The Best Portable Car Microwaves in 2021

Whether you spend a lot of time driving or you often go camping, you can actually have your favorite snack as nice and warm with a portable microwave as you have it in your kitchen.

Sounds good, right?

But we all often stumble upon the questions that come to our mind before deciding on the most ideal microwave for our car.

Portable Microwave

We decided to answer all those questions for you so that you can decide on the best portable microwave for your car.

What is a Portable Microwave?

As clear as the term itself, a portable microwave is a microwave that you can actually place within your vehicle.

These mini microwaves are often plugged into your car using the 12-Volt connector using a connector or a USB port.

These microwave ovens can be used for both cooking and heating up food irrespective of whether your car is parked or in the drive.

Is Portable Microwave Safe To Use?

Yes, these are safe. These microwaves are high-temperature resistant with components that ensure security against overheating.

Furthermore, the material used in these car microwaves comprises either food-grade plastic or stainless steel.

Portable Microwave

5 Best Portable Microwave For 2021

What factors to consider before buying a portable microwave?

Below are the crucial factors you may want to consider before deciding on a portable car microwave.

The Size

The most important aspect to consider while choosing a mini microwave is to consider its size.

With the introduction of mini microwaves for cars in the market, there are also microwave ovens available for RVs and caravans so make sure you choose the right size.

Consider your car size in mind and check the design specifications of the portable microwaves before you make the purchase. This will be helpful in assessing if it will fit your car.

The Power Supply

It is advisable to choose the microwave that offers the right and most convenient connectivity for your microwave needs.

These mini microwaves come in three types of power supplies. The most common of them is a 12-volt connector that can power the microwave using a car battery.

Another option of connectivity that a mini microwave may offer is through a lighter socket supplied microwave.

These sorts of microwave ovens use power supply technology and they’re often used by people for the reason that they don’t drain the battery.

Another option for power supply in these microwaves is via USB-port.

For people who often go camping, the most suitable connectivity for them is to choose a microwave that offers USB-port as the main power source.

These USB-powered portable microwaves can even be connected to laptops or power banks with a USB port.

The Design and Color

The design is an imminent factor to consider before deciding on your portable microwave. The design of the microwave should at least match the style of your car.

The best suggestion is to often use a color that matches the interior of your car.

This would ensure that the microwave sets in well with the interior design of your car.

The Cost

While the majority of car microwaves are often affordable, some portable microwaves may offer you a wider range of features that come at a price.

An example of this would be water-proof or energy-efficient smallest microwaves.

For these sorts of microwaves, the price may be in a high range.

Therefore, the best suggestion would be to compare the features with the cost and find the most affordable microwave that offers you just the right features.

The Volume

The volume of a portable microwave is an important factor to consider before deciding on your portable microwave.

This allows you to estimate the quantity of food you can actually warm or cook in the microwave at one time.

The Wattage

The higher the wattage for a microwave, the quicker the food will be cooked.

Thus, make sure to evaluate the wattage as a factor when deciding on a car microwave. While these mini microwaves are not designed to offer the best wattages but some offer high-wattage than others.

The Preset Recipes

If you’re planning to use these microwaves for cooking food on the go, it is advisable to consider the preset recipes offered by these smallest microwaves.
With this, you can take along the right ingredients and the rest is done by the microwave.

Simple to Clean

Make sure you invest in a microwave that is easy to clean. The best option would be to choose a microwave that has non-stick material so you can instantly clean it.

Another feature to look for in a mini microwave is to choose one that has a removable tray that is easy to clean and is dishwasher friendly.

Looking for a portable stove instead? Here are the best portable stoves of 2020 for you!

Portable Microwave

The Benefits of Portable Microwave

Less Space

These microwaves take less space than conventional microwaves; therefore, they can be easily adjusted into your car.

Fewer Resources

These mini microwaves consume fewer resources from your car battery via the lighter socket or 12-volt connector in your car. Therefore, you can even use them when your car is idle.

Just make sure you do not use them for long hours when your car engine is not operational.

