Gear Test: Max Burton Portable Induction Cooktop 6000
Camp cooking can range from using a campfire, to a propane camp stove, to “nuking” grub in a microwave. Now you can add induction cooking as a new method.
Induction cooking has been around for years, but the cooktops were too big and expensive for RV camping. Induction cooking also required cookware made of ferrous metal, because a magnetic reaction is required to create heat. The good news is that both problems have been solved.
Athena Brands offers its Max Burton Induction Cooktop 6000, a portable unit measuring 14×12.6×2.5 inches and weighing 6.2 pounds. The company solved the cookware-related problem by introducing an 8-inch-diameter Induction Interface Disk to use with virtually any type of cookware.
Induction cooking is cool—temperature-wise. The unit itself does not get hot. The magnetic reaction between the induction unit and the cookware via the Interface Disk creates heat only in the cookware and the disk. That means less heat in the kitchen, and no danger of setting fire to the nearby paper towels. There is no warm-up period—turn it on and it’s hot instantly. And, there is no cool-down period. The only caution is the surface in direct contact with the hot cookware and with the Interface Disk is hot.
My first test was boiling water for tea in a stainless-steel kettle. When the kettle whistled, a drop of water fell from the spout onto the cooktop. The drop just sat there; it didn’t sizzle because of the heat being concentrated in the Disk and the cooktop directly beneath the kettle. Next I?made an omelet in a Teflon-coated aluminum fry pan. The cooktop did a splendid job of cooking the ingredients evenly without hot spots. Actually, this unit cooked more evenly than my stove at home.
The Max Burton Induction Cooktop 6000 runs on 120 volts AC and is easy to operate with an “On” button and “Up” and “Down” arrow buttons to set the desired power level (1 to 10). The Max Burton Induction Cooktop 6000 and its Interface Disk can be purchased together ($160) or separately ($120 for Cooktop, $50 for Interface Disk). Athena Brands: 800/272-8603; athenabrands.com.
From Camping Life’s January/February 2010 issue.