Do you have a small kitchen? Are you going on a trip on a camper van or RV and wish to make easy meals while on the road? Do you wish to keep your coffee hot or your frozen meats defrosted when cooking for yourself or others? Then you should look into getting your own small microwave ovens. These units should have power ranging from 600 watts to 700 watts, by the way.
What are the best small microwaves (600 or 700-watt)? Here’s the lowdown on that. There are a lot of low wattage microwaves to choose from for use in camping or small apartments, actually.
What to Look for with the Best Small Microwaves?
When it comes to looking or shopping for the best 600-watt to 700-watt microwaves, you obviously need to pay attention to the rest of the features they have to offer. How big is their capacity? Do they come with extra attachments (like a toaster and coffeemaker)? What about their various controls and modes?
- Get a Small Footprint Microwave with a Large Capacity: The smaller the carbon footprint of your microwave, the less energy is wasted and the more power efficiency you can get out of it. You can depend on microwaves such as the Sharp 700-watt ZSMC0710BW in order to deliver camping dependability without necessarily wasting away your energy reserves from your car or a solar battery. You should also look for a compact microwave that has a roomy turntable and at least 0.6 to 0.7 cubic feet capacity. Watch out for moisture and other quality control issues with your microwave.
- Wattage and Voltage Consideration: 600-700w is considered low wattage in the microwave industry. In terms of solar-powered or battery-powered microwaves, you can go from 700 watts up to 1.1 kilowatts. The limit is 1.1Kw. Furthermore, the wattage rating is approximate and your multi-meter or watt reader might indicate that your microwave is actually, for example, a 900-watt unit instead of a 600-watt one. This is because microwaves are by nature inefficient with their wattage. An AC/DC model is best in order to keep a small microwave from stressing your battery pack, whether it’s the car battery or solar battery.
- An Easy-to-Use and Easy-to-Clean Microwave: While you’re on the road camping, you can’t afford to be messy. Therefore, it pays to have a microwave you can easily clean with baking powder or liquid soap and water. You want a low-watt microwave that you can disassemble easily for cleaning and reassemble just as easily. Watch out for the units that require longer cooking times. All low-watt microwaves need you to cook longer exactly because of their low wattage but there are units that can maximize their wattage limits.
- Portable or Non-Portable: A low-watt microwave is almost always smaller than the average standard-sized microwave. This is because the bigness of your microwave is directly proportional to its wattage and power. High-power microwaves are so large they can rival an icebox in bigness. They’re also much heavier. With that said, when it comes to size, a low-watt microwave can be portable or non-portable. If you can afford a non-portable one, it should be able to fix on most countertops. However, a portable one you can bring with you in tents and save you so much storage space.
- Easy Access to Warm Meals and Beverages: A good microwave is one that allows you easy access to warm meals and beverages on demand while you’re traveling. In other words, it should make heating up water and reheating food as well as cooking dishes as easy as pushing buttons. If ordering out or heating up water on an electric kettle is more practical than your low-power microwave then that microwave isn’t worth buying. It should balance out compactness and a glossy finish with a clean performance.
- Full-Featured Microwaves: A full-featured 700-watt microwave makes up for its low power. It should have a timer and modes available. It should have recommendations on how long you can cook or reheat different foods, like a setting for popcorn, instant noodles, pizza, and so forth. Many microwave dinners have recommendations for power and minutes on the packaging. You should have a microwave that can cater to such recommendations without taking too long for it to cook the product.
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- Preprogrammed with Preset Menus: A good 700w microwave for campers should have preprogrammed preset menus to allow you to bake a potato or cook various dishes. It should even have a defrost setting or defrost button for good measure. Otherwise, if you use your home microwave for heating water in a minute then that’s a waste of energy. it’s better to prepare your cups of instant coffee with an electric kettle and thermos or real coffee using coffee filters and coffee beans with a coffeemaker.
- Best Budget Microwave That Has Low Wattage: Amazon has a great microwave known as the AmazonBasics or Amazon Basics Microwave. This one has extra features such as voice control through Amazon’s Alexa technology. It also works with Amazon’s Echo product, thus making it a low-power but high-performance smart device. It can work in tandem with your cellphone or smartphone and its Alexa-based control apps. A compact-sized microwave with voice control allows you to have a helping guide in order to access various settings without poring over the instruction booklet.
- Battery Drainage Concerns: Most people avail of a low-power, 12-volt microwave in order to be able to enjoy hot bagels or popcorn even when you’re off the power grid. If you’re not careful, even a 12-volt microwave oven can drain out your car battery or solar battery in just a few minutes of usage. You should be careful not to discharge your car battery in particular because you need that to start your RV or camper van. Your vehicle won’t be able to start with a drained battery. If you’re using your microwave frequently, you’ll need to recharge your vehicle’s battery by starting and revving your RV from time to time, like every morning.
- Load Tests the Battery: In the case of a solar battery, you should be careful not to drain a whole day’s worth of power by defrosting meats or cooking for more than 30 minutes. In regards to your RV battery, have it load tested before camping or leaving your home. Do the same with your solar battery as well. This way, you have a better idea of how much your battery can take before it’s fully drained, whether it’s solar-powered or the car battery your vehicle depends on. If you’re not camping it’s not so much a concern, but knowing your wattage and frequency of use on the power grid should at least help you get savings on your electric bill.
- Sleek and Compact Microwave Solutions: When getting a low-watt microwave, make sure you acquire one that’s compact and sleek. It shouldn’t be so small that you have trouble fitting in a 10-inch dish but it should still be small enough to fit into your surely limited space and tiny countertop. You can find quality low-wattage microwaves from manufacturers like Sharp, Commercial Chef, Nostalgia, Farberware, and Amazon. They should be small but not so small that they can’t house at least 0.6 to 0.7 cubic feet of food.
- Capacity vs. Compactness: You can get the smallest model for your camper van, but at least make sure it has a spacious interior regardless. It’s not in your best interests to have your dinner plates not fit into the microwave for reheating and cooking purposes. Sure, compactness paired with high-capacity interiors can get pricey but we assure you they’re worth every penny. Your compact yet spacious microwave should have a boxy design that allows it to fit into corners in order to maximize your space while still being able to heat a dinner plate that’s 10 inches in diameter.
- Special Features to Look Out For: A low-watt microwave at around 600-700w is typically not fancy. However, if you were to get your hands on a microwave like AmazonBasics, you’ll get your hands on some special features that are worthwhile to have while camping or even at home, such as auto popcorn mode, quick-cook voice presets, defrosting mode, and so forth. There are even microwaves that have presets for various dishes and soups. They can set the timer and the power or temperature to perfection. There are also microwaves that double as coffeemakers and toasters for good measure.
The Best Small, Low-Wattage Microwaves Reviews
Let’s dive in on the four best small, low-wattage microwaves on the market to date in 2021. They’re all low-watt microwave ovens that are low-watt, portable, and small.
There’s a reason why the Commercial Chef CHM660B scored 4.5 out of 5 stars among 2,506 ratings or reviews from its user base. For about $90, you can get your own mini microwave oven for use in small kitchens, trailer homes, RVs, and campers. There’s not much to criticize about the CHM660B, especially in the context of a low-powered, portable microwave.
This unit is certainly part of the cream of the crop, with even the negative reviews about it barely ever talking about quality control issues. Sure, compared to a bigger, more powerful microwave the Commercial Chef is cumbersome with its longer cooking times. However, in the context of 600w-700w microwaves, it makes do with the power it has and then some, leading to some nifty wait times for a microwave of its wattage. You can use it to heat up last night’s leftovers or cook something new or microwaveable.
- 6 power levels.
- Made of stainless steel.
- Low maintenance and easy to use.
- Sleek, black (or white), and space-saving.
- Amazon’s Choice for “Mini Microwave Oven”.
- It is compact yet offers 0.6 cubic feet of interior space.
- Its control manual allows you to know the different presets.
- You can use it to heat coffee, cook food, reheat leftovers, and make popcorn.
- Weighs a hefty 23.1 pounds for a supposed “mini” microwave.
- Only has 0.6 cubic feet of interior capacity instead of 0.7 cubic feet.
