We test 14 induction cooktops, ranging in price between $1261 and $3750.
In our previous tests of induction cooktops, we've found they worked very well but were very expensive. This time round? The same result. And given the possible added expense of cookware specially designed for induction cooking, are they really worth it?
Through our rigorous testing, we reveal which induction cooktops:
- perform the best at cooking a wide variety of food, and
- are the easiest to use.
On this page:
For more information about ovens and cooktops, see our Kitchen section.
Induction cooktops work via a magnetic field that essentially turns your cookware into the heating element. Food is cooked via the heat of the cookware, not from the cooktop itself.
The sales talk highlights their efficiency and cost savings, but when compared to ceramic cooktops, there weren’t any savings over the same period of time. Given it boils water in seconds, not using the cooktop as long may save a little if you replace your electric cooktop with an induction, but the initial purchase price is still quite large.
Induction cooktop pros and cons
- They heat up extraordinarily fast, conveying energy to the cookware faster than any other method of cooking. When you change the temperature, this change is reflected immediately, not gradually as with a radiant ceramic element.
- Safety is another big pro; since the element itself does not get hot, it’s safe to touch unless you’ve had a hot pan on it for a while. Most have automatic switches that detect when there is nothing on the element, meaning less energy is wasted from leaving them on. To illustrate their speed: the approximate time to boil 1 litre of water on a gas cooktop is eight minutes, on radiant ceramic six minutes, and on an induction cooktop just two minutes.
- They may be increasingly worth considering as they come down in price – though you’ll need to check all your current cookware is suitable for induction cooking, and buy new cookware if not. Induction requires cookware to have a ferrous bottom so the heat can be conducted rapidly.
- Take a magnet with you when buying cookware, or look for the induction suitable label. Copper, glass or Pyrex, and aluminium cookware is generally unsuitable for an induction cooktop. Significantly curved cookware such as woks don’t perform as well because don’t have most of their surface flat on the cooktop. Specialised induction cooktops do have wok designs built into them, but these are significantly more expensive.
- You’ll need to keep an eye on where you put cookware and make sure it covers the cooking zone, as it’s not obvious where this zone is unless it’s marked out. All models except the Smeg have obvious markings. It’s strongly recommended that you follow the installation instructions as the ventilation of the cooktop has to be taken into account.
Brands and models tested
- AEG HK 854220 XB
- # Blanco BIC63e
- Bosch PIE675N14E
- # Bosch PIE645Q14E
- Electrolux EHD90230P
- Electrolux EHD68210P
- Electrolux EHD60150P
- Fisher and Paykel CI905DTB1
- Highland HP61FC
- Miele KM 6113
- Miele KM 6317
- Miele KM 6350 LPT
- Omega OI64BB
- Samsung CTN464NC01/XSA
- Smeg SIHP264S
- Westinghouse PHN644DU
How we test
Performance Our tester, Fiona Mair, assesses how well the cooktops can heat a white sauce on low heat setting, boil rice for turn-down capacity, and do a vegetable and beef stir fry on a high heat setting for a short time.
Ease of use She determines how easy the cooktops are to clean and judges their controls.
Standby energy is also measured, but not scored.