Being able to create reliable, consistent heat on the go is a must for those who love cooking, canning, and living in the great outdoors. If you’re looking to improve your outdoor cooking experience, the following could be just what you need. While some dishes require the open flame style of a traditional cook stove or fire, many users are now moving towards portable induction cooktops for their outdoor cooking needs. They value the control, mobility, and ease that an induction cooktop can offer in a traditionally difficult setting. If you’re in a similar camp and looking to change up your outdoor cooking methods, read on for our suggestions, reviews, and advice to ensure you understand your options and choose the right cooktop for your needs.
Portable cooktops are ideal for creating meals with ease. If you’re making dinner for a large hunting party, your family, or just cooking multiple dishes at once, having a heat source with plenty of control makes the task much easier. When you’re out in nature, there’s no way to order a pizza if your meal is under cooked or charred to a crisp. Having a controllable, portable heat source makes outdoor cooking reliable and less wasteful. No one likes to be forced into eating no-heat meals on the trail. With an induction cooktop, the meal options are nearly endless. If you’re looking to add variety to your outdoor menus, this is the way to go.
Every outdoor chef has a different idea of what makes the perfect cooktop. Only you know what will work best in your unique situation. Before you read our reviews, we suggest writing down the features you are most interested in having. Think about what would make the perfect cooktop in your situation and then compare our reviews below to find the best match. No matter what product you choose, we can guarantee making the switch to an induction cooktop will be worth it to you in the long run. Mobility and reliability just can’t be beat when it comes to cooking on a portable cooktop over using a traditional fire. Through careful research and our own history of trial and error, we are able to bring you our take on the best options for three unique situations. Whether you’re looking for the overall winner, the cheapest, or the most bang for your buck, we’ve done the hard work for you.
When you’re on the go and away from home, you need something that won’t let you down. If your cooktop fails you, it could mean disaster. That’s why it’s important to find dependable gear from a trusted source. Our first model is the best overall induction cooktop, because you can depend on it to get the job done. If you want the cooktop with all the bells and whistles that will not let you down, you are looking for the Secura 9100MC. The Secura 9100MC portable induction cooktop is our winner based on overall user appeal, and it’s easy to see what makes it so popular. Flexibility, control, and some nice extra features make this model really stand out.
Lightweight and easily portable, the Secura model is compatible with almost any existing cookware you choose to use. The last thing you want when you are away from your home kitchen is to find out you brought the wrong kind of pan, and now you have nothing to eat. Not only can you use Duxtop and other induction friendly cookware, you can also bring your cast aluminum enamel, and stainless steel pots with magnetic bottoms. Most exciting of all, you can also use cast iron with this model. So feel free to take your grandma’s old cast iron dutch oven out into the wilderness with you, because the Secura will handle it with ease and, most importantly, with care.
On top of this state-of-the-art flexibility, the Secura also gives you the most control over your cooking once you are in the kitchen. This model comes with 15 different power levels that can meet any power demand, whether you are plugging it straight into a wall outlet or taking it out to the cabin and running it off a generator. No other induction cooktop gives you this level of control over your appliance.
Rounding off those 15 power levels come 15 more temperature settings that allow you unprecedented heat control. Ranging from 140 to 460 degrees Fahrenheit, you can rest assured that you’ll have the power and control to pull off whatever you choose to make. The Secura won’t let you down.
The Secura is finished off with a range of neat additions that don’t show up in other models. Firstly, the cooktop comes built with a digital timer, so you just can leave that old kitchen timer at home. It also comes built with a diagnostic error messaging system, so if something goes wrong, you can easily fix it. Auto-pan detection means you won’t have to be fiddling with the pan to try to get the cooktop to heat up. And a voltage warning system alerts you if your voltage is too high or too low, so you can adjust your machine accordingly.
Clearly, the Secura is the easy favorite among induction cooktops. It is not only dependable, it won’t load down your backpack or suitcase, and it won’t blow out your electrical outlets. But more than that, it offers features that other models just can’t compete with, like the different pan compatibilities. So if you want the best, most reliable cooktop, choose the Secura 9100MC.
If the Secure 9100MC doesn’t seem to fit your needs, or you’re looking to spend a bit more in the name of quality, the NuWave PIC (Precision Induction Cooktop) might be the way to go. While you will end up spending a bit more than the other two options, the NuWave comes with its own unique features to make the price worth it. Plus, it’s a highly rated product from a well-known brand that is guaranteed to last though all the outings you can handle.
The NuWave is, of course, still considered to be appropriately lightweight and portable. Weighing only 6.3 pounds (2.8 kg), the NuWave is easy to pack along for a hunting trip or to pull out every now and then for canning purposes. Its slight frame isn’t its only positive feature. It is also a great pick for energy efficiency as it uses up to 70% less power than electric or gas methods. This has to do with the induction cooking method, but also the efficient design of this particular cooktop. If you’re worried about the strain that bringing an electric cooktop might be on your generator or outdoor power source, this little cooktop will set your mind at ease.
