March 9

7 Best Microwaves without Turntables (Flatbed Microwaves)

Written by: Michael

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Hate your microwave because the turntable alway gets in the way?

Or maybe you're sick of having to clean all those extra components? Whatever your reasons, there are some obvious disadvantages to turntable microwaves.

Thankfully, microwaves without this spinning contraption do exist.

Surprisingly, these flatbed microwaves are just as good as the ones with a turntable – and sometimes they're even better! 

They're generally easier to clean and more versatile when it comes to the size and shape of what's being microwaved.

To make your search as simple as possible, we've placed the best microwaves without turntables all in one place. If you have any questions, don't hesitate to leave a comment at the bottom of the page. 


Table of Contents
benefits of microwave without turntable infographic

Pros and Cons of a Microwave without a Turntable


Pros:

  • It's usually easier to clean
  • Less components that can break
  • You can fit more of the item you are microwaving in one go
  • They're often more compact than other microwaves
  • They can be more expensive (since some of them are used commercially)
  • They're usually very simple to use


Cons:

  • Programming the custom setting buttons can be challenging
  • Not very many have the preset buttons like "popcorn, potatoes," etc.
  • Many of them have a fan that turns on before and after cooking
  • Not as many options to choose from

Does a Turntable Actually Microwave Food More Evenly?


microwave-turntable

I think there is an important distinction to be made here. There are 3 different types of microwaves worth investigating.

1) There are the old school microwaves with no turntable. 

These are dinosaurs and you really shouldn't even be able to find them anymore. But these had zero technology to send radio-waves evenly throughout the food. This was a time where you were expected to rotate the dish throughout the cook time.

2) There are the microwaves with turntables. 

These are similar to the old school dinosaurs, with the simple upgrade of a rotating plate to ensure radio waves are distributed more evenly. Great for even heat, terrible for cleaning and bulkier food items.

3) Now there are the no-turntable, flatbed microwaves. 

These are able to emit the radio waves evenly through the microwave by rotating the energy output instead of rotating the turntable.

Great for even heat and great for cleaning. 

The only downside being that most options are of the commercial variety. With that said, we found some hybrids that are reasonable enough to work in both residential and commercial settings.

How Do Microwaves without Turntables Cook Evenly?


panasonic-microwave-2

There are a few different technologies, but the common theme is that each is able to rotate the energy emitted to heat the food evenly.

This is in contrast to the food needing to rotate.

Instead of rotating the food, it rotates the energy. 

7 Best Microwaves without Turntables


1) Panasonic Countertop 1000 Watt 0.8 cu ft Microwave Oven

panasonic-microwave
panasonic-microwave-2

Specs

Dimensions: 12-inch x 20-1/8-inch x 16-1/2-inch (exterior)
Capacity: 0.8 cu ft (8-1/16-inch x 13-inch x 13-inch interior)


1000 Watts

1000 watts is the standard for most home microwaves and we never really hear any complaints about the power. You'll find exceptions, but 1000 watt output is usually a solid place for everyday microwave useage.


6 Power Levels

6 power levels is the most available of any of the microwaves on our list. If you're a home chef and like complete control over the amount of heat you provide at one time, this is definitely the microwave for you.


Push Buttons

We find that people generally prefer push buttons over touch screen. Push buttons are usually way more dependable and will last longer.


Preset Time Options

10 seconds up to 3:30 minutes but you can customize this with the programmable memory pads


20 Programmable Memory Pads

If you have foods you cook often that have predetermined cook times, this is an awesome function. Customize up to 20 settings to give you easy push-button functionality.


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons: Actually on all units with buttons and commercial intention, but maybe still worth noting.
  • X2 Quantity Button: Cooking 2 things at once? If you've dialed in the time it takes to cook one, push your preset button, then press the x2 button to thoroughly cook both.
  • Bolt Down Anti-Theft Option: If for any reason you're paranoid of your microwave getting stolen (they are pretty expensive), there is a bolt down option for anti-theft functionality.


Pros:

  • Very positive remarks on the evenness and quickness of cooking
  • People continually spoke on how easy it was to use
  • Beep can be turned off
  • smooth interior for easy cleaning
  • Has a strong hinge and a real door handle


Cons:

  • No preset buttons like "popcorn" or "defrost"
  • Expensive
  • Beeping is very loud (but you can turn it off)
  • Panasonic's customer service isn't great

2) Sharp Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven

sharp-microwave

Specs:

Dimensions: 20 1/2"W x 12 1/8"H x 16"D
Capacity: 1. 0 cu Ft (13 7/8"W x 8 1/8" X 14 5/8"D internal dimensions)
Weight: 37 lbs


Stainless Steel Exterior

Stainless steel is a favorite for appliance appearance and overall longevity.


1000 Watts

Again, 1000 watts is really the standard for most high quality microwaves. We haven't seen many complaints about power output.


1 Power Level

This can be a downside or an upside based on your cooking preferences. 1 Power level makes it super simple to dial in your microwaves cooking power. However, if you like to stage cook, 1 power level won't offer you any options. The only exception to this is the defrost setting which divides the cook into 3 different power levels.


