April 27

The Best Single Burner Commercial Induction Cooktops

By trk

Last Updated: February 3, 2023

best commercial induction cooktops, commercial grade portable induction cooktops, commercial induction cooktops

This review focuses on commercial induction burners: What are they? Are they better than consumer grade options? How are they different? Are they worth the extra money? And how do you pick out the best one?

There are dozens of "commercial" grade induction burners on Amazon, but most of them are, frankly, poor quality or overpriced for what you get. We found the best induction commercial grade induction burners that really do provide the quality and performance you want when you invest this much.

Best Commercial Grade Portables at a Glance

Best Commercial PICs at a Glance

PIC

Features

Cons

Best Temp Control:

Vollrath Mirage Pro

Amazon

webstaurantstore.com

VollrathMiragePro_150px

-100 power settings (50W-1800W)
-Temp range 80-400F

-6-inch burner
-Unlimited run time
-Stainless housing

-Manual dial

-About $750.

-Expensive

-No warranty for home use.

Best Price:

Avantco IC1800 Countertop Induction Range

webstaurantstore.com 

Amazon

AvantcoPIC_150px

-15 power levels

-Temp adj. in 10 degree incr.

-Temp range 140F-460F

-Multiple cooking modes

-180 minute timer, shuts off unit automatically

-Stainless steel housing

-Manual dial

-Up to 10.25" diameter pans

-About $270 on Amazon, $180 at webstaurantstore.com.

-Not as many settings as Mirage Pro.

Coolest Technology:

(Breville) PolyScience Control Freak

Amazon

webstaurantstore.com

PolyScienceControlFreak_150px

-Heat intensity control

-Accurate enough for sous vide
-Dual fan cooling system
-Stainless housing
-Tritan™ Polymer LCD display
-Color TFT screen
-USB port
-Dishwasher safe knobs

-About $1500.

-Issues with certain cookware (Demeyere)

-Somewhat delicate temp sensor

-Warranty may not cover home use (conflicting info on this)

-Several customer service complaints from reviewers

-Expensive.

Best 240V Induction Burner:

Cooktek MC3500

Katom

Ckitchen.com

Cooktek MC3500 induction burner

-Super heavy duty

-Temp range 85F-500F

-20 power settings

-Stainless housing

-Microprocessor monitors components

-2 yr warranty, made in USA

-About $2500.

-Expensive

-Requires 240V plug-in (doesn't use standard outlet).

Quick Comparison Chart

When shopping for a commercial-grade portable induction cooker, there are a few things to look for. Here's how the ones we chose stack up against each other. (We include weight as an estimate of the quality of the product: heavier units tend to have more durable housings and better internal components.)

Note: Chart may not be visible in mobile view.

PIC

High/Low Wattage

Temperature Range (F)

Number of Power Levels

Weight (lbs)

Price

Vollrath Mirage Pro

1800/50

80F - 400F, 5 degree increments

100

13.7

$$$$

Avantco IC1800 Countertop Induction Range

1800/500

140F - 460F, 10 degree increments

15

10

$

(Breville) PolyScience Control Freak

1800/100

86F - 472F, 1 degree increments

397

24.7

$$$$$

CookTek MC3500

~400/3500

85F-500F, 21 settings

20

24

$$$$$$

Why Buy a Portable Induction Cooktop?

Here's a 30 second video from Vollrath, maker of portable commercial induction cooktops, that gives the high points about how induction works:

What's So Great About Induction Cooking?

Induction is fast, safe, and very, very responsive--even faster to respond to temperature changes than gas heat. 

And if you invest in a high-end induction burner or full-sized induction cooktop or range, induction cooking is more precise than gas heating even at the low end: you can control to as low as 80F on some induction cookers (like the Vollrath Mirage Pro).

The burner gets hot only from residual pan heat--yes, it's hot, but not nearly as hot as a conventional gas or electric burner. This is the primary reason it's safer than other kinds of heating. 

Induction heat is instantaneous, so you don't need to warm up most pans for more than a few seconds before adding food (cast iron will take a little longer). You need to have all your ingredients ready to go before you turn the burner on. This may have a bit of a learning curve, but you will love how fast induction is.

This speed also means that induction is extremely responsive: turn a burner up or down, and the heat change happens instantly. This makes induction the best choice for delicate foods that can easily overcook.

Because the cooktop itself doesn't heat, it makes cleanup easy: you can wipe it right off with a damp cloth, and there's never cooked on foods to scrape off of it. 

In fact, because there's no open flame or heating of the cooktop itself, you can even spread newspapers, paper towels, or a silicone mat to catch grease splatters if you're cooking something messy. This also helps to protect the cooktop from scratches if you're using heavy or rough-bottomed pans like cast iron.

Easy cleanup is one of the greatest features of induction--and when you're comparing to full-sized cooktops or ranges, the cleanup factor is even more impressive.

Induction is also the most efficient way to heat food. Roughly 90% of the heat goes directly into the pan--which is excellent compared to both conventional electric and gas cooking.

