Nuwave Induction Cooktop Review – Start Cooking the New Way

Written by Peter Allen on . Posted in Major Appliances

More and more people are opting to have induction cooktops, like the Nuwave induction cooker, installed in their homes over gas and other electric stoves.

I guess it’s because people are just realizing how much this type of cooking is so much more convenient than the conventional way. By conventional, I mean cooking over a flame on a gas stove. Induction cooking is not really a new thing, but it has only recently gained popularity because of the lowering of price and the increase in selection.

For years, people stayed away from induction cookers because they were very expensive. Luckily, with more brands joining the induction cooker market, the price has gone down and there are more brands and models to choose from.

If you are exploring the possibility of getting an induction stovetop, this NuWave Induction Cooktop review may convince you to give the following models a try.

Best NuWave Precision Induction Cooktops to Choose From

Nuwave was founded in 1993 by Jay Moon. He previously worked for LG Appliances and other various component supplier companies. He also worked with Electrolux, Whirlpool, and General Electric. He wanted to put his passion towards improving products that target healthy cooking.

That is why he started IBC Hearthware. In 2014, Hearthware was rebranded as NuWave, LLC. This small appliance manufacturer believes in their motto, “Live Well for Less,” and has sold over 3 million units of their induction cooktops.

Below are four of Nuwave’ s best induction cooker. While any of these will help you cook better meals faster and more economically, there are some slight differences that you should note to help you choose the perfect model.

* NuWave PIC Gold 1500W Portable Induction Cooktop

Let’s look at their first offering, the PIC Gold. PIC stands for Precision Induction Cooktop. This model is the improved version of their PIC. The older version only had 1300 watts. This newer PIC Gold model offers 1500 watts. This means it can heat food faster.

The design of this induction cooktop is very modern. The black exterior with gold letters and markings is sleek and stylish. It can go with any kitchen style but would be perfect for modern themes. The burner measures 16.6 x 14.7 x 4.2 inches. It is so light and compact that you can literally pick it up and bring it anywhere.

That is why one of its main selling points is portability. You can bring this cooktop to your dorm, out on a picnic, or to the office. As long as you have a power source nearby, you’d be able to use this small appliance to heat and cook your meals. Worried about waking your roommate up while you cook? Don’t. This NuWave portable induction cooktop works very silently.

The circular design of the cooktop makes it different from so many square induction stoves. It is not done solely for aesthetic purposes though. It is circular so that it doesn’t take up a lot of extra space that doesn’t serve any cooking function. This model features an 8-inch induction heating area so you can use bigger pans with this cooktop.

The problem is, heat is usually concentrated on the area where the heating coils are. If your cookware is not very good, you will find that there are going to be hot spots where the heating coils are found. So, if you are frying something, the areas near those spots would brown faster while the other parts will remain raw. You can address this by moving the food around.

This model is equipped with pre-programmed temperature settings. There are six settings to choose from. This way, you don’t have to keep on entering your desired temperature settings every time you cook a particular dish.

However, if the setting that your recipe calls for isn’t one of the preprogrammed ones, you can also adjust the cooking temperature yourself. The NuWave PIC Gold has a very wide range of temperature offering. You can cook between 100°F all the way to 575°F.

Note that you can only adjust in increments of 10 degrees. While mostly used for boiling, this cooktop is also very versatile. You can deep-fry, simmer, stir-fry, sear, sauté, slow cook, melt, steam, and even grill. As long as you have the right cookware, you can do on this cooktop almost anything that can be done on a gas or electric stove.

Which brings us to its first limitation. If you have been using gas or electric stoves in the past, your existing pots and pans might not work with the induction cooktop. You have to make sure that your cookware works with induction cookers. While it will not work with most aluminum pots, stainless steel, and cast-iron pans will work with your NuWave induction stove top.

Do you have a lot of favorite recipes that require varying cooking procedures? You can now program your NuWave cooktop to remember the settings for these recipes.

You can save up to 100 hours’ worth of settings, so you don’t have to worry about lowering or increasing the heat on your stove at given time intervals. If you are trying to pass on your recipe to your children, they would find it so much easier to follow the directions because your cooktop does more than half the job for you.

It is also very convenient since the cooktop will be the one to adjust its temperature at the given time, you don’t have to stand guard over the stove. Just prepare and place the ingredients in the pot and select the setting that you require. All you would need to do afterward is check on what you are cooking periodically.

