Cracked microwave turning table -
| |

Do Microwaves Need Turntables? (Tips You NEED To Know!)

If you’re like most of us, you depend a lot on your microwave when heating up food. As a result, it gets dirty quite often.

You’ll need to clean it regularly—but as you scrubbing away inside the microwave and remove the turntable to get underneath on the bottom, you accidentally let it slip and fall.

You’re lucky that no one got hurt, but your glass turntable breaks into a million pieces. It’s almost dinner soon and you got to microwave some food.

As you clean it up you’re wondering whether or not microwaves need turntables.

This article will answer that question.

Do microwaves need turntables?

For microwaves that usually come with turntables then yes, they do need it.

The microwave arrays in a turntable microwave don’t cover every area of the microwave chamber. These rays, in fact, point in one fixed location as it runs.  as a result, it generates both hot spots and cold spots within your food.

By using a turntable that’s constantly turning your food, more areas of your food will come in contact with those microwave rays to create better evenly cooking results.

Do microwaves work without turntables?

Since the actual cooking gets done by fixed microwave rays that make contact with your food inside of microwave, it’s important to have your food moving around while your microwave is actively cooking.

Microwaves work by using electromagnetic waves to heat food. The microwaves are produced by a magnetron, which is located inside the microwave oven. The microwaves bounce around inside the oven and are absorbed by the food.

However, not every spot of the microwave is reached by these waves.

What engineers and manufacturers have done to solve this issue is to build in a spinning turntable. The spinning turntable will spin the food around allowing more of it (but not all of it) to make contact with the waves and produce the heat required to cook the food.

Microwaves will still work even if there is no turntable or if it’s broken. Microwaves don’t have sensors that detect whether or not the turntable is set inside.

You can still cook your food in a microwave that is not turning. However, the danger is in not evenly cooking your meal thoroughly.

How to microwave without a turntable

If you find yourself using a microwave with a broken turntable then there are a few things you can do:

  • Try to find a replacement for your broken turntable. You can usually reach out to the manufacturer, by Universal parts, or just find something lying in your kitchen cabinets that is microwave-safe to cook on.
  • If you’re not sure how to fix the problem and you’re thinking it has something to do with the motor itself, then you may need to reach out to and appliance electrician. These people can find the necessary parts and install them to get your microwave back up and running properly again.
  • If you don’t have the budget and you don’t have any items in your home that can replace the glass plate, then you can still microwave your food in the microwave. It just won’t turn. Make sure to stop the microwave frequently and stir the food around to help distribute the heat.
  • You can also stop the microwaving process every 30 to 45 seconds and turn your plate manually. This isn’t a very effective approach since it will take you much longer to cook your meal in a microwave then usual.
  • You can also try using a different cooking appliance like your oven or your stove top to cook your meal until you can get the turntable microwave repaired.

What can you do if your microwave glass plate has broken?

If your microwave glass plate has broken, you have a few options for replacing it. You can purchase a replacement plate from the manufacturer, buy a universal replacement plate, or find a suitable substitute.

Manufacturer replacements

The easiest way to replace a broken microwave glass plate is to order one from the manufacturer. This will ensure that the replacement plate fits your microwave perfectly and that it meets all safety standards.

However, manufacturer replacements can be expensive.

Universal replacements

Universal replacement plates are less expensive than manufacturer replacements and they will also fit most microwaves.

However, you may need to trim the edges of the universal replacement plate to get it to fit properly in your microwave. And because they are not specifically designed for your microwave model, they may not meet all safety standards.


You can also use a tempered glass baking dish or other microwave-safe dish as a substitute for a broken microwave glass plate.

Just make sure that the dish is big enough to fit inside your microwave and that it is safe to use in microwaves (tempered glass or ceramic is usually safe).

What are the risks of using a microwave without a turntable?

  1. Food may not cook evenly without a turntable, leading to potential undercooked or overcooked areas.
  2. Without even cooking, food placed in the microwave may still rotate and cause uneven heating. This can lead to potential hot spots that could start a fire or cause burns.
  3. If there is no turntable to rotate the food, the microwaves will not be evenly distributed and could potentially damage the oven itself.

