When I think of looking for the best low watt microwave for camping, I imagine that my options are going to be characterized by another essential feature: a small size.
Since it seems like a general rule that smaller kitchen appliances use less electricity, I expect that the picks for the best low watt microwave ovens are going to have a smaller size than the normal ovens we have at home.
Nevertheless, we must also take into account the fact that, generally, microwave ovens are not power-hungry kitchen appliances. A large majority will consume fewer watts than a toaster.
On the other hand, air fryers can use more watts than a full-sized microwave oven.
A small conclusion we could draw is that a large majority of the available full-sized models that we usually buy for our kitchens at home could be candidates for the best low watt microwave for camping.
Thus, it’s up to you to decide what exactly low watt means. Using the directive low watt is not exactly indicative of a certain wattage that we can’t exceed. So that’s going to be something decided by you, considering what equipment you have and what you expect your conditions for camping to be.
Best Low Watt Microwave Oven For Camping Reviews
According to energysage.com, on average, microwave ovens use about 600 to 1000 watts of electricity.
Furthermore, if we use one for 15 minutes per day, we will consume 6.1 kilowatt-hours per month. These numbers are calculated for 800W so consumption is going to be even lower if we choose a 600W microwave oven.
Let’s assume that you even end up using your microwave when camping for 30 mins per day. That’s still a low energy consumption.
If we take the 600 to 1000 watts of electricity consumption on average, it turns out that, overall, these appliances that are mainly used for reheating food are highly energy-efficient.
That’s good news because it means that we can choose the best low watt microwave for camping for our needs and expectations from a wider range of products. And we might also have different price options to choose from.
Of course, there are also models that use 1,100-1,200 watts but most likely we’re not going to take those into account.
Also, getting back to my introduction mentioning that I expect low watts models to be small, I’m going to focus on size, as well. Some of you will prefer smaller appliances to use when camping.
Before jumping to my reviews, I should also warn you that all microwave ovens, no matter their price, size, watts come with a healthy dose of negative reviews. You really won’t be able to find one that doesn’t feature many negative reviews. Of course, the positive ones highly exceed the negative reviews but we should check a little bit of both.
1. Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven: Alternative to Microwave Ovens for Camping
It might be a bit weird to begin my reviews for the best low watt microwave for camping with an appliance that really doesn’t classify as a microwave oven.
It’s called a mini portable oven.
And it’s a food warmer. An electric lunch box with a wall plug.
Let’s first talk about the fact that it only uses 45 watts. Of course, no microwave oven could come even close to that kind of low power consumption.
However, this lunch box food warmer really doesn’t have anything in common with a classic microwave oven so there’s really no point in comparing the two.
Who is it for?
People who love eating a hot lunch at work love this box.
It can also be a good choice for long-haul truck drivers.
And, of course, it works very well if you want to heat up some food when you’re camping.
You can even make sandwiches, put them inside the box and the cheese will melt eventually.
It can also make some toast, slices of bread will change their texture but it doesn’t compare with toast made in toasters or even in a skillet.
Since it only uses 45 watts, the Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven is incredibly slow. It heats up food in about 40 minutes.
It’s slow. Those of you who don’t like thinking that they have to warm up some food to eat it in about 1 hour, are not going to like this warmer for camping.
Of course, in an office you pretty much are aware that lunch break is approaching so you can remember to heat up your food 40 mins before. But this kind of planning might not be exactly what some people are looking for when camping.
Microwave ovens can do the same thing in a couple of minutes without any planning.
Last but not least, the Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven is not exactly cheap.
For the price of two of these, we could buy the Comfee’ EM720CPL or the Galanz Retro Microwave Oven.
Thus, if you travel with a family, it’s certainly cheaper to just buy a microwave oven. If you go camping by yourself, it’s reasonably priced.
The Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven pretty much looks like a decently-sized lunch box. The difference is the wall plug that comes with it.
It measures 9.5 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches.
Of course, the container size is a bit smaller: 8.75 x 6.75 x 2.5 inches.
The reheatable plastic container is included. That’s not going to work for people who avoid using plastic as much as they can.
It uses thermal technology to heat or cook our food. That comes in the form of a heating pad encased in the bottom of this lunch box.
The low slow conduction heating pad ensures that food is reheated to the perfect temperature. It also prevents loss of moisture. That, I like. The time it takes for the food to heat up, not so much.
I also like that it only weighs 1.43 pounds.
Overall, the Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven has a bunch of good things and a bunch of cons. It really depends on what you’re looking for.
