We may earn revenue from the products available on this page and participate in affiliate programs. Learn more ›
Electric cooktops offer a modern solution to an ancient practice. Many customers, not just those without natural gas hookups, prefer them for their sleek and polished appearance, ease of cleaning, steady heat, energy efficiency, and overall pleasant cooking experience. However, electric cooktops aren’t one size fits all. There are a wide variety of types and styles at varying price points, making selecting them difficult if you’re new to the world of electric stovetops. From induction cooktops to electric coil cooktops, we’ve done the research on the best electric cooktops in 2023 to make the world of alternative cooking methods a little less overwhelming.
How we chose the best electric cooktops
We understand how many options are out there when it comes to the kitchen—whether it’s countertop smart ovens, latte machines, or more serious appliances. We wanted to represent that variety in our selections because we know there is a wide range of needs and, in turn, types of electric cooktops. Our list of best electric cooktops represents those varying needs from portability to size to number of burners.
We looked at ratings and reviews, looking especially for commentary on durability and quality. The last thing we’d want is for your electric cooktop to be unreliable or malfunction. We paid special attention to heat times and safety features like auto shut-off, manual control knobs, hot surface indicator lights, etc.
We also looked at value for money. Everybody’s budgets are different, but we can all agree that higher price tags should come with higher quality, features, and reliability.
The best electric cooktops: Reviews & Recommendations
Unlike traditional gas cooktops, the best electric cooktops remove the need for an open flame by evenly distributing heat using electricity instead of gas, like a hot plate. That doesn’t mean all the options are evenly matched, so we’ve picked the best and presented them here—from renovation-worthy to giftable.
Best 30-inch: Frigidaire FGEC3068UB Gallery 30-in. Electric Cooktop
- Material: Glass ceramic
- Product Dimensions: 21.38 x 30.63 x 2.63 inches
- Wattage: 32000 Watts
- Five burners at varying sizes
- Hot surface indicator lights for safety
- Fits above most wall ovens
- Quick boiling function
- Attractive and sleek
- Doesn’t come with a rubber gasket to seal the glass to counter
- Some had issues with damage during shipping
Ideal for large families, this smooth surface, glass-ceramic cooktop features five burners, including a 7-inch burner and two 6-inch burners to fit a variety of pots and pans. The fifth burner comes in handy for big gatherings or those who cook often.
We love that it heats up quickly, has Express-Select control knobs for quick boiling, and a hot surface indicator light for added safety. You also have to push down to turn the dials, making it even safer to prevent kids and pets from accidentally turning it on.
At 30 inches, this cooktop fits above most wall ovens. It looks sleek, modern, and attractive, suitable for a variety of kitchen styles. Note that it doesn’t come with a rubber gasket to seal the glass to the counter, and many complained of shipping issues and damage during transit.
Best two burner: Cuisinart Cast-Iron Double Burner
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Product Dimensions: 11.5″D x 19.5″W x 2.5″H
- Wattage: 1800 Watts
- Very portable
- Great for RVs, parties, road trips, camping, short-term renters, etc
- Two separate 6-setting adjustable temperature controls
- Stable with non-slip feet
- Temp control; it heats up and cools down much slower than alternative types
- Not ideal for boiling large amounts of water
At just 10 pounds, this super-portable double burner is the ideal solution for small spaces like RVs, apartments, and dorms. It’s easy to take along with you for road trips, camping, or setting up at a party or backyard barbecue.
With a brushed stainless steel base and durable cast iron plating, it features nonslip feet, adjustable control knobs, and two different burners. The large plate features 1300 watts of power, and the small plate has only 500 watts, making it more ideal for heating up food or lightly sauteing.
Many reviewers state that you should never try to move this after it’s been running—set it and leave it until it’s fully cooled. One knock against this model is it can be very slow to boil larger pots of water. This is best for cooking food in a pan or boiling smaller amounts, but waiting for it to boil a gallon of water will drive you nuts.
