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What Is an RV Induction Cooktop? And Why You Might Need One

What Is an RV Induction Cooktop? And Why You Might Need One

One of the biggest perks of RVing is having full kitchen access. Unfortunately, not all RV kitchens come with the best setup. If your gas burners won’t light or your electric stovetop doesn’t heat consistently, you need a better option. An RV induction cooktop is one of the best ways to go! Keep reading to learn why!

What Is an RV Induction Cooktop? 

An RV induction cooktop is an ingenious invention! It lets you heat your pan without heating the stove surface. Sounds impossible, right?! Believe it or not, it’s possible! 

It uses a magnetic field that creates rapid temperature increases and greater control over your cooking. It’s perfect for RVs because it’s safer and easier to use in a small space.

How Does an Induction Cooktop Work? 

As mentioned previously, an RV induction cooktop uses a magnetic field to generate heat. The electromagnetic field transfers a current directly to your metal cookware. It essentially skips the need to heat the surface and then transfer that heat to the pot or pan, which heats up instantly. 

For this magic to work, you need the right kind of cookware. Typically, stainless steel or cast iron contains ferromagnetic metal that makes this scientific process possible. Copper and aluminum pans probably won’t work, but if you can stick a magnet to the bottom of other pans you own, they likely will work! 

How Many Amps Does an RV Induction Cooktop Need? 

The power draw is one of the most significant downsides of an RV induction cooktop. Most small 2 burner units will need a 15 amp circuit but may limit the heat each burner can provide. Meaning you may not be able to run both burners on full heat at the same time. More residential models will require between 20 and 40 amp service and be 240V so are unsuitable for most RV’s.

If you’re boondocking or don’t have 50-amp hookups, you may be unable to use the induction cooktop–at least not without draining your battery. This, of course, depends on how much solar power and battery power you have. Alternatively, you can run a generator to power the cooktop as well.

We have over 2,700 watts of solar panels and 800 amp-hours of battery capacity, so cooking on electricity is very doable for us. While most off-grid RVers don’t have that much, many are used to monitoring their electrical loads to maximize usage.

Benefits of Induction Cooktops

Although they draw a lot of power, there are many benefits to induction cooktops for the RV life. We’ve personally been using induction cooktops for years and love them. Let’s jump into why you might want to upgrade. 

Heats Only The Cookware

RVers love that an induction cooktop only heats the cookware. When you’re cooking inside a little metal box on a hot summer day (a.k.a. your RV), minimizing heat output is essential! Also, because there is no heat energy lost between the cooking surface and the pot, this mode is much more energy efficient than standard electric cooktops.

It’s also great if you have kids or pets (especially cats–they walk on everything!). They might touch the burners before they’re cool and could have severe burns if you use a regular stove. Having a cool-to-the-touch surface could save the day! 

Faster Cooking Time

Time is another bonus of having an induction cooktop in your RV. Induction cooktops cook your food much faster because they don’t waste time heating the stove surface and then transferring the heat to a pot or pan. 

Even if you like cooking, you’d probably like to finish a little faster. An induction stovetop is one way to do that. 

RV Propane vs Induction Boil Off

Consistent and Efficient Heat

Finally, when you use an RV induction cooktop, you don’t waste energy. These bad boys are efficient! After all, you’re only heating the pot. The heat is also consistent and responsive, so you don’t have to worry about burning your food to a crisp! 

Easy To Clean

We don’t know about you, but we hate cleaning our gas range! Food bits fall down and get burned to the stove almost every time we cook, creating a charred mess.

This is honestly one of the top reasons to go induction, as the glass top is a breeze to clean. You can even lay out paper towels to catch spills and silicone mats to prevent scratches from you cookware – the induction technology heats through it like magic without burning!

Lazy K Induction Cooktop Mat - Silicone Fiberglass...
  • Patented Formula - 100% silicone and fiberglass meant to maximize...
  • Unparalleled Protection - Prevents induction cook top from...
  • Multi Purpose - Can be used in the microwave, refrigerator and...

Portable Countertop RV Induction Cooktops

Since there will be times where you would rather cook on propane than electric, the portable countertop models work great to have the best of both worlds.

When hooked up to electricity or have plenty of power, you can use the induction and save your propane (and the elbow grease). When boondocking off-grid you can switch back to propane to save electricity by easily storing the cooktop.

Because they are portable, this also means you can change up where you cook. We frequently take our induction cooktop outside and use it as an outdoor cooker! Wherever you have an outlet you can cook with your pots and pans.

cooking on induction cooktop outside RV
Cooking on an induction cooktop outside the RV

Best RV Induction Cooktops

If you’re ready to upgrade to this effortless cooking style, you’ll want a great product. Here are our top picks for RV life.

NutriChef Double Induction Cooktop

This is the top-rated double zone induction cooktop on Amazon with over 1,200 4+ star reviews. It has a manual cooking function or 4 preset options of fry, steam, water, and warm modes for easy cooking.

Fitting larger pans with heating zones up to 6.7 inches in diameter, this cooktop can tackle big pots for meals for the whole family.

Sale
Double Induction Cooktop - Portable 120V Portable...
  • TWO HEATING ZONES: This Professional Digital Countertop Dual...
  • MULTIPLE COOKING MODE: Switch from one cooking mode to another w/...
  • LOCK FUNCTION: This product is also equipped with a Built in...

Each burner zone can pull up to 1800-watts, so you will want to be careful with overloading your RV kitchen breakers and the pedestal! It weighs in at just over 12 pounds and measures 14.2″ by 23.6″.