Push Buttons

Push buttons are very common in commercial settings because they tend to outlast anything else.


10 programmable memory pads

Customize your cook preferences by adding specific cook times to each button.


Warranty

1 Year limited warranty, 3 year magnetron warranty (through SharpUSA website)


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons - on all units with buttons and commercial intention, but maybe still worth noting.
  • Express Defrost with 3 Stages with 3 Power Levels: This allows you to defrost initially slowly (to prevent scorching the outside without cooking the inside), then gradually increases power levels to cook the food thoroughly.
  • X2 Quantity Button: A 2x button is great for those who like to cook multiples of the same foods.


Pros:

  • Customers generally felt like their food was cooked evenly (no cold spots)
  • Unanimously positive reviews regarding the speed of cooking (besides the rare faulty units).
  • People like the handle much better than the push button to open
  • Simple to use (great for the elderly)
  • You can turn off the beep setting


Cons:

  • Does not offer partial power settings (100% or nothing)
  • Does not offer stage cooking
  • Customer service isn't great for residential areas
  • No "Add a Minute" button

3) AmazonCommercial 1800 Watt 0.6 Cu Ft Microwave Oven

amazoncommercial-microwave
amazoncommercial-microwave-interior

Specs:

Dimensions: 16.5 x 22.2 x 13.4 inches (exterior)
Capacity: 0.6 cu ft
Weight: 66.1 lbs


Stainless Steel Exterior

Stainless steel is a favorite for appliance appearance and overall longevity.


1800 Watts

The highest wattage on our list, and it shows. Customers repeatedly spoke on how fast the unit was able to heat.


Push Buttons

Push buttons are very common on commercial flatbed microwaves but you can also find dials. Check below on microwave #7 if you're more interested in a dial controller.


5 Power Levels

Lots of power levels to give you full customization of the amount of heat you'd like to transfer to your food.


Programmable multi-stage cooking

USB allows you upload up to 100 custom programs. This is great if your cooking a lot of different items.


10 programmable memory pads

There are 10 buttons to choose from.


60 Min Max Cook Time

This is a usual safeguard for microwaves. Cooking anything longer than 60 seconds can be a fire hazard if you're not careful.


Warranty

Warranty is not clear on Amazon (waiting for a response here).


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons
  • x3 and x2 Buttons: If you're cooking in multiples, this is the only microwave on our list that offers the x3 option.
  • Defrost


Pros:

  • Customer said it cooks very fast (1800 watts is a lot of power)
  • No cold spots
  • Easy to use
  • Sleek stainless steel style
  • You can turn off the beep setting
  • Stage cooking


Cons:

  • Buttons are somewhat difficult to press
  • Programming process takes some getting used to
  • Very heavy
  • No "Add a Minute" button

4) AMANA 1000 Watt 1.2 Cu FT Medium-Duty Microwave (RCS10TS)

amana-microwave

Specs:

Dimensions: 25.7 x 19.8 x 17 inches
Capacity: 1.2 Cubic Feet
Weight: 48 lbs


Stainless Steel Exterior

Stainless steel is a favorite for appliance appearance and overall longevity.


1000 Watts

You're going to be hearing this a lot from me in this article, but 1000 watts just seems to be the sweet spot for microwaves.


Push Buttons

Push buttons are common on these no turntable microwave. We predict it's because the people who are looking for something without a turntable are the simple type who like things with less moving parts.


5 Power Levels

More power levels just means more customizations with your cooks. You'll ultimately have more control so we recommend for power levels for chefs or avid home cooks.


100 Memory Settings

100 memory settings which is usually way more than most people need, but they're there.


4 Cooking Stages

Cooking stages allow you to change the cooking type throughout a single cook. Again, this is a great option for those looking for optimal control.


60 Min Max Cook Time

A safety limit to lessen the chance of leaving the microwave on indefinitely.


Warranty

1 year parts, 3 years magnetron


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons
  • 4 Cooking Stages


Pros:

  • Very good responses with customer service
  • Programming custom presets is handy
  • Convenient simple to use preset buttons
  • Built in the USA
  • Sturdy, heavy duty materials


Cons:

  • Fan automatically turns on when you open the door and automatically turns on after the cook is finished (10-15 seconds each)
  • Complaints of the microwave showing up with dents (shipping issues)
  • Not made for residential use (commercial only)

5) Midea 1000 Watt 0.9 cu ft Commercial Microwave Oven (1025F1A)

mideo-microwave
midea-microwave-interior

Specs:

Dimensions: 17 x 20.13 x 12.13 inches
Capacity: 0.9 Cubic Feet
Weight: 36.4 lbs


Stainless Steel Exterior


1000 Watts

With the exception of one microwave, all models on our list advertise at 1000 watt output. This seems to be energy that 90% of people are happy with.


Push Buttons

Another push button model to keep things easy and simple.