Best scratch-resistant: Viking – Professional 5 Series 36″ Electric Cooktop
- Material: Stainless Steel/Ceramic Glass
- Product Dimensions: 6.1” x 21” x 36.7”
- Wattage: 3200 Watts
- Easy installation
- Sleek, modern, luxury appearance
- Glass is scratch-resistant and durable
- Six burners
- Bridge element to create one larger cooktop for oversized cookware
- Shows fingerprints
- 36” is on the larger size for standard oven cooktops
The Viking Professional 5 Series 36″ Electric Cooktop has an impressive six burners made from high-quality ceramic glass that is scratch-resistant and extremely durable. As a radiant heat cooktop, this cooktop cooks your food faster and more efficiently than alternative cooking methods and is compatible with nearly all cookware.
We love that the cooktop can accommodate a variety of cookware types. It has a triple element and a bridge element to turn two elements into one for a larger cooking surface or to accommodate bulky or oddly shaped cookware. There’s also a 12” warming zone to keep meals warm conveniently.
There’s a hot surface indicator light for added safety and BlackChrome knobs that are removable for quick, simple cleaning. Note that the glass may be scratch-resistant, but that doesn’t mean you can go hog wild. It also does show fingerprints very easily, so may require more cleaning. At just over 36”, it’s on the larger end of standard oven tops. Be sure to measure your space to ensure a proper fit.
Best four burner: Karinear 4 Burner Electric Cooktop
- Material: Glass Ceramic
- Product Dimensions: 23.62 x 19.69 x 1.97 inches
- Wattage: 1200, 1800 Watts
- Easy installation
- Affordable, great value for money
- Several safety features
- Comes with scraper tool for easy cleaning
- Knob order/correspondence seems confusing and non-intuitive for some
- Pets (cats) can easily step on the on/off switch
This affordable, easy-to-install, hard-wired, four-burner electric cooktop has nine heat level settings that allow you to boil, stew, fry, stir fry, and melt, all with just a button switch.
It has overheating protection and an automatic safety shut-off function when the internal temperature is too high. There are also manual knobs, so pets or children aren’t as easily able to activate the cooktop. It’s compatible with any pot or cookware.
If you have trouble cleaning the glass, use the cooking tool provided with the cooktop. The heat indicator lights are very sensitive, which we think is ultimately a positive for added safety, but can be annoying for some users. Also, many customers found that the knobs were not intuitive and could be confusing to use; some had trouble remembering which control was for which ring. You could add a colored mark to correspond to the ring.
Best splurge: Bosch Benchmark Series 36 Inch Wide 5 Burner Induction Cooktop with FlexInduction
- Material: Ceramic Glass
- Product Dimensions: D21.25 in x H4.125 in. x W37 in.
- Wattage: 12,000 W
- SpeedBoost® technology adds a boost of power for faster cooking
- AutoChef technology automatically regulates cooking temperature
- FlexInduction technology for cooking flexibility
- Induction provides precise temperature control
- 17 power levels
- The app doesn’t provide much value
- Some customers desired individual timers per burner, instead of just one
If you’re going to spend top dollar on high-end electric cooktops, you want all the bells and whistles. This induction cooktop offers a luxury feel and cooking experience with tons of features that make the higher price tag worth it if you’re setting up your ideal smart home.
The WiFi-enabled induction cooktop allows for app-controlled remote monitoring. It features a keep warm function, 17 power levels, five frying levels, and FlexInduction technology for added flexibility by combining two cooking zones into one larger zone. The AutoChef technology automatically regulates the cooking temperature, and the SpeedBoost technology adds a boost of power for faster cooking or to quickly boil water.
It also has several safety features to keep your little ones and pets safe. Featuring a childproof lock, key lock, pan recognition, and power management function, you’ll have less worry and stress when it comes to accidents, burns, and mishaps.
Best portable: Nuwave Flex Precision Induction Cooktop
- Material: Ceramic Glass
- Product Dimensions: 10″D x 12″W x 2″H
- Wattage: 600, 900, 1300 Watts
- Lightweight and compact
- Three wattage settings
- Six temp presets
- Super quick heating
- Short power cord can be inconvenient
- No on/off switch
- Temperature display panel is really more “watts,” which is confusing
This fun-sized induction cooktop is a handy on-the-go stove, perfect for RVs, small spaces, travel, and office use. We love that it comes with three different wattage settings: 600, 900, and 1300 watts. To give you an idea of what that means in practice, boiling water would take about 15 minutes at 600, 8-9 minutes at 900, and 5 minutes at 1300W.
The level of temperature precision and control is superior to many other models at a price point that doesn’t break the bank. It can heat from 100 to 500 degrees Fahrenheit in 10-degree increments with six preset temperature settings.
