Last Updated on December 31, 2020
If you have ever kitted out a van for traveling, you know that you’re going to need some important equipment.
After you’ve considered where you’re going to sleep, you need to work out where you’re going to cook.
Sure, it might be nice to try out the local cuisine in the cafes and restaurants of the places you travel through.
But eventually, this will start to add up and become expensive.
And sometimes you just don’t want to have to go out somewhere to eat. If you have parked up somewhere with a great view, you’re going to want to have your dinner right where you are.
That, after all, is one of the best things about traveling around in your van.
Induction cooktops are great for vans as they are super safe to use. They only work with specific pots and pans.
This means that they will turn off when they aren’t being used. So you won’t have to worry that you have left it on and can easily store it away.
There are also plenty of portable induction cooktops available. A portable induction cooktop is even more perfect for a van.
To help you find the perfect fit for your van, we’ve put together a list of the best induction cooktops for vans. Read on for some buying options, as well as a few tips to guide you through the buying process.
Ready to drive off into the sunset so need that cooktop ASAP?
No problem, here’s our top pick for the best induction cooktop for vans.
Our top pick for the best induction cooktop for vans is this Duxtop Portable Induction Cooktop. It is a decent size but still very portable. It is easy to clean, affordable, and has additional safety features.
This cooktop is very simple but that’s what is so great about it. It does exactly what you need it to. It is also very affordable.
If you don’t need anything too fancy, just something that will cook your food, then this is the cooktop for you.
Just because it’s basic, that doesn’t mean it won’t work well. This cooktop has a timer and easy to use temperature controls. It has a medium-sized cooktop ring which will be useful for most dishes.
But might make it difficult for smaller pans.
This cooktop is raised up on four small legs. This is useful as it will protect your worksurfaces. These legs also make the cooktop more portable as it can be easily stabilized. The base of each foot has a non-slip rubber pad.
This makes the cooktop much safer to use.
Another useful feature of this portable induction cooktop is the lock. The lock stops the timer and temperature from being interfered with.
If you are traveling with children, you will of course be concerned about them being anywhere near the cooktop. So this is a useful safety feature.
It will also stop you from accidentally changing the temperature. This is a common accident with touch sensor buttons as they are sensitive and don’t need to be forcefully pushed like a normal button.
- Available in two colors
- Easy to use
- Good size
- Easy to clean
- One size cooktop ring
- CONVENIENT & PORTABLE INDUCTION BURNER: Duxtop induction cooktop offers both temperature and power modes for convenient and efficient cooking. Lightweight, portable induction burner makes handling and storage easy. Perfect for dorm rooms, home kitchens, backyard cooking, RVs, boats, etc.
- HIGH EFFICIENCY & SAFE: Choose from 15 preset power levels (200W to 1800W) and 15 preset temperature level settings (140°F to 460°F). With an 83% energy efficiency rating, induction cooker is more efficient than traditional gas or electric stoves yet provides quick heat-up and faster cooking times.
- SAFETY & EASY TO CLEAN: Safety lock button keeps the cooking and timer settings from being accidentally changed once they have been set or to keeps a child from injuries such as scalding. With no open flame or heating element, food does not burn-on the glass cooktop so it's easy to clean—just wipe with a damp towel.
- INDUCTION READY COOKWARE: As induction stove relies on the cookware itself to heat, it’s essential to choose cookware with a magnetic bottom, whose diameter is at least 5 inches. The auto-pan detection will shut the unit off automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware, or the incorrect cookware is detected.
- 100% WARRANTY: This induction burner countertop uses 120V 15 amp electrical outlet–standard in all North American homes. Etl listed and built to North American Electrical standards. Please allow the Induction cooktop to cool down before cleaning. 2-year manufacturer warranty and customer service available.
For a portable device, this induction cooktop has a lot of features. Induction cooktops generally have a lot of different settings. They can be a little complicated but are great once you get used to them.
This cooktop has specific settings for boiling water, frying, steaming, and warming up food. There is also the ability to set a timer. This is great if you try to eat simply when in your van.
You can just heat up some food and time it, a little like a microwave. (Of course, it won’t rotate or heat evenly as in a microwave, so the food is still going to need some attention).
This induction cooktop has some great features but they do come at a higher than average price. It is not the most expensive option for a double induction cooktop.
But, unsurprisingly, it is quite a bit more expensive than single induction cooktops.
- Countdown timer settings
- Sensor touch controls
- Wide range of cooking settings
- Complicated controls
- TWO HEATING ZONES: This Professional Digital Countertop Dual Induction Cooker by NutriChef is equipped with 2 Circular Top Panel Heating Zones with Independent Configurable Temperature Zone Setting & a Digital LCD Display Screen
- MULTIPLE COOKING MODE: Switch from one cooking mode to another w/ just one press. This has a manual cooking function with fry, steam, & water mode for easy cooking, & an automatic warm function which keeps the food warm for later serving
- LOCK FUNCTION: This product is also equipped with a Built in Child Safety Lock which locks all the operating buttons of the cooktop to protect the little ones from injuries such as scalding
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: This heavy duty 120v Electric Induction cooktop cooks food by using electromagnets so no heat is lost between the cooking surface & the pot which makes it highly energy efficient & it also makes cooking a lot easier & faster
- COMPACT & VERSATILE: This double burner is compatible with steel, cast iron, enameled iron, stainless steel, flat bottom pan or pot w/ a diameter of 12 to 26 cm. Lightweight & compact, great for home / outdoor cooking & its easy to clean
One useful feature of this induction cooktop is the varying ring size. This means that you can use a range of pans on just one hob.
