Do They Make Microwaves Without Turntables?

August 18, 2022
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Microwaves Without a Turntable

Microwave ovens without a turntable have their advantages and disadvantages compared to traditional microwaves with a turntable plate.

With a few pros and cons, you should be better able to draw a conclusion on which suits your needs.

If you feel like you’ve outgrown your turntable microwave, there are two main categories of microwaves that usually don’t have a glass turntable (or any turntable at all): a microwave drawer and flatbed microwaves.

Microwave Drawers

A microwave drawer is a space saving microwave that is actually installed within your kitchen cabinetry. 

This is a space saving design, and you can see in the video below that these microwave drawers pull out horizontally rather than swing open like a traditional microwave oven.

A Sharp Microwave Drawer Frees Up Counter Space in Your Kitchen

Besides taking up less counter space and fitting seamlessly into your kitchen cabinetry than a countertop microwave oven, the microwave drawer can also be a breeze to operate. 

In the video above, the microwave drawer comes out with just the push of a button.

Microwave drawers can be more expensive than traditional microwaves.  A quick glance at microwave drawers on at the time of this writing shows that the drawers range in price from $800 to $3,000 or more.

Microwave Drawers to Consider

Below we take a closer look at a few microwave ovens that are actually microwave drawers that don’t come with turntables so that you can find the best microwave for your individual needs.

Sharp SMD2470AS Microwave Drawer Oven

The Sharp Microwave Drawer Oven is a sleek, efficient choice for your kitchen needs.


  • One Touch Open and Hands-free automatic drawer close
  • Convenient kitchen placement for easy cooking
  • Concealed control panel with 45° angle for easy reading

The Sharp SMD2470AS Microwave Drawer Oven boasts a 1.2 cu. ft. capacity and 1000 watts of cooking power, making it suitable for various dishes.

The hands-free automatic drawer system allows for smooth opening and closing, which is particularly helpful when holding hot pots or multitasking in the kitchen.

Featuring a concealed control panel that opens to an easy-to-read, 45-degree angle, this microwave drawer oven fits seamlessly into any kitchen design.

Its convenient placement allows for easier access to your dishes while cooking, making it a more efficient choice for those with limited counter space.

COSMO COS-12MWDSS 24 in. Built-in Microwave Drawer

This microwave drawer is a practical choice for space-saving and efficient cooking.


  • 1000 watts power with 11 levels
  • Convenient cooking presets
  • Smart defrosting options (weight / defrost)

The COSMO COS-12MWDSS Microwave Drawer helps you save space in your kitchen by integrating seamlessly into your cabinetry. This top-loading microwave drawer keeps your countertop clutter-free with its built-in design.

With 11 power levels and 1000 watts of cooking power, you can prepare a wide variety of meals with precision and delicious results.

The Cosmo Appliances Microwave Drawer 12MWDSS Menu Guide

Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven

Consider the Sharp KB-6524PS if you want a sleek, spacious, and user-friendly microwave drawer oven.


  • Roomy 1.2 cubic feet interior
  • AutoTouch feature for easy opening and closing
  • Sensor Cook technology reduces guesswork

The Sharp KB-6524PS 24-Inch Microwave Drawer Oven is a revolutionary kitchen appliance designed to maximize space and enhance cooking experience.

Its 1.2 cubic feet interior offers ample cooking space, accommodating a 4-quart casserole dish or a 20-oz. beverage from your favorite coffee shop. This microwave drawer oven will help you cook larger meals with ease.

One standout feature of the Sharp KB-6524PS is the AutoTouch key that opens and closes the door automatically when your hands are full. This thoughtful design saves you time and effort while cooking, making your kitchen experience even more enjoyable.

The oven also boasts Sensor Cook technology with 11 sensor programs, taking the guesswork out of cooking and defrost times.

Flatbed Microwaves

A flatbed microwave oven is a microwave that doesn’t use a turntable to rotate food as it cooks.  A flatbed microwave distributed microwaves so that it adequately and evenly cooks the food without the need to rotate the food on a turntable.

Flatbed Microwave Advantages

There are two main advantages to a flatbed microwave when compared to a traditional microwave ovens:

More Space

If you don’t have a turntable in the microwave, you will have more usable space inside of the microwave.  This comes in especially handy if you’re trying to defrost or cook large / bulky food that doesn’t easily fit on a turntable.

Easier to Clean

Compared to turntable microwaves, flatbed microwaves are a breeze to clean. With no turntable or turntable wheels to remove or clean around, the flat surface can be simpler to wipe down.

There are no food particles to worry about cleaning and removing from beneath the turntable or on the wheels

Flatbed microwaves are commonly used in offices for this reason alone, the cleaning process is far easier and faster. You no longer need to disassemble the turntable and worry about accidentally damaging it. With a flatbed microwave, you can instantly start cleaning.

