Last updated: August 11, 2021

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Welcome to our big small microwave test 2021. Here we present all the small microwaves we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best small microwave for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy a small microwave.




Summary

  • Small microwaves are very good for defrosting, reheating and cooking food.
  • They are especially recommended for households with one or two people.
  • They can also have various functions that can make them even more versatile to use.

The Best Small Microwave: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a small microwave oven

Who is a small microwave suitable for?

Small microwaves are generally suitable for everyone. Because of their size, they are easy to transport and therefore particularly suitable for trips or holidays.

However, small microwaves are also perfect for fitting into your kitchen cupboard. (Image source: unsplash.com / Mike Marquez)

However, like any other microwave, small microwaves also need a power supply to operate. That's why you can't use them everywhere. Nevertheless, they are good for transporting, for example when camping.

With a small microwave you can defrost or reheat meals. This is done by electromagnetic waves that generate heat. In some cases, you can even prepare smaller meals in this microwave.

What is the difference between a small microwave and a small oven?

The basic difference between small microwaves and mini ovens is that microwaves are mainly for defrosting and reheating, while mini ovens are for cooking and baking.

In some cases, you can also cook products or even prepare small meals in different microwaves.

In contrast, small ovens have convection or top and bottom heat. This means that dishes can not only be cooked, but also baked until crispy.

In addition, mini ovens have a tray, which you need to prepare certain dishes.

What are the different functions of small microwaves?

Nowadays, there is a wide range of functions that a small microwave can have. Therefore, you should think about what you want to use the microwave for before you buy it.

On the one hand, there are combination models that have a grill function. There are microwaves with a single or double grill. To really grill products, a double grill is recommended, as single grills only function in the upper half and are therefore not strong enough.

Most microwaves are equipped with the standard functions, but not all appliances have a grill function, for example. (Image source: 123rf.com / Andriy Popov)

Furthermore, some small microwaves come with a convection function. This allows you to cook and bake dishes. These microwaves can sometimes replace a real oven. The only thing to note is that you cannot prepare large dishes in a microwave.

Recently, there are also microwaves with steamers. Here, food can be prepared very gently.

Of course, all small microwaves also have a reheat and defrost function.

How much does a small microwave cost?

In general, small microwaves range in price from €50 to €250. They are somewhat cheaper than conventional microwaves.

The price of a small microwave depends mainly on its size and functions. In addition, the performance also plays a big role in determining the price.

Microwaves with convection, grill functions or steamers are the most expensive. These can cost up to €250. Truck microwaves, on the other hand, are the cheapest option, costing no more than €150.

Type price range
Freestanding small microwave 50 € - 250 €
Undercounter small microwave 60 € - 250 €
Truck microwave 50 € - 150 €

What are the alternatives to small microwaves?

There are a few different alternatives to small microwaves. Some of them are probably already in your kitchen. The different alternatives refer to certain functions of the microwave.

The alternatives to a small microwave include a conventional microwave, a steamer, a mini oven or a cooker. However, these alternatives are usually more expensive than a small microwave.

In the following, we will introduce you to the different alternatives in more detail.

Microwave

A microwave oven works exactly like a small microwave oven, it is just available with a larger volume. It is therefore particularly suitable for a household with 3 or more people, where a small microwave is not sufficient.

Like small microwaves, they are primarily intended for cooking and defrosting. However, they can offer more choice with different functions.

Toast/ Bake Oven

Small toasting or baking ovens work just like regular ovens. They are a little more compact. This makes them particularly suitable for one-person households where there is no oven.

In these ovens you can prepare crispy dishes and bake cakes.

Cooker

Most households already have a cooker. Otherwise, single or double hotplates are also available for purchase.

With a cooker, you can also defrost and cook food. However, it usually takes a little longer.

Steamer

A steamer is used to steam food. Raw products are cooked with the help of steam. Some microwaves also have this function.

As the name implies, steam cookers are particularly suitable for cooking.

Decision: What types of small microwaves are there and which is the right one for you?

Generally, a distinction is made between three types of small microwaves:

  • Freestanding small microwave
  • Undercounter small microwave
  • Truck-mounted microwave

These different variants have individual characteristics, which come with their respective advantages and disadvantages.

Different types of small microwaves are better suited to certain situations. The following sections will help you find the right type.

For this, we will better introduce the types just mentioned and explain their advantages and disadvantages.

What distinguishes a freestanding small microwave and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

As the name implies, freestanding microwaves can simply be placed in the kitchen without having to fix them beforehand. This small microwave only needs to be connected to a power source to be usable.

However, when choosing a location, you should ensure that there is room for adequate ventilation. In addition, it should be placed at least 10 cm from the nearest walls.

Advantages
  • Greater choice
  • No complex assembly necessary
  • Low purchase costs
Disadvantages
  • Can take up a lot of space in the kitchen
  • Always visible

What are the features of an undercounter small microwave and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Unlike freestanding microwaves, undercounter microwaves can be mounted under a wall cabinet. This makes them particularly space-saving and does not cause any soiling on the worktop.

With these small microwaves, the ventilation must also be freely accessible. Therefore, it should also be mounted somewhat away from walls or other barriers.

Advantages
  • Space-saving
  • No soiling on the worktop
Disadvantages
  • Installation can sometimes only be carried out by skilled personnel
  • higher purchase price

What are the characteristics of a truck microwave and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Truck microwaves are often used by car, truck or camper van drivers because they are easy to transport. In addition, this type of microwave is particularly small and therefore lighter. Some models even work with the car's cigarette lighter and you don't need an extra power source.

