Going on camping with family is a great fun and a camping microwave can double this fun. Yes, you heard correctly, there are some amazing microwaves for camping to add convenience when you are on hills or in forest.
When I go to camping, the first thing comes to my mind is campfire. The campfire is useful to feel warm in winter time and it is also useful to make tea, coffee and heat up food. However, it may not work as good as a stove or a microwave. So, it is good to carry a small microwave for camping to get warm and healthy food on demand.
Should You Carry a Microwave to Camping?
Yes, you should carry a microwave to camping to use it for cooking or heating up food and preparing beverages like tea, coffee, soup and others. Taking a microwave sounds like adding a bulky thing to your camping stuff but there are small microwaves for camping available for you.
The countertop microwaves are larger in size and bulky in weight. Although they are very useful but suitable for using at home, office, café and restaurant places only. Such microwaves are not travel friendly and I don’t recommend to carry such heavy microwave ovens when you go on camping with your family or friends.
All I suggest is a compact microwave that works on batteries of cars, trucks, SUVs or inverters of RVs. Such microwave oven is lightweight and easy to carry plus it does not use much power wattage, so you can use it during camping time without worrying about the battery draining of your car or other vehicle.
Types of Camping Microwaves
The regular microwaves work on AC power i.e. electricity supply at your home, office or other place. On the other hand, camping microwaves work on either batteries or an inverter installed in your RV.
The regular countertop microwaves consume more power, that’s why they are not suitable for camping and road trips. So, you may ask what type of microwave is suitable for camping and I will answer your question by explaining the types of camping microwaves available in market.
 Battery Powered Microwaves:
These microwaves are powered by batteries of a car, SUC, truck, RV or any other vehicle. The battery powered microwaves mostly come with a 12V power plug that fits perfectly in the cigarette lighter port of any car.
Some microwaves come with a 24V plug that is compatible with trucks and large vehicles having 24V lighter ports.
The battery operated microwaves are very compact and lightweight enough to fit in a small corner of your car during travel and stay in a tiny space of your camping tent.
The battery operated microwaves come with a bag for safe storage and a top handle for easy carrying. If you want a low watt microwave for camping and picnics then you should go with a portable 12V microwave oven that offers all safety features and works great.
 Inverter Powered Microwaves:
These microwaves are either portable or countertop and they don’t run on batteries, but they run on an inverter in RVs.
The inverter powered microwaves don’t need batteries and they don’t need an AC power outlet. You can plug its power cable into a power outlet of your RV inverter and it will start working.
Compared to battery powered microwaves, these microwaves have more food capacity and more features to allow cooking, baking and heating up of different foods and beverages.
These microwaves work faster and better to cook your food or heat it up without drying it. They consume more power yet the power consumption is still lesser than regular microwaves. You can also set it to auto turn off when putting your food in the microwave and going out of RV to roam around the hills with friends.
 In-built RV Microwaves:
Some Recreational Vehicles (RVs) come with an in-built microwave oven for your convenience. If you have such RV then you don’t need to buy a camping microwave as it is already installed in your vehicle.
The in-built microwave oven is pre-installed in your RV with wood panel around it for added safety. You can use this microwave to cook or heat up food during holiday tours and camping trips.
So, these are the three main types of microwaves for camping that most people use. You can choose your desired microwave oven from my recommended small and low watt microwaves based on my personal experience.
10 Best Small Camping Microwave of 2023 [We Recommend]
Factors to Consider in a Camping Microwave
A camping microwave is not a regular microwave but it is good for using at camping, picnics, road trips and other outdoor uses. It works well to let you eat warm food even when you are not at home.
Buying a microwave for camping is very simple, you should just know some key factors to consider in a camping microwave to choose a suitable option. I have a long experience of portable microwave ovens, so I know everything about them.
To make it easier for you, Here I provide some factors that you should consider for buying a camping microwave as follows.
Size and Weight:
The size of microwave should be compact so that you can keep it in a small corner of your car during travel. The compact microwaves are best for camping, picnics, long road trips and other outdoor uses.
You should select a microwave that is lightweight, it will help you carry it everywhere you go without feeling bulky.
Needed Power Supply:
Most camping microwaves come wither 12V power plugs or 24V power plugs, while some microwaves have 110V or 120V power plugs. The 12V and 24V plugs connect to the lighter port of your car or truck, while the 110V/120V plug connects to the wall outlet at home or in the RV with an inverter.
Every microwave uses a few hundred watt power to generate heat for cooking, baking and heating up food. But the camping microwaves use less power like 45-watt, 60-watt, 70-watt, 90-watt and 100-watt.
The microwave with high power consumption can drain your car battery faster. So, you should choose a low watt camping microwave that uses power under 100-watt.
The capacity of regular microwaves is measured in cubic feet, while the capacity of portable microwaves is measured in liters. Higher the capacity, more the food the microwave can cook/heat up at a time. So, you should check the food capacity of a microwave and choose the one with large capacity.
Required Time to Cook/Heat Up:
The camping microwave takes 15 to 60 minutes to heat up the food but it takes 1 to 2 hours to cook the raw food or canned soup. It may take longer than 3 hours to cook and/or heat up the frozen food. It is important to check the required time for a microwave before buying it.
The amount of food is much low in camping microwaves as they are compact and low watt versions of countertop microwaves.
Auto Shutoff or Auto Temperature Control:
This is the most important feature for any microwave oven. When checking different camping microwaves, you should check if the microwave has auto shutoff or automatic temperature control function. This function helps to keep the food safe from burning.
A portable microwave takes 30 to 45 minutes to heat up food. If you keep your food inside microwave for 60-70 minutes, the microwave will keep inside temperature in control to keep the food warm and won’t burn it. You should choose a microwave with auto temperature control feature to avoid overcooking or burning food at camping.
After considering all the factors given above, you will be able to choose a microwave that meets your needs and expectations.
10 Small Microwaves for Camping [Why We Recommend]
I have been using countertop microwaves for many years and I have also used some battery powered microwaves in my car and mini truck. However, using microwaves at camping was unusual for me and I decided to do that adventure with a compact yet powerful microwave oven that I found after a long research.
After a long research & testing, we found 10 super compact microwaves for camping that I am going to share here.
#1. Hot Logic 12V Mini Portable Oven
|Cooking Time||1-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-45 Minutes|
Hot Logic is a well known brand for making high quality kitchen appliances. This 12V microwave is the best example of a portable oven for camping and picnic trips. It comes in a compact size with many color options like blue, black, aqua floral, green, pink, red and others.
The simple design of this small microwave for camping makes it easy to use for all. It includes a 48-inch power cord with a 12V plug that fits into the lighter port of any car. It uses only 45-watt power to generate heat so that you can get warm food at camping yet save battery power. It is constructed of polyester outside and heat resistant material inside to allow safe use.
It contains a hot plate placed inside the microwave, this cord is attached with the plate. As you plug it into your car’s lighter port, it starts heating up the plate to cook or heat up your food. You can use any flat bottom container to keep your food and place it into this camping microwave for getting it warm and ready to eat in 30 minutes.
The Hot Logic has worked well with build quality and size of the microwave. I took it in my Volkswagen car for a 3-day camping and used it all 3 days for cooking small meals and reheating leftovers. I noticed that it has a small pocket on back where you can store its power cord when not in use.
I carried several camping microwaves to camping so that nobody in my family has to wait too long for getting the food ready. This microwave took only 30 minutes to heat up my food and only one hour to cook raw food. I found it easy to clean and its hot plate is easy to pull out for cleaning purposes.
#2. Rottogoon Portable Oven Food Warmer
|Cooking Time||35 Minutes|
|Heating Up Time||15-20 Minutes|
Rottogoon Portable Oven Food Warmer is a lightweight microwave for camping, picnic, road trip and family gathering. This microwave comes with a long power cord attached to a 12V plug that fits into the lighter port of all cars and other vehicles.
Its powerful heating system uses 90-watt to heat up the food faster than other camping microwaves. The fast heating system takes only 15-20 minutes to heat up the food, while it takes only 35 minutes to cook the raw food. The fast heating gets the food ready for eating quickly and reduces the waiting period.
When you turn it on, this small microwave takes the temperature high up to 239°F to heat up the food. Thereafter it maintains the temperature between 149°F and 239°F to keep the food warm so that you won’t need to reheat it.
