An induction stove is a handy appliance for bachelors, hostelers, and even homes because you never know when you may run out of gas, forgetting to book a spare! The best part of induction stoves is that they are quick. While it takes 8-10 minutes to bring a litre of water to a rolling boil on the stovetop, it takes just around 4-7 minutes on an induction cooktop. Also, induction cooktops are comparatively safer. So, how do you find the best induction cooktop for your needs? Let us explore this in detail. But first, our top recommendations.
Our Top Recommendations
If you are looking for an induction stove that can cook quickly, then Philips HD4928 2100 Watts Induction cooktop is our top recommendation. It is comparatively inexpensive. The cooktop takes just about 4.2 minutes to boil water to 100° C. You can cook curries, make chapati, pressure cook, and heat milk with ease. In addition to the wattage, it shows a countdown timer too when using cooking functions. The induction plate is also wide enough. But, it is comparatively expensive.
If you are looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, Amazon Basics 1900 Watt Induction cooktop is a recommended choice. It too heats quickly and can boil water to 100° C in about 5.2 minutes. There are several cooking functions and the product is overall easy to use as well. However, a drawback is it comes with a 16A plug, which isn’t something a hosteller may have easy access to.
Best Induction Cooktops In India
Philips Viva Collection HD4928/01 2100-Watt Induction Cooktop
|Quickest among the induction cooktops we tried.|
|Easy to use interphase|
|Expensive compared to other options.|
|Prone to smudges|
Philips HD4928/01 is one of the best induction stoves we have tried out. It comes with a 2100-watt heating element and has a 6A power plug.
The cooktop is incredibly quick, boiling water to 100 °C in just 4.2 minutes. The induction plate size is also the largest measuring close to 20 cm. As a result, you can use cookware with an induction base measuring anywhere from 12-20cm on this induction stove.
The induction stove comes with 5 main programs. They are roti/dosa, gravy, stir fry, slow cook and pressure cook. In programs like roti/dosa, the maximum temperature that can be set is restricted to a maximum of 180 °C/1300 watts. On the other hand, programs such as gravy can be set to their highest power. In addition, you can manually set the timer and temperature too. The timer can be set up to 3 hours, which is helpful when you want to keep food warm or when you want to slow cook.
The induction cooktop is ideal for boiling water, milk, gravies and pressure cooking. But when you make dosa, the centre tends to get brown and the edges white because the heating coil at the centre actually has a very small diameter of just around 6-8cm. When making roti/chapati, you need to ensure that it is small in size, measuring around 15cm in diameter. Larger chapati will face the same problem as seen in dosa- its edges won’t cook sufficiently. Even when frying paneer, fish, or chicken, you need to move it around frequently from the centre. Else, the pieces are the centre may get burnt and the ones around the edges will not brown enough. But, know this, this is not particular to just Philips but common to all induction stoves available in the market.
Overall, being quick, with easy touch controls and an aesthetic appeal, Philips HD4928/01 is one of the best options to consider.
Amazon Basics 1900 Watts Induction Cooktop
|Fairly quick at cooking and boiling.|
|Has useful functions like heat milk which boils milk preventing spillage|
|Comes with a 16 A plug which many people may not have easy access to.|
One of the advantages of Amazon Basics products is that they are of pretty good quality and competitively priced too. We found the Amazon Basics kettle too as the best budget-friendly option.
The induction cooktop comes with a 1900-watt heating element. It has 6 functions. They are heat milk, deep fry, boil, curry, dosa/chapati and pressure cook. The manufacturers recommend using cookware with around 15-18cm wide induction base on this cooktop for optimal performance. It also has a timer that can be set from 1 minute to 3 hours.
You can boil water to 100 C in about 5.2 minutes. The heat milk function comes with a 15 minute timer. If you boil milk in a utensil with 2-2.5 times its volume, you can rest assured that the milk will not boil and spill over. That means, you should boil 500 ml milk in a saucepan with at least 1-1.5 litre capacity. This makes “heat milk” an especially useful function for busy mornings when you don’t have time to guard over the milk.
The dosa/roti function is useful for making small chapati/roti. But, thin, wide dosa gets brown just in the centre and not at the edges due to uneven heat distribution.
The cooktop also has basic safety functions like going on stand-by mode if the cookware is not placed on the cooktop within a minute of removal; alerts when cookware is not in place or in cases of overheating.
The main drawback of the cooktop is that it comes with a 16A plug. Honestly, this shouldn’t be called a drawback because this is done to protect users as high-wattage heating appliances should have 16A plug point for better safety. But, unfortunately, 16A plug points are not quite prevalent in many kitchens and hostels.
Overall, with responsive buttons, easy to use interface, quick cooking and superior safety functions, Amazon Basics is an economical, yet superior option to consider.
Bajaj Majesty ICX Pearl 1900W Induction Cooktop
|Fairly quick at cooking and boiling|
|Easy to use interphase.|
|Milk tea function doesn’t prevent milk from spilling while boiling.|
Bajaj Majesty ICX Pearl is yet another top-selling induction cooktop in India. It comes with a 1900 watts heating element and has 8 functions. They are curry, fry, idili, dosa/roti, milk tea, boil, slow cook and keep warm. Price-wise, it falls between that of Amazon Basics and Philips HD4928.
Its induction base measures around 19cm in diameter. However, the heating coil is much smaller in size.