Supports Both In Car/In House Resources

These smallest microwaves can even be used while in your homes or offices.

For this, most of these small form microwaves come with 110v chargers which you can simply plug-in and warm your lunch in your school, office, or during travel.

Super Easy to Use

These mini microwaves are very simple to use and even provide automatic temperature control functionality.

With this, all your meals are cooked perfectly by preserving the moisture and cooking at the right temperature.

Food on the Move

These short-form microwaves can even be used while driving. So if you’re heading to a camping area, you can even warm up your meal whilst you’re driving and by the time you get there, your food will be ready to eat.

The Drawbacks of Portable Microwave

Car Battery Drain

The car battery may be drained completely if you use a 12v personal portable oven running for long hours in the car idle mode without the engine running.

Since these mini microwaves use the power from battery; therefore, in an idle mode, the engine wouldn’t be charging your battery and the use of car microwaves can even completely drain out your battery.

However, you can simply avoid this by using the microwave by keeping the car engine running.

Lower Capacity than Conventional Microwaves

Since these smallest microwaves are designed with the concept of mobility, they do not come in conventional sizes.

However, the largest microwave in this portable category can have enough volume to fit in a complete meal at a time.

Do’s and Don’t for Using A Portable Microwave Oven:

There is a huge difference between conventional cooking and cooking in a microwave; therefore, you need to ensure that you follow the microwave-specific cooking guidelines.


  • Always arrange your food to cook it evenly. The best method to arrange the dishes is to place the thicker and solid food on the outside part of the dish, the thinner on the center area of the dish. This method promotes the evenly cooking of the food by distributing energy.
  • Always make sure to use Styrofoam containers that are FDA approved. Some of the sub-standard Styrofoam releases toxic chemicals when exposed to heat, and in some cases, can even melt the Styrofoam container and contaminate your meal.
  • Always make sure to cover your foods with a microwave-safe plastic lid. These lids can actually hold in the moisture and therefore, promote even heating. The lid also prevents food from spattering the interior of your portable microwave.
  • Always defrost your frozen foods before cooking them. These portables microwaves have preset defrost settings; therefore, make sure to defrost them before cooking them in a microwave. If you will cook frozen foods directly, it might result in partially cooked meals.
  • Regularly clean your portable microwave to prevent bacteria and germs. The food spattering can build up over time and may produce germs and unhealthy bacteria that can contaminate foods you place inside your microwave. Therefore, the best way to prevent this is to clean your microwave regularly.

Things to Avoid

  • Never use conventional metal dishes in your mini microwave. The electromagnetic waves produced by the microwave cannot pass through metal objects; in fact, they get reflected and can even cause your microwave to malfunction.
  • Do not turn your mini microwave on if it is empty. Considering there will be no food to absorb the energy emitted by electromagnetic rays produced within the microwave, it can result in malfunctioning of the magnetron tube

Features to Look for in a Portable Microwave

Let’s take a look at 5 features that you must consider before choosing your car microwave ovens. A lot of these come in there as standard; however, you should always check for all of these features before buying your microwave.

Pre-Programmed Menus

Few of these portable microwaves do offer preset menus that will let you cook your favorite meal just at the right power level and will set the timer automatically. So always choose the portable microwave that offers you the best pre-programmed menu option.


A very crucial factor to consider while considering a portable microwave is to choose a microwave that offers a revolving glass plate or turntable. These turntables are imminent for even cooking of the meals. Also, make sure to choose a portable microwave that offers removable or slider trays since they are easier to clean.

Child Lock/Safety Lock

You must select a portable microwave that offers a child lock so that the control panel and door can be locked. This can prevent children unfamiliar with the microwave to operate the microwave by accident.

Smart Sensors

The pricier mini microwaves do offer smart sensors that adjust the energy consumption for optimal heating by detecting the humidity levels of the food. These smart sensors can then adjust the time and temperature and cook the food automatically with the best adjustment.

