NuWave is relatively new to the kitchen appliance industry having been around from the early 1990s.
But that said they really have made a name for themselves, and their product range is relatively vast.
It may be best known for the NuWave Oven, but it’s other products, including their cooktops, truly deserve the same recognition.
These cooktops offer cooking at precise temperatures, unlike your usual range cooker which doesn’t often do that.
And it uses up to 70% less energy, saving you money - a no brainer really.
They’re also portable, which makes them a great choice for taking on vacation or tailgating. And they only work when an inductionable pan is sitting on top, so almost as soon as you remove the pan, it becomes safe to touch - great safety feature, especially if you have kids in the kitchen.
In this article we will be looking at several different NuWave cooktops, starting with their original, the NuWave Precision Induction Cooktop, before looking at some of the newer variations.
We’ll also look at how NuWave cooktops compare to their rivals, before finally wrapping up with a conclusion.
In terms of what size pans you can use, you can use pans of any size. (Even if the pan’s bottom is larger than the cooktop itself, although we don’t recommend it.)
And when you use a small, the part of the cooktop not covered by your pan is safe to touch!
In terms of what you can do with it - your options are wide open: boil, stir-fry, saute, deep fry, simmer, sear, melt, and even slow cook (and breathe). So it’s a very versatile device to have.
It’s easier to use than it looks. There are 6 pre-programmed temperature settings. You select the one you need, and the temperature comes up in degrees Fahrenheit at the very front of the cooktop.
And it’s a wide temperature range too, starting from as little as 100 degrees Fahrenheit, stretching all the way to 575 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can then tweak this temperature up or down if you chose to, using the plus and minus touch buttons to make 10-degree incremental changes.
And then it will stay at this temperature until you decide otherwise, which means you get no boilover when it’s very hot, and when it’s at milder temperatures, say for melting chocolate, it won’t start to harden up again.
NuWave has attempted to explain its temperature settings on the Amazon page, but my view is that they’re just making it sound more complicated than it is. You can find videos on Youtube that explain it much better.
And it can pre-heat in virtually no time at all, especially on the higher settings. Plus, you get much more even heating than you would on your range.
Now, the important thing to remember with induction cooktops, is that they will only work with pots and pans that are induction capable.
To tell if a pan is induction capable, see if a magnet will stick to the bottom of the pan. If it does, you’re in!
If your pans don’t make a magnet stick to the bottom, then don’t worry - you can opt to buy one together with your cooktop.
This model has proved popular with customers, earning 4 and a half stars out of 5 on Amazon, after well over 1000 individual customer ratings.
The various NuWave precision induction cooktops all work in a very similar way to the original. But rather than repeat all that for each review, we’re just going to concentrate on the main differences.
Unlike the original NuWave precision induction cooktop, the PIC Flex has 3 different wattage settings, namely 600, 900, and 1300 watts.
The benefits of this are two-fold. First off, it gives you that bit extra control over your energy usage, and in turn your energy bills. Perfect for those who like to really look after their money.
But this lower wattage also has the clear advantage of the ability to be used in more settings, where there is limited power. This means you can bring your portable little cooktop on your vacations, whether you’re in your RV or at a campsite.
But that’s not the only difference. Whereas in the NuWave PIC you can adjust the temperature in 10-degree Fahrenheit increments, with the NuWave PIC Flex, this is now set up in 5-degree increments. Offering you still more flexibility and precision in your cooking.
This gives the cooktop up to 94 different precise temperatures, which is almost double that of the original NuWave PIC’s paltry 54 settings.
This model arrives ready to go, complete with a compatible 9-inch fry pan, so you can get frying your dinner as soon as the box arrives.
Customer feedback on this model is incredibly positive. On the Amazon page for example, after well over 1,300 individual customer ratings, the average American customer rating comes in at a very impressive 4 and a half stars out of 5.
This model, the NuWave PIC Pro, is NuWave’s most high powered induction cooktop, with a whopping 1800 watts of power available and at the ready.
The result of which is that you get much quicker pre-heat times, even at the lower settings.
And that can be a really good thing because when you’ve got a lot of mouths to feed, the accompanying hungry tummies can sometimes be rather impatient.
Other than that it’s very similar to the NuWave PIC Flex, in that it’s basically a replica of the original NuWave PIC, but with the temperature adjustments being in 5-degree rather than 10-degree increments.
It comes complete with a 12-month warranty, which is reassuring.
This model hasn’t impressed customers quite as much as the other models. But that said it still fares fairly well, earning 4 stars out of 5 on Amazon’s average customer ratings.
The most obvious drawback to this model is that it, shall we say, is somewhat overpriced. Even when you’re looking to buy it second hand rather than brand new, some people somehow think it’s fair to charge about double the price of the other models.
All in all, we would say if you are going to buy a NuWave induction cooktop, the other models offer far better value for money than this particular model.
However, it made sense to include it in our reviews for easy comparison.
The NuWave PIC Pro Chef is one of the newest ones out, having only been made available with online retailers since 2020. But it’s already made the bestseller lists with online retailers for the category.
The downside to this relatively recent release though means that there haven’t been quite as many peer reviews just yet.
However, we will say that feedback has been very positive so far. Take the Amazon page for example.
After well over 100 individual customer ratings, the average Amazon rating comes in at a very healthy 4 and a half stars out of 5.
But let’s get to the nitty-gritty. To look at, the PIC Pro Chef certainly looks very different from the previous models, It has a square top surface as opposed to the circular one we saw in all the previous versions.
But despite its new look, it runs very much the same way as all the other NuWave induction cooktops before it. With 6 different set temperatures to choose from, all laid out in the same pattern.
Like the PIC Pro, the PIC Pro Chef is a powerful beast, able to bring 1800 watts of power to your kitchen countertop.
Moreover, the PIC Pro Chef has more in common with the other newer models, in that, again you see the temperature increments going up and down in 5-degree increments rather than 10-degrees.
But it’s also a markedly more durable device. If it gets dropped, the glass surface won’t crack, shatter or break.
How NuWave Compares to Other Brands
NuWave’s biggest competition comes from Duxtop. Duxtop is not without their plus points. They are certainly more affordable than NuWave cooktops, and they’re usually more intuitive to use.
However, when matched up to certain NuWave cooktops they can fall short of the mark.
If in any doubt, just check them all out. Amazon often displays direct comparisons between similar products on their pages, and this is a great way to see at a glance how they differ.
Summary and Conclusion
NuWave cooktops make the perfect choice for anyone living alone, or who doesn’t have a range cooker. If you do decide to invest in one, you may well prefer to go for one of the newer ones rather than the original one.
Once you’ve learned which one you like the sound of, be sure to get that one and try not to confuse it for one of the others with their too similar names!
We assume we’ve worked up your appetite for a cooktop whatever brand you decide to get!