Tired of cleaning and maintaining all moving parts inside your microwave oven? A microwave without a turntable could save the day. This appliance designed for commercial use has become more and more popular among homeowners, too.
Its main advantage is the lack of a turntable. There is no carousel inside the oven; thus, fewer parts to clean and maintain. And you’ll never have to worry about dropping the turntable and breaking it – especially since microwave turntables aren’t universal, and it could be hard to find a replacement.
Convinced that you need such a microwave oven? To help you out, I spent hours researching and testing flatbed microwaves. Read on to find the best microwave for you.
What is a Microwave Turntable?
A microwave turntable is a microwave glass tray that sits on a plastic support ring. The turntable motor rotates the ring – and, hence, the tray – when the oven is on, regardless of the cooking selection. This movement ensures an even distribution of the microwaves and heating of the food.
Some turntables only rotate in one direction. However, most microwave turntables rotate in both directions. The spinning direction changes at determined intervals.
How Does a Microwave Turntable Work?
A microwave turntable function works by rotating clockwise or counterclockwise during any cooking selection. The pace is predetermined and generally slow; this motion is designed to ensure even heating of the food and eliminate hot spots.
Some microwaves with turntables have the option to turn the turntable on and off. When this option is enabled, the tray won’t rotate, and you’ll be able to use the oven with rectangular cooking pans that wouldn’t fit otherwise.
Alternatively, you can opt for a flatbed microwave. Flatbed microwaves are microwaves without a spinning plate. These ovens still have a rotating motor that moves the stirring blades under the flatbed. Thus, they still ensure even heating and cooking.
The main advantage of this system is that there are fewer moving parts inside the oven’s cabinet. Cleaning the oven is easier, and you can use it with trays of any shape and size.
Can I use a Microwave Without a Turntable?
You can use a microwave without a turntable if your microwave has the option to switch off the turntable or if it’s a flatbed.
If you have a traditional turntable microwave oven with no option to switch off the motor, you should avoid using it without the turntable. The reason is that the motor will keep spinning, but if you place a heavier tray or pan on it, the higher load could lead to overheating or even damage to the component.
Should I buy a Microwave With or Without a Turntable?
Flatbed microwaves come with clear advantages over traditional models, but they are generally more expensive. If you’re looking for a commercial-grade unit that cooks and reheats food fast, a microwave with no turntable is for you. If you’re on a budget and would rather save a buck, go for a traditional model.
You may also want to buy a microwave without a turntable if you need a new appliance for your food business.
What to Look for in a Microwave Without a Turntable?
If you have decided that a flatbed microwave oven is what you need, here are the most important things to check before buying:
What do you want to cook in your microwave, and for how many people? A small-capacity microwave is perfect for one or two persons; an appliance with a capacity of two cubic feet or more can suit a larger family.
Flatbed microwaves come in a variety of styles. Whether you need a simple or combination microwave, an inverter microwave, or a commercial microwave, there are plenty of models you can choose from.
Ease of use
Check out the control panel. Is it intuitive, or do you have to read the manual to figure it out? An oven that is easy to use is a better addition to your kitchen.
An 800-watt unit is an ideal choice if you need a budget microwave for occasional use. For frequent use or a larger family, get one that has at least 1,000 watts.
Finding the right cooking time and power can be a hassle sometimes. Pre-programmed cooking settings adjust the parameters automatically at the touch of a button.
Best Microwave Without Turntable
1. Panasonic NE-1025F Light-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
This Panasonic countertop microwave is an excellent choice for cafes, hotels, offices, or break rooms in general. It may not be one of the most popular domestic microwaves, but it suits home users just fine. The light-duty appliance has a capacity of 0.8 cubic feet and up to 1,000 watts of power.
That’s more than it takes to cook rolls, cheese, popcorn, or reheat burgers. You can also use it to brew or reheat hot drinks, including coffee, hot chocolate, and tea.
The no-frills design makes it a cinch to use. All you have to do is switch the dial and set the right time for whatever you want to cook. At any time, you can simply open the door to stop the cycle.
Why I love it
Using this solo microwave is as easy as it gets. There is no complicated control panel or ways to program cooking settings. Just turn the dial timer to set the time and close the door. A convenient cooking guide printed under the time dial makes it a breeze to heat or cook microwaved dishes.
Like all commercial ovens, this one can be used in public spaces such as break rooms or office cafeterias. To prevent theft, Panasonic integrated a bolt-down installation feature.
Finding a flatbed oven with a timer that goes up to six minutes is rare, but Panasonic doesn’t disappoint. The timer has 10-second increments from zero to 60 seconds and 15-second increments from one to six minutes.
What could be better
No commercial microwave comes with pre-programmed settings, but most give you the possibility to program them yourself. However, the Panasonic NE-1025F doesn’t have this feature.
No defrost option
While you can cook frozen burritos and sandwiches with this oven, the appliance doesn’t have a defrost function for frozen foods that need thawing before cooking.
2. Sharp 15-0429 Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
Whether you’re looking for a medium-duty commercial microwave oven or a flatbed microwave that’s more versatile than the Panasonic, the Sharp 15-0429 fits the bill.
This countertop microwave has a one-cubic foot capacity and up to 1,000 watts of power. Like the Panasonic NE-1025F, it only has one power level. However, it boasts 20 memory settings, ten of which are pre-programmed and ten that you can program yourself.
An intuitive control panel ensures an easy operation. Setting the personalized cooking options is also easy, each memory featuring 1-second increment timing. Ideal for busy kitchens, the oven also has built-in safeguards that prevent unauthorized setting changes.
Why I love it
One of Sharp’s greatest advantages is the possibility to choose from ten pre-programmed settings and ten memory settings that you can personalize.