This is great for me because I tend to forget what I am cooking once I start getting busy with other tasks. It might be advisable to set up a few alarms though. You don’t want to end up with dried up stew if you forget to add liquids from time to time.

Using the Nuwave PIC Gold is very simple.

The LED display tells you everything that is happening as you put in the settings. There are even error signs that it will flash should there be a malfunction. If you place cookware that is not designed for induction cooking on its surface, you will readily know that it is not working because the cooktop will alert you.

 

This is convenient because you won’t have to worry about trying to figure out which component is not working. It also tells you if the power output of your source is too low or too high. If you place the stove in a location where ventilation is poor or when the stove top is overheating, it will also start beeping and then switch off automatically .

The menu is pretty easy to understand and quite intuitive. You might have to keep your manual beside you for the first few weeks just to get the hang of it. To be honest, using this stovetop might be simpler than using a microwave. So, if you can use that, you will find cooking on the NuWave easy.

This Nuwave countertop induction burner is also very safe to use. It has an automatic switch off feature that activates once the cooking time is done. Have you ever experienced cooking on a gas stove and forgot that you were cooking something because you started cleaning the house or began working on another project? I have.

I nearly burned down the kitchen trying to cook soup. With this induction cooktop, as long as you input how long you want the dish to cook, you won’t have to worry about burning down anything.

There is also a ten-second delay feature that allows you to remove the pan or pot from the cooking surface for a short time without being required to restart your burner. This makes it convenient for you to flip a pancake or add ingredients to your stew without having to repeatedly turn the cooktop back on.

Even better, since the cooking surface doesn’t stay hot for too long once it has become inactive, you reduce the risk of any accidents should a child suddenly try to touch it after you are finished cooking.

NuWave also offers users a list of smoke point for various cooking oil. Since one of the goals of this company is to promote healthful cooking, they want users to keep in mind the temperature limit with which they can cook a certain dish using their desired oils.

By keeping the cooking temperature below the smoke point of your chosen oil, you are ensured that the good fats stay in your food rather than evaporate into the atmosphere. With the induction cooktop, this is possible. With gas, it is very difficult to keep the cooking temperature at a precision of this level.

The induction cooker is very easy to keep clean and maintain. The cooking surface is made of ceramic glass so it will not rust or stain.

Since there are not many gaps or nooks to worry about, spills and splashes can easily be addressed with a quick wipe using a damp cloth. Using a little bit of detergent can also be helpful to make sure that all sauces and food debris are removed after cooking.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the NuWave PIC Gold 1500W Portable Induction Cooktop:

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Portable
  • Safety features prevent overheating
  • Has an automatic switch off feature
  • Cooking temperature can easily be adjusted

Cons:

  • Requires induction compatible cookware
  • Issues with durability
  • Does not distribute heat very effectively

* NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop 1300 Watts

If you want a portable induction cooktop that is not necessarily powerful but is very affordable, then this NuWave PIC may be a good choice.

It basically offers the same feature as the PIC Gold, but it only offers 1300 watts of heating power. While this means it cooks food a little slower, the price for this unit is considerably much lower than the other variants.

The look is very similar.

The cooking surface is made from black ceramic glass. Instead of gold, this model has white letterings and other markings. It also has different dimensions, 14.4 x 15.9 x 6.3 inches. The difference is that the NuWave PIC unit is a little wider and taller than the Gold version. It is a little heavier, being 5.4 pounds. The differences are so small that they can be negligible.

It is still compact and lightweight enough to be placed in a small bag and brought with you if you need to cook somewhere other than your own kitchen. Thinking of having a small gathering for some hotpot? This is a unit that can help you with it. Just prepare all the ingredients that you will need and make the soup stock in advance.

Once everybody is ready to eat, just place the Nuwave PIC in the middle of the dining table, plug it in, then start adding the meats and vegetables that you want to eat. This may also work the same way a fondue does. As long as you have the right cooking vessel and ingredients, you can melt cheese or chocolate and keep it warm for dipping your other ingredients in.

While the cooktop is small, it does offer a big cooking surface. With its diameter measuring 9 inches, it can easily accommodate most cookware, giving you more choices of where to cook your meals. You can work with a small pot for smaller portions, or a large pan to cook for more people.

The cooking temperature range is the same. You can set it from 100°F up to 575°F. If your recipe calls for a setting that is more specific, you can adjust it by 10 degrees per push of the button. You can see the changes that you make on the cooking temperature on the digital display.

Just like with the Gold model, there are 6 preprogrammed cooking temperatures that the machine offers. Instead of manually setting it, all you have to do is pick out one of the preprogrammed settings. This is very similar to the various cooking settings on most microwave ovens.