Induction is also a much cleaner heat than gas. It reduces indoor air pollution, with no sacrifice in performance like you would have with conventional electric burners.

These are the main features that make induction so cool.

Why a Portable Induction Cooktop?

A portable induction cooktop (PIC) is great for when you need an extra burner, such as for holiday get-togethers and parties. If you're serving a brunch, you can have an omelet station right at the table, with the only safety hazard the cord!

Portable induction cookers are also great if you have big cooking projects that you want to do in the basement or garage. Home brewing, putting up your garden vegetables in the fall, jam and jelly making, maple syrup making, and so much more.

You can take them camping, use them in an RV or boat kitchen, and send your kid off to college with one for his dorm. 

Also, because they don't generate a lot of heat, they're great for cooking on hot summer days when you don't want to heat up your kitchen any more than necessary. 

Finally, if you want to try out induction before buying a full-sized cooktop or range, a portable can be a cheap way to do that (most of the commercial burners reviewed here are not the way to do that because they're expensive, but they'll give you a much better idea of how a full-sized unit works).

A portable induction cooktop is great for entertaining, brunches, big cooking projects, small spaces, hot days, anytime you need an extra burner, and more.

What Are the Disadvantages to Cooking With Induction?

No technology is perfect. Here are the disadvantages to induction cooking.

Cookware: Probably the biggest drawback for most people is that you need induction-compatible cookware. It has to be magnetic on the bottom where it comes into contact with the burner. If it isn't magnetic, it won't work with induction. 

Cast iron, carbon steel, and most tri-ply stainless cookware is induction compatible. Many aluminum pans also have a steel disc on the bottom so they'll work with induction.

So unless you have a collection of aluminum nonstick pans, chances are you'll have some cookware that will work with induction.

If in doubt while you're shopping, read the fine print or ask (either in person or by email).

For more information, see our Guide to Induction Cookware (some types and brands are better than others).

magnetInduction2_300px

A magnet tells you if a pan works with induction.

Expense: Full-sized induction cooktops are also more expensive than other cooktops, although prices continue to come down. 

see our full-sized induction cooktop review

see our full-sized induction range review

On the other hand, portable induction cooktops can be reasonably priced. While it's true that the best portable induction cooktops are going to cost more (like the commercial ones reviewed here), you can get a surprisingly well-performing induction cooktop for $100 or less. It won't be as durable or powerful as a commercial grade one, but it can still be a useful addition to your kitchen. 

Finally, for commercial grade induction burners in particular, the warranty may not cover home use. We talk more about this below

Other than cookware and cost, there are few disadvantages to induction. Some people say there's a big learning curve because induction is so much faster than other cooking methods, and some people don't like that there's no "feedback" from the burner, such as glowing red or a flame. We've found that you learn to use induction quickly and that the "feedback" becomes a non-issue once you know what you're doing--but you should decide for yourself whether these are things you can live with or not.

See Induction Cooktop Pros and Cons for more information.

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Why Buy a Commercial Induction Burner?

Products made for the home user are called consumer grade, while products made for professional use are called commercial grade or industrial grade.

What's the difference between a commercial grade induction burner and a consumer grade induction burner? The important features for most buyers are better build quality, better temperature control, wider temperature range, a simpler control panel, and cost (they are more expensive). 

We talk more about these in the next section, What to Look for in a Commercial Grade Induction Burner.

Not all commercial grade induction burners are better than all consumer grade induction burners, but most are. You have to do your research to make sure the extra money you're spending on one is worth it. 

For example, not all commercial grade burners have a better build quality or better temperature control: you'd be surprised how many "professional" grade models have the same internal components as the brand's consumer grade models and just have a stainless steel housing. (Much as we love Duxtop, their "professional" induction burner has the exact same build quality as its 9600LS consumer grade model, except for a steel housing--but is also not as expensive as any of the commercial grade burners we review here).

You don't have to buy commercial grade products to get good quality, and consumer grade might be just fine for your needs. However, quality for BOTH types of induction burners can vary considerably, so be sure to do your research if you want to get the most bang for your buck. Brand names, cost, and even positive reviews are not always a guarantee of a great product.

We guarantee that the commercial induction burners we recommend here are some of the best you can get.

What to Look for in a Commercial Induction Burner

We already talked about a lot of this in the previous section, but here are the features to look for when you're buying a commercial grade induction burner.

Build Quality (Durability and Longevity)

Cooktek MC3500 induction burner

Commercial grade: Sturdy steel housing and simple control panel (with a dial!)

Duxtop 9600LS

Consumer grade: Mostly plastic housing and more complex control panel (no dial).

The difference between a consumer grade and a commercial grade portable induction cooktop is primarily build quality. This means both externally and internally.

Externally, the housing is going to be made of stainless steel. The best ones will be stainless throughout, although some models may have some resin parts on the bottom, where they can't overheat and melt.

Most consumer grade portables have plastic housings. This means they're more prone to damage from heat, and also that they can't bear as much weight.

If you cook large stock pots full of liquids, you're going to want a stainless housing.

Internally, parts are going to have heavy-duty construction, too. The fans, for example, will have ball bearings, which makes them not only last longer, but also makes them quieter. Noisy, rattling fans are a prime characteristic of inexpensive induction burners. (They drive some people crazy.)

Other internal structures are also going to be of heavier-gauge materials, as well.

Overall, because of the steel parts and heavier build quality, commercial grade PICs are going to be quite a bit heavier than consumer grade PICs: compare a consumer grade Duxtop 9600LS--a perfectly fine consumer grade PIC--at 7.5 lbs., versus the commercial grade Mirage Pro at about 14 lbs (and is one of the lighter commercial grade models we review here).

Even though they're approximately the same size, the commercial PIC weighs almost twice as much! 

Because they're more durably built, commercial grade products last longer. In fact, many commercial grade products are rated by usage hours--how many hours of actual use you can expect from a product--which you rarely see with consumer grade products. 

Although commercial-grade appliances cost more initially--often a lot more--in the long run, they actually cost less because you don't have to replace them every few years with a new model. 

Temperature Control and Temperature Range

While all induction burners get very hot very fast, cheaper ones have a tendency to not work very well at all temperature settings. Anything less than "as high as it can go" can have disappointing performance. They won't hold a simmer temperature, and you'll have issues with scorching/not cooking at all as the burner cycles power to try to maintain a lower heat or power setting

Read the one star reviews on Amazon to see what we mean.

This is because of how induction burners are controlled: they pulse on and off as needed to maintain the temperature or power setting. Cheaper electronics (found in low-end induction burners and even in some less expensive commercial or quasi-commercial brands) pulse heat either all the way on (1,800W) or all the way off (0W) with little to nothing in between. Thus, a low temperature setting on a cheaper unit is going to be achieved by pulsing less often, not by changing the amount or wattage of the pulsing. This is why you see so many complaints of terrible simmering--from full boil to nothing and back again--or scorched food cooked at a low setting: the pulsing is crude and poorly controlled. 

Higher end burners combat this issue a couple of ways. First, they have more sensitive temperature sensors which react faster to changes and zero in on the set point faster. Second, they have more sophisticated pulsing techniques that use a wide range of wattage, as needed, to keep a temperature within 5 or 10 degrees of the set point. 

Another benefit of more sophisticated temp controls is a broader temperature range. Many less expensive cookers have a low-end temp of 140F, but commercial grade burners can go as low as 100F, 90F, or even 80F. This isn't true for all commercial PICs, but the ones reviewed here all have impressive low temperature control (with the exception of the Avantco, which is included as a budget option with a commercial grade build quality and pretty good heating performance). 

You can get decent low temp control in some consumer grade induction cookers, namely, the Duxtop 9600LS and a few other Duxtop models. No other consumer grade cookers come close to the Duxtops (as far as we know).

Dials Vs. Pushbutton Controls

Duxtop9100mc_350px

Look for a commercial grade induction cooktop with easy-to-use controls. Many of them have manual dials, which make setting temp or power easy in comparison to scrolling through a digital menu with +/- keys. 

Look at these two models above: which looks like the best portable induction cooktop for ease of control?

Most commercial grade portables are going to have simpler, faster controls, but not all of them. Be sure the one you buy has the controls you want.

Unlimited Run Time

Many consumer grade induction cooktops have limited running times. Some are as short as 2 hours, after which the unit will shut itself off. Some run for longer than that, but many don't. (This may be due at least partly to cheaper internal components--the shorter run time creates less wear on the components.)

This is not the case with commercial induction cooktops, most of which will run indefinitely. In a commercial kitchen, an appliance with too many automatic features can be hard to use because it takes control away from the cook. Thus, very few commercial induction burners are going to have limited run times. Instead, they'll run until you shut them off.

Most will have a timer, which turns the appliance off after a certain time when set, but this is a different feature.

Nearly all commercial grade induction cookers will have unlimited run time--but check to be sure if this is an important feature for you.

Fans

Fans_250px

Cheap fans will wear out quickly.

ball-bearing-fan_250px

Ball bearing fans run quieter and last longer.

Fans are an important feature of a portable induction cooktop because without them, the units can easily overheat and shut down (or worse, burn themselves up). Therefore, you want a good fan.

While some consumer grade cookers may have decent fans, most are going to be cheap and annoyingly loud (often "rattly"). A fan on a commercial burner might be loud as well, but it won't have a cheap, rattly sound--and you'll know it's doing its job. 

Burner Size

inductionburnerinsides3_300px

Inside a PIC: The coil is small compared to the entire cooking surface--yet you are not limited to cooking with pans equal to or smaller than the burner diameter. 

Commercial grade induction cookers probably have slightly larger burners than consumer grade PICs, but the size varies among brands. On average, the consumer grade burner size is probably about 4 inches, while the commercial grade burner size is more typically around 6 inches.

For home use, it doesn't make all that much difference. Sure, a bigger burner is nice to have. But if you think about how a gas stove works, the diameter of the flame is about 4-5 inches, and hits in a single ring around the bottom of the pot. Yet nobody ever voices concern about whether it can heat a 10-inch skillet.

The truth is, all decent cookware has heating properties designed to spread heat evenly throughout. Whatever size the burner is, heat will conduct throughout the pan bottom and up the sides. Sure, the larger the pan, the longer this will take. But most burners will work well with pans from about 4 inches in diameter to about 10 inches in diameter (across the bottom). 

And no matter how great a pan is, you're always going to have some hotter areas where the burner directly touches it, whatever the heat source. 

With a larger burner, you can go up to 12 inches without issues. However, at this size, you begin to run out of room on the induction burner. 

The point is that burner size isn't really all that big a deal. When you read reviews, you'll see a lot of complaints about "small burner size" being a problem, but that is a misunderstanding of the real issue, which is actually the pulsing we talked about above. Between poor quality cookware and inadequate heat pulsing, hot and cold spots can really be a problem. But with decent cookware and decent heating capabilities, uneven heating is rarely any more of a problem than it is on a gas hob. 

Do you have to stir food to distribute heat evenly? Do you have to wait for the pan to reach heat equilibrium? Sure you do. But this is true for all cooking technology. It's unfair to single out induction when induction is not the real problem; the physics of heat transfer is. 

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"True" Commercial Grade Induction Burners

As with most purchases, you have to pay attention to the details if you want to buy wisely. Not all induction burners that call themselves "commercial" or "professional" are actually commercial grade induction burners. Rather, they use the word "commercial" or "professional" as a marketing ploy that doesn't speak at all to the quality of the product. Even worse, these are often higher-priced than other consumer-grade burners, with little or no difference in build quality or performance.

How can you tell you're getting a true commercial grade burner? First you have to understand the differences (e.g., build quality, weight, temperature controls, temperature range, fans, etc.). Then you have to read the specifications to see past the marketing jargon to find out what you're really getting. Reading user reviews can help, but you have to be thorough, making sure to read the reviews carefully--especially the bad reviews.

In short, you have to do your research.

This can be a tricky proposition. For example, some induction burners might have a steel housing, but poor quality internal parts. And some might be no better at all than competitors that cost hundreds less! 

The only other alternative is to find a reviewer you trust, and take their recommendations. (Like us!) But even here, you have to be careful. A lot of review sites, in particular those that don't specialize in induction technology, simply don't know what to look for. They base their reviews mostly on performance--but when they compare only to other PICs with similar performance, how can they make a good recommendation?

Especially when they don't know those other options exist! 

Portable induction cooktops are a particularly complex and difficult product to understand, much less give recommendations on. There are thousands of different models on the market, all with different performance claims in a huge price range. It requires a lot of research to know what to look for, and to figure out what makes one induction burner a better choice than another.

So whatever type of induction burner you're looking for, be sure you trust the advice you're getting.

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A Word About Wattage: 1800 Vs. 3500

Consumer grade induction burners always operate on a 120V outlet. Commercial-grade induction burners can use either a 120V outlet or a 240V outlet.

120V outlets are the standard (used on most small appliances for the consumer market), with the familiar three-pronged (or two-pronged) plug that looks like this:

120v-plug

The maximum load on a 120V outlet is 1,800 watts. If an appliance needs more than 1,800 watts to run, it needs a 240 volt outlet.

240V plugs are used for large appliances like electric stoves, electric dryers, water heaters, and furnaces. They look something like this:

240V Plug

The maximum load on a 240V outlet is 3,500 watts. Therefore, if you buy an appliance that uses more than 1,800 watts, it will have a 240V outlet.

There's a common misconception that all commercial grade induction cookers are 3,500 watts and require a 240V outlet. This is not true. You can get commercial grade cookers with 1,800 watts of power that plug into standard outlets. In fact, every one we recommend here except the CookTek MC3500 uses a standard 120V outlet.

What would be the advantage of buying a 3,500 watt unit? Mostly, they're just faster. They don't get twice as hot. They don't have more settings. The advantage is simply that they're very, very fast--so they might be a good choice if you're heating large batches of food or liquids. 

But with 1,800 watt induction cooktops being lightning fast to begin with, this may not be an advantage worth the extra hassle of wiring a special plug-in, unless you're buying it for a very specific purpose: for example, if you're a home brewer and want the extra power for heating large vats of liquids. 

Also, needing a special outlet takes the "portable" out of "portable induction cooker." You can only use it where you have a 240V outlet. Of course, in a restaurant or other professional setting, this isn't an issue. But at home, it can be a big issue.

We know some people will want all that power, but be sure you do before you buy. You can get a lot of power from a standard 1800 watt induction burner.

If you're buying a commercial-grade induction cooker for home brewing or some other specific application that requires a ton of power and you have a 240V outlet or can install one easily, a 3,500W burner might be a good choice. Otherwise, the 1,800W that plugs into a standard outlet is the best choice for most cooks. It's more portable, easier to use, and still provides a tremendous amount of heating power.

