Most induction cooktops have almost the same features as indicated by manufacturers. Sometimes, these are not truly reflective of the induction cooktops true capabilities thus several do it yourself tests may be necessary to gauge the best portable induction cooktop.
Some of the tests that can be done to test this include :
- Power mode
Power mode features quick buttons like simmer combined with heat levels between one to ten depending on the induction cooktop. These usually provide convenience during cooking. This is not an excuse, however, to be less keen since induction cooktops cook more rapidly and can easily burn food. All the same, more of temperature modes, actually means more of temperature control. One can compare portable induction cooktop power by comparing how quickly they boiled water. This is an efficient way to get an idea of powerful each machine is. To do this, use the same room temperature to start with. Pour equal quantities of water into the vessel and turn the heat to the highest possible. Set the timer and watch to see which induction cooktop brings the water to a boil fastest. You can gauge the power rating and efficiency of the portable induction cooktop in this way.
To get a clearer difference between this two, take water flowing in a pipe, the water pressure is voltage and power that can be provided is the wattage. Most portable induction cooktops have a voltage of 120 volts and a power setting of 1800 watts, though some more powerful ones operate at 220 volts.
- Temperature mode (increments and range)
Broader is a temperature range, more capacity for the precision cooking as well as enhanced capability for doing the specialized tasks like frying and simmering. The temperature increment options were biggest indicator in cooking accuracy. This can be gauged by an induction tops capability to super heat sensitive things such as butter in melted state without burning. Set the temperature evenly for all induction cooktops then place two tablespoon of butter on the burner. Set the timer and observe the cooktop that keeps the butter molten longest without burning to get the portable induction cooktop with the most precision in terms of temperature settings.
To determine evenness of heat distribution, perform the pancake test by using similar pans to cook pancakes on different cooktops. Watch out to ensure the entire pancake is evenly golden brown without any irregular light patches or dark spots that could be an indicator of uneven heat distribution on the induction cooktop. Adjust heat accordingly in order to obtain unbiased results. The big lesson we learned here was that the pan matters and this is the beauty of induction. The heavier bottom the pan, the more even cooking will be.
A strong compatibility between burner and pan, results in a strong bond of temperature evenly heating the cooking vessel on the cooktop. Cast iron cookware will always have great evenness of heat distribution in comparison to enamel coated pan. Look for or anomalies, but what but pay attention ease of use for each cooktop. This should include design, the buttons and Sensor touch panel
- Safety features: There are many things that can initiate the auto shut-off and that depends on a cooktop. From the pause buttons or child locks and surface to internal temperature gauges, more robust the safety measures better it is. Nice thing about the induction (it is true for all because of nature of the induction), is that portable induction cooktop won’t get hot till there is compatible pan that makes the contact with a burner.
- Design : Does the cooktop look good on our counter? Does it take up a lot of room? Does display panel have intuitive design and in other words, suppose you are searing steak or would like to lower heat fast and mount with slab of butter or some thyme, will you have to thumb through manual to figure this out or it is the breeze to use?
From the above research, one can clearly see that the best portable induction cooktop is the NuWave – PIC2 cooktop which has the following features :
- Kept butter at a melted state of 140°F without burning.
- Is enabled with programmable memory in pre-setting cooking tasks.
- Has a power rating of 1300 watts thus saving the most energy while allowing cooking at high temperatures
- Has a sleek, compact design which takes up the least space and makes it the most portable of all.
These features, you can keep in mind and gives you a good idea of what to think before, buying the portable induction cooktop.