5 Power Levels

5 Power levels to allow you to achieve 0%, 20%, 50%, 70% and 100% power which is great for those who like ultimate control.


100 Memory Settings

While 100 presets might be overkill for some, the options are there so you can continue to add new custom cook times as necessary.


3 Cooking Stages

3 cooking stages is a nice average for those usually use 1 stage cooking, but like the option to be there on those rare occassions.


60 Min Max Cook Time

A safety precaution to make sure your microwave doesn't stay on for unsafely long periods of time.


3 Year limited exchange warranty

One of the longest warranties available.


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons
  • Can hand a 12" platter or 6" pan with cover
  • x2 button (to handle two separate items)
  • Door-like door handle
  • Stackable design


Pros:

  • Very good response on the ease of use
  • Door like handle is a plus for those who like a heavier duty appliance
  • Stackable design for those who are running a larger kitchen
  • 3 Cooking stages and 100 memory settings to customize your cooking type.
  • unit commercial


Cons:

  • Some people continually complaint about the fan coming on whenever you open the door (this is however intentional to the design)
  • Complaints of the microwave giving out too quickly
  • Not a lot of reviews to get a good consensus on true quality

6) Waring Commercial 0.9 Cu Ft 1000 Watt Microwave (WMO90)

waring-microwave
waring-microwave-buttons

Specs:

Dimensions: 20" x 17" x 12.25" (link to specs)
Capacity: 0.9 Cubic Feet (link to specs)
Weight: 38.95 lbs


Stainless Steel Exterior

Nice, sleek stainless steel exterior to fit seamlessly with the modern style kitchens.


1000 Watts

The average wattage for most microwaves these days (turntable or no turntable).


Push Buttons

Push buttons are the favorite for their simplicity of use. One push and your cooking.


5 Power Levels

5 Power levels is the most we see and this is great for those who like more options with their cooking. The power percentages are 0%, 20%, 50%, 70% and 100%.


10 Programmable Memory Pads

10 Buttons in total but 100 different memory settings to customize


100 Memory Settings

Memory settings allow you to figure out the perfect cook time for a particular food, and then set a custom button for that cook time.


3 Stage Cooking

3 Stages of cooking to allow you to take something front defrost (low power) to browning (high power) all in the same cook.


60 Min Max Cook Time


1 Year limited warranty (through Waring company)


5 Foot Cord Length


Unique Features:

  • Braille Buttons
  • x2 button (to handle two separate items)
  • Door-like door handle


Pros:

  • Good responses involving even heat
  • "Dependable and very easy to use"
  • A "perfect light duty microwave"
  • Great for those who use their microwave infrequently, but when they do, they want fast and even heat.


Cons:

  • Only has a 1 year warranty
  • Complaints about it giving out right after warranty period
  • Not great responses from people who used it a lot

7) Midea Equipment 1000 Watt 0.9 Cu Ft Microwave (1025F0A)

midea-equipment-microwave
midea-equipment-microwave-interior

Specs:

Spec sheet can be downloaded here

Dimensions: 22 ⅞'' x 18 ⅞'' x 15'' (external dimensions)
Capacity: 0.9 Cu Ft (12 ⅞'' x 13 ⅝'' x 7 ⅞ Cavity dimensions)
Weight: 32.4 Lb


Stainless Steel Exterior


1000 Watts


Knob/Dial Controls

Our one and only dial microwave selection. Dials can be a little limiting due to only allowing so many options, but as far as ease of use goes, nothing beats it.


***Max Cook Time is 6 Minutes

Max cook time is 6 minutes which makes this a nice addition to a retirement home. Lower maximum cook time makes it less consequential when the you forget your cooking.


1 Power Level

Simple, 100% power design


15 Minute Increments up to 6 Minutes

Cooking something 15 seconds more or less than it should, is usually pretty inconsequential. 15 second intervals is a good average.


Menu Guide Display

Shows the usual microwave times for common foods. These aren't set in stone, but a good reference.


Warranty 

1 year parts, 3 years magnetron


Pros:

  • Great for those who only use their microwaves for meals that require heating for 6 minutes or less
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Very sleek stainless design
  • Great for the elderly (great for retirement homes)
  • A lot of positive responses with ease of cleaning


Cons:

  • More complaints about the fan being annoying and staying on too long.
  • Some said it was a bit loud
  • Some received a dented package (rare but possible)


Conclusion


If you’re in the market for a new microwave, I highly recommend buying one without a turntable. You’ll save yourself some hassle when it comes to cleaning and you’ll have more room to work with. Plus, they tend to be pretty simple to use comparatively!

Have you ever tried using a microwave without a turntable? We're interested to hear about your experience. Any favorite models? Let us know how it went in the comments below.

Cheers,

Michael

Founder of Robust Kitchen 


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About the author

Michael spends his days eating, drinking and studying the fascinating world of food. He received his Bachelors Degree in Food Science and Technology at the University of California, Davis and spent much of his time at the school brewery. While school proved to be an invaluable experience, his true passion lies in exposing the hidden crannies of food for the cooking laymen.

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