Many pros might swear by gas, but electric—and especially induction—affords a host of advantages that simply can't be denied. Impressively wide temperature ranges and even heating are just a couple of these.
Whether you're looking to melt chocolate for a tasty dessert or sear the heck out of a sous vide steak, these cooktops can get it done. And rest assured, we've tested enough models to know exactly what separates the best from the rest.
The KitchenAid KICU509XBL Architect Series II series cooktop is yet another great argument in favor of induction cooking. It performs as well as other induction cooktops we've tested, and offers cool features like a bridge burner and surprisingly excellent touch controls. The cooktop itself delivers low, even heat that'll melt chocolate without scorching, and blazing heat that boils water in 2 minutes. Without a doubt, this cooktop is worth every penny. Read full review.
If you’re looking for a stellar example of cooking technology, look no further than the EI36EC45KS. Offering a great mix of elegant design, effortless control, and staggering performance, it blew away most of the electric competition and came close to matching the quality of our favorite induction models. At 36 inches, it's a great pick for showpiece kitchens where a pro-style range isn't the desired look. Read full review.
The ranges in this roundup were evaluated over a period of years by multiple team members at Reviewed—making the piece a collaborative effort. However, all original data was sourced from the same careful procedures in a lab environment. We each considered set-up and ease of use, cooking performance, and fit, finish and feel when evaluating each appliance.
When it comes to large cooking appliances in general, we focus on two major metrics: performance and features.
Because cooking appliances are versatile products that can help you to prepare your food in a number of ways, we have multiple tests that that help us to determine how well-rounded any given range, cooktop, or oven is when it comes to getting dinner (or dessert) on the table.
• Maximum/minimum temperature — What is the maximum and minimum temperature of each cooktop burner? Cooktop burners need to be relatively flexible, temperature-wise; the best burners can both provide a nice sear (high temperature) on a steak and gently simmer (low temperature) a pasta sauce.
• Cornbread — How even is the heating on the most powerful cooktop burner? By measuring the temperatures across a cast iron pot full of cornbread mix, we can determine how evenly the heat is applied across the most powerful burner. Burner evenness is important because it means that you don't have to worry about hot spots in a burner that may overcook one pancake while the others are still puddles of batter.
• Water boil — How long does it take for the cooktop's burners to bring a pot of water to a boil? We put appropriately-sized pots of water on every cooktop burner and see how fast each burner heats up the water in the pot to a gentle boil. Cooktops are rewarded for having more fast, hot burners.
While little things like cooktop knobs quality and grate quality might not affect your meal's edibility, it definitely affects your overall cooking experience. We look at the cooktop's features to try to identify any features that would really enhance or complicate the food preparation process. We love cooktops that have features that are especially useful, or that solve common cooking problems.
A cooktop's primary purpose is to help you prepare your food in a safe and timely manner; as such, the results of the performance tests are given the most weight when it comes time to decide whether we should recommend a particular range or not. For example, a range may have a beautiful finish and lots of neat accessories, but if it takes 10 minutes to boil a pot of water, we may not recommend that product to our readers. Features and usability are definitely incorporated into a product's final score (as mentioned above), but the performance testing is what really makes or breaks a cooktop, in our opinion.
What Is Induction Cooking?
Although they resemble electric smoothtop burners, induction cooktops don't have burners underneath the surface. Induction cooking uses electromagnetic energy to heat pots and pans directly. In comparison, gas and electric cooktops heat indirectly, using a burner or heating element, and passing radiant energy onto your food.
Induction cooktops can achieve a wide range of temperatures, and they take far less time to boil than their electric or gas counterparts. In addition, the cooktop surface stays cool, so you don't have to worry about burning your hand. It's even possible to put a paper towel between a spattering frying pan and an induction burner, though you’d want to keep an eye on that. Remember, the cooktop doesn't get hot, but the pan does.
What Cookware Works With Induction?
Because induction relies on electromagnetism, only pots with magnetic bottoms—steel and iron—can transfer heat. The winners of our best stainless steel skillets roundup are induction-friendly. But that doesn’t mean you need to buy all-new cookware. If a magnet sticks to the bottom, your pots and pans will work with induction.
Other Electric and Induction Cooktops We Tested
The EI30EC45KS is an awesome cooktop by any standard, combining a sleek appearance with truly staggering performance. Some may be turned off by the unusual design quirks, but rest assured that under the surface lies a beast of an appliance. Multitasking parents will love the rapid boiling times and safety-conscious controls, while those who simply enjoy cooking will appreciate the wide range of temperatures. Read full review.
A good cooktop delivers versatility, speed, and power. The Whirlpool Gold GCI3061XB nails all three thanks to its underlying induction tech, which makes it safer to use, more responsive, and easier to clean. And that's saying nothing of the fine control that covers a huge range of temperatures. It doesn’t have a flashy design, but it'll surely impress the neighbors. In our eyes, everything’s rosy with the GCI3061XB. Read full review.
This Frigidaire FPEC3677RF electric cooktop excels in reaching both high and low temperatures and has great range and versatility across burners. The bridge burner allows you to easily create a large cooking surface, perfect for large pans and griddles. A dual burner that easily changes size with the push of a button and a warming zone add to the appeal. It’s a reasonable price for the caliber of its cooking ability. Read full review.
We've been in love with induction cooktops for quite some time now. They boil incredibly quickly, hit temperatures out of the reach of gas ranges, and easily pinpoint the right setting. The Electrolux EW30IC60LS keeps this love affair going, once again delivering induction's uniquely strong blend of performance and features. At an MSRP of $1,999, it's not a cheap cooktop. But with its design and impressive lab scores, it might not be a bad way to spend your kitchen remodel budget. Read full review.
The Electrolux EW36IC60LS induction cooktop is the larger 36-inch version of the EW30IC60LS. At under $2,200, this cooktop is by no means cheap. But what a prospective buyer may lose in financial solvency, they will gain in useful features and truly impressive performance. Read full review.
Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.