Variable Power Options

Some of these smallest microwaves offer what they call “Variable Power Options” and that allows the microwave power to be controlled depending on the settings you choose. Therefore, this allows for the power level of your microwave to be adjusted according to your menu and thus cooks the food more evenly.

Basic Functions in a Car Portable Microwave:

These mini microwaves for cars offer pretty much the same functions as conventional microwaves. Therefore, let us discuss a few of those so we do not miss out on the basic settings or essential functions of a car microwave.

Numeric Keypad

As in conventional microwaves, these numeric keypads can be used to adjust the cooking time for the meal. Similarly, the modern car microwaves have touchscreen LED keypads and they can also be used to adjust the power settings of the microwave.

Pre-Programmed Keypad

The modern car microwaves have shortcut keypads that are pre-programmed with automatic settings to cook different types of food like pizzas, pasta, grits. The cost of cooking a meal in these modern microwaves can easily save you the expense of eating out.

Defrost Function

These mini microwaves have the preset functionality of defrosting your frozen sandwich just by a click of a button. For instance, this function also helps in preparing your meal for evenly cooking.

The Timer

These modern mini car microwaves also have timers similar to conventional microwaves that show you the time left before the food is cooked/heated.

The Beeper

The beeper in these car microwaves gives you an audio beep to indicate that the food has been cooked or heated.

Reviews of Best Portable Car Microwave Ovens:

Now you’re probably concerned about buying your new portable car microwave oven but considering all the factors — price, functionality, safety, let us provide you with some of the best options for choosing your best portable car microwave oven.

Whirlpool Black Countertop Microwave Oven 0.5 Cu Ft.

Whirlpool Countertop MIcrowave Oven

Amazon Rating: 4.2 out of 5

What’s the price?

This premium countertop microwave oven will cost you roughly between $260 to $280.



  • Premium Build Quality
  • Control Lock Feature
  • Variable 10 Power Settings
  • 750 Watts of Cooking Power


  • Quite expensive compared to other models
  • Bulky for a small car
  • Can Drain Battery on Idle Engine


  • The capacity of this mini microwave sets it apart.
    In other words, with relatively much smaller than other countertop microwaves, it has enough capacity to store an 11” dinner plate without taking up much space.
  • The control lock feature prevents unintended use or changes to heating or cooking settings by disabling the touch panel with just a touch of a button.
  • The variable 10 level power settings allow you to tailor the cooking process exactly as per your requirements.
  • Above all, this microwave can provide up to 750 watts of cooking power.

Factors to Consider

  • It is quite expensive when compared to other over-the-counter microwaves due to its premium build quality.
  • It may appear bulky in a small car. Therefore; make sure to choose this only if you have a car that is spacious enough and have enough room to adjust this.

Daewoo KOR-7LREW Retro Countertop Microwave Oven 0.7 Cu Ft. 700W

Daewoo Smallest Microwave

Amazon Rating: 3.7 out of 5

What’s the price?

The car microwave is going to roughly cost you between $70 to $90.



  • Easy to Access Buttons
  • Great Capacity
  • Four Auto Cook Options
  • 700 Watts of Cooking Power


  • Old School & Vintage Design
  • No Modern LED Touch Panel
  • Can Drain Battery


  • The easy to access buttons for timer and cooking settings make it stand out from other car microwaves.
  • Compact yet powerful output capacity ensures that your food is cooked at the most optimal settings in a quick time.
  • The four auto-cook options allow for cooking your favorite meal with just a press of a button.
  • The five power levels with a maximum power of up to 700 watts let you optimize your cooking with just the right level of output.
  • It has enough room to store a dinner plate with a 10-inch turntable. Additionally, the turntable can be removed for easier cleaning of this car microwave.
  • It has minimal pre-programmable options.

Factors to Consider

  • This microwave looks quite old-school and vintage.
  • Besides, it doesn’t feature the modern- LED style touch panel.

RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Stove, Black

Amazon Rating: 4.5 out of 5

What’s the price?

This Food Warmer and Heater only costs between $30 to $40.



  • Cook Food Up To 300 Degrees
  • Easy to Plug
  • Easy to Clean & Manage
  • Uses Almunium Disposable Pans


  • Low Heating Power
  • Low Storage Capacity


  • Despite having the great performance of heating your pre-cooked foods quickly, it can even cook food up to 300 degrees.
  • It is very easy to plug with a 12-volt socket and it is connected with a lengthy power cord of 5.5 inches to place it anywhere in your car.
  • This heating stove offers easy clean up by using aluminum disposable pans.

Factors to Consider

  • Since it uses your car battery via a 12-volt socket, it is not as powerful as the other microwaves. In other words, the stove may take more time to heat or cook the food as compared to other powerful microwaves.
  • Using the mini microwave on an idle engine can drain your battery. However, this can be avoided by leaving the engine running.

Travelismo Electric Lunch Box 2 in 1 for Car/Truck and Work 110V & 12V 1.5 L

Amazon Rating: 4.2 out of 5

What’s the price?

You can find this mini car lunch box for about $25 to $35. It is dramatically cheaper than most other car microwaves and can only be used for heating up your meals.



  • Can be used with both 110V and 12V connections
  • 2 Compartments for easy cooking
  • Dishwasher Friendly
  • Keeps Food for Longer Times


  • Less Volume for Cooking
  • Lower Power
  • Takes Longer to Heat


  • It can be used in both office/home or in your car since it comes along with both 110V and 12V connectors.
  • The thermal container in this electric car lunch box can quickly warm your food. Besides, the container also keeps your food warm for a longer time.
  • This electric lunch box contains 2 compartments so you can separate different types of foods and warm them simultaneously.
  • The steel tray in this mini microwave can be easily removed. Moreover, it is dishwasher friendly so it is quite easier to maintain it in the longer run.

Factors to Consider

  • This portable lunch box heats up at an energy level of 40 watts. Consequently, it takes much longer to heat the food.
  • The compartments are not big enough to heat up a lot of food. As a result, it can only heat up small-sized meals and liquids.

HOTLOGIC Food Warming TOTE, Lunch Box Bag 120V, Black Food Warmer and Heater

Rating on Amazon: 4.7 out of 5

What’s the price?

The price is discounted these days. However, the price can vary between $30 to $50.



  • Can Be Used in Both Car and Home
  • Great Energy Efficiency
  • Can Use Both Metal and Cardboard Containers


  • Only comes with Native 110 Volt Connector
  • Only 40 Watts
  • Takes Time to Heat


  • This food warming box can be used both at home and in your car and can even cook your meals.
  • The plug-and-play features make it easy to use. Additionally, it requires no monitoring since the temperature is automatically adjusted and it keeps the food warm after the meal is cooked.
  • It is energy-efficient and consumes lesser energy than a conventional car microwave.
  • The heat reflective interior ensures that the heat is amplified and maintained for longer hours.
  • This portable car microwave can be used with both metal and cardboard containers.

Factors you must Consider

  • You may require to purchase an additional AC to DC car converter in order to use this product since it only comes with a native 110v connector.
  • This portable lunch box may require a longer time to heat up the food since it only provides energy up to 40 watts.

What is a Portable Microwave?

As clear as the term itself, a portable microwave is a microwave that you can actually place within your vehicle.
These mini microwaves are often plugged into your car using the 12-Volt connector using a connector or a USB port.
These microwave ovens can be used for both cooking and heating up food irrespective of whether your car is parked or in the drive.

Is Portable Microwave Safe To Use?

The answer is yes. These microwaves are high-temperature resistant with components that ensure security against overheating.
Furthermore, the material used in these car microwaves comprises either food-grade plastic or stainless steel.

What factors to consider before buying a portable microwave?

There are various factors that should be considered before buying a portable microwave. The major ones to consider are size, volume, power, cost, and maintenance ease.

Can we connect a portable microwave to a car?

There are various models that support car connectivity. These portable microwaves use the 12-volt lighting socket to connect to your car. It is also important to note that some mini microwaves do not come with connectors and you may have to separately buy these connectors.

Let’s find more about portable microwaves.