Microwaves can come with a spinning plate or as an open area that does not spin. Newer microwaves without a spinning plate will hold larger dishes, fit rectangle trays and are easier to clean. Spinning microwaves are better for more even heat distribution. While both microwaves need to you to mix your food to distribute the heat, spinning microwaves do this a bit better.
I have owned spinning microwaves with trays and our latest microwave does not spin and has just an open area to put your dishes. After many years now with a non-spinning microwave I am happy to report there are pros and cons with both
Spinning vs non-spinning microwaves – How to choose the right one for you
Here are my top tips when choosing a spinning or non-spinning microwave.
Non-spinning microwaves easier to clean
The biggest pro of a new, non-spinning microwave is that it is much easier to clean than spinning microwaves with a plate. To clean a non-spinning microwave it only needs to be wiped down with a damp cloth.
Using warm soapy water and a sponge you can remove any food splatters and get the inside clean using just a sponge or wipe. Spraying some eucalyptus spray and wiping it off will get any stubborn pieces of food off without using harsh chemicals.
To clean spinning microwaves the spinning plate and pieces will need to be taken out and cleaned individually in warm soapy water and then the rest of the microwave needs to be cleaned. This process involves and extra step.
Food can also get stuck in and around the plate, so it needs to be lifted and cleaned underneath.
The size and shape of your dishes
The benefit of a non-spinning microwave is that you can fit larger and square or rectangle dishes with ease. Because you are not restricted by the fact that the plate needs to spin, you can use a rectangle dish and it won’t spin and hit the edges.
Spinning microwaves work best with round dishes or smaller square plates. Making sure it has enough space to spin means you will have less choice over the dishes you choose and you will need to watch to see if it ends up knocking into an edge.
Where you will put your microwave
Choosing a spinning or non-spinning microwave can be determined by the size of the place you have to put your microwave. Some non-spinning microwaves can come in very large sizes but will not fit in all kitchens.
Check the size of the space you have before you buy your new microwave. This will help you to choose between a spinning and non-spinning microwave.
Stirring my food in a spinning and non-spinning microwave
Stirring food once or twice as you heat food up in your microwave is an essential step. For non-spinning microwaves I find that the heat is more concentrated than spinning microwaves to certain spots.
It is important to mix food in both microwaves and so at the end, both will heat up the food evenly. Food that need heating for longer will may need to be mixed multiple times in both spinning and non-spinning microwaves.
Is a turntable microwave better?
A turntable microwave moves the food around inside to help to evenly distribute the heat. The food is heated up more evenly than one that does not spin in my experience, but once you stir the food this is cancelled out.
When heating food, stop it half way through, stir the food and place it back in for the reset of the rest of the cooking time. The food will heat up more evenly by stirring it 1-2 times.
Is it bad if your microwave doesn’t spin?
New microwaves are being sold without a spinning function and many workplaces are opting for non-spinning microwaves. The main reason for this decision is that they are easier to clean and can be very powerful. Good quality non-spinning microwaves can be wiped out, heat food up well and with a few stirs will heat up food evenly.
Tips for using non-spinning microwaves
After owning a non-spinning microwave for over 5 years now, here are my top tips for using a non-spinning microwave.
Use a container a few inches smaller than the microwave
While a non-spinning microwave has a big space it might be tempting to put a container in that only just fits in the space. It is much better to chose a smaller container as it will heat up quicker and more evenly.
Smaller amounts of food heated in a microwave will just work better. Single serves of pasta, soup or casserole will only take a few minutes of heating from fridge temperature.
I like to use Pyrex dishes in my microwave as the glass heats up more evenly, transfers heat well and can be reused over and over again.
Stir the food more often
The best way to get even heat in a non-spinning microwave is to stir it an extra time compared to those that spin. Mixing twice instead of once will make all the difference when using a non-spinning microwave and will give you even heat throughout.
Are microwaves that spin better? | Summary
Microwaves that spin are better at distributing heat across the food more evenly while in the microwave as it moves and the microwaves are able to hit different parts of the food. This heats up different parts of the food and with a quick stir half way through most food will be fully heated.
Microwaves that do not spin are better for cleaning as they take a simple wipe. They will heat up food well but may need to be stirred 1-3 times throughout the heating process to move the heat all the way through the food.
My latest microwave does not have a spinning tray and I love it. For me the easy cleaning process of a non-spinning microwave wins it for me so I am happy with my choice.
If you have a spinning microwave these are also great, just remember to take the spinning plate out and clean it regularly.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.