Best Portable Microwave

Best Portable Microwave: Top 5 Car Microwaves to Buy in 2020 [Updated: August 2020]

We’ve spent several days researching the best portable microwave for cars that offer the convenience, reliability, and ease of use without being too heavy on the pocket.

After days of in-depth practical research, we have jotted down the best mini microwaves for 2020. 

Best Portable Microwave

But before we dive into this, let’s find out what factors made us choose these best portable microwaves for you.


Product NameNon-Stick Interior110V Connectivity12V ConnectivityMultiple CompartmentsPrice
RoadPro 12 Volt Portable Microwave/ Stove/ Food WarmerCheck on Amazon
GIDEON 12-Volt Portable Stove MicrowaveCheck on Amazon
Hot Logic Food Warming Tote 12v MicrowaveCheck on Amazon
TRAVELISIMO Electric Lunch Box 2 in 1 for Car/Truck and WorkCheck on Amazon
YOHOOLYO Electric Lunch Box Food Heater Portable Food Warmer Car MicrowaveCheck on Amazon

How We Benchmarked All These Best Portable Microwaves?

In our research, we included various portable microwaves, food warmers and stoves out there in the market.

Essentially, all these models had almost the identical hardware with an exception of the few that were top-notch models but were also high-priced.

The benchmark included factors like ease of use, cooking quality, heating efficiency functions, wattage, and size.

Then we delved into hundreds of customer reviews on different forums and retail sites to know exactly what others think of these shortlisted microwaves.

Here is a list of the most important factors involved in going through our picks for the best portable car microwave.

Small Footprint

Nobody would want to carry a bulky oven cavity that is hard to manage and provides no reason to be called a mini car microwave.

Therefore, we made sure we only choose the microwaves that offer the smallest size without compromising on the heating efficiency and overall cooking experience.

Ease of Use

We wanted to choose microwaves that offer easy-to-use interfaces. Hence, we skipped all those models that had complex functionality and connectivity.

In this process, we only shortlisted the smallest microwaves that were both easier to use and manage.

Even Cooking

We cannot say that if any one of them exceeds all others; but we only shortlisted the car microwaves that offered the most variety.

We analyzed different portable microwaves available in the market and wanted to select the ones that offer to cook a variety of foods, from frozen meals to baked potatoes, quickly and evenly.

Check out the article on Top 5 Portable Vacuum Cleaners in 2020

Reliability and Owner Satisfaction

It would not be fair if these results were solely based on our own evaluation of different factors.

We felt it was important to take into consideration the feedback of customers.

We accumulated a lot of customer reviews available on the different retail sites and forums for these different 12-volt car microwaves purchased between 2018 to 2019.

After an extensive evaluation, we think Road Pro 12V Portable Microwave wins the race here between all the microwaves that we’ve reviewed so far. It is easier to operate, perfect for warming up foods and even cook raw meat at 300°F.


The Winner

RoadPro 12 Volt Portable Microwave/ Stove/ Food Warmer

RoadPro Portable Food Warmer

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Simple to Use
  • Cooks Food Upto 300°F
  • Non-stick Interior
  • Easier to Clean

Cons

  • Takes Time to Heat Up
  • Need Alimunium Pans
  • Misusage Can Drain Car Battery

The RoadPro 12 Volt Microwave is very affordable, simple to use and provides great ease for drivers who travel a lot and it can be simply connected using a lighter-type outlet in any vehicle.

RoadPro even offers a cookbook along with the portable microwave that offers quick-cook recipes to cook right at your front dash.

Additionally, the best part of this mini microwave — RoadPro portable stove, is that it can cook foods up to 300°F, enough to even cook raw meat.

But one thing to note here is that since it uses minimal 12 volts, it can take up to 15-20 minutes to heat up to this level.

At all costs, we now have the option to have our favorite baked potatoes or frozen mac in-and-out warm right at our front seat with this mini stove.

In terms of its portability, this compact 0.34 cubic feet smallest microwave only weighs at just 3.2 pounds.

Complimentary to that is its considerably less bulky size. It is smaller than all the conventional over-the-counter microwaves and can easily be adjusted at your front dash or armrest.

To boot, it even warms up when you’re on the go – an exceptional feature that lets you perfectly cook or reheat your snack while you focus on getting to the destination.

On the inside, it offers a non-stick aluminum cooking surface, allowing you to cook directly in the cooker. Though, we highly recommend using RoadPro Almunium Pans.

They are standard aluminum loaf pans. In practice, they make the portable stove much easier to maintain and clean in the longer run.

You can also choose other disposable loaf pans such as DOBI Disposable Loaf Pans.

These aluminum pans do help in keeping the food warmer for longer hours and make the food cook evenly because of their superior heat conductivity.


The Runner Up:

GIDEON 12-Volt Portable Stove Microwave for Car and Camping

Stove for Camping

Pros

  • Smaller Size
  • 6ft Cord / Easier to Move
  • Heats upto 300 Degrees
  • Heat Resistant Case

Cons

  • Takes Longer to Heat
  • Plug Unreliability
  • Uneven Cooking

GIDEON 12-Volt Microwave Stove stands as a runner up in this race by a very minimal margin. This portable stove is a perfect add-on to your car, truck or caravan.

This mini microwave is 0.40 cubic feet in volume when compared to RoadPro Car Microwave, which is even smaller at 0.34 cubic feet.

