Best Induction Cooktops of 2022

The top models from CR's tests offer rapid boiling and steady simmering—and they're not necessarily the most expensive

Induction cooktops harness the power of the electromagnetic field, below the glass surface, to quickly heat pots and pans.

By Paul Hope

Induction cooktops come as close to perfection as any appliance Consumer Reports tests. The majority score well enough to recommend, and three of the models in our ratings have an Overall Score of 95 or higher. (In our past testing, one now discontinued model even earned a perfect Overall Score of 100.)

But you still have to shop carefully. Multiple models we’ve tested in the past failed to deliver the rapid boil times and steady simmering for which induction is known. And even some of the top performers are hindered by subpar reliability.

Start with our cooktop buying guide to learn how induction cooktops set themselves apart from conventional electric cooktops, and what might work best for you. CR members can also delve right into our electric cooktop ratings, where they can sort according to size, price, predicted brand reliability, and more. 

So what is an induction cooktop and what is its secret to speedy cooking? It’s a special type of electric cooktop that harnesses the power and precision of the electromagnetic field, below the glass surface, to quickly heat.

“Since you’re heating the pan directly, you’re not losing time while heat transfers from a radiant electric burner,” says Tara Casaregola, who oversees cooktop testing at Consumer Reports.

Note that price doesn’t track with performance. Some lower-priced models in our ratings heat faster and simmer more steadily than high-end models.

How CR Tests Induction Cooktops

We test every cooktop—gas, electric smoothtop, and induction—at low and high heat. Just about any cooktop will fare well enough when cooking over medium heat, but a stellar model will also boil quickly and simmer steadily. “The extremes between low- and high-heat tasks are where we really see differences,” Casaregola says.

For high-heat cooking, we use a standardized pot filled with about 4 quarts of water on the largest cooktop burner. We jack up the burner to the highest setting and note how quickly the water heats up.

For low-heat cooking, we use the smallest burner to melt chocolate and then simmer water and tomato sauce, gauging how well a cooktop holds a steady simmer temperature without dropping too low or scorching the contents of the pan.

We test 30- and 36-inch induction cooktops from brands such as Frigidaire, GE, KitchenAid, Samsung, and Whirlpool. We also test pro-style induction cooktops from brands like Bosch, GE Monogram, and Thermador.

CR members can read on for ratings and reviews of five of the best induction cooktops from our tests.

Do You Need Special Cookware for an Induction Cooktop?

If you’ve considered an induction cooktop or range, you’ve probably heard that not all cookware is induction-compatible. The truth is, any magnetic pot or pan will work on an induction cooktop, and you may already have pots and pans that do. (Test them out by seeing whether a magnet sticks to them.)

If you’re looking for new cookware, check the Features & Specs tab on the model page of any cookware model or set in our cookware ratings to find out whether it is induction-friendly. You can also take a magnet with you when you’re shopping in a store.

Best Induction Cooktops: 30-Inch

CR’s take: This Wolf Contemporary CI304C/B induction cooktop is the model to get if you want a pro-style cooktop. It gets superb marks for both low heat and high heat, which means you can easily ramp up the heat when you need to boil a pot of pasta water or turn it down to melt chocolate. But what you’re really paying for is the finish and color, because this cooktop is designed to blend beautifully with other Wolf cooking appliances, like wall ovens, as well as Sub-Zero refrigerators (Wolf and Sub-Zero are owned by the same company). One caveat: We don’t currently have enough data to rate Wolf induction cooktops for predicted reliability.
• Total cooking elements: 4
• High-power elements: 3

GE Profile PHP9030DJBB

CR’s take: The 30-inch GE Profile PHP9030DJBB is capable of speedy high heating and low-and-slow simmering. GE earned a satisfactory rating for predicted reliability in our latest survey of members, too. This model has a bridge element, which makes it perfect for making gravy in a roasting pan when you cook a roast or turkey. It’s also compatible with an optional griddle pan. Touch controls give it a seamless, knob-free appearance.
• Total cooking elements: 4
• High-power elements: 3

Frigidaire Gallery FGIC3066TB

CR’s take: This 30-inch Frigidaire cooktop cooks as well as models costing three times as much, earning top marks for both low-heat and high-heat performance. As a brand, Frigidaire earned midlevel marks for reliability, according to data analyzed from our member surveys.
• Total cooking elements: 4
• High-power elements: 3

Best Induction Cooktops: 36-inch

GE Profile PHP9036DJBB

CR’s take: This 36-inch GE Profile cooktop is essentially the larger version of the topnotch 30-inch model, above. It ties with its smaller counterpart and offers the same stellar performance on both low and high heat. It earns a satisfactory rating for predicted reliability.
• Total cooking elements: 5
• High-power elements: 4

Frigidaire Professional FPIC3677RF

CR’s take: The Frigidaire Professional FPIC3677RF is Frigidaire’s nod to pro-style design. Unlike the company’s more modestly priced options, including the cooktop below, this model features chunky, stainless steel knobs and more visible metal, giving it a slightly industrial look. Like Frigidaire’s other offerings, this cooktop earns stellar marks on low and high heat, as well as satisfactory scores for predicted reliability.
• Total cooking elements: 5
• High-power elements: 4

Frigidaire FFIC3626TB

CR’s take: The 36-inch Frigidaire FFIC3626TB features a smooth glass surface and all-digital controls for a completely seamless, modern look. Performance is strong across the board, with excellent ratings for low and high heat. This model costs significantly less than many other 36-inch induction cooktops—even those with worse performance. As a brand, Frigidaire earned a satisfactory rating for predicted reliability of its induction cooktops.
Total cooking elements: 5
• High-power elements: 3

Consumer Reports is an independent, nonprofit organization that works side by side with consumers to create a fairer, safer, and healthier world. CR does not endorse products or services, and does not accept advertising. Copyright © 2022, Consumer Reports, Inc.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published