  • You can expect less splashing of your food as it no longer needs to spin.
  • Fewer parts to worry about
  • More uniform energy distribution

Your microwave is reliant on fewer compartments. The fragile turntable mechanics have been known to damage easily.

Your microwave will never be out of order due to a glass plate shattering or tiny motors being clogged.

Since most flatbed microwaves are more advanced, they can cook food more evenly compared to a traditional microwave.

Flatbed Microwave Disadvantages

Flatbed microwaves are more expensive due to the more advanced technology they employ.  

Most flatbed microwaves are for professional use, so the cost associated with them is a little higher.

Flatbed Microwaves to Consider

Below we take a look at two flatbed microwaves to help you find the best microwave for your requirements.

Panasonic Countertop Commercial Microwave Oven NE-1054F

With its impressive features and performance, this stainless steel microwave is perfect for commercial, home, or dorm room use.


  • Heavy-duty commercial-grade design
  • Bottom energy feed system for fast cooking
  • Touch-control keypad with Braille and programmable memory


  • Large size may occupy significant counter space

The Panasonic NE-1054F is a heavy-duty, commercial-grade microwave designed to withstand high usage in various environments like full-service restaurants, convenience stores, hotels, cafeterias, and even homes or dorm rooms.

Its bottom energy feed system ensures fast and efficient heating of dishes like plates, casseroles, coffee mugs, and other common kitchenware.

The no-hassle grab & go handle is durable and reliable for smooth operation, and the touch-control keypad with Braille features 10 programmable memory pads and a 20-memory capacity, ensuring ease of use for everyone.

With six power levels, two and three-stage cooking options, and 99:99-minute capacity, cooking flexibility is available at your fingertips.

However, its large size may occupy significant counter space, so ensure you have enough room before purchasing. Some users may find the noise level on the louder side, but this is a trade-off for its robust performance.

Additionally, this microwave may have trouble heating food in thicker layers, so it's best to spread out dishes evenly for optimal heating.

Farberware Countertop Microwave 700 Watts, 0.7 cu ft

Consider this compact microwave oven by Farberware for a user-friendly and efficient option in your kitchen or office.


  • Compact design saves space
  • Ten power levels and one-touch cooking options
  • Child-safety lock for added security

The Farberware Countertop Microwave is an excellent choice for small spaces such as apartments or office break rooms. The compact design allows it to fit neatly on countertops without occupying too much space.

This feature, combined with its sleek brushed stainless steel appearance, makes it an attractive option to blend well with your kitchen or office ambiance.

This microwave offers ten power levels and six one-touch cooking programs for popcorn, potatoes, pizza, and more. This customization simplifies the cooking process and makes it easier for you to prepare various dishes without a fuss.

However, some users have noted that the unit may take slightly longer to heat certain items as compared to other microwaves, which could be due to its compact size and 700-watt output power.

One of the main conveniences of this microwave is its child-safety lock, which is an essential feature for families with small children. This lock ensures that the microwave cannot be accidentally turned on by a child, providing an added layer of security in your home or office.

Despite having incredible features and a compact design, some users mentioned that the buttons on the microwave could be slightly difficult to press.

Additionally, the internal width of the oven might be slightly smaller than advertised, which might limit the size of dishes you can heat inside.

Overall, the Farberware Countertop Microwave is a reliable, user-friendly, and space-saving option for kitchens and office break rooms. Its versatile settings and safety feature make it a sound investment, despite some minor drawbacks.

The Historical Role of the Turntable in Microwaves

The microwave oven has become a modern-day kitchen essential by providing many options in a small box; For its time, it was groundbreaking to be able to instantly reheat a cold meal, make popcorn, or defrost any frozen food with a countertop microwave.

The key to the success of microwaves is in the amount of overall cooking time they have saved.

The introduction of a turntable within the microwave oven cavity helped to ensure better cooking.A microwave turntable fills a vital role in microwaves by providing superior consistency in the heating process of meals compared to those without them. 

This rotating turntable function allows food to be heated more uniformly. The turntable motor within the microwave rotates the round glass tray (the turntable) - which allows for even heating.

Turntables played a large part in their growth to popularity; The addition of a turntable to microwaves has helped them perform better and cook food more evenly.

Without a turntable, the microwave energy is unable to consistently heat the food - oftentimes resulting in hot and cold spots throughout your food, which is unsatisfactory and can even present food poisoning hazards from undercooked foods.

Cleaning a Microwave with a Turntable

There are advantages offered by having a turntable and disadvantages associated with one; figuring out if you need one can help with your decision when looking for a good microwave.

Microwaves without a turntable are called flatbed microwaves and can cook food evenly through different methods, negating the potential need for an assisting turntable.

Why are Turntables Important?

Microwaves tend to focus on some areas more than others; this is the cause of hot and cold spots in your food.

