Can you Use a Microwave without a Turntable? Is it Necessary?

If you occasionally travel along bumpy off-roads in your RV then the glass plate in the microwave can disengage from the tray, break or wobble once loosened, stopping the food in the microwave from being heated evenly.

Should you use a microwave if the glass plate is broken? Is the plate really necessary? Do all microwaves have it?

Read on to find out if you can and should a microwave without a turntable and if it is safe and advisable to do so.

The Microwave Turntable – Why it’s needed

By the microwave turntable rotating clockwise or anticlockwise, the food in the microwave is cooked more uniformly.

Without the rotation, for example, should the glass plate be broken, there is a risk that the heating will be applied unevenly with some portions of the food being cooked more than others!

It is reported too 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.

Must a Microwave Have a Turntable?

No, not all microwaves have turntables- microwaves that use flatbed technology do not have turntables yet cook evenly and have more usable space for containers.

Can you Use a Microwave without a Working 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.

Contact a qualified microwave technician to get the microwave fixed.

Is it Safe to Use It?

You may be able to use the microwave provided it still heats and the fan still runs and cools provided there is no other fault condition. Make sure you rotate the food container periodically else there is a danger of the food burning (heat applied to one area) or cooking unevenly.

Why a Microwave Turntable May Not 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.

Do not hesitate to contact a qualified microwave repair technician.

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Can a Faulty Microwave Turntable be Repaired?

Yes, depending on the nature of the fault, you may be able to repair it. For example, if the glass plate is broken or simply stuck, you can buy a 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.

Look for the serial number of the turntable on its underside and search for a matching replacement turntable. 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 cleaned. The turntable may also not be moving because the motor is not receiving power or is damaged.

For this, contact a qualified microwave oven technician for assistance.

Tips to Protect a Microwave turntable

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

#1. Wait for the glass plate to cool before washing it to minimize it cracking

#2. If popping corn, place a plate under the turntable to minimize the chance of the glass plate breaking as a result of excessive heat.

#3. 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. It is safe to replace it to avoid the risk of injury to yourself.

The chipped point can be a point of weakness that makes the glass plate more susceptible to breakage later.

Is a Microwave Turntable Necessary?

A microwave can still heat and cook if the turntable is not rotating however, there’s a risk that the cooking should be uneven. The turntable rotation ensures that the food is uniformly heated.

Some microwaves use flatbed technology and do not use turntables.

Closing Thoughts

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 reduces the amount of energy being reflected back to the magnetron which can damage it.

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