Why do microwave ovens have turntables?

One reason why microwave ovens have turntables is that it helps to distribute the microwaves evenly throughout the food, leading to more even cooking.

Another reason is that the turntable helps to prevent hot spots from forming in the food.


The main benefit of having a turntable in a microwave oven is that it helps to cook food more evenly. This is because the turntable rotates the food so that all sides are exposed to microwaves at some point during cooking.

This prevents hot spots from forming and ensures that the food cooks evenly all over. Hotspots can likely cause you to burn your mouth if you bite into the wrong areas of your unevenly cooked meal


One drawback of having a turntable in a microwave oven is that it can make it more difficult to reach all areas of the food with a utensil when you want to stir or turn it during cooking.

Another drawback is that larger items may not fit on the turntable or may not rotate properly, which can also lead to uneven cooking.

Do all microwave ovens have turntables? Flatbed microwaves don’t

No, not all microwaves need turntables.

Flatbed microwaves have a large, flat surface on which food can be placed. This design means that there is no need for a turntable to rotate the food.

Instead of having a table underneath the microwave that spins, flatbed microwaves have an antenna it spins underneath the base of the microwave cooking it from below.

As a result, waves are generated evenly across the surface of the microwave, ensuring that food is cooked evenly.

Advantages a flatbed microwaves

The main advantage of flatbed microwaves is that they offer more space for cooking larger items. This can be particularly useful if you regularly need to reheat large plates of food or cook larger items such as casseroles.

Additionally, flatbed microwaves tend to be easier to clean than those with turntables, as there are no nooks and crannies for dirt and grime to build up in.

Disadvantages of flatbed microwaves

One potential disadvantage of flatbed microwaves is that they may not be as good at defrosting food as those with turntables. This is because the waves generated by a flatbed microwave don’t circulate around the food in the same way as those from a turntable microwave.

As such, it’s worth considering whether you’ll need to use your microwave for defrosting before making your purchase.

Can a microwave turntable be repaired?

What causes a microwave turntable to stop working

There are several reasons why a microwave turntable might stop working. The most common reason is that the drive belt or motor has worn out.

Other possible causes include a build-up of grease or dirt on the turntable or damage to the electrical wiring.

How to repair a microwave turntable

If your microwave turntable has stopped working, you may be able to repair it yourself.

  1. First, check to see if the drive belt or motor has worn out.
  2. If so, you can purchase replacement parts from most hardware stores.
  3. If there is a build-up of grease or dirt on the turntable, you can clean it with warm soapy water and a soft cloth.
  4. If there is damage to the electrical wiring, you will need to consult an electrician for repairs.
  5. Finally, if there’s no way to fix your microwave, then you might have to just replace it with a new one.

Flatbed vs. turntable microwave

Advantages of flatbed microwaves

  • Flatbed microwaves evenly cook food without the need to rotate the dish.
  • The lack of a turntable means there is more room inside the microwave, so it can accommodate larger dishes.
  • Flatbed microwaves are easier to clean since there is no turntable to remove.
    Advantages of turntable microwaves:

Advantages of turntable microwaves

  • The rotating plate ensures that food is cooked evenly.
  • Turntables can be removed, making them easier to clean than flatbed microwaves.
  • Turntable microwaves are very affordable.

Disadvantages of flatbed microwaves

  • The lack of a turntable can make it difficult to evenly cook large or irregularly shaped dishes.
  • It can also be difficult to clean the flat surface since there are no nooks or crannies for crumbs or spills to collect.
  • Flatbed microwave start usually much more expensive than regular turntable microwaves.

Disadvantages of turntable microwaves

  • The rotating plate can make it difficult to evenly cook large or irregularly shaped dishes.

So, which type of microwave is better? Flatbed or Turntable?

It really depends on your needs and preferences!

If you have the budget to afford a flatbed microwave, cook large meals, and you want an easy cleaning experience, then go for the flatbed microwave.

If you are on a budget and don’t mind the extra cleaning involved or the smaller capacity, then go for the turntable microwave.

Other interesting articles: