You might be confused regarding which offer has the best package when it comes to shopping for microwave oven options. There are many choices available there as well as microwave types (over-the-counter and countertop).
This is why this guide exists. It’s here to assist you in finding the best flatbed combo microwave out there that saves you space while giving you the best microwave technology has to offer. So what’s the best flatbed microwave (without turntable)? Keep on reading to find out. We’ve covered some of the best ones we could find.
Buyers Guide on Flatbed Microwaves
Compared to the classic turntable microwave oven models, flatbed microwaves have the benefit of having additional space to them. It’s because it uses a rotating antenna that’s located at its base in order to distribute its microwave rays across its interior.
With that said, what factors do you need to take into consideration in picking a flatbed microwave?
How Do Flatbed Microwaves Work?
The rotating antenna on the base of the flatbed microwave that distributes microwave rays inside the appliance is the turntable replacement of a typical standard countertop microwave. This gives you more internal space for bigger meals while ensuring even microwaving regardless.
On that note, there are different subtypes or categories of flatbed microwaves as well. Learn more about them below.
What are the 3 Types of Flatbed Microwave?
There are 3 types of flatbed microwaves you can purchase—grill, combo, and solo.
- Solo Flatbed Microwave: The solo flatbed microwave, like the mini microwave, is a personal use microwave with limited functionalities. It’s mostly used to reheat, heat, or defrost food, with limited applications to cooking meals.
Because they’re more limited, they’re also more affordable. They’re great if you’re searching for a large, basic, yet dependable kitchen microwave.
- Combination Flatbed Microwave: As for the combo flatbed microwave, they offer a combination of different features you can use together or independently for cooking meals. They can grill, brown, crisp, roast, or reheat food.
This is the microwave option for people who wish to have a more complete microwave, even if they’re of the flatbed variety. They’re a great appliance for your kitchen when cooking meals with multiple ingredients.
They’re particularly handy during Christmas and Thanksgiving as a supplementary oven while your main conventional oven is being used to cook turkeys or something. They range from $500 to $2,500 depending on the make and model.
- Grill Microwave: This is the least common flatbed microwave since it’s mainly available as a turntable microwave. The grill microwave acts as a solo microwave but has a grill function. However, they’re more expensive than solo microwaves.
The extra grilling feature serves as its method of cooking on top of its basic reheating capabilities. They have slightly more versatility compared to solo microwaves that mostly do simple cooking, defrosting, and reheating.
Advantages of a Flatbed Microwave
The advantages of buying a flatbed microwave include the following.
- The Cooking Capacity is Increased: You have more space for your dishes compared to the turntable microwave due to the lack of the turntable. You don’t need additional space for the food to turn because the flatbed microwaves it from the bottom to the top.
Moreover, there are also a wide range of sizes available so that if you lack countertop real estate, you can instead opt for a smaller microwave. If you have a larger family, you can spend extra for a larger capacity model that’s still space-saving in its own right.
- Cleanup is a Breeze: Because flatbeds have wide openings and no removal internal accessories, it’s easier to clean. It’s even easier to clean than conventional ovens, in fact. It’s just a metal box where you place your food for microwaving.
The lack of a turntable you have to put in the dishwasher or hand-wash yourself makes all the difference. Many a flatbed microwave tends to feature special coating on the interior to make wipe-downs with a dish cloth quite easy.
- Food is Cooked Evenly: You might be afraid of food not cooking evenly due to the lack of a turntable. Don’t worry about that. Flatbeds boast of incredible technological advances that cook food in a more even manner compared to your standard turntable microwave.
Even though it lacks a turntable, the flatbed microwave’s modus operandi allows bottom-to-top and 360° microwaving of your food from the inside to the outside. Convection or grill microwaves push this on another level, allowing crisping or browning of microwaved items.
- Food is Cooked Faster: Due to the food cooking evenly with the flatbed’s bottom energy feed system you can also end up with food that’s cooked faster as well. Long story short, the 700 watt to 1 kilowatt of power is applied more efficiently on a flatbed.
The wider capacity of a flatbed also ensures that the microwaves have more room to bounce around, cooking the food or reheating your leftovers from the inside out. Heating your dinner plates, casseroles, and coffee is more efficient with a turntable-free flatbed microwave.
- Durability or Hardiness: Regardless of the appliance, the rule of thumb remains the fewer moving parts it has the longer it will last because there are fewer parts that will eventually wear down over time.
In contrast, the turntable microwave’s most common cause of damage is either the plate breaking or the plate turning mechanism ending up jammed. Because the flatbed lacks a turntable, the machine tends to be more durable by default.
- Fewer Parts to Replace: Additionally, there are fewer replacement parts required by this microwave type. You don’t need to hunt for glass turntables that are the right size for the right model when your original turntable breaks.
There are no glass turntables to replace, rollers to wear down, or rotating mechanisms to gum up when you’re using a flatbed microwave. No need to detach or dish-wash anything either. Therefore, this microwave type tends to last longer than the turntable type.
Disadvantages of a Flatbed Microwave
These microwaves do have their cons even though they mostly have pros. For one thing, they’re more expensive than their turntable counterparts. You can mitigate such costs due to the lower repair costs to be sure.
The bottom-to-top microwaving itself isn’t as much of a disadvantage because you want fast and even cooking from your food without it rotating like a vinyl record. It’s more about how much you have to pay extra to get a microwave unit like this.
The fewer extra features on your flatbed purchase the cheaper its cost will be. You can also limit the use of additional features to make it last longer or get the appliance while on sale. The expensiveness is worth it but many college students or mere tenants will find it prohibitively pricey.