Warranty/Extended Warranty (Read this Section Carefully!)

All consumer-grade induction cooktops come with a warranty; unfortunately, many commercial-grade induction cooktops do not--at least not for home use. 

If you buy a commercial grade induction burner for home use, the warranty may be automatically voided. This is because of the difference in wiring between commercial kitchens and home kitchens: most 1,800W appliances require a dedicated 15 amp circuit. If you use the commercial induction cooktop improperly, you can damage it. 

This is true for most commercial grade induction burners. In fact, if it isn't an issue, it may not be a true commercial-grade product, even if claiming to be. 

This doesn't necessarily leave you out of luck. If you do decide to buy commercial grade, get an extended warranty from the third party dealer (such as Amazon). That way, you're covered if something should go wrong and the manufacturer doesn't honor the warranty. 

You may think this is a stellar reason to NOT buy commercial grade, but we disagree. The advantages in quality, durability, and performance are so great, we believe you should be willing to take this risk--especially if you can purchase a third party warranty for the product. 

Buy a commercial grade induction cooktop at your own risk:

Most commercial-grade induction burner warranties do not cover home useI. If a third party warranty is available, we recommend buying it. But even if there isn't, don't shy away from commercial grade quality: a commercial grade induction burner should last for many years.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Commercial Grade Induction Cooktop

The best portable induction cooktop is going to be commercial grade, but it's not always the right choice. Here's a summary of pros and cons.

Pros

  • The quality is better than consumer grade induction cookers.
  • Designed for heavy duty use over a long time.
  • Unlimited run time (no auto shutoff)
  • Can handle a heavier load (bigger pots and pans)

Cons

  • The manufacturer warranty may not be honored for home use (buy the third party extended warranty if one is available).
  • Requires a dedicated circuit to run properly
  • If 3500W, requires a 240V outlet (which you may need to install)
  • Expensive.

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Review: Vollrath Mirage Pro 59500P

Best For: Precise Temperature Control, Low Temperature Applications

See it on Amazon

See it at webstaurantstore.com

VollrathMiragePro_500px

see our full review of the Vollrath Mirage Pro here

If you want what's arguably the best portable induction burner on the market, the Vollrath Mirage Pro is the one to get.

It's performance specs are nothing short of amazing, even beating out induction cookers that cost hundred more (like the "CookTek" we review below).

At around $750, the love doesn’t come cheaply. But it is really a great induction burner--our favorite out of all of the ones we review here.

What makes it so much better than other commercial induction burners? According to the Vollrath website, it's the Mirage Pro's "G4 Engine." According to Vollrath, "The Mirage® Pro induction ranges feature the G4 Engine, using four IGBTs so the workload is shared across four parallel switches. This increases the efficiency, control and longevity of the Mirage® Pro induction range."

The Mirage Pro has100 power levels--more even than full-sized induction cooktops. A temperature range of 80F-525F. And a low-end power of 50W, resulting in stellar low-end temperature control. 

But wait, there's more! In addition to its impressive power and temperature specs, the Mirage Pro has some fancy features that really put it over the top. See more in the Features section.

Features

  • 100 Power/Temp Levels
  • Temperature range from 80 - 400F in 5 degree increments (525F listed in manual)
  • Approximately 6-inch burner
  • "G4 engine" that shares workload, increasing efficiency, control, and longevity
  • Temperature memory--goes to last temp used when switched on
  • Overheat warning: Display flashes "hot pan" until surface is safe to touch
  • 180 minute timer with 1-minute increments and auto shutoff
  • Unlimited run time if timer is not used
  • 60-second delay auto-shutoff when pan is removed
  • Quiet fan
  • NSF certified, UL listed, and FCC compliant
  • Designed in USA; manufactured in China
  • 2 year manufacturer warranty (may not be valid for home use).

In addition to its impressive standard features, the Mirage Pro has a few extras that you won't find on other induction cookers:

  • Sophisticated heat control: The Mirage Pro has sophisticated controls that can use split-second pulsing as low as 50 watts (as opposed to the all-or-nothing pulsing of less expensive models). It also goes as low as 80F. So if you plan to use your portable induction burner for delicate kitchen jobs like melting chocolate (which burns above 105F!), butter, or even cooking eggs, this is an important feature.
  • Full Power to Any Size Pan: Another unique capability of the Mirage Pro is its capability to use full (or almost full) power to any pan size. Most portable induction burners use less wattage with small pans, even if you set them to full power, which means slower heating times. But the Mirage Pro can scale wattage level for any pan size.

check mirage pro price and reviews on amazon

check Mirage Pro price and reviews at webstaurantstore,com

Display/Controls

The Mirage Pro has a three simple buttons--On/Off, Power/Temp, and Timer. It has a green LED display, and a dial to adjust power level or temperature, depending on what mode you're in. You can also select Fahrenheit or Celsius mode.

The screen is covered with tough plastic and angled away from the surface area, which is a great safety feature.