Built with busy commercial kitchens in mind, this microwave oven boasts a defrost feature with three stages and three power levels. You can thaw meat, vegetables, and even frozen pastries in the blink of an eye.
Double quantity button
This button allows you to cook two servings at a time without bothering with time adjustments. The appliance will calculate the right time for you.
What could be better
This brushed stainless steel microwave looks incredibly stylish, but it’s harder to clean than a polished version. If you need it for a busy kitchen, this could be an issue.
3. Panasonic NE-1054F Heavy-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
The Panasonic NE-1054F is a heavy-duty countertop microwave designed for busy commercial or industrial kitchens. It has fewer bells and whistles than Sharp, missing the defrost function, but it has a superior build quality.
An intuitive control panel makes it easy to operate. Like Sharp, it comes with ten pre-programmed settings and empty memory slots that let you program customized cooking options. The Braille-marked buttons also make this oven a good choice for people with disabilities.
Capacity and power are similar to its light-duty cousin: 0.8 cubic feet capacity and 1,000 watts of power. An important difference is the possibility of adjusting the power level. In fact, the Panasonic NE-1054F has six power levels – all that you need to satisfy your customers or family.
Why I love it
Whether you need a microwave for your business or a commercial-grade unit for home use, the NSF certification basically means that the oven is easy to clean and maintain.
In addition to the pre-programmed microwave cooking functions, I love that you can save your own settings to memory. Cooking time can vary from ten seconds to 3.30 minutes, with 1-second increments.
Keeping an eye on your food is easy, thanks to the see-thru door and bright interior light. Stopping the cycle or doubling the time is also easy with the touch of a button.
What could be better
While the microwave has excellent performance, quality control issues may lead to overheating and having you believe that the unit is defective. These problems are generally easy to fix.
From a heavy-duty unit, I would have expected a defrost option. While it is an excellent choice for cooking quick meals or reheating food, it won’t help you defrost meat faster.
4. Midea Equipment 1025F0A Light-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven
Midea light-duty commercial microwave oven is similar to the Panasonic NE F above but has a slightly larger capacity – 0.9 cubic feet. The power output, 1,000 watts, is similar, but the oven may suit busier cafes or food businesses.
A convenient time dial and menu guide make it easy to use, even if it’s your first time using a microwave. Not only does it suit busy venues, but it is a good option for home use, too, especially if you’re not particularly fond of touchpads and pre-programmed functions.
The oven doesn’t have any memory functions or pre-programmed settings. You can, however, set the cooking time up to six minutes. Throw in the stylish design and affordable price tag, and you’ll see how this unit’s a bargain.
Why I love it
All it takes to set the dial back to zero and reset the cooking time is to open the door. This will interrupt the cycle and allow you to set the cooking time again.
Full stainless steel construction
This oven is made of stainless steel inside out. The interior is easy to clean and sanitize.
Incandescent interior light
In a world of LED lights, it turns out that incandescent oven lights make it easier to see inside the microwave as you’re cooking.
What could be better
A few pre-programmed settings or a memory function would have made the operation easier. That said, operating the microwave truly is child’s play.
This microwave’s fan is rather annoying. It is loud and keeps running after you’ve opened the door and ended the cycle.
Microwave Without Turntable Comparison Table
|Panasonic NE-1025F||Sharp 15-0429||Panasonic NE-1054F||Midea Equipment 1025F0A|
|Capacity||0.8 cu. ft.||1.0 cu. ft.||0.8 cu. ft||0.9 cu. ft.|
|Max power||1,000 watts||1,000 watts||1,000 watts||1,000 watts|
|Cooking memory/programs||N/A||20 (10 pre-programmed)||20 (10 pre-programmed)||N/A|
|Timer dial/keypad||Yes; 6 minutes||Yes; 3.30 minutes||Yes; 3.30 minutes||Yes; 6 minutes|
Microwave Without Turntable Advantages and Disadvantages
Capacity: The lack of a turntable maximizes the space inside the oven’s cabinet. You can fit in larger trays and pans.
Easier cleaning: Flatbed microwaves have few nooks and crevices inside. There isn’t any carousel either, making it very easy to clean.
Even cooking: Microwaves without turntables heat the food more evenly compared to traditional microwave ovens.
Fewer pre-programmed options: Designed for commercial use, flatbed ovens feature simple control panels with little or no pre-programmed functions.
Limited cooking options: These ovens are ideal for making sandwiches or hotdogs, but the maximum time is too short for cooking more elaborate meals.
How to Maintain a Microwave Without a Turntable?
All you have to do to maintain your microwave without a turntable is to clean it with baking soda and white vinegar, preferably weekly. To do that:
1. Fill a microwave-safe cup with white vinegar and microwave it for a minute or two. The vinegar steam will dislodge the grease from the oven’s walls.
2. Open the door and let it cool. Sprinkle baking soda and scrub with a sponge soaked in white vinegar.
3. Rinse with clean water and wipe dry with a microfiber cloth.
Microwave Without a Turntable – FAQs
How Important is the Turntable Plate in a Microwave?
A turntable is important if your microwave comes with one. In these appliances, your food would heat unevenly if the turntable misses. That said, flatbed ovens have better heating abilities.
Why are Microwaves Without a Turntable so Popular?
These microwaves are easier to maintain, longer-lasting, and easier to operate.
Why do Most Commercial Microwaves Lack a Turntable?
A turntable and carousel can trap crumbs and food scraps, which could easily pose a hygiene issue.
They also need more maintenance and break easier. For these reasons, most commercial microwaves lack a turntable.
A microwave without a turntable is an excellent choice for your business or heavy-duty home use. People who prefer simpler operations and fewer bells and whistles may also prefer these microwaves. I hope this guide can help you select the best one for you.