Before my stove went out, I had no idea how handy a portable cooktop was, especially given past experiences with electric burners. I needed a cooler-running and safer cooktop that provided fast and efficient heat—and NuWave’s portable induction cooktop fit the bill.
From NuWave induction cooktop reviews to alternative options, here’s everything you need to know about the PIC.
Things to Consider Before Buying an Induction Cooktop
Induction cooktops became popular because they heat up much faster than traditional cooktops. Built-in safety features are also desirable; if you turn a burner on without a pan on top of it, the burner won’t heat up. After you switch off the cooktop, the heat dissipates quickly, too, unlike traditional electric versions.
An induction cooktop is an excellent option for you if you want a burner that heats up quickly but won’t get everything in the vicinity hot. However, if you don’t already own magnetic cookware (the means through which an induction cooktop transfers heat), you will have to replace your existing pans.
If you would rather not purchase all-new cookware, a portable ceramic cooktop might be preferable. Ceramic cooktops don’t use magnetic coils for heat, so you can use your existing pans. Ceramic can also prove more affordable than induction technology, though your heat control will be less precise.
As an alternative, the Cusimax Hot Plate offers comparable heat and safety for those who decide to pass on the NuWave Induction Cooktop. It’s a ceramic burner with plenty of power for cooking and warming any dish, and you won’t need magnetic cookware to use it.
Before choosing whether to purchase an induction cooktop, consider the following:
- Whether precision heat is an essential factor
- Overall budget and affordability
- Existing cookware and desire to switch to all-metal
- Relative safety of induction versus ceramic, especially with children in the home
NuWave Induction Cooktop
NuWave’s induction cooktop is a portable single-burner cooktop option you can use nearly anywhere. It enables you to keep sauces warm, prepare meals in a dorm room or other kitchen-less location, and increase available cooking space in a fully equipped kitchen.
Multiple heat settings, wattage ratings, and multiple programming and timer options make your cooktop customizable for whatever dish you want to prepare. The NuWave portable cooktop is ideal for people who need to prepare food outside or away from home.
Four editions of the PIC range from 1300 to 1800 watts with adjustable heat settings. But if you don’t own any induction cookware, you may want to look for an alternative cooktop that’s compatible with your existing pots and pans.
- Heats quickly, but only transfers heat to induction cookware
- Portable and works wherever there’s an outlet
- Multiple heat settings to customize cooking power
- Only compatible with induction cookware
- Screen remains on when the heat is off/no true off
- Not completely quiet (a bit of buzzing is standard)
Features & Benefits of the NuWave Induction Cooktop
There’s a lot to love about the NuWave cooktop—here’s more on the features and benefits the PIC offers.
Whether it’s a complicated multi-step recipe or a dish that needs a specific temperature to set correctly, the NuWave’s variable programming settings help achieve a tasty result. As NuWave notes, you don’t have to watch the pot when you use the programmable stage cooking feature—and we like that there’s one less thing to worry about while meal prepping.
According to NuWave, its cooktops conserve up to 90 percent of the energy a traditional gas or electric stove would use. Therefore, even if you have multiple cooktops for prepping different dishes at the same time, you’ll use less energy than you would for a standard stove.
Standard induction cooktops on your home stove are great for preparing large meals, but when you’re on the go (or just outside), a portable cooktop is ideal. NuWave’s cooktop can go anywhere—from the back porch beside the grill to camping where there’s an electrical outlet or aboard a boat with AC power.
Its portability means you can take the cooktop on trips (use it in a hotel room or your RV), use it where a kitchen isn’t available (in dorm rooms or studio apartments), or continue to prepare meals while your standard stovetop gets a facelift. Overall, the cooktop weighs less than five and a half pounds, so it’s not too hefty to lug around.
Variable Heat Settings
Whether you need to keep sauces warm or want to sear meat with your NuWave cooktop, it has variable settings to address any task. The PIC2 and PIC Gold have 52 temperature settings, while the PIC Pro and PIC Platinum have 94, allowing you to zero in on the perfect temperature to cook and warm every food.
Adjustability is precise, too; the PIC Pro and PIC Platinum vary by five degrees per setting, while the PIC2 and PIC Gold vary by ten-degree increments. What this means for sauces and warming is you won’t have to worry about scorching any food or overheating delicate recipes.
The newer NuWave PIC is narrower than previous versions, meaning it won’t take up a ton of counter space. But among the four available options, the cooking surface is an ample 12 inches, so you can use any cookware in your collection and still have even heat.
Each cooktop has a low profile with a wide, stable base, preventing spills that come with wobbling. Plus, with its quick cooling surface, the NuWave stores easily without causing damage to surfaces or other kitchen items—no melted spatulas or cutting boards to worry about.
Magnetic heat via an induction cooktop is useful for cooking any dish, but it’s also safer than alternatives like gas or electric burners. The only part of the cooktop which gets hot is the magnetic coil surface, which helps avoid accidental burns.
With induction-compatible cookware, your burner provides plenty of focused heat, but once you remove a pot or pan, the burner cools quickly. Fast cooling is another essential safety feature which helps reduce the likelihood of burns or fires, which gives home chefs peace of mind, especially in close quarters.
Low Wattage Requirements
The NuWave PIC doesn’t use as much energy as conventional electric or gas cooktops, which means you can cut down on energy usage by using this burner. The highest wattage is 1300, which is equivalent to the “Sear” setting and delivers plenty of heat.
The lowest heat setting is 600W, which provides a temperature of 100 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Low energy usage also helps if you want to cook in an RV or boat—the PIC requires 10.83 amps to operate, so you can use it nearly anywhere.
Flat Cooktop Surface
Part of the appeal of induction cooktops is how easy they are to clean, and NuWave’s portable cooktop offers the same feature. Once the cooktop cools (which happens quickly), you can wipe the smooth surface with a wet cloth or towel—and that’s it for cleaning. No removing the burner or scrubbing spills, which means less time with cleanup.
Because the NuWave cooktop operates with magnetic coils, once you remove the pot from the burner, the unit begins to cool. Automatic shutoff is built-in with induction cooktops, so you can walk away with your meal once you finish cooking and not worry about overheating or open flames.
The screen remains lit when the unit is plugged in, but you don’t have to unplug every time, which adds a layer of convenience when you’re cooking in close quarters like an RV or dorm room.
I scoured the internet for reviews on NuWave’s cooktops, and plenty of satisfied customers are eager to share their opinions on the product. Highlights include quick heating time, low energy usage, the fact that the unit is so portable, and the low radiant heat the burner puts off.
Alternatives to the NuWave Induction Cooktop
If the NuWave isn’t for you, here are three comparable alternatives with similar features.
iSiLER Portable Induction Cooktop
iSiLER’s portable induction cooktop is a low-profile cooktop option (albeit with limited temperature settings in comparison with the NuWave) and is compatible with iron and stainless-steel cookware. A child safety lock helps limit the potential for accidental heating, making the iSiLER a suitable alternative for shoppers concerned about maximum safety.
Duxtop LCD Induction Cooktop
An auto-shutoff feature echoes NuWave’s technology, and the Duxtop LCD induction cooktop is an affordable alternative to higher-level models of the NuWave. Induction technology still requires you to have metal cookware, and this cooktop requires 120V electricity, so it may not work in all portable settings.
Cusimax Hot Plate
For those home chefs attached to their existing cookware, the Cusimax Hot Plate is an electric burner with seven heat settings and intuitive controls. Two knobs make adjustments easy to navigate, but some users may miss the more modern LCD controls of the NuWave and similar models. Controls are limited to on/off and minimum to maximum heat options, but the flat cooktop and 1500W power are suitable for preparing most dishes.
Check out the three alternatives to the NuWave PIC below.
Whether you need a portable cooktop for adventures outside the home or you’re just hoping to cut down on power costs when cooking, the NuWave portable induction cooktop has all the features you need. It uses less energy than alternative cooktops, heats and cools quickly, and doesn’t transfer heat to anything other than the pot you place on it. Ready to order your own? Click here!