Let’s look at the cooking power.

As mentioned, it only gives us 1300 watts instead of 1500. When tested, it took the NuWave PIC 10 minutes to boil a pot of water. While this is so much different from the 2-minute-to-boil that the Gold can perform, it is still quicker than if you boil the same amount of water on a gas stove.

It also has the same programming technology that allows it to “memorize” cook times and temperatures for certain recipes. For example, if you are meant to cook a certain dish on high heat for 8 minutes and then reduce the heat to low for 30 minutes, you can program that into your NuWave PIC, so you don’t have to stay in front of the stove the whole time.

It will keep the induction cooktop on high for the 8 minutes required and reduce the temperature to the lower setting for the remaining 30 minutes.

After that, the unit will switch itself off. All you would need to do is to check on your pot or pan from time to time just to see if it is cooking right. The cooktop also has a delay function so you can have it start cooking at a specific time. While I personally don’t use this feature, it is something that you can use if you want the soup to be cooked by the time you are ready to eat.

Another safety feature that NuWave introduced with this model is the auto-switch off function when the pot or pan is removed from the cooking surface. This means you don’t have to worry about forgetting to switch your stove off if you left in a hurry after cooking your morning oatmeal. As long as you lifted the pan off from the cooktop, it will be fine.

Cleaning this induction cooktop cannot be simpler. It just needs a quick wipe-down with a damp rag to ensure that it stays clean. Just be careful in using abrasive towels as the vinyl material that covers the buttons can get damaged. Many users claim that these peel off easily, so it is important to wipe gently over those surfaces.

Speaking of negative claims, another complaint that has been posted about this model has something to do with the fan. It tends to run a bit loud so you probably wouldn’t want to use this in a small room while other people are sleeping.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the NuWave PIC 1300W Cooktop:

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Has an automatic switch off feature
  • Cooking temperature can easily be adjusted

Cons:

  • Requires induction compatible cookware
  • Issues with durability
  • Vinyl cover cracks and peels off
  • Fan can be noisy
  • Does not distribute heat very effectively

* NuWave PIC Flex Precision Induction Cooktop

Touted as the “new generation” for the previous PIC models, this Nuwave PIC Flex is not very different from its predecessors. In fact, some people say that the only difference between this and the older models is that it can only go from 100°F to 500°F. Plus they seem to have included some form of wattage control. Besides that, almost all the controls and functions are the same.

The cooktop still comes in black with white markings. The dimensions are close to the other models. It measures 6 x 16 x 13 inches. It is a little heavier than the PIC and the Gold variants because it measures 7.75 pounds. While it is one pound heavier, it is still pretty lightweight.

The control buttons can be found at the front. There is a total of twelve buttons that control cooking time and temperature.

Just like the others, there are 6 preprogrammed temperature setting: low, medium/low, medium, medium/high, high, and maximum. These preprogrammed settings are there so you won’t have to think about setting the temperature manually.

There is also a watt control that allows you to choose between 600, 900, and 1300. This is perfect if you want to keep your wattage usage at a minimum.

The lower settings allow you to use as little energy as possible but still be able to fully cook your food. It is pretty easy to understand the controls. If you have experienced using a microwave or even a toaster, you will be able to use this induction stovetop.

The cooking surface is the same black ceramic glass that makes it super easy to clean. There is an indicator, a red circle, that tells you up to which part of the surface is reached by the heating element. Anything outside the circle doesn’t get hot during the cooking process. It is great for people who are clumsy and tend to accidentally brush up the stove while cooking.

Speaking of the heating element, it can scan a pot or pan and tell if it is induction compatible or not. The stove will automatically switch-off if it senses that an incompatible pot or pan is placed on its surface. Another safety feature is the automatic switch off if the cook time indicated is up or if the unit begins to overheat.

It is important to remember that the ventilation fan of this unit is found underneath the heating element. It is a must to keep the airways unobstructed to prevent the unit from overheating. Also, it is ideal to place the cooktop on an even surface to ensure that the fan works properly.

Unlike the other models, the Flex already comes with a 9-inch induction compatible fry-pan. It is convenient for people who are just building up their kitchens and probably do not have any pots or pans yet. The fry pan is a ceramic coated pan.

This means it is non-stick.

It has a grey exterior and a copper-colored interior that would look great with any kitchen styles. While some users are not very impressed with the non-stick quality of the fry-pan, it is still an added value to this package.