However, due to their size and the connection options, they usually only have a low output. In addition, they often only have the standard functions, which are, however, completely sufficient for an excursion.

Advantages
  • Easy to transport
  • Low purchase price
Disadvantages
  • Low power
  • Simple functions

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate small microwaves

In the following, we show you which factors you should consider and help you decide between the many different small microwaves.

The criteria you can use to compare small microwaves include:

  • Maximum wattage
  • Features
  • Dimensions
  • Capacity
  • Operation

In the following sections, we explain in more detail what each factor is.

Maximum wattage

The maximum wattage describes the power of a small microwave.

In general, the higher the wattage, the faster the food can be heated. Nevertheless, the power should not be too high, as the food may then no longer be edible.

A good microwave should allow you to adjust the wattage in small steps. Of course, the number of watts also influences the power consumption, which is why you should opt for a lower wattage.

This means you have to cook the food a few seconds longer, but it saves a lot of electricity.

A small microwave has a wattage of at least 600 watts. However, powerful small microwaves can go up to 800 watts.

Features

Many small microwaves offer a few programmes and different settings. These can determine which and how many dishes you can prepare in the microwave.

Therefore, before you buy, you should think about what features you want your microwave to have.

Most small microwaves offer between 5 and 10 different programmes. These can range from simple defrosting and reheating to a grill function or a hot air function.

In addition, there is often the option of a timer, whereby the microwave switches itself off after the set time.

Dimensions

Kitchen fits. These dimensions describe the size of the microwave. In general, small microwaves are space-saving. However, there are certain models that have a particularly shallow depth, for example.

Furthermore, you should also consider the diameter of the turntable. If it is smaller than your plates, you will have difficulty placing it in the microwave.

Capacity

Logically, small microwaves have a small capacity. Most microwaves have a capacity of 10 to 20 litres.

A larger capacity also leads to higher power consumption. This happens because a larger interior takes longer to heat up. This means that the microwave has to run for a longer time and therefore consumes more electricity.

For one person, a volume of 10 to 13 L is perfectly sufficient. However, if you have a two-person household, a volume of at least 13 L is recommended.

Operation

As with all technical appliances, operation should be fairly simple and intuitive. In most small microwaves, the controls are rotary knobs. With these, you can often separately set the power level and the time period.

Nowadays, however, there are also many products where you can set the functions with basic knobs. Some new types of microwave ovens can be operated using a touchscreen.

Of course, it depends on your preferences and which variant is easiest for you to operate.

Facts worth knowing about small microwaves

How do I install a small microwave?

There are various ways to install a small microwave. There are installation frames, specific microwave holders and, for do-it-yourself installation, two brackets that are attached to a wooden board.

With each option, however, you must make sure that the brackets have the greatest possible load-bearing capacity so that they can really hold the microwave.

There are also undercounter or built-in microwaves that already come with a built-in option. The difference between a built-in and an under-cabinet is that the microwave is either placed in a cabinet or suspended under a cabinet.

To install a small microwave, you must now:

  1. First determine and mark the position of the bracket.
  2. Next, drill holes in the marked places and insert the dowels.
  3. Then screw the bracket or angle bracket to the wall. Once a firm fit is guaranteed, the board can now be attached to the brackets.
  4. Finally, you can place the microwave, making sure to leave some space between it and the wall.

In general, however, you should always follow the manufacturer's instructions when installing.

Can I cook potatoes or cakes in a small microwave?

Basically, you can cook potatoes and cakes in a microwave. However, you can also cook other dishes using a microwave. In addition, it can help with everyday cooking problems.

Rosemary potatoes can also be easily prepared in a microwave. (Image source: pixabay.com / congerdesign)

You can prepare potatoes in a microwave in many different ways. Whether jacket potatoes, peeled potatoes or even crisps, a microwave is perfectly adequate. Of course, you have to prepare them differently.

To cook potatoes in the microwave, place them in a microwave-safe box with some water. Cook them in the microwave for 4 - 6 minutes at about 600 watts, depending on the portion. After you have taken the potatoes out of the microwave, let them cook a little longer and they are ready to eat.

To make crisps, first cut the potatoes into thin slices with a vegetable slicer. Then put them on a skewer and drizzle a little oil on the chips if you like. Then simply heat them at 750 watts for about 7 minutes.

Most cup cakes are different versions of chocolate cake. (Image source: unsplash.com / Hannah Pemberton)

When it comes to cakes, cup cakes are particularly easy to make in the microwave. You can find many different recipes on the internet, so you should be able to find one that suits your taste.

How do I clean a small microwave?

In general, it is important to clean your microwave regularly. For fresh dirt, a damp cloth is often enough. However, if the dirt has already dried up, a damp cloth will not be able to remove it.

Vinegar water is ideal for cleaning these dried-on stains.

  1. To do this, simply fill a microwave-safe box with water and add a little vinegar.
  2. Place the box in your microwave and leave it on maximum for five minutes. The water evaporates, settles on the walls and dissolves the encrustations with the help of the vinegar.
  3. Finally, give it a quick wipe to really get rid of the last bits of dirt.

If you want to avoid the smell of vinegar, you can simply put a slice of lemon in the water. However, you must then run the microwave for 10 minutes.

Photo source: 123rf.com / Andriy Popov

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