5 Best Low Wattage Portable Induction Cooktops for 2023

Cooking in a dorm or a small apartment can be a challenge. In a little studio apartment, your stove may only have two burners – or there may be no stove at all. In a dorm, things can be even more difficult. Most dorms have rules against open flames and electric griddles. In both of these situations, an induction cooktop can be the perfect solution to your problems.

An induction cooktop doesn’t actually get hot. Instead, it uses the power of magnetism to heat up a cast iron or other ferrous metal pan. This is far more efficient than traditional electric or even gas stovetops. Meanwhile, the cooktop itself only gets warm, because it’s touching the hot pan. It doesn’t get hot enough to pose a fire hazard.

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We’re about to review five of the best low-wattage portable induction cooktops we could find. If you don’t have time to read the full reviews, these are their main features:

To get the complete picture, we’re going to have to dig a little bit deeper. Let’s get started, and see what we find!

1. NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop

NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop

Key features:
  • Adjustable from 100 to 575 degrees.
  • Ceramic glass cooktop.
  • 70-second auto shutoff when pan is removed.

The NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop is a largely circular black cooktop. The cooking surface itself has a diameter of 12 inches, with a small control panel in front of it. The total length of the unit is 14.25 inches, and it stands 4.5 inches tall. You can order it individually or in a two-pack. Alternatively, you can order a single cooktop with a tailored carrying case.

NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop

The control panel is slanted towards the front, and has soft buttons similar to the ones on a microwave. Smack in the center is a red LCD display that shows the current temperature or setting. There are six temperature buttons across the bottom, ranging from “Low” to “Max/Sear”. Alternatively, you can use the “+” and “-“ buttons to adjust the temperature. It’s adjustable from 100 to 575 degrees, which is very hot, and it adjusts in 10-degree increments. There’s also a timer button, along with a power button and a pause button. The pause button is useful when you need to take a pan off the heat momentarily.

NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop

The Gold has a couple of handy safety features built into the design. To begin with, it will automatically shut down when your cook time has ended. Furthermore, the stovetop won’t start up if there’s not a compatible pan on it. When you remove a pan from the cooking surface, it will automatically deactivate. Put the pan back down within 10 seconds and it will resume operating. Put the pan down within 11 to 70 seconds, and you can resume by pressing the “Start” button. After that, you’ll have to restart your cooking cycle.

We also liked the cooking surface, which is very durable. It’s made from ceramic glass, which is highly heat-resistant and virtually shatter-proof. It’s all but impossible to break by accident.

What we liked:
  • Precise temperature controls.
  • Timed safety shutoff.
  • Durable ceramic glass cooking surface.
  • Can get hot enough to sear a steak.
What we didn’t like:
  • Takes a while to warm up.
  • Controls can be confusing.

2. Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

Key features:
  • Adjustable from 140 to 460 degrees.
  • 60-second safety auto shutoff.
  • Can set by wattage or by temperature.

The DUXTOP Portable Induction Cooktop has a square base rather than round. It measures 14.2 inches deep, 11 inches wide, and 2.8 inches deep. Most of the area is occupied by the cooking surface. However, the front area consists of a series of controls, along with an LCD display.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

The leftmost soft touch button is a child lock, which you hold for three seconds to lock out the entire panel. To unlock it, press and hold the same button for three more seconds. Next in line is a timer button, followed by an LCD display with “+” and “-“ buttons to its sides. These are used to adjust the temperature or the wattage, depending on your settings. Further to the right is a function button, which switches between wattage and temperature modes. Last in line is a simple power button.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

In wattage mode, you can set the cooktop to 15 different levels, ranging from 200 to 1,800 watts. The maximum setting will draw 120 volts at 15 amps, so make sure there’s nothing else on the same breaker! You may still run into issues in older houses if your wiring has deteriorated. If you have a 20-amp outlet, you’re guaranteed to have no issues. Alternatively, you can adjust the temperature directly. There are 15 temperature settings, ranging from 140 to 460 degrees.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop

The heating performance is generally good. However, it seems to always run on the highest intensity in temperature mode, and it works like a thermostat. So the surface turns up to maximum power until it reaches temperature, then shuts off altogether. It doesn’t maintain a slow, consistent intensity. That said, the safety cutoff works very well. If there’s no compatible pan on the cooktop, it will turn off after 60 seconds.

What we liked:
  • Heats up very quickly.
  • Very responsive.
  • Powerful safety protections.
  • Can control by wattage or by temperature.
What we didn’t like:
  • Temperature mode is inconsistent.
  • Could trip the breakers in older homes.

3. One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart

One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart

Key features:
  • 10 temperature settings.
  • Engineered crystal glass cooktop.
  • App-based controls.

The One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart has a different appearance altogether. Instead of being round or square, it has a pentagonal form factor, with one pointed end at the front. It measures 13.75 inches deep, 14 inches wide, and 3.25 inches thick. The cooking surface is located smack in the center, and occupies most of the footprint. Around it is a heat-resistant rubber border, which is available in two colors. You can order an all-black version, or one that’s black with a blue border.