Don’t worry, the rest of my recommendations will focus entirely on microwave ovens. My last pick will even include convection, broiler, and air fryer functions so you can do some serious cooking.
How to use it
Place the food inside the plastic container that is included with the box. We can also use other similar-sized reheatable containers.
Zip the container.
Plug it in and that’s about it.
In about 40 mins your food should be ready. The low power also ensures that this food warmer won’t burn food or overheat it. It’s nice that we don’t have to worry about those things.
All in all, there are so many people that love the Hotlogic Mini Portable Oven that I simply had to tell you about it. And a good amount of those positive reviews come from people who use this food warmer box when they’re camping.
2. Comfee’ EM720CPL: Overall the Best Low Watt Microwave for Camping
As far as I’m aware, the Comfee’ EM720CPL is one of the most popular on the market.
It’s also one of the cheapest so that doesn’t hurt. With a price below $100, we could call it a cheap microwave oven for kitchens at home or away from home.
However, there is that considerable amount of negative reviews that we shouldn’t forget to check out.
700 watts or 1050 watts?
Let’s discuss something that people might not be aware of. The world of microwave ovens can be a bit misleading when it comes to reported watts and what they represent.
The Comfee’ EM720CPL is a good model as any for exemplifying what’s going on.
We get two powers: input power and output power.
So, the Comfee’ EM720CPL is rated as a 700W appliance. That’s how it’s advertised.
However, 700W is the output power.
The input power is 1050 watts.
So, which is which?
Input power is the amount of power needed for the microwave to generate its energy. Output power is its cooking power but the appliance needs more input to reach a certain output level.
Thus, the Comfee’ EM720CPL needs to consume 1050W to produce 700W of cooking power.
You will also come across these two different numbers if you check out the user manual for this model.
Thus, brands will advertise output power because that clearly indicates how powerful their models are and what numbers they can achieve to reheat/defrost/cook food.
On the other hand, keep in mind that the input power, the amount of energy that is actually used is going to be higher.
Of course, it consumes the highest amount of power at the highest level.
Power consumption decreases by 10% as we decrease levels one by one. Level 1 consumes just 10% power.
The design is nice. If you look at the black model without checking out the brand, I think it would be easy to confuse it with a Toshiba.
We actually get to choose between black and white for a modern design.
But there’s also a retro design that is a bit more expensive and it comes in 3 colors: cream, passionate red, and pastel green, which for me just looks blue.
Overall, I like the classic black but it depends what vibe you’re going for.
Its dimensions are: 13 x 17.3 x 10.2 inches.
It weighs about 20.2 pounds.
The manufacturer also includes a list of cookware and utensils we can use: browning dish, dinnerware, glass jars (remove lid always), oven cooking bags (no metal tie), paper plates and cups, paper towels for covering food, parchment paper to prevent splattering, plastic, plastic wrap, thermometers, wax paper to prevent splattering and retain moisture.
Some ceramic cookware is also compatible with microwave ovens, you just have to make sure to check compatibility. Always check for compatibility.
The materials to be avoided are: aluminum tray, food carton with metal handle, metal twist ties, paper bags, plastic foam, and wood.
We get the classic components: control panel, turntable shaft, turntable rings, glass tray, observation window, oven door, safety interlock system.
The glass turntable measures 10 inches.
The Comfee’ EM720CPL has a 0.7 cubic feet capacity. It’s small but it’s good for small spaces so it makes it a good choice for camping.
There are 11 power levels.
We also get 6 auto-cook functions: popcorn, potato, pizza, frz. vegetable, beverage, and dinner plate.
The 6 presets will run between 1 to 6 minutes, depending on the function.
The other functions include: time cook, time defrost, weight defrost, power, clock, kitchen timer, stop, and start (+30sec).
And we get the possibility to turn the sound on and off.
Last but not least, there’s also an ECO mode that minimizes 50% standby power. Or just plug it out when you’re not using it, which is like 98% of the time.
3. Black + Decker EM720CB7
The Black + Decker EM720CB7 is basically the perfect alternative to the Comfee’ EM720CP.
Thus, if you don’t like the one from Comfee’ not one bit but you like the size, the watts, the design, the functions, then you can check out this model from Black + Decker.
We could even say that even their amount, in percentages, of negative and positive reviews are similar.
Truly, we can easily mistake one for the other without any problems. The only difference is that the Black + Decker EM720CB7 is a bit more expensive by a few dollars.
We get a 700 watts output power consumption.
And it has a 0.7 cubic feet capacity. It’s tiny. Some of you are not going to like these smaller sizes.
It measures: 17.3 x 13 x 10.2 inches.