The air vents are below the control panel and separated by a ridge of steel so if you get a boil over, it won't get inside the cooker.

VollrathMirageProSideView_500px

Specifications

Vollrath Mirage Pro Specs

Feature

Specification

Wattage

1,800W max/50W min.

Voltage/Amps/Hertz

120/15/60; requires dedicated 15amp circuit

Power Levels

100

Temperature Range (F)

80 - 400F in 5F increments (note: actually goes to 525F or more according to manual)

Display/Controls

Green LED display/push button mode settings/dial to select power/temp level.

Timer

180 minute timer with auto shutoff; unlimited run time w/out timer

Dimensions in inches (W x D x H)

14 x 15.25 x 3

Weight (lbs)

13.7

Burner Size

Approximately 7"

Pan Size*

Accommodates pans from 4 - 10.25" bottom diameter

Cord Length

6'

*Note: The Vollrath website gives 14-inches as the max pan diameter, but this doesn't seem right since it is the entire width of the cooker. Pans with 12" and less bottom diameters will work best.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Precise temperature control with 100 power levels and a temp range of 80-400F (5 degree increments)
  • Manual dial--fast and easy controls
  • Unlimited cooking time if you don't use the timer
  • Durable build quality 
  • Many extras such as adjusting to pan size, 60-second shutoff delay, a low of 80F, and more (see above).

Cons

  • Expensive
  • The warranty will probably not be honored for home use (so buy the extended one from Amazon!)
  • Should use a dedicated circuit (don't plug anything else in to the Mirage Pro's outlet).

Recommendation

The Vollrath 59500P Mirage Pro is probably the best portable commercial induction cooktop available, with the widest range and the most sophisticated temperature control at the best price. You may not need 100 power levels, but they make it a lot of fun to use--and they indicate how sophisticated the controls of this unit really are. If you want the best of the best, this is the induction cooker to get.

VollrathMiragePro_150px

BUY THE VOLLRATH MIRAGE PRO:

amazon buy

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Review: Avantco IC1800 Countertop Induction Range/Cooker

Best For: Best Price for a Commercial-Grade PIC

See it on Amazon

See it at webstaurantstore.com

About $180 (webstaurantstore.com)-$270 (Amazon)

AvantcoPIC_500px

Avantco manufactures a wide variety of restaurant equipment. It was hard to find information on the company, but it looks like they're an American company that manufactures overseas (probably in China). We're not sure that's true of all their products, but it seems to be true of their portable induction cooktops.

Avantco market the IC1800 induction burner as a "midrange" model: made for medium usage rather than heavy duty usage. For a home user, this should provide adequate durability.

The IC1800 is kind of a hybrid: it has the build quality of a commercial-grade burner with the internal components of a consumer-grade model. This is certainly reflected in the price, and why Rational Kitchen recommends it as an economical choice: you get a solid unit, but it's not going to perform all that much better than the consumer grade Duxtops we recommend.

But at this price, you shouldn't expect it to.

If you buy the Avantco IC1800, we recommend going to webstaurantstore.com as they have the best price. However, you may have to forego the security of a warranty because this site doesn't offer a third party warranty. Our advice is to keep checking Amazon, and pounce when the price comes down to the webstaurant price (around $120 or possibly even less). 

CHECK OUT THE Avantco ic1800 Induction burner PRICE AND REVIEWS ON AMAZON

CHECK OUT THE avantco ic1800 induction burner PRICE AND REVIEWS AT WEBSTAURANTSTORE.COM (best price!)

Features

  • Stainless housing
  • Cook in power (wattage) or temperature mode
  • 15 power level settings
  • Temperature range 140F - 460F, adjustable in 10 degree increments
  • 170 minute timer, 5-degree increments
  • Compatible with pans up to 10.25 inch bottom diameter (and works best with pans larger than 4 inch diameter)
  • Automatically switches to standby mode when pan is removed
  • CE listed, FCC compliant, ET listed in US
  • Made in China.

Display/Controls

Like all commercial induction burners, the Avantco !C1800 has easy-to-use controls. Use pushbuttons to select the mode you want, then use the dial to adjust the setting. 

You can see from this close-up of the control panel how easy the Avantco IC1800 is to use:

AvantcoCP_400px

Specifications

Avantco IC1800 Specs

Feature

Specification

Wattage

1,800W max/ 500 min.

Voltage/Amps/Hertz

120/15/60; requires dedicated 15amp circuit

Power Levels

15

Temperature Range (F)

140 - 460F, adjustable in 10-degree increments

Display/Controls

Large LED display/pushbutton mode and setting selection

Timer

170 minute timer with 5-min. increments

Dimensions in inches (W x D x H)

11.75 x 14.25 x 3.5

Weight (lbs)

10

Burner Size (in.)

Approximately 6"

Pan Size

Accommodates pans approximately 4.75 - 10.75" bottom diam.; for best results, use pans from 4.75-8.0" diam. bottom.