The best part of this portable stove is its heat-resistance case. The portable stove case remained cool to touch at all times.

GIDEON car stove comes along with a 6ft cord that makes it convenient for camping and road trips. 

Just like RoadPro Car Stove, this also has an aluminum non-stick surface which can be easily wiped with a damp cloth.

This microwave can be used with any 12-volt power source and can heat up to 300 degrees at the comfort of your front seat.

One of the reasons this microwave stood as a runner up is because we’ve had numerous occasions where it took slightly longer in the initial warm-up. 

We noticed from various customer reviews on different retail websites about the plug unreliability. Several users complained that the plug was either broken or didn’t seat well into the lighter holder.

Nevertheless, after a ruthless run of our testing, we still believe it holds pretty well.


Editor’s Choice

Hot Logic Food Warming Tote 12v Microwave

Mini Microwave

Pros

  • Easy to Operate
  • Heats upto 165 degrees
  • Can be connected both at home and in-car

Cons

  • Consumes More Power
  • Short Cable
  • Can Drain Car Battery if operated on Idle Engine

At first glance, we underestimated this lunch-box shaped portable microwave.

But let us tell you this food warming tote can both reheat and cook your lunch as evenly as a countertop microwave.

This mini microwave can cook in almost anything flat bottom that fits in there. It can contain a container up to a size to 7×9 inches. So for those who often head to work early in the morning with their peanut butter sandwiches, that’s old school now.

With this portable microwave, you the ability to have a perfect fresh brekkie anywhere you are at any time.

The portable lunch box can be connected using both the in-car 12-volt lighter connector and with its built-in 120-volt socket.

Now when it comes to heat, the plate of this mini microwave is factory set to reach up to 165 degrees. So there are no power settings and the only option you have is to plug it in and the rest will be done on its own.

With a variety of colors offered by Hot Logic, you can actually choose the one that fits the interior of your car.

We even tried cooking a salmon in it and to our surprise, it didn’t dry out and was cooked to the core.

Now as for the drawbacks, this portable microwave does consume a lot of power.

We recommend not to use it whilst on an idle engine. But if you do, make sure you have the jumper leads with you just in case you run out of battery.

We also recommend buying a glass food container along with this so you keep the microwave nice and tidy over time.

TRAVELISIMO Electric Lunch Box 2 in 1 for Car/Truck and Work 110V & 12V 40W

TRAVELISIMO Car Microwave

Pros

  • Thermal Food Container
  • Fast Heating
  • Dishwasher Friendly
  • Connects both at Home and in Car
  • Two Compartments for Seperate Cooking

Cons

  • Average Build Quality
  • Uneven Cooking
  • Low Storage
  • Takes Time to Heat

With a little bulkier than other mini microwaves, TRAVELISIMO’s electric lunch box offers fast heating and keeps your food warm for longer hours.

The cool part about this portable microwave is that it offers two compartments.

This allows for heating up separate menus simultaneously at a time.

However, this reduces the volume of food per each compartment.

To our surprise, even with such low power consumption, the food was served warm, thanks to its thermal food container.

Additionally, it is important to mention here that it comes with a removable stainless-steel tray which is dishwasher friendly.

Therefore, maintaining and cleaning this mini microwave is very easy.

Furthermore, like most of the 12-volt microwaves, this also offers dual connectivity i.e., 110V for your workstation and 12V for your car/truck.

Also, it is recommended to put the food evenly in this car microwave. In our testing, we had issues when we cooked uneven food. The best way to cook food in this microwave is to put raw things like meat at the bottom.

YOHOOLYO Electric Lunch Box Food Heater Portable Food Warmer Car Microwave

YOHOOLYO Electric Lunch Box

Pros

  • Small and Portable Size
  • Premium Build Quality
  • Works with both 110V & 12V
  • Heats upto 212℉
  • 3 Compartments

Cons

  • Slow Cooking
  • Small Storage
  • Takes Longer to Heat
  • Average Raw Cooking

It is often perceived that these car microwaves do not perform well in practical application.

However, this smallest microwave is an exception.  

This works with both 110V and 12V car charger so you can warm your meal at any time and at any place.

Not to mention, it has excellent heating and insulation system that constantly keeps the food warm for longer hours.

Inside the microwave, there are 3 compartments which give you the ability to cook or warm separate foods.

Additionally, under the compartments, the microwave has a removable stainless-steel container. You can easily clean it and it is made with food-grade PP material.

During our extreme test, this mini microwave performed fairly well in both heating evenness analysis and reliability tests.

We even tried putting in some frozen mashed potatoes to test and to our surprise, they had no cold spots.

However, with the heating speed test, it took roughly around 40 minutes to get to the maximum point, which is 212℉ by factory default settings.

This microwave is easy to use with the strong build quality and no visible flaws.

In Conclusion:

If you still haven’t figured out what exactly a portable microwave is and how it operates, go check out the buyer’s guide of portable microwaves.

Portable Microwaves are an ideal companion for everyone who works on the road or likes to have fresh food on the go.

They are a perfect add-on for all Uber/Lyft drivers, students or people who go off-station for work.

Furthermore, they are extremely affordable, provide you with a lot of advantages and do not consume a lot of space in your car.

We hope our review of the best car microwaves has helped you in factoring in your portable microwave.

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