Just like Amazon Basics, Bajaj Majesty ICX Pearl too boils water in about 5.2 minutes. Using the roti/dosa function, you can make small chapatis that are evenly cooked. Yet another function worth mentioning is the curry function. Initially, it runs at a high temperature at which you can do tadka and saute masala. Then, the wattage reduces after a while so that the gravy gradually simmers to develop a rich flavour. Amazon Basics’ and Philips Gravy and curry function too work similarly.
The keep-warm function, as the name suggests, heats the curry and maintains it at about 70 C. Its timer lasts for 2 hours.
However, a drawback is that, unlike Amazon Basics, Bajaj’s induction stove doesn’t heat milk in such a way that it avoids spillage. The stove runs at 800 Watts and doesn’t change the wattage in between. As a result, 500ml milk gets boiled within just 3-4 minutes and it will spill over if not switched off.
Talking about durability, one of our team members used Bajaj’s induction cooktop in her kitchen. She was indeed impressed as she used it for around a decade without any trouble. However, after that, it conked off.
Prestige PIC 20 1600 Watts Induction Cooktop
|Heat milk function boils milk without spilling it.|
|Doesn’t have a maximum 1600 Watts as claimed|
Though priced similar to Amazon Basics Induction cooktop, Prestige PIC 20 has a lower wattage of 1600 watts only. As a result, it takes a longer time to heat and cook food compared to Amazon Basics, Bajaj and Philips. It took almost 6.45 minutes to boil 1 litre of water, while AmazonBasics took just 5.2 minutes.
The Prestige PIC 20 comes with 8 functions. They are- dosa/chapati, pressure cook, curry, idili, deep fry, heat milk, saute and keep warm. The buttons are not as responsive as what you find on Amazon Basics, Philips and Bajaj.
Comparatively, the induction base of the Prestige PIC 20 is smaller measuring 15cm in diameter. Ideally, the cookware’s induction base should be less than 20cm in diameter. The manual says, cookware up to 26cm can be used on it. But, if you fry or make dosa/roti on such a large pan, the food at the edge won’t get cooked evenly and the ones at the centre could get burnt if not careful.
Just like others, the heat milk function is helpful in boiling milk without spillage and the keep warm function heats up the food without drying it out for hours.
The induction cooktop comes with all basic safety features and alerts. It shows error when utensil is missing and protects against overheating, overheating against high voltage, dry heating and sensor failures.
A drawback however is that though the rated wattage is 1600 watts, we measured the wattage to be less than 1300 watts using a watt meter even when heating at the highest setting.
Given the same price, we would overall recommend Amazon Basics over Prestige PIC 20, provided you have easy access to a 16 A plug point.
Pigeon By Stovekraft Cruise 1800 Watts Induction Cooktop
|Most inexpensive among the options we tried.|
|Fairly easy to use.|
|Takes much longer time to cook as it doesn’t have 1800 watts heating element as claimed.|
Pigeon Cruise is the most budget-friendly option amongst the ones we tested. It is supposed to have a 1800 watts heating element. Also, the unit has 7 cooking functions, namely pressure cook, saute, curry, heat milk, dosa, chapati, deep fry and idli.
Though the rated wattage is 1800 watts, we measured just less than 1300 watts using a watt meter at its highest setting. Corroborating the readings, it took close to 7 minutes to boil a litre of water which was the longest compared to all the options we tested. Even cooking chapati took about 3-3.5 minutes, while all others were done by 2-2.5 minutes. So, yes, it is comparatively slower than others.
The cooking functions work optimally. The induction plate measures 17cm. As per the manual, cookware with base ranging from 12 to 24cm can be used on Pigeon Cruise cooktop.
The cooktop has a tendency to slightly wobble. Also, its buttons are not as easy to use as other options.
Given the budget-friendly price, it is an option suitable for those who do not mind the slightly longer cooking time.
How To Choose An Induction Cooktop?
An induction cooktop is a fairly simple appliance. Hence, there are just few important aspects that you need to consider while choosing one for your needs. They are-
Power is perhaps one of the most important aspects to consider when buying an induction cooktop. The higher the power, the quicker it boils and cooks food. On the other hand, it consumes higher electricity too. Ideally, opt for an induction cooktop with at least 1900 Watts of power. Else, it will take as long or sometimes much longer than cooking on gas stove.
Size of Induction Base
The size of the induction base gives a good indication of whether you can use large pans and pots on the stove. Ideally, they should have at least 17cm diameter. That being said, the heating coil of most induction cooktops have just 6-8cm diameter. Hence, you will find heat doesn’t radiate evenly on the cookware. This becomes noticeable when you fry food on the induction cooktop. The food at the centre will be brown, while the ones at the edges will be uncooked. Hence, you have to move around food frequently when frying in an induction cooktop.
Some induction cooktops have functions merely for the sake of it. It just sets the wattage at a certain level and runs indefinitely. However, in options like AmazonBasics, you find that the induction stove runs at variable wattages to optimally cook the particular food. For example, the heat milk function ensures that it boils milk without spilling outside the pot. Similarly, gravy function runs at different wattages for tadka, saueting and simmering the food.
You get what you pay for. This is especially true in cases of kitchen appliances. Ideally, be prepared to shell out Rs.2000 or above if you want an induction cooktop that will last at least 5 years or more. Cheaper ones conk out much quicker. Options like Prestige, Bajaj, Philips etc are much more durable than cheaper options available in the market.
Being a heating appliance, it is important that induction stoves have sufficient safety features. Ideally, they should alert you when the pot is removed from the cooktop, when the device overheats or when any of the sensors fail. Fortunately, most induction cooktops come with these basic safety features. This also brings us to another point, avoid buying induction cooktops without BIS marking.