The invention of best portable microwave for car has changed the life of millions. When I was a kid, I never thought I can cook or heat up food in my dad’s car. But the innovative technology has made it possible with a car microwave that runs on car batteries.
If you need to travel everyday for your work, you can carry your food in a lunch box. But the lunch box cannot cook or heat up your food. So, you should upgrade to a car microwave to fulfill your need of warm food on demand.
Is a Car Microwave a Real Microwave?
No, a car microwave is not a real microwave oven that you have in your kitchen. Actually, a standard microwave uses 600W to 1500W electricity which makes it not suitable for using in cars because it can drain the car batteries.
The standard microwave needs an AC power outlet with 110V electricity supply. But the car has 12V DC power supply, it is another reason for you cannot use a standard microwave in a car.
After considering the public demand, the manufacturers have made the electric lunch box cum food warmer that works as a microwave for cars.
So, a car microwave is a portable food warmer to fulfill the needs of people who want to heat up food on-the-go and eat it warm.
7 Most Recommended Car Microwaves for Cooking On-the-Go
After testing many portable microwave for car, I have selected 7 microwaves that are best to use in cars, SUV and Campervan.
Now, I will explain important functions of each portable microwave for travel and also share my experience of using it. My experience will help you choose a durable car microwave at the best price.
#1. Hot Logic Mini Portable Car Microwave
Hot Logic Mini Portable Car Microwave is a battery powered microwave oven. It is made of high grade polyester and other materials. It contains a hot plate on which you can place the lunch box or container to heat up your food.
It comes with a sturdy zipper to lock the food securely inside the microwave. Its 12V plug connects with the lighter port of your car and starts heating up the food ASAP.
It is designed in a way to heat up food without drying out.
It takes 30 to 60 minutes to heat up the food depending on the food type and quantity. It can cook raw food in 2 hours. With 1.42-liter capacity, it can fit one person’s food at a time.
After the food is heated up, the microwave shuts off automatically and keeps the food warm for up to 12 hours if plugged in.
- Made High Quality Polyester with Leak-Proof Design
- Heat Up Food in 30 to 60 Minutes, Keep It Warm Up to 12 hours
- Can Cook Raw Food (Veg/Non-Veg) in 2 Hours
- 1.42-Liter Capacity is Enough to Keep Food for 1 Person
- Auto Shut Off Function Prevent Food Burning and Fire Hazard
- Handle on Top Allow Easy and Safe Carrying During Travel
- Does Not Include Lunch Box Container and Fork
The Hot Logic Portable Microwave is very compact and offers 9 color options. I bought this 1.42-liter microwave last year for myself as I have to drive my cab everyday. I have tried all types of food both raw and cooked, this microwave is really good its work.
I loved its auto shut off function that saves my food from getting overcooked or burned when I am busy with my passengers.
It heats up my food in 40-45 minutes, while cooking raw food takes up to 2 hours & 10 minutes. Overall, it is a good portable microwave for truck that I have been using for longer than a year.
#2. FORABEST Portable Microwave for Car
FORABEST Portable Microwave for Car is a versatile microwave with 2 different power cords. You can use this microwave for car 12v lighter port, truck with 24V port and at home or office with 110V wall outlet.
So, you can use it anywhere, anytime to heat up your food.
It comes with a stainless steel container with 1.5-liter capacity and a sturdy plastic lunch box with lid. The lid has 4 clasps to securely lock it to prevent food from coming out.
It also contains a heat-resistant plastic container with 0.45-liter food capacity. The insulated bag is useful to safely carry this microwave with yourself.
It offers 50W fast heating system to get your food ready in 25 to 50 minutes. It takes 50 minutes to heat up food in winter and 25-30 minutes only in other seasons.
It also includes a steel fork and a steel spoon to let you eat the food on-the-go just like you eat at home.