If you’re concerned about space but want multiple options, then this is a great choice. Being able to choose which size ring to use for different pans is really useful.
It means that you won’t risk overheating a pan, especially the handle.
If the pan is smaller than the ring, the handle will begin to heat up. This is a nuisance if the handle is metal as it will become very hot.
But it will be dangerous if the handle is silicone which can melt at certain high temperatures. This also gives you more options as you can cook a wider variety of dishes.
Safety is always a concern when cooking, but especially when in a small space such as a van. This cooktop has a lock which is a very important feature. This is useful if you have children with you.
Unlike a kitchen cooktop that is up high and secured, portable induction cooktops may be easily accessed by children. There is always the risk that they could easily turn the hob on.
But this feature is also useful more generally. Even if you don’t have children with you, a child lock is a feature that will put your mind at ease.
You will always know when the hob is off and won’t be worried that you have accidentally left it on.
- Child safety lock
- Adjustable cooktop ring size
- 18 POWER LEVELS: Quickly choose your desired power from 100W to 1800W in 100W increments(long press for 300W); 1800W power to meet your various cooking needs; simmer, deep fry, boil, sauté, sear, steam, slow cook and grill with ease.
- 17 PRESET TEMPERATURE LEVELS: Adjustable temperature ranging from 140°F (60°C) to 460°F (238°C); can be set in 20°F increments(long press for 60°F); sensitive large touch buttons for enhanced usability.
- WIDE APPLICATIONS & PORTABLE: The cooktop surface measures a diameter of 6.7in (17cm) to fit frying pans with a diameter of 3.9-8.6in (10-22cm); ensures a large and uniform heated area; compact and lightweight with a thickness of just 2.3in (6cm) for easy transport and storage; suitable for areas with limited space use.
- LONG 3-HOUR TIMER & SAFETY LOCK: Press “+” or “-” button to set the timer in 1-minute increments (long press for 10 min ; overheating protection, child lock and rounded edges for ultimate safety.
- WEAR RESISTANCE & EASY MAINTENANCE: Premium glass surface ensures excellent wear resistance and easy cleaning after use.
When it comes to kitchen gadgets, devices, and machines, Cuisinart is a brand that you know you can trust.
This induction cooktop is a great choice if you have a bit of extra space in your van. Most portable cooktops that are suitable for vans are single hobs. This is fine if you’re alone or cook simple meals.
But if you’re traveling around with someone or want to change it up, a double cooktop is the way to go.
Despite being twice the size of many other options, this cooktop is still very simple to use. It has easy to use controls, so you can always be sure that you know what you’re doing.
There are also separate controls for each hob. This is a great energy-saving feature. It means that you can have complete control over your cooking, just as you would on a normal kitchen cooktop.
The cooktop rings are also of different sizes. This is useful for cooking dishes that are a little more complex.
- Double cooktop
- Different sized hob rings
- Separate controls
- Physical buttons
- Induction technology for fast heat-up and consistent heat throughout cooking. Must use with induction-ready cookware
- Dual heat settings: 8 settings on the left burner, 5 settings on the right burner. Dimensions: LWH: 14.25" x 23.5" x 2.5"
- Individual 150-minute timers and ON/OFF switches for each burner
- Throws off less heat so kitchens stay cooler.MC Cubic Feet: 3.29
- Heat turns off 30 seconds after pot or pan is removed.UC Cubic Feet: 1.38
This induction cooktop is another double hob ring option. Most double induction cooktops are side by side. This cooktop has the hob rings above one another.
This is a great space-saving option but may take a little getting used to. Of course, on a normal fixed kitchen cooktop, there are four hob rings.
This means that you will often be using hob rings one above the other. But we all know that this can be pretty awkward. But, awkward space-saving measures are a pretty common occurrence in vans, so it depends on your priorities.
The cooktop rings are slightly different sizes which is useful for cooking different kinds of food. This cooktop also has a very sleek and modern finish with sensor touch controls.
Often, portable equipment can be quite old-fashioned, but it doesn’t need to be. This does mean that the controls aren’t very obvious but will be easy to use once you learn the symbols.
The cooktop even comes in two separate colors. You have the choice of black or dark gray. This is definitely a rare feature. If your van has a very stylized interior, then this is a nice way of ensuring everything goes together.
The cooktop rings also have separate controls so you don’t have to use both at the same time if you don’t want to. The ceramic top is also stain-resistant and easy to clean.