It also boasts 6 different pre-programed cook settings and over 100 hours of internal memory settings that will allow you to prepare even the most complex recipes with ease. The round design reduces any wasted space that is lost with square models. This ensures that every bit of cooktop that you have is devoted to heating your meals and nothing else. Measuring 9 inches in diameter, the cooking surface is large enough for varied pot and pan sizes, while still maintaining a sleek appearance. Any of your current cookware that is compatible with induction heating should be able to fit appropriately on the smooth surface. Hint: to test if a pot can be used with an induction cooktop, check to see if the bottom of the pot is magnetic. If a magnet will stick to the bottom, then the pot should heat up nicely on your induction surface.
If you’re looking for a high degree of control over temperature options, the NuWave PIC is a definite winner. It offers 52 different temperature settings that increase in 10-degree increments from 100 to 575 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that you have precision control over the heating coils and can execute precise distinctions in your recipes. This model also features a ‘delay’ setting and automatic shut off that will allow you to plan ahead and have meals ready at the times you need them most. An automatic shut off feature is also an important safety feature for any kitchen appliance you take with you on an outing.
If the above two options seems like what you’re looking for but are a bit too pricey, we’ve researched a third option that is more budget friendly. The Inducto A79 Professional Portable Induction Cooktop Counter Top Burner will only cost about half of what you would pay for the NuWave, but can still deliver on features and portability. Like the more expensive models, this cooktop’s main goal is being an effective alternative to open flame and other conventional methods. It is a technological advancement that is designed to make your life easier in the kitchen, wherever that might be.
If you have an interest in energy efficiency, then the Inducto A79 is going to be the right fit for you. Even more efficient than the NuWave we reviewed above, the Inducto model uses up to 90% less power than traditional gas or electric stoves. This can make a huge difference in the overall cost of your planned outings. While most induction methods are said to be energy efficient, the especially high rating of the Inducto model makes it a stand out contender in our research. If you are looking for an efficient model cooktop without a huge price tag, then the Inducto A79 may be the right buy.
Aside from being affordable and efficient, the Inducto model has many other features that earn it a place on our list. It has a portable and efficient design as well. Weighing only 5.8 lbs (2.6 kg), it is lighter than the previous models discussed. This means it is easy to transport and won’t be taking up unnecessary room like a bulkier item would. It features an automatic shut off function, which activates when nothing is left on the cook surface. This is a safety feature one should look out for whenever buying a portable cooktop.
It also features a fairly impressive amount of control over temperature and cooking methods. You can choose from 8 different power settings to create the optimal situation with whatever power source you are drawing from. Likewise, there are 7 different cooking modes that allow you to make a variety of different recipes all with the same portable device. While the number is reduced from the pricier options above, it still allows for variety in the kitchen. There is also a timer, which can be set up to 4 hours, and a 24-hour preset function that allows you to heat up meals to be ready when you are. Along with the automatic shut off function mentioned earlier, there is also an overheat protection feature that will keep the temperature regulated within the set parameters.
With touch sensitive controls and a 4-digit display, this portable induction cooktop is still a great buy for someone looking to stick within their budget. While it may not have some of the fancier options of a more expensive model, such as the NuWave, this is still a viable option if you’re looking for portability and durability in a reasonable package. Sometimes taking the budget option is the right choice at the time. You can always make an upgrade to a more expensive and technologically advanced model in the future should your situation or needs change. The most important thing is to find the model that best suits your needs and budget. There is no need in spending extra money on features you will never use.
The care and maintenance of an induction cooktop is one of their best selling points. Unlike gas cooking options, which come with safety warnings and require constant supervision, induction cooktops are easily managed. Since there are no exposed coils or crevices, clean up is never a problem. Even with stuck on food, the most a cooktop will ever need in the way of cleaning is a wipe with a damp cloth, as long as you make sure to clean it right after use.
While they can be slightly fragile if they feature a glass surface, their light construction and ergonomic shapes reduce the risk of dropping, falling, or breakage. If your cooktop ever shows signs of cracks on the surface it should not be used. The smooth surface of the cooktop should always be clean and dry before use and should be clear of all flammable items before operation.
When traveling with your induction cooktop it is important to keep it clean and the cords organized neatly. Never use a frayed or bent electrical cord to power your cooktop. While the unit is in use it is important to make sure there is sufficient ventilation for the internal parts. Just as you wouldn’t leave a blanket up next to a computer or other electronic device, you must keep flammable items away from the cooktop at all times.
Unless it specifically states that you can, you should never submerge an induction cooktop in water. However, wiping the surface and sides with a cleaning cloth is the perfect way to clean a cooktop. Or, if you have missed cleaning your induction cooktop for several days and you feel like you will probably need to clean it with something stronger than water, there is the Cerama Bryte Ceramic Cooktop Cleaner Kit.
All of the units we have listed above are made from quality materials and have been rated very well on the durability scale. As long as you take care of your induction cooktop it should last you through many years to come.
Operating an induction cooktop is an enjoyable experience and can greatly improve the cooking process when you are away from your normal kitchen. Whether it’s in the RV, at the lodge, or on the boat, a portable cooktop can be a lifesaver when trying to create substantial meals that everyone will love. Whichever unit best fits your needs is going to make your life so much easier on your next outing.
We hope that you use article to help you make a choice that improves your overall cooking experience. With so many options on the market, choosing the right product can be difficult. We’re confident that by utilizing our research and understanding what it is you are looking for that you can find the right portable induction cooktop to fulfill all your needs and create a memorable experience.
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