GoGear: The Magnetic Lure of Induction

An affordable upgrade to any RV galley

Don Cohen Don Cohen  |  06.20.2015
Above photo:  Dinner prep looking out from Gouldings in Monument Valley.

It still seems pretty magical to me that a cooking surface, which doesn’t itself get hot, can still boil water.  I won’t get tangled up in the physics that perform this modern miracle, but rather, share with you our experience in using an induction cooktop as we travel in our Navion.

Induction CookingCookin’ on the rocks below the sandstone cliffs at Gouldings.

We’ve encountered a growing number of RVers who, like us, have happily added an induction cooktop to their galleys.  Increasingly, we’re seeing more models of all-electric, diesel pusher RVs offering built-in induction cooktops as part of their richly appointed kitchens.

What’s really cool is that anyone with a smaller or older rig can easily add an induction cooktop for less than $100.  In our case it was an $80 Duxtop unit from Amazon.  I’ve also seen units priced for around $60, too.

Our induction unit is an 1,800 watt countertop device you simply plug into any outlet.  It’s about 12” inches square and less than 3” inches thick.  We’ve found that it’s rubber feet grip tightly enough that, when we’re on the road, we simply leave it firmly planted on the counter.

Induction Cooking (3)Easy controls and plenty of features help with the beginning step of the evening’s bolognese sauce.

We’ve found a lot of advantages to using our induction cooktop:

  • It boils water much faster than our propane burners.
  • There’s less heat that builds up in the coach (a big plus on warm days).
  • We can place it in various places on the counter or even (when we need more prep space) on our dinette table.
  • It gives us extra cooking capacity in addition to our two propane burners.
  • It’s easily adjustable to set lower warming and simmering temperatures.

Induction Cooking (2)Terry often chooses to use the induction cooktop instead of the propane burners.  It’s much faster for boiling water.

Since we bought the Duxtop we use it more often than firing up the propane burners.  While we’re usually hooked up to shore power, we’ve had plenty of dry camping opportunities to use it.  Leading up to dinnertime I’ll fire up the generator so we can use the microwave/convection oven, induction cooktop, and run the TV (saving battery power for later).

Arguably, you might say there are two downsides to an induction cooktop.  The first is that you either need to be connected to shore power or run your generator.  The second is that it requires cookware that’s magnetic.

In our case, the set of Magma cookware we had was not ferro-magnetic and we had to buy a different version of the Magma cookware which was.  Once we did that, we were off to the races.

Magma SetHands down, the Magma cookware is the best bet for any RV galley.

Many boaters and RV owners are familiar with the Magma cookware.  I did extensive research before buying our first set and it is far and away the best cookware product out there.  For us, in the limited galley space of the Navion, it’s nesting ability means we can store multiple pieces in a small footprint.

The induction compatible set we ordered from Amazon was $218.50 and comes with three saucepans, a frying pan, large pot, lids, and well shaped detachable handles.  It’s clad in stainless steel and has a non-stick coating.  These are heavy, well made pots and pans.  At home we use high quality commercial grade cookware and our standards are very high.  Though I was skeptical at first, I fully agree with the dozens of rave reviews about Magma’s pots in terms of quality of finish, heft, heating ability, and versatility.  Even for owners of big rigs and large 5th-wheels, where storage space is less an issue, I absolutely would recommend Magma’s products.

Together our Duxtop induction plate and the Magma cookware have proven to be a perfect pairing for easy and efficient mobile meal preparation.

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  1. AJ Posted on 09.13.2017

    I have a Four Wheel Poptop camper on my Toyota Tacoma and have been using my NuWave Induction Cooktop almost daily for a few months now. What I will add is that is has 3 settings for wattage use. My inverter only allows up to 1000 watts so that rules out the high setting on the cooktop but then I can set it for the medium one (900) and have not problem unless my batteries are low. I do not need a generator at all since I have a 160 watt solar panel on top of my rig. I do not use propane at all for cooking since it is not needed. I will when winter hits and I need my propane furnace, but to cook for free (and easier) makes plenty more sense to me.

  2. Bootss Gibson Posted on 10.27.2016

    RV 110 outlets can be a little less well installed than stick built electrical plugs and the constant shaking going down the road can loosen contacts. 1800 watts is a pretty high current draw so just feel around the wall when you’re using this appliance to make sure it’s not getting too warm. I had to change the outlet in my bathroom so I could use my 1600 hair dryer due to the wall getting hot.

  3. S. Blair Posted on 10.26.2016

    Buy the largest-diameter induction device you can find, because it only heats the area directly under the induction plate. I discovered this by trying to cook pancakes on a cast iron griddle, which worked fine over the plate, but yielded gooey, uncooked flapjacks outside of that magic circle.
    Also, after repeated tests using magnetic discs and disc-laminated cookware (like the Farberware pan packaged with their induction cooktop), I’ve found that magnetic stainless steel or stainless steel encased aluminum cooks faster than using a disc.

  4. Charles Hardin Posted on 10.02.2016

    All Clad stainless works on induction also.

  5. Michael Posted on 05.17.2016

    Hi Don,
    Great info.
    An induction top will be our first galley “add-on”.
    Is there a Magma set that does not have a non-stick cooking surface?
    If not, is there a good alternative set that is not non-stick?

    1. Don Cohen Posted on 05.17.2016
  6. edie cohen Posted on 08.20.2015

    We have a Nuwave induction that we use in our rig. Bed, Bath and Beyond, and Amazon sells a interface disk that allows you to use any pan. No need to buy special pans. It sells for about $20, and with the BBB 20% off coupon, that’s a sweet deal.

  7. Tom Janstrom Posted on 06.23.2015

    We took an alternate approach to outfitting our View’s kitchen – a trip to IKEA. Their large selection and reasonable pricing will allow any cook to outfit his motorhome in an afternoon. The large pots&pans drawer in our ’08 H holds 2 nesting nonstick saute pans, 2 nesting saucepans, a pasta pot, a teakettle and a coffee press. Each piece is padded out with thin bubble wrap and dish towels for a rattle free journey. An enameled cast iron pot (also IKEA) for rice and rice dishes rides under a dinette seat. The only problem I can foresee is fitting some of the cookware into the toy sinks Winnebago has chosen for the current Views. Not a problem with the generous ’08 sink!