- 12V, 24V and 110V Support Allow to Use at Home, Car and Truck
- 50W Power Heat Up Food in 25 to 50 Minutes Only
- 1.5-Liter Steel Container and 0.45-Liter Plastic Container
- Stainless Steel Container is Easy to Clean
- 47-Inch Long Power Cord Easily Reach to the Port/Outlet
- Insulated Bag Allow Easy and Safe Transport
- Use the Top Handle to Carry Anywhere You Go
- Steel Spoon and Fork Offer Home-Like Eating
- Cannot Cook Raw Food, Designed to Heat Up Only
- Takes 1+ Hour to Heat Up Food in Cold Weather
The FORABEST electric lunch box comes with 50W fast heating system. I wanted a portable mini microwave for using in cars and mini trucks.
So, I bought this food warmer that provides easy heating up of precooked food at anytime, anywhere.
On May 15, I gifted this car microwave to my brother and he is still using it. He told me that this smallest microwave works great in his car (12V) and mini truck (24V) to heat up the food.
But he complained that it takes 1 hour & 20 minutes to heat up food in winter.
My brother is happy with the quality of this microwave and its stainless steel container. It does not generate enough heat to cook raw food because it is designed for heating up the food and not for cooking.
#3. Vovoir Portable Food Warmer for Car
Vovoir Portable Food Warmer for Car is a powerful microwave to use in a car, truck, SUV, RV, Campervan and others. It comes with a 12V & 24V plug and also a 110V plug to let you use this electric lunch box at home, office, guest room and other places.
It also includes a bag for safe storage and easy transport.
It is made of food grade PP plastic with a 1.5-liter stainless steel container, a 0.45-liter plastic container, a steel fork and a steel spoon.
The containers fit perfectly in the microwave and sturdy clasps offer secure locking to keep it leak-proof. With 60W power, it takes 20 to 30 minutes to heat up food to get it ready for eating in your car.
The leak-proof sealing gasket allows this car microwave to heat up food without any mess. Its PTC heating technology heats up food faster and also prevents overheating.
You should add 2 spoon of water on dry food to heat it properly in this microwave.
- Can Heat Up Any Food within 30 Minutes
- Steel Container is Heat Resistant and Easy to Clean
- Enough Food Capacity for One Person’s Food
- PTC Heating Technology Protect Against Overheating
- Can Use in a Car, Truck, RV, SUV, Home and Office
- A Handle on Top Allows Easy Carrying
- Bag Included for Safe Storage When Not in Use
- Take Up to 50 Minutes to Heat Up Food in Winter
- Heating Up Only, Cannot Cook Raw Food
After second wave of Covid-19, I went to my mom’s home and she told me that she wants a lunch box for my dad. I thought that let me buy this car microwave from Vovoir and give it to my dad as a small surprise gift.
I did it and my dad was very happy to see that.
It has been more than a year, my dad still uses the same car microwave food warmer to heat up his lunch everyday.
Recently, he said that this electric lunch box works like a real microwave oven and maintains original taste of food every time. I haven’t received any complaint about it, so it’s a good microwave for you as well.
#4. HengLiSam Electric Lunch Box
HengLiSam Electric Lunch Box is a high quality car microwave with 60W power. It comes with two power cords of 12V and 110V to let you use it at home, office and in car. It is available in 3 different colors of grey, blue and green.
It is made from 100% food grade PP material and stainless steel. All materials used in this car microwave are heat resistant and non-toxic.
It includes 1.5-liter a steel container that is easy to clean and a plastic container to keep fruits or other food. It also includes a fork, a knife and a spoon to allow eating like home anywhere, anytime.
It has a sturdy plastic lid with 4 claps to safely lock the food inside. The handle on its top lets you carry it in one hand. It also has a safety storage bag to prevent damage during transport.
It takes 40 to 60 minutes to heat up food in winter and 25 to 35 minutes in other seasons.
- PTC Constant Heating Can Heat Up Food Faster
- Take Only 25-35 Minutes to Make Your Food Warm
- Made of Food Grade and Non-Toxic Materials
- Fork, Spoon and Knife Included for Easy Eating
- Storage Bag Save Microwave from Damage in Transport
- 12V and 110V Plugs Allow to Use at Home and in Car
- Some Users Claim that It Stopped Working after Some Months
Last winter, I went to Oahu, Hawaii for my work and I had to stay there for 40 days. So, I thought to get this electric lunch box and use it as a car microwave to eat warm food whenever I want.
