It’s exceedingly rare for a product to earn a perfect score of 100 in Consumer Reports’ tests, but three induction cooktops we recently reviewed have achieved that feat.

Four other induction cooktop models notched a score of 99, and all 14 in our current ratings of electric cooktops earned a score in the Excellent range. The radiant electric and gas cooktops we test don't get such consistently high scores.

More on induction

The secret to induction’s success? The power and precision of the electromagnetic field, below the glass surface, that quickly provides heat. “Since you’re heating the pan directly, you’re not losing time while heat transfers from a radiant electric burner,” explains Tara Casaregola, who oversees our cooktop testing.

Of course, not all induction cooktops ace our tests, and we do see differences in how individual models perform.

Further, price doesn't always track with performance. For example, a $1,350 model in our ratings actually heats water faster and simmers more steadily than a $5,000 model.

How We Test Induction Cooktops

We test every cooktop at low and high heat. Just about any cooktop will fare well enough when cooking over medium heat, but a stellar model will also boil quickly and simmer steadily. “The extremes between low- and high-heat tasks are where we really see differences,” Casaregola says.

For high-heat cooking, we use a standardized pot, filled with 6 ounces of water, on the largest cooktop burner. We jack up the burner to the highest setting and note the speed with which the water heats up.

For low-heat cooking, we use the smallest burner to melt chocolate and simmer water and tomato sauce, gauging how well cooktops hold a steady simmer temperature without dropping too low or scorching the contents of the pan.

We test 30- and 36-inch induction cooktops from such brands as, Frigidaire GE, Kenmore, KitchenAid, Samsung, and Whirlpool. We also test pro-style induction cooktops from Bosch, Dacor, GE Monogram, and Thermador.

Start with our cooktop and wall oven buying guide if you’re deciding what kind of cooktop to buy or debating whether it makes more sense to choose a range.

Do You Need Special Cookware?
If you’ve considered an induction cooktop or range, you’ve probably heard that not all cookware is induction-compatible. Any magnetic pot or pan will work on an induction cooktop. If you’re shopping for new cookware, check the Features & Specs tab of our cookware ratings to find out which sets are induction-friendly.

Here's a comparison of five of the best induction cooktops from our ratings.

Best 30-Inch Induction Cooktop

Samsung NZ30K788UG/AA
Price: $2,000
Total cooking elements: 4
High-power elements: 3
CR’s take: Samsung’s 30-inch induction cooktop seamlessly blends rapid heating and steady simmering with features that replicate the familiar, satisfying feeling of cooking with gas. In addition to push-button burner controls, this model has a magnetic knob that can be moved from burner to burner and dialed—like a gas-burner knob—to control the heat. There are also integrated LED lights on each burner that resemble the look of a flame, growing brighter or dimmer as the burner is fine-tuned. A variable cooking zone—basically an oblong burner along the left side of the cooktop—can accommodate long or irregularly shaped cookware, like a roasting pan or gratin dish. Built-in WiFi connects with a smartphone app to allow you to set burner-specific timers or even check to see whether you shut all four burners off when you’ve finished cooking.

Best 30-Inch Pro-Style Induction Cooktop

Dacor Modernist DTI30M977BB
Price: $3,000
Total cooking elements: 4
High-power elements: 3
CR’s take: With performance on par with the Samsung above, this top-of-the-line induction cooktop from Dacor offers a beautifully polished appearance, with a black stainless lip wrapping the glass top. The cooktop features a flexible cooking zone that accommodates large pans, and it has built-in WiFi that syncs with Dacor’s smartphone app so you can you monitor burner settings, set timers, and turn off a burner from afar.

Best Budget-Friendly Induction Cooktop

GE Profile PHP9030DJBB
Price: $1,350
Total cooking elements: 4
High-power elements: 3
CR’s take: GE’s induction cooktop may not offer the same bells and whistles as the pricier picks above. But you get a reasonably priced top with nearly unparalleled performance. It excels at heating fast and simmering steadily. The burners are controlled via a digital touchpad, and while it lacks features like app integration, flexible cooking zones, or LED lighting, it does offer top-tier performance for less money than any other 30-inch induction cooktop in our ratings. Consider pairing it with the GE PT7050SFSS electric wall oven, which earned solid marks in our tests for baking, broiling, capacity, and self-cleaning.

Best 36-Inch Induction Cooktop

Samsung NZ36K7880UG
Price: $2,250
Total cooking elements: 5
High-power elements: 4
CR’s take: The 36-inch version of Samsung’s top-tier induction cooktop above, this model offers the same stellar cooking performance and nifty features. Like the smaller version, it features integrated WiFi, LED lighting on each burner to replicate the experience of cooking on gas, a magnetic knob for controlling individual burners, and a flexible cooking zone for large pots and pans. As a bonus, the 36-inch model squeezes in a fifth burner. Consider pairing it with the Samsung, NV51K7770SG/AA wall oven, $2,350, or the Samsung NV51K7770DG/AA double wall oven, $3,250, both electric, each of which earned strong marks in our broad array of baking, broiling, and cleaning tests.

Best 36-Inch Pro-Style Induction Cooktop

Bosch Benchmark Series NITP668SUC
Price: $2,800
Total cooking elements: 5
High-power elements: 5
CR’s take: Bosch’s handsomely finished induction cooktop is noteworthy not only for its top-of-the-line performance but also for its thoughtful features. It has multiple flexible cooking zones to accommodate just about any induction-suitable cookware, built-in WiFi connectivity, and individual countdown timers for each of the five burners (they’ll shut off automatically when the timer reaches zero). But the Bosch HBLP451RUC wall oven, $2,900, doesn’t perform well enough to recommend, even if it would make an attractive companion to this cooktop.