Cord Length (ft)

6'

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Great price (be sure to check webstaurantstore.com for best price)
  • Stainless housing/durable build quality
  • Manual dial and easy-to-use control panel.

Cons:

  • At 140F-460F and a low power level of 500W, this induction cooktop doesn't offer the control of other commercial grade burners
  • Manufacturer warranty may not apply for home use.

Recommendation

If you're looking for commercial grade durability at a price barely more than a consumer grade product, the Avantco is the one to get. It has a smaller temperature range than other commercial induction burners and the performance is only marginally better than the Duxtop 9600LS (expect some scorching), but the price is right.

NOTE: For the best price, check out webstaurantstore.com--it's usually lower than the Amazon price.

AvantcoPIC_150px

BUY THE avantco IC1800 induction burner:

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Review: Breville PolyScience Control Freak

Best For: Most Accurate Technology, with Temperature Probe for Precise Applications (like sous vide cooking)

See it on Amazon

See it at webstaurantstore.com

About $1500

PolyScienceControlFreak_600px

The Breville PolyScience Control °Freak® is "the world's first induction cooker that can set and hold any temperature from 86F-482F for any length of time." It came out in early 2016, and as induction cookers go, it's quite an innovation. 

The temperature sensor is exposed, in the center of the burner, so there is very little lag time between sensing temperature and adjusting it. Which means that you can sous vide on this burner without an immersion circulator.

It's probably more induction burner than most people need. On the other hand, it's amazingly cool.

Overall, this is an extremely high quality appliance that does what it says it will. But we think there are a few bugs yet to be worked out. For example, it can overshoot a set point by quite a bit before settling into control. And there are several complaints that it won't work with Demeyere cookware, the premium induction brand on the market.

Another drawback of the Control °Freak® is that the temperature probe is not replaceable: if you break it, you have to buy a whole new unit to replace it. At this price point, that's absurd--and something the folks at Breville/PolyScience should remedy. 

Finally, some users complain about poor customer service from Breville--which, again, at this price point, is ridiculous.

In any case, the Control Freak is impressive and cool, and mostly does what it says it will do. 

PolyScience is a laboratory equipment company that's been making immersion circulators and other lab machines for quite awhile. Since the sous vide craze hit a few years back, they've been making precision culinary equipment, as well. They were bought by Breville, so now they are Breville/PolyScience, or just Breville.

If you want to learn more about Breville commercial grade culinary products, click here.

Here's a video from PolyScience showing the amazing features of the Control Freak:

Features

  • Temperature range of 86-482 degrees in 1-degree increments (396 settings)
  • Exposed temperature sensor on cooking surface for accurate temp readings
  • Probe holds temp within +/- 1.8F
  • Temperature measured 20 times per second
  • Can use probe control or thermometer mode
  • 72 hour timer with repeat, continue, keep warm, and stop functions
  • Probe, probe holder, USB drive, and carrying case included
  • "Create" feature allows saving custom cooking programs for one-touch operation
  • Auto shutoff with incompatible pan or no pan
  • Dual fan cooling system
  • Easy-to-clean stainless housing
  • High-heat resistant ceramic glass cooktop
  • Tritan polymer LCD color display
  • USB port for software updates
  • Dishwasher safe control knobs
  • UL/IEC Commercial Certification, NSF Commercial Certification, IPX3 Rated Water Protection
  • 2 year limited commercial manufacturer warranty (N/A for home use)
  • Designed in USA, manufactured overseas.

See control freak induction burner PRICE AND REVIEWS ON AMAZON

see control freak induction burner PRICE AND REVIEWS AT Webstaurantstore.COM

The Control °Freak® comes with a temperature probe, a probe holder, a USB drive, and an accessory case:

Control Freak Probe
Control Freak Probe Holder
Control Freak USB Drive
Control Freak Carrying Case

Display/Controls

The Control °Freak® has a color digital display and manual dials for fast, easy setting. It also has a temperature probe and an exposed (though very durable) temperature sensor on the cooking surface for more accurate temperature readings. 

The Control °Freak® comes with a detailed instruction manual that explains its functions quite well. Here's a diagram from the manual showing the controls:

PolyscienceControlFreakCPDiagram_600px

(Diagram courtesy of PolyScienceculinary.com)

Specifications

Control Freak Specs

Feature

Specification

Wattage

1,800W max/100W min

Voltage/Amps/Hertz

120/15/60; dedicated 15amp circuit

Power Levels

397

Temperature Range (F)

86 - 482F, adjustable in 1F increments

Display/Controls

Color LED display/pushbutton mode and setting selection/temperature probe for liquid applications

Timer

72 hr with Repeat, Continue, Keep Warm and Stop

Dimensions in inches (W x D x H)

13.4 x 18.5 x 4.3

Weight (lbs)

24.7

Burner Size (in.)

Approximately 6"

Pan Size

Recommended pan size 4.5 - 10.5" bottom diam.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extremely precise temperature control 
  • Wide temperature range
  • Color screen
  • Comes with temperature probe, probe holder, USB drive, and carrying case.

Cons: 

  • Can't buy a replacement probe if you break it; have to replace the whole unit
  • Some user complaints about performance and Demeyere cookware compatibility
  • Expensive.

Recommendation

This is a fabulous commercial grade induction burner, built like a tank and more precise than anyone really needs. But if you want to do sous vide, you can buy 15-20 immersion circulators for the same cost, and if you just want an accurate induction burner, you can buy the Vollrath Mirage Pro for half the price. It's great technology and may be worth it to some high-tech, cutting edge cooks, but we think for the price, they should have more of the bugs worked out (and offer a separate temperature probe, too).

Note: There's some conflicting information about whether the warranty covers home use for this model, but it might. We'll let you know when we find out for sure one way or the other.

You may also want to check out the Hestan Cue for cool, precise induction technology for a lot less.

PolyScienceControlFreak_150px

Buy the Breville polyscience control freak Induction cooktop:

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Best 240V Commercial Induction Burner: Cooktek MC3500

Cooktek MC3500 induction burner


Best for: Super fast heat, commercial (or other rugged) environment.

See the CookTek MC3500 at Katom

See the CookTek MC3500 at Ckitchen.com

See the 1800W CookTek induction burner at Katom 

About $2500

Cooktek makes some of the heaviest duty, true commercial grade induction cookers in the world. These are super durable, built like a tank, and will last forever. They are made in the USA, too, which we love.

We found a number of other 3500W "commercial" induction burners on Amazon, but most of them were made in China and it was difficult to discern the actual specs. They cost far less, but if you want quality, it's hard to beat CookTek.

These are simply fantastic induction burners, and probably total overkill for home use. But really excellent quality.

NOTE: If you're interested in CookTek but don't want the 3500W unit, here's an 1800W CookTek induction burner (about $1300), just as capable but smaller and more portable (uses a standard wall outlet).

Features

  • Portable tabletop design with stainless steel housing
  • Heavy duty, electronic components
  • High impact, thick, glass-ceramic top
  • Temperature range 85-500F/20 power settings
  • Control knob for ease of use and automatic power or temperature control
  • Temperature control allows for 27 precise temperature settings and 20 power cook settings
  • Pan Maximizer feature achieves maximum heating of any induction compatible pan
  • Microprocessor monitors vital components 120 times per second to check for overheating, power supply problems, and more.
  • Cooktop shuts off and displays error codes enabling user to diagnose and correct minor problems
  • LED display
  • Automatic pan detection  
  • Automatic shut-off feature prohibits overheating
  • Integral grease filter and air baffle to ensure cleaner and cooler air intake
  • Sloped front panel allows for easy viewing and operation
  • Easy to clean glass-ceramic top surface
  • Integral cooling fan keeps internal electronics cool
  • Made in USA
  • Includes 6ft power cord and plug
  • 2 yr warranty.

Display/Controls

Being made for commercial kitchens, the CookTek has an extremely simple, easy-to-use control panel:

CookTek MC3500 control panel

This is so straightforward, it doesn't really require an explanation--just turn it on, select a setting, and go.

Specifications of the CookTek MC3500

CookTek MC3500 Specs

Feature

Specification

Wattage

3500W max

Voltage/Amps/Hertz

200-240v/15amps/50-60 Hertz

Power Levels

20 settings

Temperature Range (F)

85 - 500F, 21 settings

Display/Controls

LED display/push button for mode/ control knob for setting power or temp

Dimensions in inches (W x D x H)

14x5x16.3

Weight (lbs)

30

Burner Size (in.)

Approximately 6"

Pan Size

Recommended pan size 4.5 - 10.5" bottom diam.

NOTE: If you go with the 1800W CookTek, specs will be similar, but runs on a 120V circuit and will be a little smaller.

Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and capable
  • Extremely powerful and fast
  • Made in USA
  • Designed to endure a rugged environment.

Cons:

  • Requires 240V outlet
  • Expensive
  • Warranty will not cover home use.

Recommendation

CookTek makes some of the most durable commercial grade induction cooktops on the market. It won't have the settings of the Mirage Pro or the Control Freak, but it's extremely capable anyway, and it will probably outlive you.

We love the CookTek products, and recommend them if money is not an issue and you want the very best you can get.

https://sovrn.co/moqd5vz

buy the cooktek mc3500:


Final Thoughts on Commercial Induction Burners

You don't have to buy commercial-grade products to get great quality. But if you want quality, going the commercial route narrows the options, and the confusion, considerably. If you're going to spend the extra money, you should get: a wide temperature range, better temperature control, and tank-like durability. These are the things to look for in the best portable induction cooktops of the commercial variety.

Our overall favorite commercial induction cooktop is the Vollrath Mirage Pro because of its wide temperature range, precise temperature control, manual dial, and reasonable price. 

Remember, a warranty probably won't cover home use for most of these models, so buy an extended warranty if one is available--but even if one isn't, we still think all of these are excellent buys and will stand up to your kitchen use.

Thanks for reading!

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