One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart

At the front, on top of the border, are three molded buttons that can be hard to see. The one in the middle is a power button, which should be self-explanatory. The ones to the sides adjust the temperature up or down. There are 10 heat levels, with a row of 10 indicator pips to let you know your current setting.

One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart

On the downside, these controls are very basic. We couldn’t even find any specific information on wattages and temperatures. Then again, plenty of people use traditional stoves every day with simple “low,” “medium,” and “high” settings. Moreover, you can take advantage of the smartphone companion app. This app doesn’t just let you control the stove. It has hundreds of recipes and can optimize the cooktop’s temperature for whatever you’re cooking.

We were big fans of the cooktop surface itself. It’s made from a high-quality crystal glass that’s resistant to scratching and shattering. And it cools down within seconds from removing your pot from the burner.

What we liked:
  • Large cooking surface.
  • Easy to operate.
  • Companion app with hundreds of recipes.
  • Slick pentagonal design with two color options.
What we didn’t like:
  • Limited on-board controls.
  • No data on what the temperature settings mean.

4. Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop

Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop

Key features:
  • Adjustable from 140 to 460 degrees.
  • Control by wattage or by temperature.
  • Overheat protection function.

The Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop has a rectangular footprint. It measures 12.6 inches wide, 15.55 inches deep, and stands 3.54 inches high. The cooktop at the back is 10.2 inches wide, enough for most – if not all – pans. In front of the cooking surface is a wide rectangular area with soft touch controls.

Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop

At the left is an on/off button. In the middle is a sub-panel with an LCD display. To the left of the display is a child lock. To the right, you’ll find a timer button that you can set between 1 and 240 minutes. Directly beneath the display is a play/pause button for starting and stopping cooking. At the right of this sub-panel is a grid of four mode buttons. These can set the cooker to hot pot, boil, slow cook, and warming modes respectively.

Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop

As with the Duxtop cooktop, you can adjust either the wattage or the temperature. There are eight power levels, ranging from 200 to 1,800 watts. Similarly, there are eight temperature settings, ranging from 140 to 460 degrees.

You also get a couple of helpful safety features. First off, there’s automatic pan detection. The system won’t work unless there’s a compatible pan in place. An overheating protection system will also shut things down if the system gets too hot.

What we liked:
  • Easy to operate.
  • Gets hot very quickly.
  • Four preset cooking modes.
  • Excellent safety protections.
What we didn’t like:
  • Not suitable for oversized pans.
  • A little bit pricey.

5. Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop

Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop

Key features:
  • Adjustable from 140 to 460 degrees.
  • Control by wattage or by temperature.
  • Crystal glass cooking surface.

The Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop is the smallest of the bunch. At 11.8 inches square and 3 inches high, it’s easy to take with you on the road. The actual cooking surface measures 10.2 inches in diameter, big enough for most pans.

Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop

There’s a circular LCD display at the front right that shows your current wattage or temperature. Above this are three touch control buttons for the timer, child lock, and power. To the left, you’ll see additional buttons to adjust the wattage or temperature. A function button allows you to switch between wattage and temperature modes. There are eight power levels and temperature settings, from 200 to 1,500 wats and 140 to 460 degrees. The timer can be set for up to four hours.

Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop

You’ll be protected by a built-in temperature protection system. If the cooktop gets too hot, it will shut off automatically.

What we liked:
  • Abrasion-resistant crystal glass cooking surface.
  • Heats up quickly.
  • Control via wattage or temperature.
  • Built-in overheat protection.
What we didn’t like:
  • Not suitable for oversized pans.
  • No low simmer function.

What’s the Best Portable Low-Wattage Induction Cooktop?

As you can see, these are all great induction cooktops. However, which one is the optimal choice for you? Here’s what we’ve learned today in a nutshell.

We started out by reviewing the NUWAVE Gold Precision Induction Cooktop. This is a wide, durable cooktop that can reach as high as 575 degrees. That’s hotter than any other option on our list, and it’s perfect for searing steaks and other high-temperature applications. The 10-degree increments give you precise control, and the ceramic glass cooktop is nigh-indestructible.

Next on our list was the Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop. This is a powerful 1,800-watt induction cooker with a temperature range of 140 to 460 degrees. The temperature control function is a bit finnicky. But if you just adjust the wattage, it works very well, and heats up surprisingly fast.

After that, we evaluated the One Top Induction Cooktop by Cuisinart. This cooktop’s unique aesthetic has a definite appeal. And while the on-board buttons are somewhat limited, the smartphone companion app is incredibly powerful. We also liked the sturdy and scratch-proof cooking surface.

Fourth, was the Mueller RapidTherm Portable Induction Cooktop. This system works reasonably well, and has many of the same features as the Duxtop. The main difference is that it has fewer settings, but better safety features.

Finally, we looked at the Aigostar Portable Induction Cooktop. This compact little cooktop takes up very little space in your kitchen. And while it’s less powerful than some of the others, it can still get hot surprisingly quickly.

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