GBA Logo horizontal Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Picture icon Hamburger Icon Close Icon Sorted

Community and Q&A

Reliable and good quality 2 burner induction cooktops or countertop units

artisanfarms | Posted in General Questions on

The kitchen in my pretty good house renovation is relatively small.  I also do a lot less cooking these days than when I had kids at home.  I’m considering going to a 2 burner set up in my renovation rather than the traditional 4-5.  What are good brands and models to look at for either single burner or two burner induction cooktop or countertop units? 

I don’t want to break the bank, but I also want to have one unit that will work well for browning meats and bringing a stockpot to boil and a second smaller one that will work well for cooking an egg or heating a small pot.  

Is there a benefit to a built-in set up vs. a countertop set?  It seems like the countertop set up might be easy to tuck out of the way when not needed clearing some additional space on the counter.

GBA Prime

Join the leading community of building science experts

Become a GBA Prime member and get instant access to the latest developments in green building, research, and reports from the field.


  1. Expert Member


    Even with induction cooking you should have a dedicated spot to work under a range hood, so to me it makes sense to build in two burners. I would have another two portable ones you can bring out and use close by, or perhaps use elsewhere, for occasional additional needs.

    1. artisanfarms | | #7

      There will be a 30" hood over a portion of the counter. I like the idea of two built in with the option of bringing out additional if needed as I think I would use that unused burner space as prep space much more often than the third and fourth burners. Portable burners could also be very useful for potlucks or cooking something outside next to the BBQ.

      1. Expert Member
        MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #8


        It's a very appealing set up to me too, especially if you had more than one person cooking.

        Edit: And I don't see anything in our code or the IRC that would preclude relying entirely on portable units.

  2. walta100 | | #2

    Two burners maybe enough for your life style. Consider the day will come when this house goes up for sale and a two-burner range will make the house a white elephant. Leaving someone with only bad options of remodeling or steep discount.

    If you somehow do find a residential built in 2 burner range it is likely to cost almost as much as the 4 burner model. It will be a very short production run, products made early in production are often problematic with the bugs getting worked out over time.

    If your build is getting inspected a portable unit seems unlikely to pass.


    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #3


      That's another good reason to provide the dedicated space for a full size drop-in unit, but put in either the two burners, or have two portable ones for now. Renovating is as simple as cutting a larger hole in the countertops.

    2. artisanfarms | | #6

      What's the lifetime of an average kitchen? My money is on 20 years or less. Odds are whoever ends up buying this house at some point will be redoing the kitchen because the appliances are at the end of their useful life and they want something that looks different. I'd rather build for myself than some theoretical future buyer

  3. Chris_in_NC | | #4

    There are 24-inch cooktops on the market for things like small apartments in Europe and Asia, so that may be a good space saving option without going too far away from "normal".
    There are less options for 2 burner units, as they're a less standard size and seem to be an aux add-on instead of primary cooktop. Fisher & Paykel make some rather gorgeous 12 inch and 15 inch aux units, for example.

    The biggest difference between a cooktop and a countertop setup will be the amount of available induction wattage.
    A countertop plug-in unit at 120V would be very limited in thermal output versus anything 240V powered; it would be limited to less than 1800W of total consumption.
    For comparison, a (3 burner) 24inch Bosch 500-Series cooktop advertises a 3700W main burner output, and the other two burners are 1800W I think (I took a quick look because we have a Bosch induction range).

    There are 240V commercial countertop induction units, but you would need a 240V outlet added in an accessible place in the kitchen. No clue if there are any code nuances that would prevent doing that.

  4. rockies63 | | #5

    America's Test Kitchen is an excellent resource for all things related to cooking (they do gear reviews as well as recipe testing). Here is their review of induction cooktops.
    Yale Appliances also does great reviews on induction cooktops. You can find more videos reviewing induction on Youtube by searching for Yale Appliance Induction.

