Why Does Microwave Spin? (Science Behind It…!)

Microwaves have been in use for decades now. Earlier, they weren’t much technologically advanced.

Old models of microwaves didn’t have spinning trays and were called flatbed microwaves. Because the food couldn’t rotate, it was heated unevenly. That’s why manufacturers have come up with the latest versions of microwaves that have spinning trays and ensure that the food gets evenly heated.

The latest models of microwaves have a rotating tray inside that aids in equal heat distribution. The best part is that this rotating tray can even change directions! If you have bought a new microwave or are planning to buy one, this guide is for you.

Does The Microwave Have To Spin?

No, it’s not compulsory for all microwaves to spin. It’s possible to heat or cook food in a microwave that doesn’t have a spinning tray. The catch here is that if your microwave has a turntable, it will ensure better heat distribution and therefore, proper heating of food.

Why Do Microwaves Spin?

Why Do Microwaves Spin

Microwaves spin to ensure the food inside gets cooked and heated uniformly. Microwaves are based on the principle of radiation. The microwaves produced inside penetrate into the uncooked or cold food and heat up the molecules present inside the food. To ensure even distribution of heat, spinning the food is important.

If your microwave oven doesn’t have a turntable and is a flatbed model, there will be cold spots, caused due to uneven heating of the food.  In that case,owners have to stop the microwave in between, stir the food and restart the microwave again to facilitate proper heating.

This cycle must be performed specifically while heating awkwardly shaped items, which do not have a symmetry, because some portions of the food will get heated faster than the rest.

The resultant item coming out of the microwave wouldn’t be perfect but things would be worse if you do not stop and stir the contents inside while using a flatbed model. The cold spots surrounded by hot spots in food will neither be satiating nor safe to consume.

Why Do Microwaves Spin In Different Directions?

Why Do Microwaves Spin In Different Directions

Do you know modern day microwaves do not only come with the spinning feature but also spin in different directions when switched on. A lot of microwave owners wonder why. Here’s your answer.

Spinning in different directions isn’t a purposefully designed feature introduced by manufacturers. It’s an inherent property of the kind of motor that’s used in a microwave to turn the turntable.

Microwave uses an AC motor to rotate the turntable. These Ac motors are usually cheap and therefore they do not contain any kind of start up circuit inside them. That’s why, once energized, they will start spinning in any direction that’s easiest.

What Happens If Your Microwave Doesn’t Spin?

What Happens If Your Microwave Doesn't Spin

Microwaves produced inside the oven encounter interference. This results in the formation of cold and hot spots in food. If the microwave doesn’t spin,  multiple cold spots occur in the food, making the food unhealthy to be consumed. If you use a microwave that doesn’t spin, you might have noticed cold spots present in food after heating it in the oven. 

We have already mentioned that without the rotation of turntable, the food wouldn’t be properly, evenly heated. The spinning of the microwave is important for even distribution of microwaves at all angles.

The only way to avoid consuming food with cold spots is to stop the microwave and stir the contents at regular intervals. However, if your microwave comes with the spinning feature, you need not worry about proper heating of food. Once you place the food on the turntable in a microwave, you are sure to get a uniformly heated meal.

Microwave trays can spin 360° turns or in 180° clockwise and counterclockwise motions, alternatively. The direction of rotation however doesn’t matter, as long as the tray is spinning.

If your microwave doesn’t spin, it’s still usable. It’s just that you must keep several things in mind while heating food in a flatbed microwave model. When using a flatbed microwave, you have to do the work of a turntable manually.

These models too function like the ones that come with a turntable, but not as efficiently as the latter. Also, the flatbed models of microwaves have a reduced life expectancy than the latest models that spin.

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Are There Microwaves That Don’t Spin?

Yes, there are models of microwaves that do not spin. Such microwaves are called flatbed microwaves. These models work on a different technique, unlike the turntable models. Nowadays, the flatbed models of microwaves have been revamped which allows for even heat distribution inside the oven, eliminating the need to stop and stir the contents for the best results.

Microwave ovens that use the flatbed technology emit microwaves from a rotating antenna, which is found beneath the ceramic base of the appliance. This means that the energy is produced at the base of the appliance and then distributed all around the interior space.

The emitted microwaves bounce around the cavity at different angles. When using the latest models of flatbed microwaves, homeowners do not even have to reheat food multiple times to get rid of the cold spots.

Why Do Commercial Microwaves Not Spin?

To answer simply, commercial microwaves do not rotate because they do not need to. They are manufactured differently than the regular microwave models. They are designed specifically to withstand high rates of usage and higher volume of food.

Commercial microwaves without a turntable have a bigger interior space. People can easily place multiple containers inside at the same time, without overcrowding and cook or heat more than one item conveniently.

These microwaves are hence meant to heat larger quantities of food. Turntables are absent in these models because dishes are so large that it becomes difficult for the table to rotate swiftly.

Also, these commercial models do not have a turntable because they ensure proper heat distribution. Food when placed inside a  commercial microwave gets cooked well, without spinning.

Amazingly, these commercial microwaves come with a flat ceramic base that makes them easier to clean and maintain.  Without a rotating table, these flat bases are extremely easy to be maintained and kept clean. Since there’s no spinning, chances of food splashing are also minimal.

These models of microwaves are extremely popular and appropriate in commercial settings where people have hectic schedules and do not have time to clean their every other day.

Specifically designed to cater to the endless demands that flow into a restaurant or commercial kitchen, these commercial microwaves can be used throughout a day. Microwaves with a spinning tray are unable to withstand such heavy usages, as the tray can break any moment. That aptly explains why commercial microwaves do not come with turntables.

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The Bottom Line

Microwaves are one of the most commonly used home appliances worldwide. There’s hardly anyone in today’s time who doesn’t use a microwave. They have made cooking and heating food so much easier and less time taking.

However, the growing popularity of microwaves wouldn’t have been so much, without the presence of a turntable. Thanks to the idea of a turntable inside the microwave that food gets evenly heated.

Now that you have a thorough idea of flatbed microwaves, microwaves with a turntable and commercial microwaves, we hope you would be able to make an informed choice depending on your requirements.

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