For all 40 days in Hawaii, I kept my food (mostly lunch and sometime dinner) in this food warmer. I found it a bit slower in heating food than its manufacturer claimed but it did the job very well for me.
I liked its materials and secure clasp lock, so I kept using it after returning home. My mini microwave for car is still working perfectly, so I don’t have any complaint yet.
#5. ROTTOGOON Portable Mini Microwave
ROTTOGOON Portable Microwave for car is on 5th rank in my top 7 car microwaves. It is made of high quality nylon with 1mm thick insulated material for heat retention.
The zipper closure on top provides secure sealing to keep food warm and prevent unwanted mess.
It comes with a hot plate connected to a power cord with 12V plug. The hot plate supports heat-resistant metal, glass, ceramic and Tupperware containers.
It does not support any car or truck with 24V port and it also does not support 110V wall outlet. So, you have to use it in a car with 12V cigarette lighter port to cook or heat up food.
It takes 40 to 60 minutes to heat up the food and 1.5 to 2 hours to cook raw food.
The frozen food may take 2+ hours to get cooked. After the food it cooked, this car microwave keeps it warm by maintaining the inside temperature between 149°F and 239°F.
- 1mm Thick Insulated Material for Heat Retention
- Can Cook Raw Food in 1.5 to 2 Hours
- Can Heat Up Cooked Food in 40 to 60 Minutes
- Keeps Food Warm for Hours After It’s Cooked
- Can Use Glass, Ceramic, Tupperware and Metal Containers
- Easy Carrying with Top Handle and Shoulder Strap
- Does Not Include Any Food Container
- Does Not Include a Spoon or Fork
I bought this portable mini microwave in February 2022 for my friend Leo who works on construction sites. He has 3 Tupperware lunch boxes that he puts inside this microwave to heat up his food 6 days a week.
It has been one year of purchase and Leo still uses this electric lunch box. He told me that it takes too long to cook raw food but it heats up cooked food on time.
Some customers have complained about it stopped working after several months but I talked to Leo last week (Jan 31) and his microwave works properly.
#6. XINZOKYC 12V Electric Food Heater
XINZOKYC 12V Electric Food Heater is a high power car microwave for on-the-go use. It is made of solid plastic and stainless steel materials to provide safe and comfortable food heating experience.
It includes 2 containers and a bag with zipper for safe storage when not in use.
It comes with an indicator lamp on front that lights up when you turn it on. It provides 1.5-liter food capacity and it uses 60W power to heat up food in just 15 to 30 minutes.
You can use it at home with 110V plug, in your car with 12V plug and in a truck with 24V plug.
The steel container is heat-resistant and easy to clean after every use. The lid has 4 clasps for secure locking and a vent for releasing steam during heating process.
Both the microwave and its bag have a handle/strap on top for easy carrying. The steel spoon and fork let you eat comfortably in your car.
- 1.5-Liter Capacity is Enough for One Person
- 60W Microwave Heat Up Food in 15-30 Minutes
- Stainless Steel Container is Easy to Clean After Use
- Steel Fork and Spoon Are Food Safe and Convenient
- Storage Bag Keep Microwave Safe When Not in Use
- Can be Used at Home, Car, Truck, RV, SUV and Others
- Cannot Cook Raw Food, Heat Up Cooked Food Only
- Take 40 Minutes or Longer to Heat Up Food in Winter
XINZOKYC car microwave is a quick food warmer lunch box with a safety storage bag. I have used this portable microwave from March to September 2022 and the I gave it to my cousin Henry.
I liked this microwave for its quick heating and was impressed by its versatile power supply support. I have used it in my car, RV, home and office, it works great at all places.
My cousin still uses this car microwave as his primary lunch box everyday. He has not complained about any issue in this food heater.
#7. Real Nature 12V Car Microwave Oven
Real Nature 12V Car Microwave Oven is an easy to operate microwave for cars, Campervan and other vehicles. It supports only 12-volt lighter ports, you should not use it with 24-volt ports because the higher volt can damage the microwave.