  5. jonny_h | | #9

    In my original kitchen plan, I drew in a 36" induction cooktop. However, after living for a year with a temporary kitchen using only one portable induction burner, and living in apartments with normal 30" 4-burner electric stoves, I've realized that even though I cook a lot, I rarely use a lot of burners. For like 75% of my cooking, I'm using a single burner at a time; for another 20% at least I'm using two burners, and I can count on one hand the number of times in the past year that I've used 3 burners -- I don't know that I've ever used the 4 on my current stove.

    What I do use a lot of is counter / prep space.

    So, my kitchen plan got modified. First, I downsized to a 30" induction cooktop under a 36" hood. Then, I figured I could downsize to 24". However, looking around, I found that even a middle-of-the-road 24" cooktop unit cost more than the fanciest standalone unit I've seen -- so now the plan is just counterspace, under a hood, with several outlets. I plan to get a PolyScience Control Freak eventually, a low-cost "second burner", and an induction wok burner. Keep one on the counter as the primary, bring the others out when needed.

    In terms of available power, in living with a single 1800W induction burner, I found that its full power setting was sufficient for most things I did -- my biggest complaint with that particular unit was actually not enough lower-power settings. At 1800W, it also boiled water faster than I've seen on standard glass-top resistance electric ranges with "turbo" burners. Still, if this is a concern, there are 240V / 3600W commercial induction burners available for a couple hundred bucks -- I'm planning to put in a 240V outlet in my setup.

    One additional concern I have with standalone units is height -- you'll be working several inches over the normal countertop / cooktop height. You might consider modifying base cabinets to lower a section of countertop a bit if this bothers you.

    One additional benefit of standalone units is that if one breaks, you can easily replace it -- vs a built-in unit where if one out of four burners breaks, you're either living with a partially-dead cooktop or replacing an expensive built-in thing because one part broke.

    Personally, I'm not worried about "resale value" at all -- I'm not planning to sell the house in the near future; I'm building the kitchen that I want to cook in. If plans change and I need to sell, I could always cut a hole in the countertop and drop in a standard unit if it was a real issue.

    So TL;DR -- I'd say go for it if it fits your cooking style and desires.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #10


      Those Control Freak units are pricey but look great. The idea that you easily swap out a unit is appealing to me too. The more things in a house you can do that with the better (which is my one big complaint about the current generation of mini-splits).

      I do think it makes sense to have made provision for installing a conventional or induction cook-top down the road. Sometimes we move because we have to, and in those circumstances the last thing you want is having a lot of work to do before the place can go on the market.

    2. artisanfarms | | #12

      Thanks for the detailed reply. I took a look at the PolyScience unit you recommended and after I get over the sticker shock, I'll look at it again. It was as expensive as the CookTek commercial units a chef had recommended to me.

      Do you have any recommendations for a second, lower cost burner and a wok unit? I do a lot of stir-fries, so a wok specific unit is attractive.

      1. jonny_h | | #13

        I cooked three meals a day for a year on a slightly older version of this one: -- Price is certainly right, though it's intended for commercial kitchens so it beeps very loudly and the fan is also quite noisy. I didn't ever get around to it, but I imagine it'd be very easy to mod it a bit to address these concerns. That unit also only had maybe 6 power levels, and a bit more granularity would have been nice. Look around on that site or other restaurant supply places though -- there's a wide range of units available, from sub-$100 to several thousand. Here's a cheap wok unit:

  6. andyfrog | | #11

    The Control Freak units are very pricey but also very unique and can do things that even the most expensive drop in ranges cannot. They sometimes go on sale for 20-25% off during Black Friday etc, or you might be able to pick up a used unit.

    The good news is that if you move, you can always take it with you.

    A Control Freak and a less expensive secondary burner would be a great combo. Make sure to test them in person with your own cookware as some of them generate high frequency whining noises which you may or may not be able to hear.

    Planning a hood sized for a 24-36" cooktop would work even better for your limited burner setup.

Log in or create an account to post an answer.


Recent Questions and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |