Can You Put a Microwave in a Pantry
What to know

Can You Put a Microwave in a Pantry?

Microwave ovens aren’t conventional ovens. You can use aluminum foil to heat food up in a conventional oven. Doing so in a microwave could cause sparks and electrical bolts to fly inside your microwave, thus causing a fire hazard. This is due to the nature of microwave radiation.

Microwaves or short-frequency radiowaves heat up food by exciting the water molecules in it, causing a temperature spike within a minute. You could heat up water or even boil it within minutes inside this device as well.

Can You Put a Microwave in a Pantry?

Of course, you can! The microwave oven is more of a mainstay in the pantry compared to a, say, a conventional oven that’s more of a kitchen tool for baking than a quick-heating machine. The break room (or breakroom) pantry is likelier to have a microwave than a stove or conventional oven in it.

If by pantry you mean the storage cabinet, you can use that to store your microwave to be out of sight as well. There are mini microwaves available that can fit inside a typical cabinet quite snugly. You can even avail of a built-in microwave with a trim kit to put inside your cabinet or wall for good measure.

Just make sure your pantry has a strong, sturdy shelf or cabinet to store the microwave without it falling out as well as various electrical outlets to plug it into. If that’s the case then you’re good to go.

a microwave in a pantry
A microwave in a pantry

Should You Put a Microwave in a Pantry?

Sure. Why not? The pantry in this context typically refers to the office breakroom pantry, of course. Because offices can’t be bothered to have a breakroom with a conventional oven or a stove there to avoid cooking accidents, the next best thing is a microwave you can use to heat water or reheat lunch.

In regards to putting the microwave right into the pantry shelves or cabinets, it depends on the make and model of the device. It should be the right size in order to fit into the cabinet while still having about 2 inches of space around it for venting.

A pantry can also handle having a built-in microwave inside its shelf. This microwave uses the shelf as its body shell while its face and door is installed right into the cabinetry or shelf of the pantry.

You also can buy a pantry to put a microwave – American Furniture Classics OS Home

American Furniture Classics OS Home
American Furniture Classics OS Home

What Other Considerations Do You Need to Take for Pantry Microwaves?

You should also take into consideration heating time along with placement. A dish that takes 2 minutes to heat in a 1-kilowatt microwave will likely require longer reheating on a low-wattage machine such as a 700-watt mini microwave hidden in your pantry.

As a rule of thumb, the smaller the microwave is, the smaller the wattage is as well. The power level requires more circuitry or bigness of its body as well as a wider capacity on the microwave interior.

You may also like: Where to Put a Microwave in a Tiny Kitchen?

How Powerful Should Your Pantry Microwave Be?

Microwaves that have about 600 watts of power exist in the market. They’re also the slowest cookers around. Among the fastest consumer-grade microwaves, they can go up to 1.25 kilowatts. 600 watts to 900 watts is typical of solo, compact, or mini microwaves.

Commercial-grade microwaves, in contrast, can go beyond 2 kilowatts and can be used repeatedly in a single day. In regards to microwaves inside break room pantries, 700-800 watts should be enough for most usages.

The higher the wattage the faster you’ll cook you food. Many cooking recipes require at least 700 watts of power and you’ll have to adjust cooking times in accordance to power level. Some of the more powerful microwaves allow you to go half or a quarter of its full power as well.

Further reading: The Best Small Microwaves (600 or 700-watt)

Should Your Pantry Microwave Heat Leftovers or Frozen Food in Plastic Wrap?

No. Don’t do that. While every device is different and you should experiment with them in order to avoid overcooking or drying out leftovers, it’s a no-no across the board to microwave leftovers in plastic wrap or defrost frozen packages covered in plastic.

The plastic could melt or get set aflame at worst. At best, it could exude plasticizers like BPA, which in turn could lead it to contaminate your frozen or leftover food.

If you have to microwave something in plastic, use BPA-free microwave-safe plastic made by Rubbermaid or Tupperware as well as Saran wrap poked full of holes and wrapped on top of the container without touching the food itself.

Don’t Forget About Cleaning Up Your Pantry Microwave!

Don’t skip cleaning the microwave interior if you use the device regularly. Out of sight doesn’t necessarily mean out of mind in this case, especially if you don’t want molds or bacteria to grow inside the pantry microwave interior.

Routine cleaning of the breakroom microwave kills off bacteria left behind from rotting food particles. Furthermore, it’s important to keep any piece of electronics clean for maintenance purposes. After 32 hours, the bacteria won’t be able to spread across a clean, disinfected surface.

Wipe the outside and inside of the microwave with a paper towel or soft cloth moistened with baking soda and warm water or dishwasher liquid soap. This keeps the area residue-free and smelling fresh when push comes to shove.

Additionally, any leftover food particles are wiped clean by this cloth or paper towel cleaning method, thus there won’t be a chance at contaminating future food heat-ups or reheats when all is said and done.

What Else You Need to Find Out

If you’re looking for a basic microwave to purchase for your office pantry or breakroom, we’ve got you covered. The best solo microwave you can get for your pantry is the Amazon Basics Microwave followed by Russell Hobbs Solo Microwave.

If you instead want an auto-cooking microwave then the Toshiba EM131A5C-BS Microwave Oven is for you. In terms of versatility, the Russell Microwave is like a Swiss army knife of various user-friendly functions.

Last but not least, the best compact solo microwave for RV, small apartment, or pantry use in order to save electricity is the Russell Hobbs Microwave.


  1. Erica Chayes Wida, “8 mistakes people make when using a microwave“,, March 21, 2019
  2. Where to Put Microwave in Small Kitchen“, June 18, 2019
  3. Natnael Lacunsa, “Does a microwave convection oven need to be vented?“,, May 18, 2020
  4. Joe Ford, “Can you put a microwave above a sink?“,, April 25, 2021

Through the years, the microwave oven has become a standard appliance for all homes. It is safe to say that there is no home without a microwave oven. If you are looking for a microwave oven that best fits your needs, You find the right website.

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