It includes a heating plate on which you can place your foot container to heat up the food. The food container must have a flat bottom and it should be made of plastic or glass or metal or Tupperware. It has a handle and a shoulder strap so that you can carry it in hands or shoulders as you prefer.
On the first day of camping, I put some raw meat for cooking into this microwave oven. I closed its zipper and turn it on, then waited for 35 minutes. At the time of checking, I wasn’t sure if the meat was ready but it really surprised me as it successfully did it. I didn’t expect such a fast cooking from a portable microwave.
This small microwave from Rottogoon worked great to let me enjoy my camping days. I must appreciate how quickly it heats up all foods and beverages that I put into it. Once, I kept my food inside for 45 minutes and it was still warm when I opened it. The best part is that it has never burnt my food which really impressed me.
#3. Hot Logic 120V Portable Food Warmer
|Cooking Time||1-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-45 Minutes|
Hot Logic 120V Portable Food Warmer is an electric lunch box with a wall plug made as per North American Electrical Standards. It comes in rectangular shape with a zipper to keep it closed during heating or cooking process. It also has a handle on top for ease of transport.
This compact microwave offers 1.42 liter capacity and it is available in 9 attractive color options. It is compatible with metal, plastic, glass, Tupperware, aluminum foil and cardboard containers. You should use a heat resistant container that has airtight sealing and a flat bottom.
After placing your food inside this small microwave for camping, you don’t need to stay nearby to keep an eye on it. It won’t overcook or burn your food, so you can go out to have fun with your friends and return when you want to eat the food. It uses only 45-watt power and heats up food in 30 to 45 minutes.
This compact microwave from Hot Logic comes with a 120V plug that you can plug-in to the power outlet in your RV inverter. You can also use this heated lunch box at home and office.
In last Christmas holidays, I took an RV on rent and thankfully it had an inverter. So, I went on a picnic trip with my family and carried this mini microwave together. We were on a long 5-day trip and I have used this food warmer for all types of food stuff, and it worked well.
I have several glass containers that kept my food inside the microwave for cooking or heating up. For oatmeal, it took only 12-15 minutes and other food items took around 40 minutes to heat up. I have not noticed any burning or overcooking issue with this microwave and my family is happy with it.
#4. Real Nature Food Warmer Heating Lunch Box
|Cooking Time||2-3 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-40 Minutes|
Real Nature Food Warmer Heating Lunch Box is a 12V microwave oven for outdoor use. It is a compact rectangular bag with zipper and a power cord with 12V plug that fits into the cigarette lighter port of any car. It also has an adjustable shoulder strap to let you carry it everywhere.
This portable microwave is a slow cooker cum food warmer, so you can use it to cook raw food and also for heating up cooked food. It takes 30 to 40 minutes to heat up cooked/leftover food and 2 to 3 hours to cook raw food.
Compared to countertop microwaves, it doesn’t have any programming buttons. So, it is very simple to use. You should just place food inside, shut the bag and plug it into the lighter. Thereafter wait for the food to get heated and you should get ready to eat.
This small microwave has 3 pockets for storage of power cord, shoulder strap and spoon, cutlery, keys and your personal stuff. It is designed to work with the 12V lighter port only, you should not use it with the 24V port otherwise it will get damaged or stop working.
When I ordered this microwave, I had not used anything from Real Nature. On the first day of camping, I decided to heat up my favorite burger in this tiny food warmer. I put the burger in a Tupperware container and placed it in this camping microwave for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, I opened the oven to take my container out. It heated up my burger from inside and outside. So, I had to wait for 5 minutes so that I can eat it without burning my tongue. Then I used to heat up various food items and it worked well. It didn’t change the taste of any food and that thing really impressed me.
#5. Gideon Heated Electric Lunch Box
|Cooking Time||1.5-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-40 Minutes|
Gideon Heated Electric Lunch Box is a small microwave with powerful heating system. It is made of high quality materials inside and outside to provide cooking and heating like real microwave ovens. When you are on camping, picnic or road trips, plug this stove to your car’s lighter port to cook or heat up your food and beverages.
The outer material is hard like Tupperware, while the inner material is non-stick aluminum. So, your food stuff can’t stick inside the microwave which makes it easy to clean. It comes with a 12V plug power cord with 72-inch length, the plug is compatible with the lighter port of any car or SUV.
This microwave is properly insulated to keep the heat inside and it also has a clasp to lock it securely. It offers 2.5 liter capacity to heat up 66% more food than all camping microwaves I suggested above. So, you can heat up food for two persons at once to save time in food and utilize it in having fun.
Its heating system is very powerful. The manufacturer claims that it takes inside temperature high up to 300 degrees to cook the raw food and heat up leftovers. You should use a metal container to place your food stuff inside this electric microwave oven.
I needed to go out of station for 2 days and I needed a lunch box that can keep my food safe and warm. I got this Gideon microwave and I carried it in my Nissan car. I used it to heat up some meat which was cooked earlier at home, it took 30 to 40 minutes and my food was ready.
I wanted to know if it really goes high on 300 degree temperature, so I got some raw food and decided to cook them with this electric lunch box stove. It took almost 90 minutes to cook it and it became very hot at that time but I don’t think it was 300 degrees as claimed by the manufacturer yet worked well for me.
#6. Galanz 700W Microwave Oven for Camping
|Heating Up Time||Preset|
Galanz 700W Microwave Oven is a countertop style microwave with 120V corded power plug. You can use this powerful microwave at home, office or at camping in your camper van or RV with inverter. It requires a 120V power outlet to turn on and do cooking, baking, heating and defrosting work for you.
It is not a handy microwave for camping like some portable food warmers I suggested above. It requires proper placement same as the countertop microwave you use at home. It uses 700-watt power to cook raw food and heat up cooked food or leftovers much faster than any small plus low watt microwave for camping reviewed above.
It is a stainless steel made microwave with glass door and various power levels for cooking different food items. It contains a 9.6-inch glass turntable inside that rotates in 360-degree to cook the food properly from all sides. It also has Child Lock function to prevent kids from accessing it.
This Galanz microwave is available 4 colors, 2 designs and 3 size options. I suggest 0.7 cubic feet as it is more compact than 0.9 and 1.1 cubic feet microwave ovens. It has 6 power levels, weight adjustment, timer and defrost functions. It also has an LED display and beep sound to indicate when the cooking/heating process is over.
I have used many portable microwaves in my mini truck, car and RV yet was missing my countertop microwave. The Galanz microwave has fulfilled my wish as it is a countertop microwave that I can use at camping.
I have an RV with inverter, so I connected the 120V plug of this microwave to the power outlet in my RV. I have used it for cooking vegetables and meat several times on daily basis for 5 camping days and I felt as if I was using my regular microwave at home.
The power consumption of this microwave is 700-watt which is much more than a camping microwave powered by batteries. Except high power consumption, I didn’t find any issue while using this microwave oven.
#7. Aotto Portable Oven for Camping
|Power Plug||12V and 24V|
|Cooking Time||1-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-40 Minutes|
Aotto Portable Oven for Camping is made of premium nylon exterior and aluminum insulin interior. It comes with 5 color options of black, blue, red, navy blue and gray. It contains a hot plate attached with a power cord with a 2-in-1 plug that fits into any 12V or 24V lighter port of cars or trucks.
This compact microwave has 1.7 liter capacity to allow more food than other portable microwaves with 1.4 to 1.5 liter capacity. It has a secure zipper to keep it closed when food cooking or heating process is going on so that the heat stays inside to get the food ready faster. It also has the automatic temperature control to keep the food warm for long hours.
It does not have any buttons for programming, it starts working as you connect its power plug to your car’s or truck’s lighter port. The food container is not included, you can use container with heat resistance, tight sealing lids and flat bottom. It is compatible with glass, plastic, stainless steel and cardboard containers.
According to the manufacturer, this small microwave for camping is useful for cooking the food and also for heating up. It takes 30-40 minutes heat up the food and 1-2 hours to cook the raw food. It uses much less power, so it is also a low watt microwave for camping, picnics and long road trips.
The Aotto Portable Oven is just like any other battery powered microwave, it was my first thought. Then I carried it on camping with my 2 school friends, they didn’t bring any microwave as we all went in my SUV.
On the first day, My buddies asked me to cook vegetable salad in oven. They cut vegetables and gave me the glass container that I placed into this small microwave for 45 minutes. I was surprised to see how well it boiled the salad with the same taste we experienced at my home.
Thereafter we tried to heat up some sandwiches and it get them ready in just 30 minutes. It doesn’t have any timer or indicator sound, so I had to remember the time but I don’t mind about such a small function. My friends and I loved its performance during camping time as it worked properly.
#8. Alfredx Portable Microwave Oven for Camping
|Cooking Time||1-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-40 Minutes|
Alfredx Car Food Warmer is a portable microwave oven for camping, holiday trips and picnics. It comes in the rectangular box shape with a hot plate at bottom. It is designed to work with a 12V lighter port of a car, truck, SUV, camper van or any other vehicle.
It comes in black and blue colors with a carrying handle on top and a removable shoulder strap. The hot plate inside the microwave is also removable, you can pull it out for cleaning with a damp cloth. Don’t submerge the hot plate into water as it can permanently damage it.
This compact microwave can cook raw food, canned soup and frozen food as well as can heat up cooked food or leftovers. It takes 3+ hours for frozen food, 1-2 hours for raw food & canned soup and only 30-40 minutes for leftovers.
It offers 9 liter capacity which is quite impressive for a camping microwave powered by batteries. It has automatic temperature control that keeps the inner temperature between 140°F and 230°F to keep the food warm. It also prevents the food from overcooking, blurring and burning even if you keep it inside the microwave for a long period.
Back in 2019, I used to work at a supermarket and my job was to supply groceries to avoid unnecessary shortage. I needed to drive a mini truck for 8+ hours a day and my food was always with me. I have used this Alfredx microwave to turn my food warm from room temperature.
I have heated up meat, chicken, sandwich, fries, eggs and other food stuff in this food warmer. Frankly speaking, it has always impressed me with its fast heating performance. The only thing I disliked is the day when I put frozen chicken burger in this oven and it took 5 long hours to heat it up.
This microwave took so much time to heat up my frozen burger but that wasn’t its fault. Everything else is fine with this food warmer but my son dropped it from 5-feet height last year and it got permanently damaged.
#9. Nostalgia Retro 800W Compact Microwave
|Heating Up Time||Preset|
Nostalgia Retro 800W Compact Microwave is a countertop microwave for camping use. It comes with a power cord and 110V plug that is suitable for home, office and in RVs with an inverter or generator. It is available in 6 different colors from which you can choose your favorite color that also meets interior of your RV.
It is made of high quality glass and stainless steel materials. The see through glass door lets you see how your food is being cooked inside. The rotating glass carousel helps to cook the food evenly to offer perfect baking/boiling and also maintain its original taste.
This microwave oven comes with 0.9 cubic feet capacity to cook/heat up so much food at a time. It has a clock and multiple control buttons that let you manage its power level, weight adjustment and other things.
It includes 12 pre-programmed cooking settings for different food items and child lock to prevent your kids from using it. Overall, it is a small version of a regular microwave that you have already used at home. It gives same performance so that you can enjoy home-like food at camping and during travel time.
The Nostalgia Microwave has most features of a regular microwave yet it is smaller in size and has low power consumption. Using a countertop microwave in my RV during camping time gives me the feeling of staying someone’s home with no restrictions.
It was a beautiful experience to cook pizza, popcorn and other stuff for my family in this 0.9 cubic feet microwave. It has worked really well and always cooked our food evenly without any issue. I found it bulky and that’s why I don’t recommend it to carry in hands.
One the last evening of camping, when I cooked chicken in this camping microwave, I noticed some buzzing sound during the cooking process. But the sound was neither loud nor annoying. so it didn’t disturb me or my family.
#10. Aotto 3-in-1 Portable Microwave for Camping
|Power Plug||12V, 24V and 110V|
|Power Consumption||60W, 70W and 90W|
|Cooking Time||1-2 Hours|
|Heating Up Time||30-50 Minutes|
Aotto 3-in-1 Portable Microwave is the last yet the most versatile food warmer in the list. Its compatibility with different power supply support allows you to connect it a 110V wall outlet or RV inverter outlet. You can also connect it to a 12V lighter port of a car/SUV and a 24V lighter port of a camper van, truck and other vehicles.
This small microwave is made of high quality nylon oxford fabric and it also has a sturdy zipper for airtight sealing. The 1.7 liter capacity allows you to place one whole meal inside for cooking or heating up in this small microwave for camping and outdoor use.
With versatile power supply options, this amazing microwave uses different power wattage to cook or reheat the food. With 12V port, it uses 60W power, with 24V port, it uses 70W power and with 110V outlet, it uses 90W power. The cooking and heating time vary according to the power consumption of the microwave.
This microwave does not include any food container, so you need to find a heat resistant container with sealable cap/lid and flat bottom. It weighs only 1.69 lbs and it also has a handle plus a shoulder strap, so you can carry it comfortably to anywhere you go.
Most portable microwaves work on 12V lighter ports in cars and a few support 24V ports. This Aotto low watt microwave for camping has all the power outlet options and it was quite unbelievable for me. So, I decided to use it with a 12V port in my car, 24V port in my mini truck and 110V wall outlet in my garage.
It took almost 50+ minutes to heat up my food with 12V option and the same food I tried with 24V to see the time difference. It finished heating in 30 to 35 minutes. The next day I used it in my garage connecting to the wall outlet and I put some raw meat inside for cooking it. It took almost 100 minutes to cook it but the taste was as good as a regular microwave at my home.
So, this portable microwave is good enough for temporary outdoor use. I don’t claim that it can replace a regular microwave but it does the cooking and heating jobs really well.
Microwaves for Camping – In-depth Research
After summer 2021, my team started their research about portable microwaves. We already knew about countertop microwaves but they are not suitable for on-the-go use. So, we begin our in-depth research about microwaves for camping to find out the camping microwave ovens that are actually good.
Within 20 days, my team and I checked 100+ microwaves including battery powered microwaves, 12V microwaves, 24V microwaves, small microwaves, low watt microwaves and compact countertop microwaves. All these microwaves were suitable for camping but we were looking for the best camping microwaves of all time.
After going through thousands of customers’ reviews and some experts’ recommendations, we successfully eliminated 75 microwaves from the big list and decided to purchase remaining 25 microwaves for in-depth research and testing. We received all microwaves within a week of placing orders and then the race began.
We considered the user manual of each microwave to learn how to operate it safely and in a way to get it work properly. We tested each camping microwave for heating up pizza, burger, veggies, potatoes and much more. The same way, we also tested these microwaves for cooking raw meat, chicken, fish, eggs and vegetables as well.
While testing all the microwaves in cars, trucks, camper vans, RVs and other vehicles, we noted their performance everyday. After one month of testing, we evaluated performance of each portable microwave and created a top 10 list of microwaves for camping that I have reviewed above.
FAQs about Microwaves for Camping
The small microwaves with 12V or 24V power plug are easy to use at camping and job sites. I have found some common questions regarding camping microwaves and I am going to answer these questions here, so keep reading till end.
Q.1 Are camping microwaves safe?
Yes, camping microwaves are completely safe as long as you follow its user manual and don’t connect it with any higher power port/outlet that exceeds its limit.
Q.2 How much power does a camping microwave use?
A camping microwave uses 45-watt power when connected to the 12V lighter port of a car. However, each microwave uses different amount of power from 45-watt to 90-watt or more. Some compact countertop microwaves for camping run on RV inverters and they use 700-watt or 800-watt power.
Q.3 Can you use a microwave at camping?
Yes, you can use a microwave at camping by plugging its power plug into the lighter port of your car, SUV, truck, camper van or RV. You need a portable microwave for that as the regular microwave doesn’t work with car/truck batteries.
Logging Off: Enjoy Camping with Warm Food
The microwaves for camping use less power, heat up food properly and don’t overcook or burn the food. These 3 qualities of a portable microwave make it the best camping microwave of all time. So, you can enjoy warm food at camping by carrying a portable microwave with yourself.
When going to camping or picnic trips, I was using a stove and it was good but a little slower. So, I shifted to a small microwave and it made my camping more enjoyable. The microwave heats up food faster and its auto temperature control works like auto shutoff to keep the food warm and prevent burning.
Some microwaves take longer to heat up the food but it is okay if it heats up the food evenly. You should choose a compact microwave that heats up food properly and keeps its original taste as it is. Select the microwave that has safety features even if it costs a bit more, it will worth it in future.