Microwave cooking was greatly improved with the addition of turntables. Turntables work on rotating your food to distribute the blind spots produced by most microwaves.

A study has remarked on uneven cooking produced by most commercial microwaves and that turntables quickly mend this problem; they work on improving the heat uniformity to offer better-heated foods.

The waves inside a microwave tend to collide with one another and cause interference; the interference causes a new wave with a different potency.

The more potent microwaves have heightened energy which causes hotspots by prolonged contact with the food.

While some microwaves tend to collide and merge, others might repel one another and dispel completely; With no waves, certain spots get far less attention and end up causing cold spots.

A simple rotation of the food at a consistent interval is enough to balance out all the uneven spots caused by the insides of a microwave; by having the food spin around, no areas are influenced heavily by colliding microwaves, and the result is evenly cooked meals.

In the case of the microwave, waves are emitted and then refracted inside the container; as a result, your food heats up from the meal coming into contact with the waves and absorbing them.

Closeup Look at a Microwave Turntable - Note the Wheels on the Bottom to Assist with Rotation of the Food

The magnetron is the main component of a microwave oven, as it produces microwaves; these waves cause water molecules to vibrate and heat the food.

Foods with a high water content heat up more quickly than other foods due to being more affected by microwaves.The FDA has released a guide describing how to cook with a microwave and includes some safety tips.

Origin of Microwaves

In 1945, an engineer by the name of Percy Spencer created the microwave; while he was testing a vacuum tube and noticed an odd occurrence, the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted!

After more experimentation, Spencer realized he could heat foods such as popcorn and eggs; after some tinkering, he created a box for the mechanism and designed the first microwave in history.

Radarange was the first commercial microwave sold to households in 1964.

In 1975 microwaves were making more sales than gas ovens!

The luxury of convenience offered by microwaves was too alluring for many.

Introduction of Turntables to Microwaves

The addition of turntables to microwaves aided in the marketing efforts of microwaves; turntables promised food was cooked with more uniformity and was better to use.

The addition of the turntable to the microwave was to combat the issue of unevenly cooked food.

One of the first commercially sold microwaves with a turntable, the R-600 was offered by Sharp in Japan as early as 1966.

While the majority of microwaves included a built-in turntable, some did not.

In 1980 a company called Nordic Ware sought to take advantage of the growing rise of microwaves that lacked a turntable; aftermarket turntables such as the Micro-Go-Round added a rotation mechanic to microwaves that lacked the feature.

The product aimed to meet the demand of consumers wanting to equip turntables for all their microwaves; to this day, third-party turntables are still being manufactured and sold.

Is a turntable essential?

There are microwaves designed to function without a turntable, but they are more expensive than a conventional microwave.

A microwave can work fine without a turntable, but you risk facing hot and cold spots in your meals and potentially damaging your microwave.

All microwaves with a turntable are constructed to work with it. It serves as a shield against microwave interference. Using a microwave without the turntable that comes with it runs many risks.

As stated, encountering hotspots in your food may occur. Additionally, it might cause burns if you are not careful. There is also the possibility of your food not being cooked right due to cold spots, resulting in uncooked food.

There is also a high risk of causing damage to the magnetron, the device that generates the microwaves that cook your food.

It is unadvisable to use a microwave without its turntable as it was designed to work with it. Whether it be a broken or faulty turntable, fixing the issue while still small is highly recommended. Repairing a damaged magnetron will be more tricky and expensive.

Can a turntable be repaired?

Depending on the cause of the malfunction, repairing your turntable might be a good option.

If the glass plate breaks during cleaning, finding a replacement for the exact model of your microwave is the only option. Using a cracked glass plate is not recommended as it might be further damaged.

If the glass plate of your turntable looks fine but does not rotate, food might be lodged in it causing a blockage of the mechanism.

After clearing the mechanism of any debris, it should spin if the issue was due to the blockage.

If your turntable fails to spin after clearing it of debris, the motor might be damaged and require repair. Replacing the turntable mechanism is plausible for any DIY’er, but if you don’t feel confident in your skills a professional repair shop is the next best step.

Unfortunately, it maybe cheaper to replace your microwave than repair it. Make certain to get an estimate before deciding to fix a broken microwave.

How to keep your turntable safe

There are a few tips for keeping your turntable safe and preventing accidental damage.

  • Before popping corn, lay a plate above the turntable to reduce the head contact and keep the risk of your glass plate breaking to a minimum.
  • Ensure your turntable is correctly fitted before use, and practice care when adding or removing heavy items from the microwave.
  • Before washing your glass plate, wait until it fully cools down since its last use. Washing your glass plate while it's still hot might cause accidental cracking.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!

About Me
Frank Salvatore
I created this site as a comprehensive kitchen resource. You'll find everything you need to know about everything in your kitchen. From appliances to utensils and layout - it is covered on this site!
Learn More About Me
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