- Easy to clean
- Different sized hob rings
- Choice of two colors
- Controls could be simpler
- Hob rings above one another may be difficult to use
- DUAL HEATING ZONES: This kitchen tabletop burner by NutriChef features two top panel circular heating zone with independent adjustable temperature setting so you can cook 2 dishes at the same time
- HIGH POWERED HEATING: This item also features high powered heating elements to make cooking a lot faster than using a traditional gas stove and it quickly heats up for instant food preparation
- TOUCH CONTROL: This countertop cooker is equipped with sensor touch controls and digital LCD display screen for a hassle free cooking and it also has a countdown timer setting for precise cooking
- ENERGY SAVER: This portable heavy duty 120v 1800w electric induction cooktop makes cooking easier and faster. It cooks food by using electromagnets so no heat is lost between the cooking surface and the pot which makes it highly energy efficient
Best Induction Cooktop for Van Buyer’s Guide
Single Cooktop vs Double Cooktop
The size of the cooktop you choose will of course depend on the space that you have available. This isn’t just the cooking space but also storage space. When it comes to living and traveling about in a van, storage is everything.
A double hob will be useful if you want to make something a little complicated or if there is more than one of you in the van. When it comes to eating on the road, the simplest dish is usually the one that you go for.
If it needs more than heating up, then it’s easy to disregard it.
But a double hob will allow you to cook dishes that have more ingredients. This will also (hopefully) mean that your food will be healthier.
If you’re living off food that only needs to be heated up, chances are that they aren’t the most nutritious meals.
So being able to add a little variation into your diet will definitely be a good thing.
But, this doesn’t mean that a single hob cooktop is a bad idea. They are still super useful and much more compact. If space is precious in your van, then you’re definitely going to want to have a single hob.
This will allow you to easily pack the hob away. If you are concerned about storage space, then space-saving features trump pretty much everything else.
Induction cooktops use magnetic fields to generate heat. This means that any cookware needs to also be magnetic. Otherwise, it won’t work on the induction cooktop.
This means that induction cooktops require induction-compatible pots and pans.
This can be frustrating if you have pots and pans that don’t work with induction cooktops.
But it’s a better idea to invest in some new pots and pans and have the advantages of an induction cooktop than use another kind of cooktop.
Induction cooktops are actually great to use in a van. As they require specific cookware, the hobs of the majority of cooktops won’t heat up properly unless there is a pan on the cooktop ring.
This means that, once a pan has been taken off, the cooktop will switch off and cool down. If you have ever been driving and had a sudden panic because you can’t remember if you turned off the cooktop, then you already know why this is a great feature.
As induction cooktops generally cool down quickly, this is also great for storage. If you don’t want to leave your cooktop out on the worktop, you will need to wait for it to cool down.
The cooktop needs to be cool before it is safe to clean and safe to put away. A lot of modern, touch sensor cooktops will also indicate when the cooktop is still hot.
So you will be able to easily wait for it to cook, wipe it down, and then put it away.
The benefits of an induction cooktop definitely outweigh the minor negative of potentially needing to invest in new cookware. You will be making your van a much safer and easier to manage space.
As storage is such an important part of van life, your induction cooktop is going to need to be easily portable. This doesn’t just depend on the size of the cooktop itself but also on how it is powered and how quickly it cools down.
As well as being the right size for cooking, a cooktop for your van also needs to be the right size for storage. If you’re looking at this guide, then it’s likely that your van hasn’t been kitted out with a fully functioning kitchen.
If you need a portable cooktop, then you need space to pack it away.
Size isn’t the only aspect to consider. You also need to think about what workspace you have within the van and where the cooktop will sit when it’s out.
You need to consider space for the cooktop itself but also space for the pans, cooking utensils, and prep space. If you have a workspace that would just about fit a double ring cooktop, then it’s a good idea to buy a single ring version.
This will give you enough space to prep and dish up your food.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a hood over my cooktop?
All of the options on this list are portable cooktops. This means that they are safe to use in most environments. Hoods are usually installed in kitchens so that they can provide light and a fan to counter the steam produced.
Depending on the size of your van, it is a good idea to install a hood. But it’s not 100% necessary. It will help to reduce the build-up of steam.
This is useful in such a small space as the steam may cause your interiors to become damp. Over time, this could cause them to become moldy. A van will also become hot and steam up more quickly.
A hood would also help you to see what you’re doing. Depending on how tricked out your van is, it might be a little on the dark side. So a hood with a light will help you see what you’re doing.
This is useful for making a good meal. But it will also stop you from potentially hurting yourself.
Can nonstick pans be used on an induction hob?
Induction hobs only work with certain pots and pans. But this is dependent on the exterior material, not the interior. A huge range of pans can have a nonstick interior or a nonstick coating.
A pan is suitable for an induction hob if the material on its base is magnetic. The interior of a pan will have no bearing on whether or not it will work on an induction hob.
Is induction cooking bad for your health?
Induction cooking won’t affect the interior or the coating of your pots and pans. As mentioned above, induction cooktops work based on the exterior material of the cookware.
The type of cooktop you use will have no bearing on the health of your food. The cookware itself, so long as it is good quality and made by a reputable manufacturer, also won’t have much of an impact.
Nonstick pans are generally considered to be healthier as they require less oil. But, as is also mentioned above, nonstick coatings are available on a wide range of cookware materials.
Including those that are compatible with induction cooktops.