Best Electric Cooktops for Induction Home Brewing

With sustainability being the top priority in everyone’s lists, electric cooktops and kettles bring sustainable advantages of energy conservation to the forefront while quenching your appetite.

These innovations also let you dabble between your culinary skills and flaunt your love for this art to those who matter, without any exposed flames or explosive gas tanks in your brewery.

Electric Brewing indoors homebrew setup
Source: Matus Kocur in Homebrew Academy FB Group

I’ve burnt through a few of these (pun intended), and can fully recommend just getting this one at the top to start with.

The electric cooktop or ‘electric stove’ makes use of induction to offer you the desired results without flaring up the temperatures. And is as environmentally-friendly as it gets.

You wont even need to clean up the kitchen when you are done. 🙂

The induction cooktop has a lot of applications that will leave you awestruck and wanting to possess one of these nifty appliances immediately. Want to whip up a scrumptious turkey feast for your loved ones during Thanksgiving, or brew indoors without burning down the house?

Well, now you have the perfect tool for it.

Electric Brewing Statistics

3884 Active members of the Homebrew Academy Facebook Group were surveyed in Jan 2021 in regards to using a propane burner unit or an electric cooktop to do their homebrewing, and this is the response.

44.7% Brew with Gas Only, 39.6% Brew with Electric only, and 15.5% brew with a mix of both.

When asked, the overwhelming reason for using an electric unit is that it’s safer to use indoors that a gas unit. And you can’t argue with that.

Here’s the Data:

House Fire Statistics How NOT to become one Homebrew Academy

Why You Should Seriously Consider Induction Brewing

From talking to other homebrewers, I sense many of us went through the same and somewhat predictable progression when it came to getting our wort to a boil.

Most of us started out on our kitchen stoves and realized bringing 3.5 gallons (or more!) of wort to a boil was a lengthy task. We quickly learned that we needed more power.

In fact, I was ordering my Bayou propane burner within hours of pitching yeast into my first batch! But firing up a burner indoors is consider “dangerous.” Oh, bother….

After we toughed-out a few batches with the propane burner, battling the extremes mother nature threw at us, we started to wonder how we could get back in the house to make our beer. These thoughts lead us into the realm of electric brewing.

Induction Brewing: A Different Type of Electric Brewing

Electric brewing used to be a rather scary idea. Fearful of the unknown, homebrewers would assume liquid and electricity are bound to result in electrocution.  Or an even worse assumption, high-voltage heating elements will scorch the wort!

A few pioneers emerged and theelectricbrewery.com was formed to enlighten all homebrewers on the benefits and how-to’s of brewing with electricity. Some of us who are less electrically inclined, were still left out in the cold, literally and figuratively.

But thankfully there was some new technology emerging to solve our dilemma – induction cooktops.

Induction cooktops differ from other electric hotplates or stoves that we are accustomed to since the induction cooktop itself generates no heat.

Induction cooktops generate eddy currents which react with ferromagnetic (iron) in the cooking vessel. This reaction directly heats up the cooking vessel. By design, induction heating is a more efficient transfer of electricity to heat compared to a typical heating coil in a stove or hotplate.

Think about it: a traditional stove goes Electricity → Heats Coil → Cooking Vessel.

Induction takes Electric Current → Heats Cooking vessel.

Induction cuts out the ‘middle man.’  The downside is that your brewing vessel must be ferromagnetic, or contain iron, and have a flat bottom.  An easy way to test for this is to see if a magnet will stick to your brewpot.  If it does then you are good to go.

What’s better about induction?

Initially the problem with induction technology was that it was very expensive and cost prohibitive for brewing. Many induction cooktops powerful enough to heat up 6-11 gallons of wort cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars. These high energy units were only marketed and used by restaurants.

That was until recently, when a new model came on the market significantly cheaper than the others.  Enter the Mai Cook Stainless Steel 3500W Electric Induction Cooktop.

This unit runs off of a 20 amp 240 volt circuit and with patience and some brewpot insulation, is capable of brewing 10-gallon batches.  If you only brew five gallons at a time, you have more than enough power with this unit.