Cheftop Portable One Burner Induction Cooktop

If you want a smaller induction cooktop, the Cheftop portable is a fabulous option. It’s perfect for use in small spaces, as it has a single burner. There’s an option for a double burner if you want something bigger, though. 

Cheftop Induction Cooktop Portable Induction...
  • PERFECT FOR RV's & DORMS: The Cheftop induction Cooktop is the...

The Cheftop has an LED display, child safety lock, and touch sensor controls. Another outstanding feature is the auto shut-off. If you accidentally leave the cooktop on without a pot or pan on it, the burner will turn off automatically after a brief delay. 

The Cheftop portable also offers multiple cooking modes. There’s even a warming feature, so your dinner is ready when you are. 

Duxtop Induction Cooktop 8100MC

Our third recommendation option is the Duxtop Induction Cooktop. This one we also have personal experience with. We used this RV induction cooktop for five years in our fifth wheel full-time up until we switched to a two-burner model.

Duxtop Induction Cooktop 8100MC | Product Review | Portable Induction Electric Stovetop

This unit operates on 120V power and draws 200-1800W depending on which of its 10 power setting options you cook on. It has 3 modes for cooking: timed cooking temperature setting, and power level settings.

It also has a 2-year manufacturer warranty, although we never had to use it.

Sale
Duxtop 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop...
  • Duxtop Induction Cooktop uses 120V 15 amp electrical outlet -...
  • Digital control panel. Built-in count-down digital timer with 1...
  • With no open flame or heating element, food does not burn-on the...

Want To Replace Your Cooktop All Together?

When replacing your RV stovetop entirely, the built-in Dometic is the way to go. This recessed cooktop will be almost flush with the rest of your counter, making cooking a breeze. From long-time RV brand name, Dometic, you know it’s built to stand up to life on the road.

DOMETIC 9600025707 (55889) CI-21 Two-Burner...
  • All-electric glass cooktop with two burners
  • Burners deliver a max power of 1,440 watts
  • Features 10 power level settings, 150 minute timer, individual ON...

It has two burners that heat to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. One neat feature about this cooktop is that it compensates when the second burner is turned on. Since they designed it for RVs, Dometic knew that both burners on max would likely be way too much power for an RV, even if they were accidentally turned on for a moment.

So, when you turn on the second burner, the first burner automatically comes down a couple of power levels. It actually won’t let you max them both up at the same time, limiting it so you don’t pop your breaker.

dometic induction cooktop
Tom cooking on the two-burner Dometic induction cooktop

The Dometic RV induction cooktop also includes a child lock, so you don’t have to worry about it being turned on by mistake. It also works well so you don’t turn it on when cleaning it.

If you’re considering purchasing this cooktop for your RV, make sure you measure first to see if it will fit in your space. (However, it does work just sitting on the countertop as well)

Are RV Induction Cooktops Worth It?

RV induction cooktops can make sense for many people. If you usually camp at an RV park with full hookups and 50amp service, you’ll love this cooktop. They aren’t that much more expensive than similarly-sized electric burners. So, in this case, they’re definitely worth it. 

For regular boondockers, an induction cooktop might not be the best choice (unless you’ve got excess solar power). As we mentioned earlier, power consumption is a significant downside. While they’re efficient, they could still kill your batteries pretty quickly. 

If you have a place to store the cooktop while boondocking, however, you can always switch back to propane for those times.

rv induction cooktop cooking
RV induction cooktop cooking!

Nevertheless, it’s a simple way to upgrade your RV kitchen. If you cook a lot, an induction cooktop is worth the investment! You’ll save time, and your food will cook more evenly. With a simple purchase, you’ll feel like a master chef in no time.

Overall, this is our favorite RV kitchen appliance second to the Instant Pot. ?

Another RV upgrade you might want to consider is replacing your kitchen faucet. Here are 6 Great RV Faucet Replacement Ideas that will help you conserve water while camping.

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About Mortons on the Move

Tom & Caitlin Morton of Mortons on the Move gave up the stationary life for one where they are constantly on the move. They are full-time travelers, television hosts, and digital media producers.
They left their jobs, sold their house and possessions, and hit the road in September 2015 in their full-time “home on wheels”. Since then they have traveled the US, Canada, and even internationally by RV.
Now, they are Discovery Channel & PBS TV Co-stars of The RVers, producers of “Go North” on Amazon Prime, co-founders and instructors of RV Masterclass, and contributing authors for Hwy.co and an Arizona travel guide.

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John

Wednesday 20th of April 2022

"They need a minimum of 15 amps, but most are in the 20-42 amp range."

Are you sure about that? Every single cooktop in this article uses a regular 120 V 15 A plug and is therefore by definition limited to 15 A. Only residential cooktops with 4 elements use 40 A and that is on 240 V, which would make it 80 A on 120 V and thus unsuitable for any RV to begin with.

Mortons on the Move

Saturday 23rd of April 2022

The wording was poor, you are correct. Even the dometic only needs a 15 amp circuit, it just limits the output when using two burners.

Samantha Nichols

Tuesday 30th of November 2021

Worth article to read. Your article is really interesting and helpful for me. Thanks so much for sharing!

Samantha Nichols

Monday 22nd of November 2021

Duxtop is my first Induction cooktop. This one is sufficient for all cooking needs. It has great timer feature, which you can set to heat only for a few minutes. We have had the cheaper brands and quite honestly we were happy with them. Very sturdy and extremely nice to use.

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