Why Do Microwaves Need A Rotating Plate?

Whether you’re reheating leftovers or cooking a quick meal, the convenience of a microwave is hard to beat. 

But have you ever wondered why microwaves come with a rotating plate?

Why do microwaves need a rotating plate? After all, wouldn’t it be simpler to just heat the food in one spot?

In this article, we’ll explore the reasons behind the rotating plate in a microwave. 

What is the Purpose of the Rotating Plate in a Microwave?

The rotating plate in a microwave serves several purposes:

  • It helps to ensure even heating of food by distributing the microwaves uniformly.
  • Without the rotating plate, certain areas of the food may be overcooked or undercooked, resulting in an unevenly cooked meal.
  • It also helps to prevent hot spots, which occur when microwaves concentrate on one area of the food.
  • The rotating motion of the plate ensures that all sides of the food are exposed to the microwaves, leading to more thorough cooking.
  • It also helps prevent splatters which may cause burning or scorching.

How does the Rotating Plate in a Microwave Work?

The rotating plate is typically driven by a small motor located underneath the plate. 

The motor turns a small gear, which in turn rotates a larger gear attached to the plate. 

As the plate rotates, the food on top of it is exposed to microwaves from different angles, which helps to ensure that the food is cooked evenly.

What Happens When a Rotating Plate in a Microwave is Not Used?

When a rotating plate in a microwave is not used, several things happen; 

First, the food may not heat evenly, as the rotating plate helps to distribute the microwaves throughout the food, ensuring that it is heated uniformly. 

Without the plate, some areas of the food may be overcooked while others remain undercooked.

Second, the microwave itself may get damaged.

The plate serves as a buffer between the food and the microwave’s interior.

This protects the walls of the microwave from damage caused by overheating or excessive splattering.

Finally, without the rotating plate in place, the food may spill over and create a mess inside the microwave. 

The plate helps to keep the food contained thus preventing spills, which are difficult to clean up.

The spills may also cause the microwave to malfunction if they are not promptly addressed.

Do all Microwaves Have a Turntable?

No, not all microwaves have a turntable. 

Some microwaves have a turntable, which rotates the food inside the microwave to ensure even heating. 

Other types of microwave ovens use other methods to distribute the microwaves evenly, such as a rotating antenna or fan.

Some higher-end microwaves may have a stationary cooking surface, and instead, use inverter technology to evenly distribute the microwaves.

Commercial microwaves used in restaurants may not have a turntable to offer more space.

Whether a microwave has a turntable or not depends on its design and intended use.

How Fast Should the Rotating Plate in the Microwave Rotate?

The rotating plate in a microwave oven typically rotates at a speed of 2.5 to 3 revolutions per minute (RPM). 

This slow rotation speed helps distribute heat evenly throughout the food to ensure your food heats evenly.  

The exact speed of the rotating plate can, however, vary depending on the specific make and model of the microwave oven.

Can You Disable the Rotating Plate in a Microwave?

You may choose to disable the rotating plate in certain situations. 

For example, if you are cooking a large dish that cannot fit on the rotating plate.

Another situation is if you are reheating food that is best left stationary (e.g., a slice of pizza). 

In these cases, you will need to manually turn the dish or stir periodically to ensure even heating.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you Replace a Broken Rotating Plate in the Microwave?

Yes, it is generally possible to replace a broken rotating plate in a microwave. 

Most microwave manufacturers sell replacement plates that are compatible with their specific models.

Simply purchased from their website or a third-party supplier.

Remove the old plate and insert the new one according to the instructions in the user manual.

Contact the manufacturer for assistance if you need any.

Can you use a Microwave without a Rotating Plate?

Yes, you can use a microwave without a rotating plate. 

Your food may, however, not cook evenly as the rotating plate helps to distribute the heat. 

It is recommended to stop the microwave and manually stir or turn the food at regular intervals for even cooking.

Are there any Safety Concerns with the Rotating Plate in a Microwave?

Yes, there are potential safety concerns with the rotating plate in a microwave, to keep in mind. 

If the plate is cracked or broken, it could cause the microwave to malfunction, which could lead to a fire.

This can also lead to an electrical shock

Again, the plate may also become hot during use, so it’s important to use caution when removing it from the microwave.

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