You may still need to buy another pan that has better capabilities when it comes to distributing heat. This particular pan cannot distribute heat well so there is a hotspot in the middle. While this may not have much effect when you are cooking something that is soupy or saucy, it can cause your food to burn if you are frying something.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the NuWave PIC 1300W Cooktop:

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Portable
  • Affordable
  • Has various safety features
  • Cooking temperature can easily be adjusted all the way to 500 degrees
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile
  • Comes with an induction compatible fry-pan

Cons:

  • Issues with durability
  • Fan can be noisy
  • Does not distribute heat very effectively

* Nu Wave 30602 Double Precision Induction Cooktop Burner

If you need to prepare food for a bigger group, or if you enjoy cooking for many people, one burner may not be enough. Let’s say you want to cook spaghetti for dinner. It would be too time-consuming to have to wait for the pasta to finish cooking before you can cook the sauce.

Wouldn’t it be more convenient and practical to cook both at the same time? That is why NuWave came up with an induction cooker that has two burners.

Despite being a double burner, the NuWave 30602 is still pretty compact. The dimensions are 26 x 18 x 12 inches. It should not take too much space on your counter. It is small enough to place on top of a small table if you plan on using it in a dorm or at the break room of an office. You can also fit it in a kitchen drawer if you plan to use it as a secondary cooking surface.

Once you are done the cooking, you can just pack it away and keep it out of site. It is 16 pounds in weight so it is very easy to carry, and move should you need to bring it elsewhere.

This makes the NuWave 30602 ideal for catering businesses who might want to keep their food hot or do the preparations at the venue. The color is black, just like all the other NuWave induction hot plates, so it would fit most kitchen styles.

The surface of this induction cooktop has a glass coating. This makes it super easy to clean. It is also very resistant to heat so you don’t have to worry too much about warping or melting.

The non-cooking surfaces do not get very hot. This makes it safe to use even by kids, supervised by an adult of course because there is less chance for them to accidentally burn themselves if they touch the panel while cooking.

The NuWave 30602, as mentioned, is a double burner cooktop. Unlike the previous models on this review, this one is not circular. I guess one rectangular panel is easier to clean than two circular cooktops. Each burner has its own control panel but some of the keys, like the start button, control both burners.

These buttons have touch sensors, so you don’t have to push down too hard on them in order to make them work. Unfortunately, there is no locking feature for the buttons. Since it is touch sensitive, you can easily change the setting accidentally by touching the area while cooking.

This would have been a great feature because you can easily mess up a dish by changing the cook time or temperature inadvertently.

Just like its single burner counterparts, the menu is pretty intuitive. You just have to select the temperature and the time for how long you want to cook your food, then start the cooking process. After that, all you have to do is keep an eye on your pot from time to time to see if it dries up or overflows.

The two burners each have an inner diameter of 8” and an outer diameter of 9”. Don’t worry, the cooking areas are clearly marked with circles. If you have a pan or pot whose bottom is bigger than those dimensions, don’t throw them away yet. The burners can accommodate pots and pans that are 12 inches in diameter, so larger cookware can still work.

However, if you plan on using both burners simultaneously, it can only take a pan or pot as big as 10.5 inches in diameter. You just have to make sure that you use induction-compatible pots and pans.

Just like the other induction cooktop by NuWave, the 30602 has sensors to tell if the cookware is not induction compatible and will not work. Each burner comes with its own display screen, so you know what is happening to each at one time. It indicates what temperature each is set and for how long it would cook.

The induction cooktop operates on 120 Volts and can offer up to 1800 Watts of output power. You can also lower than to 900 watts using the “watts” button. If you use both burners at the same time, the watt automatically goes down to 900 each.

Some users claim that the power is not enough to boil water on one burner and fry something on the other at the same time. Just like the other models, this comes with 6 temperature buttons that have been preprogrammed by the manufacturer.

If these settings are not suitable for what you need to cook, you can adjust the temperature by pressing the + or – button. This will adjust the temperature by 5 degrees. Just keep pressing the button until you get to the desired temperature. The minimum temperature is 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

Many users claim that this is still too high, that is why the cooker is not ideal for slow cooking. Its highest temperature setting is 575 degrees Fahrenheit, making it ideal for searing meat.

If you plan on using this cooktop as a food warmer, you can choose the program to keep the temperature at a steady 155 degrees Fahrenheit. This should keep the cooktop running for two hours. The only problem is that the cooktop has a pretty short power cord. It is only 3-feet long. You will need to bring an extension cord with you if you plan to use it away from a wall socket.