Although it’s technically lower-rated and less popular than the previous Commercial Chef CHM660B, it does make up for in terms of the benefits it does have. The aqua-colored Nostalgia Countertop Microwave Oven has a slightly bigger capacity or interior space at 0.7 cubic feet.
It also lives up to the company name by having a cubic and nostalgic design reminiscent of the first few microwaves when they were first invented. It has a sleek 1960s design with its neon color and rounded corners. Performance-wise, we have few to no complaints. It comes with 12 preprogrammed presets or cooking settings, a digital clock, and an even-cooking turntable. It has a retro design but modern sensibilities in terms of what a modern microwave has to offer, so it’s retro chic in a way. It offers the best of the past and presents save for overheating issues.
- 700 watts of cooking power.
- Easy to clean spacious interior.
- It has 0.7 cubic feet of interior space.
- Digital clock with easy-to-read digital display.
- 12 preset cooking settings for utmost convenience.
- Retro chic dials, chrome door handle, and control panel.
- Dependable for reheating foods like pizza or making them like popcorn.
- Fire hazard. Overheats a lot.
- Some units won’t stop running.
The impeccable Impecca CM0674K is a 700w countertop microwave oven that serves as the affordable alternative between the Commercial Chef and Nostalgia offerings. It only costs about $74.97 (sans shipping fees), making it slightly cheaper than the two other options on this list of low-powered compact mini microwaves. It’s also a more unknown brand compared to a Nostalgia or Commercial Chef.
Regardless, even though it’s not as fancy as a Nostalgia microwave or as reputable as a Commercial Chef microwave, it’s a dependable and cost-effective alternative to the two when push comes to shove. You won’t lose much in terms of functionalities and options by getting the more affordable option. It’s a 120-volt rather than the 12-volt microwave in order to truly maximize its 700 watts of power. Sure, no one microwaves anything for 45 minutes even on defrost, but it’s nice to have the option available via the mechanical dial.
- It’s slightly more affordable.
- Its turntable is 9.65 inches in size.
- 6 power levels like the Commercial Chef.
- It uses dials like the Nostalgia mini microwave.
- Its capacity is 0.6 cubic feet like the Commercial Chef.
- This 700w microwave oven requires 120 volts to work.
- Perfectly compact for small apartments, studios, dorms, and RVs.
- Its dials might seem a bit outdated to some.
- It’s the cheaper, lesser version of the Commercial Chef.
Last but not least is the COMFEE’ (or Comfee) Retro Countertop Microwave Oven AM720C2RA-A. It’s not exactly the cheapest microwave on the list at about $90 (it has a price comparable to the Commercial Chef and Nostalgia) for the cream-colored version, but it does have loads of variants. In terms of performance, it does everything the other microwaves do, from defrosting to cooking.
Its turntable also returns to its starting point every time. The retro countertop microwave is rated 4.4 out of 5 stars. This means it has the same ratings as the Nostalgia oven. Meanwhile, the ECO mode of the device is great for energy conservation during camp trips. The main complaints against the COMFEE’ are that its design is too retro and it prioritizes form over function. The advances in modern design have come about for a reason. There were also reviews complaining about the integrity of the turntable.
- On/Off button.
- Digital display.
- 10 power levels.
- Retro dials and buttons.
- Position-Memory Turntable.
- Child safety lock and ECO mode.
- 0.7 cubic feet of interior capacity.
- A compact retro design like the Nostalgia oven.
- Loads of color variants with different price points.
- Non-intuitive design.
- Quality control issues regarding the turntable.
The Final Conclusion
The best-rated mini microwave oven under the 600-700 watt range is the Commercial Chef CHM660B. All the rest follows after its example even with its limits in capacity (600 cubic feet).
A low-wattage microwave is usually popular among campers and travelers or people who live in RVs parked in trailer parks. With that in mind, how can you find the best low-power, 600-700w microwave that best suits your unique circumstances? It’s all about knowing what campers use the microwave for in the first place. You can use it to make popcorn, reheat frozen meats, and help cook things in a more convenient way than a conventional oven. We’ve rounded up the best 700-watt camping or solar-powered microwaves on the Internet. They’re perfect for off-grid use.