It is an insulated bag with a hot plate inside at the bottom. You can place your lunch box container with raw food or cooked food in this microwave. It can cook raw food in 2 to 3 hours and it can heat up cooked food in 30 to 40 minutes only.
It is made of high grade poly canvas material that is durable. The aluminum insulation lining inside helps for heat retention to keep the food warm after cooked/heated up. It has a handle on top and a removable shoulder strap to allow easy carrying.
- Easy to Operate with Its Plug-N-Play Design
- Front Pocket and Side Net Pocket for Extra Storage
- Can Cook Raw Food in 1-2 Hours
- Can Heat Up Cooked Food in 30-40 Minutes
- Aluminum Insulation Allow to Retain Heat
- Handle and Shoulder Strap Offer Easy Carrying
- Does Not Include Any Container, Spoon or Fork
- Users Claim that It Stopped Working After One Year
I have been using this car microwave from Real Nature for more than six months. I have developed a hobby to go on a solo trip once a week. I pack my breakfast and lunch in two separate boxes and carry this 12V microwave with myself for cooking/heating the food when I want.
From the first day, this microwave heats up my food in 30 minutes. When I use it for cooking raw chicken or meat, it takes around 2 hours and sometimes a few more minutes. The cooking time is longer but the food quality and taste are as good as I had with my standard microwave oven.
It does not work with 24V and 110V ports/outlets, so I couldn’t use it in my mini truck and at home or office. One thing I missed in this car microwave is that it doesn’t include any spoon or fork, everything else is awesome.
How Much is a Car Microwave?
A car microwave is available to buy between the price range of $25 and $75. It does not cost you much for a car microwave as it is a compact portable oven with limited features and low food capacity.
A standard microwave can cost between $120 and $300 depending upon size, power consumption and technology. But the car microwave is not expensive at all.
So, you don’t need to have a high budget to get a car microwave oven, you can get the best car microwave at a low price of $30 only.
Does a Car Microwave Need Electricity?
No, a car microwave does not need electricity like a standard microwave. It works on the car batteries, so you have to connect its power cord with the 12V cigarette lighter port of your car.
A standard microwave needs electricity power supply with a 110V wall outlet. It does not work if it doesn’t get the AC power supply it needs. Therefore I suggest to get a high quality car microwave to cook and warm up your food when you are traveling.
The car microwave does not need AC electricity supply, that’s why it is the best equipment to use to get warm food on demand at anytime, anywhere.
How Long Does a Car Microwave Take to Cook My Food?
A portable microwave for car takes 1 to 2 hours to cook your food and it takes 25 to 50 minutes to heat up your food.
If you want to cook raw food in the car microwave, it will take longer but it can heat up cooked food or leftovers faster.
The car microwave runs on car batteries with just 12V power supply. It uses maximum up to 60W power to generate heat for cooking or heating up food inside it.
Due to low power consumption, the car microwave takes longer to cook the food compared to a standard microwave oven.
How to Use a Car Microwave Safely (Tips)
A car microwave is designed to work on car batteries so that you can heat up your food right in your car. It works as a slow cooking oven that takes longer than any regular microwave you have used earlier.
Here I provide some important tips for using a microwave in a car safely to avoid mess and fire hazard.
- Always use the microwave when your car is parked and not running.
- Keep the car windows open for ventilation of the microwave.
- Always use a microwave-safe container to cook/heat up food in the microwave.
- Keep the track of time when food is in the microwave to avoid overcooking.
- Keep the microwave away from inflammable surface and objects.
- Never leave the microwave alone when it is running.
- Never put the food quantity larger than the capacity of the microwave.
- Never keep the microwave lid open when it is running.
- Never use the microwave if it is damaged or its power cord is damaged.
- Never put heavy weight on the microwave as it can damage it and the heating plate.
You should strictly follow the safety guidelines given above to keep yourself, your car and the microwave safe when using it for heating up the food.
Benefits of Using a portable microwave for car
Using a car microwave provides so many benefits to make your life better. Here I provide the important benefits offered by a car microwave as follows.
Warm Food On Demand:
A car microwave provides warm food on demand whenever you want. It takes 25 to 50 minutes to heat up the food, so you need to turn it on before half an hour of your lunch time. You don’t need to be home to get warm food as you can get it right in your car.
Good for Health:
When you need to travel often for your work, you carry cooked food in your lunch box but it becomes cold by the noon. The warm food is healthier than the cold food, so the car microwave heats up your food to let you eat warm food to help you stay healthy.
The cost of a microwave for cars is always under $100 and many portable mini microwave ovens cost around $30-$40. Such low prices make these microwaves affordable for everyone.
In order to eat warm food during travel, you don’t need to invest too much money. Just find a high quality microwave food warmer for $30 to $50 and enjoy using it for years.
The car microwave comes in the shape of a lunch box. It is very compact that doesn’t take up much space. So, you can buy it without worrying about the space it will occupy in your car. Because it won’t need as much space as a standard microwave oven.
When you travel through a car, you can keep the compact car microwave beneath the seat or in the storage space on back of the car. It works great for cooking/heating up food on-the-go yet saves space.
The car microwave requires 12V DC power supply from the lighter port of a car. It uses up to 60W energy to generate heat for cooking the food. Its energy consumption is too low compared to a standard microwave that uses 700W to 1500W energy from 110V AC power outlet.
It saves a lot of energy yet provides easy cooking of various food items right in your car. Due to low energy usage, this electric lunch box cum microwave doesn’t drain your car batteries.
The car microwave is compact and lightweight enough to fit easily in your car. So, it is designed to use in cars during travel for work or camping or family trips. It contains a handle on top and a shoulder strap as well. You can use the handle and strap to carry the microwave easily and properly.
Easy to Operate:
The standard microwave comes with many different functions that you need to understand with help of its user manual. On the other hand, the car microwave is very easy to operate as it offers the simple plug-n-play function without any complications.
You just need to use a microwave-safe container and monitor the time when the food is inside the microwave.
No Need of Wall Outlet:
The car microwave runs on car batteries, so it does not need any wall outlet like a standard microwave. Its power cord comes with a 12V plug that fits perfectly into the cigarette lighter port of your car. So, you can use it to heat up your food during travel and always enjoy eating warm food.
In this way, you can get so many benefits by using a car microwave in your routine life.
FAQs about Car Microwave
Buying a car microwave is easier than buying a standard microwave. It is available at low prices and it doesn’t have any complicated functions. Now, I will share some common questions about car microwave and their answers in brief.
You should read all FAQs carefully to understand the need and functioning of a car microwave in easy words.
Q.1 How do you warm up food in a car?
You can warm up food in a car with help of a car microwave. You can check top 7 car microwaves I have suggested above to pick the one that suits you the most.
Q.2 Does a car microwave really work?
Yes, a car microwave really works and I have used different microwaves in my car. It can heat up food in 25 to 50 minutes and it can also cook the food in 1 to 2 hours.
Q.3 How do I power my car microwave?
You can power your car microwave by connecting its power cord into the cigarette lighter port of your car.
Q.4 Can you run a microwave on a car battery?
Yes, you can run a microwave on a car battery as long as it has a power cord with a 12V plug at the end.
Q.5 How Much Volt Does a Car Microwave Need?
A car microwave needs 12-Volt DC power supply to generate heat for cooking/heating up the food. Some car microwaves come with 2-in-1 design that includes a 12-volt plug and a 24-volt plug to be used in cars, trucks, SUV, Campervan, RV and other vehicles.
Final Thoughts: Get a Car Microwave to Have Warm Food
The car microwave is an electric lunch box to carry your food safely during travel. It has 12V power cord that goes into the lighter port of your car to generate heat to warm up the food. Within a few minutes, it gets your food warm enough to eat with its original taste.
In order to get an best portable microwave for car, you should check my recommended microwave ovens above. I have also shared my personal experience with each microwave to help you choose the one that meets your expectations.