It weighs approx. 21.6 pounds.
And the glass turntable measures the same 10 inches in diameter.
There are 10 levels.
And 6 auto-cook functions: popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, dinner plate.
The other functions are: time cook, time defrost, weight defrost, power, clock, timer, stop, and start (+30sec).
There’s no option to turn the noise off and on.
What I really like and it’s something that we don’t see all that often nowadays is the push-button door release for easy access. I still prefer this opening method over just pulling a handle but that’s a thing of mine.
There’s also a lock function for children. The user manual comes with good instructions.
According to this website, the Black + Decker EM720CB7 failed to impress them.
But it scores slightly higher than the Galanz Retro Microwave Oven, which I chose not to review here because it’s similar both to the Black + Decker and the Comfee’ models.
So, that website declared the Panasonic NN-SN936B as their top scorer, with a 76 total rating.
However, since we’re here talking about the best low watt microwave for camping, I should also disclose that the Panasonic NN-SN936B 2.2 cubic feet has a 1,250W output power and 1,460W input power. Input power is actually what it consumes and output power is the cooking energy. It’s a large and powerful microwave oven, that’s for sure.
Compared to that, the Black + Decker EM720CB7 scores 54.
Well, those who scored those models have some misleading criteria.
It seems that a pro is that it does well at defrosting.
On the other hand, under the con section it seems that it struggles with some frozen foods.
Apparently, it has so-so heating results.
In my opinion, it might be a bit slow but it will heat up food if you wait for a bit.
The Farberware Countertop Microwave Oven Classic, which I will review soon scores 62.
And the Toshiba EM925A5A scored just below at 61.
4. Farberware Countertop Microwave Oven Classic
I consider the Farberware Countertop Microwave Oven Classic a direct competitor to the Black + Decker and the Comfee’ models.
Why this one specifically?
Because it’s in the same price range, only more expensive by a few dollars than the Black + Decker and just slightly pricier than the Comfee’.
However, it’s slightly bigger, while being in the same price range.
Thus, it’s the perfect alternative for people who think that 0.7 cubic feet is absolutely too small.
All in all, it’s an interesting appliance so let’s see what it offers.
By the way, the design looks quite similar to what the Black + Decker offers but we don’t get the push-button door release.
Since this Farberware is bigger, with a 1.1 cubic feet capacity, the power use is considerably bigger.
The output power is 1,000W, while the input power is 1,500W.
That’s definitely a considerable difference but we need to expect this if we’re going for a bigger size.
One of the main features we notice is the bigger capacity at 1.1 cubic feet.
Its dimensions are: 20.2 x 16.5 x 12.1 inches. It’s definitely bigger and it also weighs 31 pounds.
Also, the turntable has a 12.5 inches diameter, while a 0.7 cubic feet capacity model comes with a 10 inch turntable.
We also get 6 auto-cook functions: popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, dinner plate.
Other functions include: time cook, time defrost, weight defrost, power, clock, kitchen timer, stop, and start (+30 sec).
Overall, the Farberware Countertop Microwave Oven Classic is indeed a classic model that is very easy to use, makes great popcorn, heats water quickly, and it does everything it needs to do for a very decent price.
5. Toshiba EM925A5A
Is this Toshiba something really special? Not really. I mean, I prefer the Farberware Countertop Microwave Oven Classic because it’s slightly more affordable with a 1.1 cubic feet capacity.
On the other hand, the Toshiba EM925A5A has a 0.9 cubic feet capacity.
Basically, if you don’t like the Comfee’ at o.7 or the Farberware at 1.1, then you can check out this Toshiba because it’s something in between the two sizes.
It has a 0.9 cubic feet capacity. It’s neither really small but it doesn’t classify as a medium size either.
It correlates, right? We have a 0.9 cubic feet capacity and 900W output power.
The input power is 1,350 watts.
It comes with a 10.6 inches turntable.
The dimensions are: 19.15 x 15.91 x 11.48 inches. And it weighs 27.3 pounds.
The touchscreen is exactly what you would expect.
We get 6 quick touch presets: popcorn, potato, pizza, frozen vegetable, beverage, dinner plate.
There are also other functions: time cook, time defrost, weight defrost, power level, clock & settings, kitchen time, star (+30 sec), and stop.
It also has a power saving function. This just minimizes 50% standby power, which can be reduced to 0 if you plug it out.
And there are 10 cooking power levels.
Plus, there’s a mute option, which turns the sound on and off. I like that.
6. Sharp R-21LCFS
I don’t know exactly if we can consider the Sharp R-21LCFS as a tremendous pick for the best low watt microwave for camping.
There are a few different reasons for saying that so let’s talk about it.
The Sharp R-21LCFS is a 1,000 watts appliance output power and I have no idea what the input power is.
That’s quite a high wattage when we’re searching for low watt models so that’s definitely one strike in my books.
The second strike is the price. However, the price is also the aspect that compelled me to review it.
This is a microwave oven that has a price around $300. It is 2-3 times more expensive than a large majority of other options, low watts or not.
However, maybe there are some of you who would actually like to check out what the expensive options offer, to compare with all the others. Frankly, that’s what I want to see, too.
While I could spend this amount of money on a blender and even more, I wouldn’t be willing to spend so much money on an appliance that the majority of the time just reheats my food.
For this money, I can buy both a good microwave and an air fryer or whatever else. I’m just using this example to put things into perspective.
Another thing I should mention about the Sharp R-21LCFS is that it’s a medium-duty commercial model. So the high price is explicable.
On the other hand, the commercial classification and the expensive price should spell top-tier quality.
Judging by the negative reviews, the assumption is not met with reality.
It certainly looks completely different than any of the above models that I reviewed as the best low watt microwave for camping. It has an interesting and nice design, that’s for sure.
It’s not big at all, which you might have guessed when you saw that it has 1,000W output power.
The capacity is only 1 cubic feet. However, we can accommodate a 13 ½ inch platter, prepackaged foods, single serving or a half-size pan in either direction.
Its dimensions are 13 ⅞ x 14 ⅝ x 8 ⅛ inches.
It weighs 37 pounds so it’s heavy but not very big.
The components for the Sharp R-21LCFS are: back splash cover, side splash cover, oven light, ceramic shelf, control panel, cavity face plate, door latch opening, door latches, door hinges, door seals and sealing surfaces, door handle, oven door with see-through window, air ventilation cover and openings, power supply cord, air intake openings, and out case cabinet.
You might not expect this from such an expensive microwave oven, but the Sharp R-21LCFS is actually a classic incredibly easy-to-use model.
This is old school.
We get a classic dial timer and that’s it. It doesn’t get more simple than that. It reminds me of Vitamix blenders.
The dial timer goes from 0 to 6 minutes.
Above the dial timer we get a time guide for one serving so that you don’t have to guess anything.
It includes info like: 30 sec for bagel, slice, 1-2 min for beverage, soup, large sandwich, popcorn 1.5 oz, 30-60 sec for hot dog, pizza slice, 2-3 min for casserole, stew, chili, popcorn 3.5 oz.
7. GE 3-in-1: Best Low Watt Microwave For Camping with Air Fryer, Broiler & Convection Mode
This is certainly an interesting appliance. It’s a complex oven in many ways so I’m excited to review it. I couldn’t end my reviews without talking about it.
My last recommendation for the best low watt microwave for camping is a lot more than a microwave.
It’s so much more complex than that. That’s why I wanted to include it here.
Given all its functions, including the convection, broiler and air fryer modes, the 1,050 watts power is really low.
Even a 2 quart basket air fryer needs 1,300 watts to work.
Thus, even if the 1,050 watts power might seem a bit much at first glance, I actually consider it to be really low. The GE 3-in-1 is certainly energy efficient.
Still, it comes with important negative reviews, don’t forget about checking out some of those.
At first glance you’d think that the GE 3-in-1 is a simple microwave oven like any of the ones I recommended here as picks for the best low watt microwave for camping.
However, when we look closely, we see that it’s so much more than that.
It is mid-size with a 1 cubic feet capacity.
The dimensions are: 11 ⅞ H x 20 ⅗ W x 16 ⅗ D inches.
The cooking technologies it features are: microwave, convection, air fry.
It has 2 wire oven racks and 2 fixed positions.
The turntable is made of glass. It has a 12.4 inch size so it’s quite big.
There are 10 power controls: it starts with 1 at 100 degrees and goes up 10 at 425 degrees F.
Thus, the maximum temperature is 425 degrees F, while the minimum is 100 degrees F.
The auto cook menus for the microwave part of the things are: beverage, dinner plate, pizza, popcorn, reheat, vegetable.
We also get touch buttons for selecting the cooking technology: conv, air fry, combi, broil.
We get buttons for set clock, timer, cook time, power level, add 30 secs.
It includes a crisper pan that is specifically designed for use with Air Fry mode.
I am impressed that this GE 3-in-1 makes cooking sound so easy, no matter which cooking technology we might choose to use. This complexity is enough to make me consider it a great pick for the best low watt microwave for camping.