.
The front control panel comes with seven touchpads for Lock, Timer, Temperature control, Temp, Heat, and Power options. These touchpads respond to the warmth of your fingertips and are not regular buttons in that regard. However, they are sensitive and respond well. An LCD display shows your settings once you have selected them. Safety features are included such as a child lock, automatic shut-off function, and a hot surface indicator.
The Furrion Is one of the only models to use smart technology, putting it in a higher bracket over the other portable induction cooktops. This means there are extra features like the inclusion of ClimateSmart and VibrationSmart Technology. These mean you can operate the cooktop in a broad range of climates and that the appliance will not be affected by bumps on the road.
Each Furrion comes with a 12-month warranty from the manufacturer.
Overall, this is one of the best options available. It includes the most safety features and uses the latest technology instead of relying on older programs. The system responds rapidly and can be adjusted as needed, and the cook surface is even larger than average.
What We Liked
- Large cooking surface
- Smart technology
- Suitable in all climates
- Safety features included
- Rubber feet
- Raised design
- Smart controls
What We Didn’t Like
- Hard to clean fingerprints off of the surface
5. Duxtop Professional Portable Induction Cooktop
- PORTABLE INDUCTION BURNER: Duxtop...
- HIGH EFFICIENCY: Choose from 20 preset...
- SENSOR TOUCH PANEL WITH LCD SCREEN: The...
- DURABLE & EASY TO CLEAN: The stainless...
- 100% SATISFACTION: induction stoves rely...
This Duxtop Professional Portable Induction Cooktop is a more advanced appliance than the other Duxtop model mentioned. It includes some extra special features which you will be able to enjoy, including a full LCD readout display screen and buttons which are sensitive to your touch. The readout has a clear blue background and changes in real-time, so you can more accurately control the settings at which you cook your food.
This is a standard cooktop which requires the 120V 15 amp electrical outlet that is standard in all North American homes. It works well indoors and can also be used in RVs. It is compatible with extension cords if you would like to plug it into an outlet along the side of your house or in an RV to cook outdoors.
This is one of the highest efficiency induction cooktops on the market. It has 20 preset power levels ranging from 100W to 1800W, and there are also 20 preset temperature level settings ranging from 100°F to 460°F. To maximize efficiency, the interior has a 7-blade fan and back tuyere to rapidly dissipate heat through electromagnetic waves. The built-in digital timer is programmable for up to 10 hours at a time.
Cleaning the Duxtop Professional is easy. The surface features a basic glass cooktop which can be wiped clean with a damp towel. No soap or harsh cleaners are necessary. Some extra features built into the Duxtop Professional are auto-pan detection and over-heat protection. The system will warn you if the voltage is too high or too low.
The full appliance dimensions are 19.5 x 15.2 x 5.5 inches and the system weighs 13.8 lbs., making it medium-sized for a portable induction cooktop. This is a great choice for parents who like to have new technology and would like the extra protections built into the system.
What We Liked
- Easy to clean
- Responsive LCD screen
- Over-heat protection included
- Warranty included
- Auto-pan detection included
What We Didn’t Like
- Online manual says the cooktop holds 65 lbs./physical manual says 25 lbs.
- Temperature is not consistent
One perk of buying a portable induction cooktop is that the devices are so simple yet advanced that they do not vary too much. The majority are durable and effective, and they can be used with the same types of dishes. The way in which the cooktops can differ are wattage, versatility, heat efficiency, and the types of controls.
Wattage refers to how rapidly power flows in an electrical current, while volts are just how much power is in the current itself. You need to know both the wattage and volt requirements of a cooktop when choosing one, but most devices will show the wattage more often than volts. You need to check the electrical system in your RV or home before picking a cooktop because trying to use a device that is not compatible is a fire hazard and comes with the risk of electrocution.
Versatility refers to how flexible the use of your device is. Will you be able to use it outside when camping in tents, or do you need to have an RV with electricity? Can you use the device indoor on the counter? What kind of food can you cook with it?
