Can You Use a Microwave Without a Turntable? (3 Helpful Tips to Protect It)

If you’ve ever removed your microwave turntable for a quick cycle in the dishwasher, only to realize you needed to microwave something in the meantime, you may wonder, can you use a microwave without a turntable? I mean, is it really necessary?

In this article, we’ll answer these questions for you and provide you with a little background on the purpose of the microwave turntable. If your turntable is broken or in the process of being cleaned, read this article!

You can use a microwave without the turntable; however, cooking food without it may cause your meal to heat unevenly. The turn table rotates the food to ensure it all receives the proper amount of radiation to properly warm all sides of the dish. Without it, you may experience cold spots. Cooking without it is perfectly safe, however.

For more information on microwave cooking without a turntable, read on!

Can you use a microwave without a turntable?

What’s the purpose of a microwave turntable?

So what does a microwave turntable do? The main function of a microwave turntable is to ensure the food is cooked more uniformly.

Without the rotation, there is a risk that the heating will be applied unevenly, with some portions of the food being cooked more than others! If you’ve ever tried to reheat a bowl of pasta only to find every third bite to be chilled, then you’ve experienced what might happen if you microwave without a turntable.

It has also been reported that the glass plate absorbs and therefore reduces how much of the microwave energy is reflected back to the magnetron (microwave tube), preventing damage to it. Though this claim is not directly supported by any notable studies.

Can you use a microwave without a turntable?

You may still be able to use the microwave if the turntable is not working, provided the microwave can still heat food (and the fan still works). To ensure that the food is cooked uniformly, you’ll probably have to stir the food or rotate the container periodically.

There are some microwaves that are made without a turntable, but if you’re using one that was made to have a turntable and simply aren’t able to use it, then you’ll definitely need to stir or rotate the food to make sure it heats evenly.

Is it safe to use a microwave without a turntable?

It’s perfectly safe to use a microwave oven without a turntable. The only negative side effect of doing so is the uneven heating of your food. The only time this might create a safety issue is if you don’t closely pay attention to how evenly your food is cooking and fail to fully cook something that ought to be fully cooked.

For example, if you’re microwaving uncooked meat, you’ll want to make sure you flip or rotate it if you’re cooking in a microwave that’s supposed to have a turntable but, for whatever reason, doesn’t. Obviously, in this case, it’s the uncooked food that causes the safety issue, not some kind of issue with the microwave itself.

What is a flatbed microwave?

Not all microwaves have turntables. Microwaves that use flatbed technology do not have turntables yet cook evenly and have more usable space for containers. These microwaves are designed with not turntable and simply distribute the microwaves in a uniform manner that allows the food to cook evenly without spinning.

Why doesn’t my microwave turntable turn?

If the microwave turntable is not turning, check:

  • If there’s a button that switches the rotation of the turntable on/off. If it is supported, confirm that it is switched on.
  • Make sure the turntable is seated properly on the coupler. Do the roller wheels rotate freely? If not, this, too, can be an issue.
  • Remove any food particles or other debris that may be restricting the movement of the wheels.
can you use a microwave without a turntable

Can a faulty microwave turntable be repaired?

Yes, depending on the nature of the fault, you may be able to repair a faulty microwave turntable. For example, if the glass plate is broken or simply stuck, you can buy and fit a replacement glass plate quite easily and get it working again.

To get the size that fits your microwave, you can check for a replacement turntable for your microwave oven. These can be purchased quite easily from online retailers such as Amazon.

If the turntable is not turning, it might be that there is food stuck under the wheels of the ring.

This can be removed, and the underside of the turntable can be cleaned. The turntable may also not be moving because the motor is not receiving power or is damaged.

In this case, you may want to look into purchasing a new microwave as, in most cases, repairing the appliance will cost just as much as buying a new one.

What type of glass are microwave turntables made of?

Microwave turntables are typically made of a heat-resistant type of glass, like borosilicate glass. This type is commonly used due to the high temperatures involved in heating food. The glass turntable absorbs some radiation from the microwave, but this absorption is minimal at temperatures below 400°C.

In an experiment, it took a microwave power of over 1 kW and 10 minutes of exposure to heat up the glass (SiO2) to such high temperatures. Therefore, for lower power levels and shorter durations, the glass turntable does not significantly affect the microwave’s radiative properties.

This is evidence to suggest that the assertion I made earlier regarding the radiation absorption properties of glass turntables may not be as effective as some would claim.

Tips keep your turntable from being damaged

You can protect your microwave’s turntable from damage by being mindful of the following tips.

  • Wait for the glass plate to cool before washing it to minimize it cracking
  • If popping corn, place a plate under the turntable to minimize the chance of the glass plate breaking as a result of excessive heat.
  • Make sure the turntable is fitting properly when placing or removing food items from the microwave to reduce the chances of it accidentally breaking.

Is it safe to use a Microwave with a chipped turntable plate?

While you may be able to use a microwave with a chipped glass plate to cook, it is not recommended. The chipped point can be a point of weakness that makes the glass plate more susceptible to breakage later.

When the inside temperature of the microwave reaches a critical heat level, the glass could shatter. To avoid this possibility, it’s best to simply replace the chipped turntable.

Closing thoughts on microwave turntables

Whereas you can cook or warm food with a microwave if the turntable is not installed, many manufacturers do not recommend this.

The rotating turntable helps with the uniform cooking of the food and may reduce the amount of energy being reflected back to the magnetron, which can damage it.

Can you use a microwave without the glass plate?

Yes, some microwaves are designed for use without a glass plate, while others will simply not heat food as evenly as they would if you were to use the plate.

Where to buy microwave glass plates?

You can purchase microwave glass plates on Amazon or at your local big-box appliance retailer.

Can you use a microwave without the waveguide cover?

It’s not recommended that you use a microwave without the waveguide cover. This cover protects you and your food from excess radiation. It’s not worth the health risks.

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