9 Best 12v Portable Microwaves (Comparison & Reviews)

When you’re spending time in the great outdoors, convenience and simplicity of meal preparation are two important elements of being a happy camper. When 12-volt (12V) microwaves were introduced in 2008, they looked like a great option for speeding up meals when camping, especially in a location that doesn’t have an easy source of electrical power. We’ve rounded up a list of the best 12v portable microwaves to help you make an informed purchasing decision. By the way, if you are a camping lover, you can also buy a portable 12V refrigerator.

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Our Top Pick
Koolatron LBS-01 Black

Koolatron LBS-01 Black
It is one of the best mini microwave alternatives available in the market, especially for use in cars and trucks, and you can expect it to last for years with good handling.

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Other great 12v portable microwaves and their comparison:

ItemDimensionsWeightСapacityMaterial
Koolatron LBS-01 Black

Koolatron LBS-01 Black

11 x 8 x 8 inches2.85 pounds

1.5 L 

stainless steelSee Best Price
Hot Logic Food Warming Tote

Hot Logic Food Warming Tote

6.8 x 8.8 x 2.5 inches1.1 pounds1.5 L

polyester

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Crock-PotLunch CrockFood Warmer

Crock-PotLunch CrockFood

8 x 8 x 6.8 inches1.65 pounds

o.5 L

plasticSee Best Price

Corotc Electric Lunchbox

Corotc Electric Lunchbox

8.7 x 6.8 x 4.8 inches1.8 pounds

1.5 L

plasticSee Best Price

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

19.2 x 16.1 x 11.5 inches27.3 pounds

0.9 cu. ft.

stainless steelSee Best Price
Commercial Chef CHM660B

Commercial Chef CHM660B

17.75 x 12.5 x 10.25 inches23.1 pounds0.6 cu. ft.stainless steelSee Best Price
Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BW

Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BW

12.8 x 17.3 x 10.2 inches21.4 pounds0.7 cu. ft.steelSee Best Price
AmazonBasics Microwave Small

AmazonBasics Microwave Small

17.3 x 10.1 x 14.1 inches21.9 pounds0.7 cu. ft.stainless steelSee Best Price
Nostalgia BSET300RETRORED 3-in-1

Nostalgia BSET300RETRORED

19.2 x 11.7 x 11.5 inches13.1 pounds0.4 cu. ft., griddlemetalSee Best Price

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Koolatron LBS-01 Black

Koolatron LBS-01 Black This lunch box-stove combo can give you comforting warm meals on the road with added convenience.

From warming up baby bottles to pizza to cooking uncomplicated meals, the Koolatron lunch box seems like a handy device on the go. But, the heat process may take longer than usual.

One customer recommends adding a bit of water at the bottom of the pan to speed up the heat.

While the functions of the Koolatron and RoadPro seem similar to some extent, the RoadPro is much faster (about 30 minutes to get your food piping hot) as compared to the Koolatron (anywhere between 30 minutes to 1.5 hours to reach the same temperature).

The RoadPro often gets complaints of blowing up car fuses, while the Koolatron may drain your car battery if it’s plugged in for too long. It’s up to you to compare the benefits vs the risks.

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Hot Logic Food Warming Tote

Hot Logic Food Warming Tote The Hot Logic Mini Portable Oven is exactly what it sounds like – hot in the market, and a logical solution to your food heating concerns on the go. Available in six colors (Black, blue, green, pink, orange, and purple) this is a top-rated food heater for traveling.

The Hot Logic Mini is marketed as combining an oven, a microwave, and a slow cooker in itself.

This 12V version of the original Hot Logic portable oven was introduced in 2017 as a convenient accessory that can connect to your car’s cigarette lighter. So that you can enjoy hearty meals wherever you go.

This simple-looking yet high-tech device has a heat-reflecting interior to insulate your food while heating and keep its warmth within. Reinforced seams prevent unnecessary tearing and give it the strength and durability required on rough road trips. Double zippers avoid spillage due to clumsy accidents so you have one less thing to worry about.

The device is compatible with most glass, plastic, and metal containers. Just plug it in your car’s cigarette lighter for power and it will start heating your meal. There is no hassle of buttons on this one, but it may take anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours to get your meal ready.

The timing depends on whether your meal is raw or already cooked, and whether it was warm or cold in the first place. Another good thing about the Hot Logic Mini, according to its seller, is that your food won’t burn or dry out even when you forget to turn it off for hours at a time. The largest temperature it reaches is around 165 to 170 degrees Fahrenheit.

With the overwhelmingly positive reviews it continues to receive, the Hot Logic Mini is surely something you should try out for yourself.

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Crock-PotLunch CrockFood Warmer

Crock-PotLunch CrockFood WarmerIf you’re looking for only an insulating and warming function from your mini microwave alternative rather than a cooking one too, the Crock-Pot Lunch Crock Food Warmer could be just the thing you need.

Before we go into details, but, you should know that it isn’t readily usable in cars, and will need a separate car adapter to function.

The Crock-Pot food warmer features a convenient carrying handle and enough space to accommodate a 20-ounce single-serving meal comfortably. Unlike most other food warmers, the exterior doesn’t heat up while the warmer heats up your food.

Then the food container inside and the lid above are dishwasher-safe and removable for easy cleaning and transportation.

The base of the crockpot has a convenient integrated space for cord storage when not in use. Once you’re done with warming your meal, unplug and simply wrap the cord around the base.

With the large number of people who can vouch for it, this food warmer is another great choice if you don’t mind getting a car adapter separately.