The simplest way to determine versatility is by looking at the required power supply and the size of the central cooking surface. Chargeable cooktops are the most flexible since they can be used outside. Large devices are also versatile because more food can be prepared, including large meals for the entire family.
Finally, there is heat efficiency. Because induction cooktops use electromagnetic waves, less energy escapes in the process of creating heat. This means the cooktops are not only energy efficient, but can also efficient at generating heat. Unlike some other devices which get hot all over when turned on, an induction cooktop will conserve heat on the actual cooking surface instead of spreading the energy throughout the device.
When determining the efficiency of these cooktops, you want to look at how hot the surface gets, but also at whether the device can maintain the heat without losing it and requiring the use of more energy.
Type of Controls
Portable induction cooktops often have different types of controls which can effective how well you can use the device. Some of the more advanced options will have full LCD readouts and screens as well as touch buttons. Simpler machines might have regular dials to control the heat and no readout, so you need to know how to assess the temperature of your cooktop based on the position of the dial.
Best Induction Cooktop Brands
It’s important to make sure you are getting a high quality cooktop. There are numerous models which can be found online that are missing significant qualities, such as proper internal wiring, reliable electronics, and a suitable cooking surface. This is because the manufacturers often cut corners to sell discount products and make a profit. You don’t want something cheap – you want something good for your family. For this reason, it is usually a good idea to choose a reliable brand that has clear manufacturing oversight. Some of our greatest recommendations are Duxtop and iSiLER, who are emerging as industry leaders.
Duxtop is a popular brand made by small appliance company Secura, which is based in North America and primarily develops induction cooktops. Secura produces around 8,000,000 units a year and is dedicated to creating high quality devices in small batches. All of the company’s products come with comprehensive warranties, and Secura’s customer service is stellar.
iSiLER is a small company which delivers high-quality small appliances to North America and Europe. The business is based in North America and researches and designs its products itself to create some of the best appliances on the market. iSiLER is still a small brand that operates primarily online, but it creates high quality products which will last for years.
1. Do induction cooktops require specific dishes to cook properly?
Yes. Portable and regular induction cooktops need to be used with compatible pots and pans that will accept the electromagnetic waves produced by the cooktop to create heat. In general, you should be able to use cast iron, enamel cast iron, and stainless steel cookware. You will not be able to use glass, all copper, or aluminum dishes unless they have a magnetic plate on the bottom.
2. Do you need ventilation when using an induction cooktop?
While the cooktop itself does not produce smoke or steam, you should still have ventilation to manage any vapors produced by the food being prepared. A basic vent hood or fan should do the trick, as would cracking a nearby window.
3. Do induction cooktops save energy?
One of the perks of using a portable induction cooktop is that they are remarkably energy efficient since they use a moderate amount of electricity and do not waste natural resources like coal. On average, 90% of the energy used by the cooktop goes to actually producing heat so you can prepare food. This is more than gas cooktops which lose up to 60% of their energy. The one catch is you will still need an energy source when using this portable device.
4. Can I bring a portable induction cooktop camping?
Portable induction cooktops are perfect for camping because they are energy efficient, compact, and pose less of a fire risk than other cooking mechanisms such as gas. The catch is you need to bring special cookware with you or you will not be able to enjoy some campsite favorites like chili and grilled cheese sandwiches.
Having a portable induction cooktop is a great way to prepare healthy dinners and delightful treats even while camping or traveling across the country. Although there are many similarities between induction cooktops, one of the models reviewed here stood out from the rest. That was the Furrion Portable RV Electric Induction Cooktop, which distinguishes itself by incorporating smart technology into the basic induction design. There is a child lock for safety, and the smart climate technology means the cooktop will work no matter what the weather is like outside.
If you want something simpler and more affordable, I also recommend the Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop. It is a basic design, but the long timer and included child safety features means you can start a meal and then go play outside with the kids instead of slaving over a hot cooktop in the RV.
Whichever appliance you choose, remember to take some time to enjoy yourself when you go camping. The kids are only young once!