Now for some downsides: there’s no on/off switch, so it’s automatically on when you plug it in. This isn’t great as far as safety and energy efficiency go, especially if you’re the type that forgets to unplug your appliances. It also has a short cord that exits from the right-hand side, so you’re a bit limited on how you use it.
This isn’t a con, but do note that for an induction cooktop, you’ll need induction-ready cookware.
Best budget: Elite Gourmet ESB-301BF Countertop Single Cast Iron Burner
- Material: Aluminum
- Product Dimensions: 9″D x 9″W x 3.25″H
- Wattage: 1000 Watts
- Extremely affordable
- Compact; great for small spaces and can be stored when not in use
- Safety features
- No auto shut-off
- Can’t use cookware larger than 9.5”
- Not ideal for boiling large pots of water
At less than $25, this single cast iron compact cooking appliance is a total steal. Weighing only 3.5 lbs with adjustable temperature settings and non-slip feet for safety, it’s lightweight, portable, and easy to store away in cabinets when not in use.
Best for sauteing and frying foods (and not so ideal for boiling large pots of water), we recommend this compact cooking solution for dorms, camping trips, and RVs rather than elaborate cooking needs unless you’re cool with waiting 30 minutes for your water to boil.
You must use cookware less than 9.5” in diameter or less than 4 qt. if it’s a pot. Note that the power indicator will turn off when the desired temperature has been reached, so it will re-activate when it needs to raise the temperature as an overheating safety measure. The hot plate itself hasn’t turned off!
Things to consider when buying an electric cooktop
The primary thing that will guide your decision when buying an electric cooktop is space. You’ll obviously need a different cooktop if you’re a van-lifer than if you’re building your dream kitchen. And even beyond that, you’ll need to consider the layout of your space—whether you want a cooktop near the sink, on an island, that can tuck into a cabinet, etc. And the available dimensions will also dictate the number and configuration of burners you end up with—typically two, four, or five—and their size/number of heating elements, which will all impact your creativity and flexibility while cooking.
There is also what’s under the cooking surface that you must consider. Radiant and induction heating elements operate differently and require different cookware. Radiant heat is more traditional in that heat radiants from it and into any cookware, while induction uses electromagnetism, which requires compatible cookware with magnetic discs in the base, allowing the pots and pans to become the heating surface itself and leaving the cooktop’s surface cool to the touch. So, if you like ceramic, glass, copper, and aluminum cookware, go radiant. If you’re worried kids might touch stuff, maybe induction is better.
Q: Which material is best for an induction cooktop?
Certain materials are better suited for induction cooktops because they use magnetic force. These materials include cast iron or enameled cast iron and stainless steel cookware with a magnetic base. Not all stainless steel has a magnetic layer, so be sure to read the descriptions to ensure it has one.
When using cast iron on an induction cooktop, be mindful to handle it carefully as it is heavy and may scratch the stovetop.
Q: Which cooktop uses less electricity?
While all electric cooktops use less energy, induction cooktops use the least amount of electricity when compared to other forms of cooking styles. Induction cooktops use electromagnetic energy to heat the pans and cookware with minimal heat loss, and faster heating means shorter cooking times, contributing to less energy use.
Q: How long do electric cooktops take to heat up?
The time it takes for electric cooktops to heat depends on the type of cooktop and its specific model, quality, settings, type of cookware used, etc. Generally speaking, though, induction cooktops are known for the most rapid heat times (within seconds), whereas traditional electric coil cooktops take about five minutes to become hot. Radiant electric cooktops are faster than coils but will still take a few minutes longer than induction.
Q: How long do electric cooktops last?
Like any household appliance, the lifespan of your electric cooktop will depend on usage, care, maintenance upkeep, and the quality of the cooktop purchased. Depending on these factors, you can get up to 20 years of usage out of your cooktop if you take good care of it.
Final thoughts on the best electric cooktops
Electric cooktops are a great choice for those looking to modernize their kitchen experience. Whether you’re sick and tired of cleaning gas stoves, want a more even heat distribution, are looking for better energy efficiency, need a hot plate for on-the-go use, or simply like the appearance of a smooth stovetop with touch controls, there are many reasons you may be drawn to one of these top electric cooktops.
Why trust us
Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.
Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.