The Duxtop 8100MC, our former top pick, continues to be a solid, well-priced pick. However, although we found that it boiled relatively quickly, coming in second only to the IKEA Tillreda, it didn’t cook as evenly as the upgraded Duxtop 9100MC. And unlike the newer model, it doesn’t have a slanted control panel, so it’s trickier to use with oversize cookware.
We no longer believe that our previous upgrade pick, the Max Burton 6400 Digital Choice Induction Cooktop, is worth paying extra for. It didn’t distinguish itself in comparison with the Duxtop 9100MC in this round of cooking tests. And once again we found it annoyingly noisy and difficult to clean because of crevices around the edge. The “boil” function, which allows you to bring water to a boil at the touch of a button, is a convenience but not enough of one to justify the cost. This burner also has a “simmer” function, but it’s preset to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, well below the point of simmering.
The Duxtop 9600LS is significantly pricier than our top recommendation, the Duxtop 9100MC, and currently double the price of the 8100MC. It heated fairly evenly in our tests, and it offers a choice of 20 heat settings and 20 temperature settings for fine-tuning. It has a one-touch boil button, a keep-warm setting, and a lock to prevent someone from changing the temperature. However, we don’t think these extras are worth the higher price tag.
Although the Cuisinart Induction Cooktop (ICT-30) is the most expensive model we tested, it has the fewest features. It cooks only by the heat setting, not by specific temperatures, and it has only eight settings. Even on the lowest setting, it couldn’t keep our tomato sauce at a simmer, scorching it instead.
Although the Control Freak Induction Cooking System by Breville and PolyScience is intended for professional restaurant use, we wanted to see how well it compared to the cheaper models we tested. As its name implies, the Control Freak offers unparalleled temperature control, ranging from 77 to 482 degrees Fahrenheit. The probe thermometer, which reads the temperature of liquids inside a saucepan, was extremely accurate in our tests. This model also boasts other helpful features, including a programmable timer and the capability to save preset temperatures for specific cooking tasks. Despite its array of bells and whistles, the interface on this model is surprisingly intuitive. Also, we love that the Control Freak doesn’t beep when you lift a pan off the surface to toss ingredients. This model was by far the best we tested, but at a whopping $1,800, it isn’t practical or affordable enough for home use.
The Ivation 1800 Watt Portable Induction Cooktop has a full ceramic-glass top that was a snap for us to clean. However, this model could not bring water to a boil and flashed “E1” on the digital display after only seven minutes on power setting 10. According to the user manual, “E1” means that the burner is overheating, the fan is not working, or the sensor has failed.
Although the Max Burton 6200 Deluxe Induction Cooktop did well in our 2018 tests, its grooves were more difficult to clean than those on the Duxtop 9100MC and the Max Burton 6400. It also beeped loudly each time we pressed a control-panel button.
The NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop has a good rating on Amazon at this writing, but we had a bad experience with the company’s aggressive customer service representatives, who failed to answer our detailed questions about their products.