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Corotc Electric Lunchbox

Corotc Electric LunchboxThe Corotc Electric Lunchbox is an energy-efficient way of keeping your food hot either at home, work, or when you are out and about in your car.

Powered by your car’s 12V outlet or a standard 110V household plug, you can keep your food warm and enjoy a hot meal wherever you are. This makes it very handy for trips away, making sure you can eat properly rather than making do with what is available at gas stations.

The well-thought-out features of this electric lunch box make it a safe and convenient way to carry hot food. It is to heat up very quickly, saving you time while its tight-sealing ring prevents spillage when on the move.

The removable food grade PP plastic compartment and high-quality stainless steel tray are dishwasher safe. So they are easy to clean. It also features a spoon with its own storage space to make this product even more convenient.

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Toshiba EM925A5A-BS

Toshiba EM925A5A-BS This is a portable mini microwave with 0.9 cubic feet of space for cooking inside.

This product has a finish of black stainless steel which looks modern and stylish. With it comes a 10.6 inches turntable to ensure that your food will be cooked evenly while you are on the move.

This portable microwave can work well in kitchens which have limited space and in a small car as this might be one of the smallest microwaves in the market.

Its power wattage is at 900 watts with a 10 power setting to enable you to cook a variety of foods at whatever level is required to maintain proper cooking temperature and taste.

Great features that you will find on this small microwave includes a kitchen time for your own convenience, a defrost function which you can still use for weight or time. There is also a digital control panel that has a LED light which is interior.

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Commercial Chef CHM660B

Commercial Chef CHM660B This is a portable microwave oven that promises to be able to use less power while at the same time, delivering results that are premium. At a maximum of 600 watts, it is capable of delivering on more than just basic operations.

If you decide to buy it, it is easy to use. All you have to do is to choose the power level with any of its 6 settings from the mechanical dial.

You will then have to decide how long you want it to run by picking between 1 and 30 minutes set which will be able to display on the digital timer.

Then, it will start the countdown which will eventually end with a dong ring that will alert you that, it is ready.

This 600-watt microwave’s handle is big, making it comfortable to use even when you have your gloves on. It has been made easier to use with a rotary dial, coming with either a color option of black or white.

On the maintenance part, it requires minimal maintenance. Its turntable glass is removable and dishwasher compatible making the microwave easy to clean. When you are not using it, there is no power that is going to be consumed. This is due to the fact that it doesn’t have any standby displays which could eat into your power, unlike other ovens.

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Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BW

Sharp Microwaves ZSMC0710BWSharp is known for their sleek and compact microwave solutions. The low-wattage microwave by Sharp is ideal for campers, hikers, and those who live in a motorhome.

Its small footprint and low-wattage power output ensure you have easy access to warm beverages and easy microwave meals on demand when you’re on the road.

The microwave for camping is easy to use and full-featured, too, plus the glossy finish makes it super easy to clean.

Preprogrammed with preset menus, the microwave for campers allows you to use popcorn, beverage, pizza, and potato settings for convenient one-touch cooking.

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AmazonBasics Microwave Small

AmazonBasics Microwave SmallThe AmazonBasics smart microwave for camping is a reliable, inexpensive microwave to look into if you’re on a budget.

The microwave for camper comes with many special features that you won’t find in most microwaves out there, including quick-cook voice presets, auto-popcorn replenishment, and more.

Living in a motor home doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy a smart home. When paired with an Echo device, you can effortlessly start and control the microwave with your voice.

You can just say, “Alexa, cook 8 ounces of potato”, and Alexa will set the microwave to the appropriate power level and cooking time.

With 10 power levels and a turntable, the microwave for camping lets you cook all kinds of food and achieve even cooking results.

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Nostalgia BSET300RETRORED 3-in-1

Nostalgia BSET300RETRORED 3-in-1If you’re a lover of coffee and would love to have fresh and warm coffee along the way, you definitely want to check out this one.

The 3-in-1 appliance is another microwave oven option for camping that’s small but mighty.

It has a coffee maker that can brew up to 4 cups of coffee at a time, a toaster oven for many purposes, and a non-stick griddle for easy cooking.

The multi-function toaster can toast up to 4 slices of bread at a time and is capable of heating leftovers, 7-inch frozen pizzas, and more.

The removable oven tray and non-stick griddle design allow for easy cleaning even on the road.

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FAQ for 12v portable microwaves buyers:

Is a 900-watt microwave sufficient?

in general, it’s said that the higher the wattage the faster and evenly your food gets cooked. usually, microwave power ranges from 600 to 1,200 watts. most probably 900 watts microwave takes longer to heat up and cook food than a 1000 watts microwave.

Is there such a thing as a portable microwave?

To be honest, there aren’t a lot of portable microwave options. Your main options are going to be a small microwave that you run from your car battery via an inverter, or a 12V microwave, or a 12V food warmer.

Are flatbed microwaves any good?

With a flatbed, you get extra cooking space and it offers greater versatility to place dishes of any shape inside the microwave, without having to account for extra room for rotation. There are also fewer dirt traps than microwaves with a turntable, although you can generally expect to pay more.

Can you run a microwave on solar power?

Once you find out the wattage (power consumption) of the microwave oven, you can work out the amount of solar power needed. Please note that a microwave oven works on alternating current (AC) and is a sensitive device and it needs a clean source of energy.

How much clearance do you need around a microwave?

Over the range, microwaves require a minimum 66″ mounting height from floor to top of the micro. The 66″ from the floor dimension will allow approximately 13″-16″ between the cooktop and the bottom front of the microwave.

Can a microwave explode?

The microwave does not explode. Sometimes, the heat generated in an object by microwaves causes the object or something sealed within it to heat and explode.

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