You can program a cooking sequence into the memory of this cooktop. It can “remember” up to 100 hours of cooking instructions like lower the heat to a certain temperature after 20 minutes of simmering, and so on. It can automatically increase or lower the temperature at a given time.

It is great for cooks who do not have much time to spend watching over their stoves. It is also a good option for cooks who are trying to teach their children a cooking sequence because the stove pretty much does everything for you.

The 30602 has safety features like an auto-stop function if the device is already overheating. This is great for people who tend to forget that they are cooking something on the stove.

Note that the equipment will overheat if the airway to the fan gets blocked. If you put the NuWave countertop induction burner near a wall, the vents will get blocked and will cause the entire thing to overheat.

While there are safety features to keep it from burning down your kitchen, this is not safe nor good for your cooktop. Repeatedly letting it overheat can damage it permanently.

There is also a sensor to detect over or under voltage.

It automatically switches off to prevent damage. It will also automatically shut off one minute after the cookware has been removed from its surface. Once you are done the cooking, you don’t even have to worry about switching the stove off because it will automatically do that for you.

NuWave backs this up with a one-year warranty. However, there are many users who have complained that contacting the manufacturer can be difficult. If they do get to talk to an operator, most of the time, they have to deal with a rude person on the other end of the line.

Here are the pros and cons of buying the NuWave PIC 1300W Cooktop:

Pros:

  • Equipped with two burners
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Portable
  • Has various safety features
  • Cooking temperature can easily be adjusted
  • Easy to clean
  • Versatile

Cons:

  • Issues with durability
  • Fan can be noisy
  • Does not distribute heat very effectively
  • Power is not sufficient for both burners to operate at high heat at the same time
  • Poor customer service

Benefits of Using a NuWave Induction Burner

The main selling point of induction cooking is speed. One chef likened the experience of cooking on an induction cooktop to driving a Ferrari. If you wanted to make some pasta, you don’t have to wait around for too long for the water for your pasta to boil. Most cookers like the NuWave induction stovetop can get a pot of water at boiling point in 4 minutes or less.

That is astounding considering that most gas stoves get the same job done in about 8 minutes or so. This speed may take some getting used to. If you are accustomed to putting your pan on the stove and switching it to heat it up then start preparing your ingredients, you will have to change your ways.

Because the pan heats up so fast, you probably won’t have time to do your preparation in time. You will need to get everything ready before placing your pan on the induction cooker.

The next selling point is energy efficiency.

Not only does this type of stove use electricity rather than natural gas or LPG, but it also directs the heat towards the food more effectively. Thus, there is very little heat loss, resulting in faster cooking time. The faster you finish cooking, the less energy you use up.

Aesthetics is also another factor that attracts cooks to the induction cooker. The different models of NuWave countertop induction burner all look sleek and very modern.

The induction stoves are usually smaller than other types of stoves, so they are also suitable for small or non-existent kitchens. That is why it is a stove of choice for many dormers because you can place it on a small table, cook or reheat a meal, then pack it up.

There is no need to install unsightly propane or LPG tanks too. In places that often experience earthquakes, not having a tank or a gas line could be safer for you and your house. It is also something that caterers can use to keep their food heated during events. As long as there is a power supply nearby, you can use the NuWave portable induction cooktop.

Conclusio

NuWave sells its precision induction cooktop as kitchen equipment to replace all kitchen equipment. While this is far from happening, it is a great option if you need something compact and lightweight to cook and heat your meals. Each model has pretty much the same features.

The four models of NuWave Induction Cooktop all use up very little energy, have a lot of safety features, and can be used for cooking in a variety of ways. You can choose to use their preprogrammed temperature setting or opt to adjust it manually depending on the recipe that you are following. For the single burner induction cooker, it might be ideal to select the Gold model.

This Nuwave Induction Cooktop has received the highest rating of all the single burners from the brand. If you need more cooking surfaces, you can go for the double burner, but be warned that using both sides simultaneously force the burner to split its 1800 watts between the two.

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Peter Allen

Peter Allen

Peter's path through the culinary world has taken a number of unexpected turns. After starting out as a waiter at the age of 16, he was inspired to go to culinary school and learn the tricks of the trade. As he delved deeper, however, his career took a sudden turn when a family friend needed someone to help manage his business. Peter now scratches his culinary itch on the internet by blogging, sharing recipes, and socializing with food enthusiasts worldwide.

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