Advantages of Induction Cooktops

  • No Control Panel – The control panel on an induction burner is built-in.
  • Brew Indoors – This is an advantage compared to traditional propane burners which generally require you to be outside in the elements.
  • Repeatability – On my propane burner, I am constantly fiddling with the gas valve to adjust gas output and control my boil. These units can be set to watt increments and after a couple of uses you can dial in what you need to maintain a rolling boil.  This should also help you achieve a more consistent boil-off rate.
  • Cost of Use – Electricity is significantly cheaper than propane. I normally get four 5-gallon brews out of a tank of propane ($20) so that is $5/brew.  Electric with this induction unit comes out to about $.60/brew based on my electric rate of 6.6 cents/kWh.

Disadvantages of Induction Cooktops

  • Temp Control – These units cannot be controlled by a P.I.D. or other temperature sensor so you won’t be able to utilize an induction cooker in a HERMS or RIMS system – those components would be separate.
  • Power – This cooker is 3500 watts which is more than enough for five gallon batches, but really pushing the time limits for a 10-gallon batch, though it is doable with patience.
  • Use of Existing Equipment – If you don’t have magnetic flat bottom brewpot already, you may need to upgrade before utilizing induction
  • Initial Cost – This unit at ~$200 costs three to four times more than a propane burner.

So now that you are aware of what an induction burner is, and how it might be useful in your brewery, you want to know how well it works, right?  Here is how long it takes for me to heat things up:

  • 4.5 gallons of strike water can be raised from 119℉ to 175℉ in 14 minutes. About 4℉ per minute increase
  • 7.5 gallons from mash 152℉ to boiling in 33 minutes. Right under 2℉ per minute increase.

This is pretty good considering I start to heat while I am sparging, so much of this time is occurring while collect wort into the kettle anyways.  I also measure these numbers without any insulation on my brewpot, which can be really useful, especially when boiling 11+ gallons.

So if you are looking for a relatively economical way to get back to brewing indoors, induction brewing on an electric cooktop may be the route for you! 

Best Electric Cooktops You Can Buy Today

The induction current allows you to obtain the crispy and caramelized exteriors of different meat with the juicy insides intact. It can also help you in preparing dishes that get done in low moisture but are not too dry and also in toasting your bread and stuff.

Duxtop Portable Induction Cook Top:

Homebrewers' Choice
Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop with Sensor Touch, 1800W
$149.99 $106.89

HIGH EFFICIENCY: Choose from 20 preset power levels (100W to 1800W) and 20 preset temperature level settings (100°F to 460°F).

SENSOR TOUCH PANEL: Built-in LED screen touch panel

EASY-TO-CLEAN FULL GLASS PANEL: This commercial-grade quality induction hot plate features a seamless glass cooktop, making clean up easy.

Detail Page
03/17/2023 03:56 am GMT

The Duxtop Induction Cooktop is not just another kitchen gadget; it’s a versatile cooking partner that adapts to various lifestyles. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or a college student in a dorm room, this cooktop’s lightweight, portable design fits right in.

It operates on a 120 Volt 15 Amp electrical outlet, which makes it perfect for use at home or on-the-go adventures like camping and boating. The intuitive touch-sensitive screen paired with LED controls offers 20 preset temperature and power levels, allowing for precision cooking that brings out the best flavors in your dishes.

The sleek, stainless steel casing, combined with a commercial-grade glass panel, ensures durability while making cleaning a breeze.

I’ve found this induction cooktop to be a game-changer in my culinary experiments. The 83% energy efficiency rating has significantly cut down my power bills, making it a sustainable alternative to traditional cooking methods.

The pre-set options have simplified complex cooking tasks; for instance, I can melt chocolate without worrying about burning it or fry an egg with just the right texture. If you’re big on outdoor cooking, the compact size fits comfortably in the trunk of your car, ready for the next adventure.

The tactile screen offers real-time control, and the LED indicators keep things visible, even during twilight grilling sessions in the backyard. Compared to some other brands I’ve tried, Duxtop strikes a unique balance between functionality and portability without skimping on the power.

However, the product isn’t without its shortcomings. The cooktop guide circles can be misleading when it comes to choosing the right cookware, requiring some trial and error to get it right. Additionally, the temperature control and safety lock features could be more consistent. But these are minor issues in what is otherwise a stellar appliance.

Pros:

  • Versatile and portable, perfect for both indoor and outdoor use
  • 20 preset temperature and power levels for precision cooking
  • Energy-efficient with an 83% rating, saving on utility bills
  • High-quality stainless steel and commercial-grade glass panel for durability and ease of cleaning
  • Intuitive touch-sensitive screen with clear LED indicators

Cons:

  • Misleading cooktop guide circles can cause confusion in selecting suitable cookware
  • Inconsistent temperature control and safety lock features

Overall, the Duxtop Induction Cooktop offers a compelling blend of versatility, performance, and sustainability, making it a value-packed addition to your cooking arsenal.

Duxtop 1800 Watt Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop burner :

Best Seller
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner
$62.99

120V 15 amp electrical outlet - standard in all North American homes; lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage. Digital control panel; Built-in count-down digital timer with 1 minute increments up to 170 minutes; 10 temperature range from 140 °F to 460 °F; 10 power levels from 200 to 1800 Watts.

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04/10/2024 01:11 am GMT

The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop is a versatile and compact kitchen appliance that melds stylish design with advanced features.

It plugs into a standard 120 Volt 15 Amp outlet and provides an array of customization options through its digital control panel, which offers timer settings in 1-minute increments up to 170 minutes, multiple temperature settings from 140°F to 460°F, and power modulation between 200W and 1800W.

What’s particularly impressive is its safety features—automatic shut-off via an auto-pan detection system, diagnostic error messages, and low/high voltage warning systems. This induction cooktop is the epitome of smart cooking, alerting you to potential problems and even shutting itself off if no cookware is detected for a minute, thereby conserving energy.

In my hands-on experience with this product, I’ve found the Duxtop Induction Cooktop to be incredibly user-friendly and efficient. The absence of an open flame makes it safe and easy to clean; a simple wipe with a damp cloth gets the job done.

It’s also fitted with a 7-blade fan that dissipates heat quickly, allowing the cooktop to cool down in no time. Its compact and lightweight design means you can easily take it on camping trips or use it as an additional cooking surface for large gatherings.

One standout feature has to be the digital control panel; it’s sleek, intuitive, and gives you total control over your cooking. This cooktop is leagues ahead of traditional stovetops and even edges out other induction cooktops in terms of features and portability.

That said, this cooktop isn’t perfect. The most glaring limitation is that your cookware needs to have a magnetic bottom with a minimum diameter of 5 inches, which might mean an additional investment if your current cookware isn’t compatible. Some users have reported inconsistent temperature controls and an occasional high-pitched noise, which could be concerning over time.

Pros:

  • Easy-to-use digital control panel for precise cooking
  • Multiple safety features including auto-pan detection and error messages
  • Compact and portable design, perfect for a range of settings
  • Quick and effortless cleaning due to absence of open flame
  • Wide range of temperature and power settings

Cons:

  • Requires specific cookware with magnetic bottoms of at least 5 inches in diameter
  • Some units may have faulty temperature controls or produce a high-pitched whine

All in all, the Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop packs a host of innovative features into a compact and stylish form factor, making it an excellent addition to any modern kitchen or outdoor cooking setup.

ZAVOR Pro Portable Induction Cooktop :

Induction Cooktop
Portable Induction Cooktop 1800W
$129.95

8 quick launch buttons: Warm, simmer, boil, rapid boil, sauté, brown, sear and stir-fry | Temperature ranges from 140°f - 465°f and can be adjusted in ten degree increments using the + and – buttons. Safety lock button disables all touch controls on the panel. Temp. Button is used to activate the Cook-Top once it’s plugged in. The built-in timer is programmable up to 180 minutes.

Detail Page
03/17/2023 04:18 am GMT

The ZAVOR Pro Portable Induction Cooktop is a versatile and convenient cooking solution for various scenarios, be it a camping trip, a college dorm, or a small apartment. This cooktop works with a standard 110 Volt outlet and weighs just 5.9 lbs, making it incredibly portable.

One of the standout features is the 8 quick-launch buttons that cover all your cooking needs—from stir-frying to searing, and even just warming up food. The digital control panel offers adjustable temperature settings between 140°F and 465°F, and a built-in timer that can be programmed up to 180 minutes, giving you full control over your culinary creations.

In my hands-on experience, the ZAVOR Pro not only performs excellently but is also exceptionally easy to use. The quick-launch buttons are genuinely a time-saver; for instance, when you’re rushing to prepare multiple dishes, the preset buttons for boiling or simmering make multitasking a breeze.

The absence of an open flame keeps the cooktop surface cool, making clean-up quick and simple—a simple swipe of a cloth does the job. In terms of safety, it excels with a lock button that immediately disables all touch controls, preventing any accidental changes during cooking.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the ZAVOR Pro is quite specific about the type of cookware you can use. You’ll need induction-compatible cookware to operate this cooktop, which could mean an additional investment for some users.

Pros:

  • Ultra-portable, weighing just 5.9 lbs and compatible with a standard 110 Volt outlet
  • Quick-launch buttons for easy and efficient cooking across various styles
  • Advanced safety features including a lock button to disable touch controls
  • Adjustable temperature settings and built-in timer for precise cooking
  • Easy to clean, thanks to the cool and non-sticky surface

Cons:

  • Requires induction-compatible cookware, limiting your options if your current set isn’t suitable

The ZAVOR Pro Portable Induction Cooktop offers the best of both worlds: high-end features and portability, making it an ideal choice for those who love cooking but are constrained by space or are always on the move.

CUSIMAX Portable Electric Stove :

Economy Choice
Portable Electric Stove, 1200W Infrared Single Burner

Works with ALL types of Kettles. Infrared burners take only a few seconds to heat up. Powered by 120V and 1200-Watts. Single Dial Temp Control

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The Cusimax Portable Electric Stove is a powerhouse of versatility and efficiency, offering a 120 Volt 1200 Watt infrared burner that works with any cookware you own. Whether it’s copper, glass, aluminum, or cast iron, this stove minimizes heat loss while delivering consistent results.

The infrared heating not only reaches your desired cooking temperature within seconds but also eliminates the worry of electromagnetic radiation. Built for durability with a ceramic cooktop and stainless steel back, it’s suitable for a variety of environments—from offices to college dorms, recreational vehicles, or outdoor campouts.

Having tested this stove extensively, I can attest to its remarkable efficiency and portability. The infrared heating feature allows for speedy cooking, so whether it’s a quick pasta dish or a more complex recipe, you can whip up meals in no time.

The automatic safety shut-off and thermostat-regulated temperature controls make it incredibly safe to use, allowing you to focus on your culinary creativity. Plus, cleaning is a breeze. Just wait for the stove to cool down and wipe it clean with a damp cloth. I was particularly impressed with how seamlessly it worked with different types of cookware, eliminating the need for specialized pots or pans.

However, the Cusimax stove has its share of drawbacks. Users have reported issues such as burner disruption and overheating that can lead to glass burn, which raises concerns about the product’s long-term durability.

Additionally, there have been reports of short-circuiting, making it important to exercise caution and monitor the unit closely while in use.

Pros:

  • Universal cookware compatibility offers unparalleled versatility
  • Ultra-portable, lightweight design perfect for various settings
  • Built with durable materials like ceramic and stainless steel for long-term use
  • Enhanced safety features, including automatic shut-off and thermostat controls
  • Easy to clean with just a damp cloth or towel
  • Quick, efficient infrared heating with no electromagnetic radiation

Cons:

  • Frequent reports of burner disruption and glass burning raise durability concerns
  • Potential for short-circuiting poses a safety risk

In summary, the Cusimax Portable Electric Stove provides a highly versatile and efficient cooking solution, but potential issues with durability and safety may require extra caution.

If you’re seeking a portable stove with broad cookware compatibility and fast cooking times, this could be a valuable addition to your kitchen arsenal.

Duxtop portable induction cooktop with LCD sensors :

Best Seller
Portable Induction Burner Hot Plate with LCD Sensor Touch 1800 Watts

110/120V 15 amp electrical outlet–standard. ETL listed and built to North American electrical standards. It is lightweight and compact for easy handling and storage. 1800 Watts Wort Boiling Power.

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The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop is another standout product from the brand, offering a blend of versatility and efficiency. Compatible with a standard 110/120 Volt 15 Amp outlet, this lightweight and portable unit is ideal for a multitude of settings, whether you’re in a dorm room, an RV, or even on a fishing boat.

The unit offers an extensive range of 20 preset power and temperature settings, spanning from 100°F to 460°F and 100 watts to 1800 watts, giving you precise control over your culinary endeavors. What sets this model apart are additional features like the keep-warm button, which maintains a 140°F temperature for up to 30 minutes, and a fast-boil button.

Safety is also a priority, with an auto-pan detection feature that shuts off the unit if compatible cookware isn’t detected within 60 seconds.

From my own experience using this Duxtop induction cooktop, I can attest to its unparalleled convenience and functionality. The LCD touch sensor controls are intuitive, and the safety lock feature ensures that your settings won’t be accidentally altered—a must when you’re multitasking in the kitchen.

The 83% energy efficiency rating is a green flag for those concerned about sustainability. Its portable design makes it easy to bring along on various adventures, and the unit’s versatility—from its wide range of settings to features like fast boil and keep-warm—make it a valuable kitchen companion.

Cleaning it is a breeze, thanks to its sleek glass panel; a quick wipe-down with a damp cloth is all you need.

However, this cooktop is not without its limitations. The first is the necessity for induction-compatible cookware, which could mean investing in a new set if your existing one isn’t compatible.

The second drawback is the occasional high-pitched, unpleasant noise generated during induction operations, likely due to the multiple layers of metals in the cookware.

Pros:

  • Extremely portable, suitable for diverse settings like dorms, RVs, and boats
  • Wide range of preset temperature and power settings for precise cooking
  • Multiple safety features, including auto-pan detection and child lock
  • Additional features like keep-warm and fast-boil enhance versatility
  • Easy to clean with a sleek glass panel

Cons:

  • Requires induction-compatible cookware for operation
  • May produce a high-pitched unpleasant noise with certain cookware

In summary, the Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop offers a well-rounded package of features, safety, and versatility, but prospective buyers should be aware of its cookware requirements and the possibility of noise issues.

Overall, it’s a reliable and convenient choice for anyone looking to expand their culinary horizons.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Best Electric Cooktops and Portable Electric Stove Options for Homebrewing?

When it comes to homebrewing, several best electric cooktops are highly recommended. The Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop and the Mai Cook Stainless Steel 3500W Electric Induction Cooktop stand out as the best portable induction cooktops. These cooktops offer high efficiency, multiple power levels, and are environmentally friendly, making them the best electric hot plates for brewing needs.

How Many Watts Do These Best Electric Cooktops Use?

The power consumption of these best electric cooktops varies significantly. For instance, the Mai Cook Stainless Steel 3500W Electric Induction Cooktop operates on a 20 amp 240-volt circuit, equating to 3500 watts. Duxtop models, considered among the best induction cooktops, operate on a 120 Volt 15 Amp electrical outlet. Knowing the wattage, such as how many watts a stove burner uses or how many watts an induction burner uses, can help you calculate the cost of use and choose the best electric burners for your needs.

How to Use a Duxtop Induction Cooktop and Other Best Induction Cooktops?

Duxtop induction cooktops, often cited as the best induction cooktop portable options, come with intuitive touch-sensitive screens and LED controls. These features offer preset temperature and power levels, making it easy to understand how to use a Duxtop induction cooktop. They also feature safety measures like auto-pan detection systems that shut off the unit if no cookware is detected for a minute, making them some of the best cooktops in terms of safety.

What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Best Induction Cooktops and Best Electric Cooktops?

Induction cooktops, including the best induction cooktops and best electric cooktops, are energy-efficient, safe for indoor use, and offer precise temperature control. However, they require specific, induction-compatible cookware. Some of the best cooktops may produce a high-pitched noise during operation, which could be a drawback for some users. Countertop burners and induction hot plates are also available for those who need a more portable solution.

Are Induction Cooktops and Best Electric Cooktops Cost-Effective for Brewing?

Electricity is generally cheaper than propane for brewing. Using an induction unit, such as the best induction burner or induction burner for brewing, could cost about $.60 per brew based on an electric rate of 6.6 cents/kWh. This makes induction brewing and using the best electric cook top a cost-effective option for homebrewers.

Conclusion

Induction cooktops and infrared heating operated stoves can be alternative forms of cooking apparatus which work more efficiently than traditional propane burner units do.

These employ the conventional sources of energy, ensuring cooking remains easy for you. Ditch that gas burner today.

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