Reviews for the 2 Best Flatbed Microwaves
Here are the 2 best flatbed microwaves out there. Let’s talk about them and why they’re the best on the market to date.
1. The Heavy-Duty Commercial-Grade Combo Flatbed Microwave Choice with Touchpad
|Capacity||0.8 cubic feet|
|Size||16.56 x 20.12 x 12 inches|
|User Interface||Touchpad or touchscreen|
The Panasonic NE-1054F is a heavy-duty commercial-grade microwave of the flatbed or no-turntable variety. It’s a countertop flatbed microwave oven with 10 programmable memory presets, bottom energy feed, and touch screen control.
Its touch screen version costs about $280 (this product). The dial control timer version costs $250. It has a capacity of 0.8 cubic feet and a maximum power level of 1,000 watts or 1 kilowatt. It even features Braille to help out the vision-impaired.
It comes complete with stainless steel construction, touch screen control, and bottom energy feed. It’s ideal for fast-food restaurants and full-service restaurants as well as break rooms, cafeterias, hotels, and offices. This is because it’s an efficient microwave oven with a multitude of functions.
It can also take heavy dorm room or home usage. It’s built of sterner stuff in order to withstand multiple uses for meal-making, leftover-reheating, and food-defrosting. It has the requisite advantage of having more room due to the lack of a turntable.
2. A High-Powered, Medium-Duty Microwave with Auto-Cancel Timer and 1 Power Level
|Capacity||1 cubic feet|
|Size||21 x 16 x 12 inches|
|User Interface||Rotary dial|
The Sharp R-21LCFS Medium-Duty Commercial Microwave Oven is a 120-volt flatbed microwave with 1 kilowatt of power and 1 cubic foot of capacity. The interior is larger and you make more use of its overall capacity.
This is a medium-duty commercial flatbed microwave oven with an auto-cancel timer and heating time guide because it only has 1 power level. It has a higher capacity than the Panasonic NE-1054F at the very least.
Its control knob stops in incremental spots on its readout and its latches are protected from damage care of the handle mechanism. The knob clicks unto every incremental setting for your convenience and for cooking precision.
We also know that the Sharp Flatbed’s claims in regards to its 1,000 watts of power is true because when we tested it out, 1 cup of water starts to boil at just over 1 minute or around 50 seconds, which indicates the wattage is right about where it should be.
Furthermore, the surface is easier to clean because you don’t have to worry about lugging around the turntable to and fro the dishwasher appliance or the kitchen sink for hand-washing.
Reviews for the 4 The Best Microwave with turntable
1. The Tough-as-Nails Steel Microwave Known for Its Cooking Programs and LED Lighting
|Capacity||1.1 cubic feet|
|Size||20.2 x 16.54 x 12.03 inches|
|User Interface||Numeric keypad and buttons|
As for the Farberware B01EIZSF6I, it’s a stainless steel countertop microwave oven with a 1.1-cubic-foot capacity (more than either the Panasonic NE-1054F or the Sharp R-21LCFS), 6 cooking programs, LED lighting, and 1 kilowatt of power.
Its 6 cooking programs include auto cooking for dinner plates, frozen vegetables, pizza, potato, and popcorn. It’s a microwave that provides you with convenient control, thus eliminating the need for guesswork.
It’s a simple and easy-to-use microwave with bright and long-lasting LED lighting. It also comes with 6 cooking program presets or modes. Also, more room and a larger surface area for your dishes.
You can avail of the stainless steel variant (this product) at around $119. Copper isn’t available right now but you can get black stainless steel for $129, metallic red for $126, and white or platinum at $108 (the most affordable variant).
2. The Lightweight Solo Microwave with Express Cooking and Defrosting Options
|Capacity||0.7 cubic feet|
|Size||17.75 x 12.91 x 10.1 inches|
|Material||Black metal and plastic|
|User Interface||Keypad and buttons|
The Classic All-Black Farberware FMO07ABTBKA is a solo mini microwave is a solo microwave you can use with smaller apartments or dorms as well as RVs, campers, and work trucks because it only has 700 watts of microwave power and 0.7 cubic feet of capacity.
This black classic solo countertop microwave oven with LED lighting and lower power is ideal for RV usage, camping, or for those who want to lower their electricity bill. It also offers express cooking, a safety lock feature, 6 cooking programs, and time-based or weight-based defrost.
You can use the microwave to defrost your frozen foods by weight or time. This speeds up your meal preparation endeavors significantly. The microwave also comes with 6 cooking programs for beverages, frozen vegetables, pizzas, potatoes, popcorn, and dinner plate heating or cooking.
Thanks to the presets, you can reheat or cook your various favorite dishes at the push of a button. No need to second-guess the right setting for the right type of food.
3. A Microwave with Quality Inverter Technology and Compact Design
|Capacity||1.1 cubic feet|
|Size||21 x 23 x 14.25 inches|
|Material||Stainless steel (silver)|
|User Interface||Touchpad or touchscreen|
The Cuisinart CMW-110 is a stainless steel silver microwave oven. It has a spacious interior capacity of 1.1 cubic feet, just like Farberware B01EIZSF6I. It also has 1 kilowatt or 1,000 watts of power like many of the microwaves on this list except Farberware FMO07ABTBKA.
In terms of aesthetics, it’s a silver stainless steel microwave oven with roughly the same specs as Farberware B01EIZSF6I except it is much lighter. It has a modern design, grey metal interior, and customizable cooking.
It also has sensor-based cooking and a 2-stage cooking operation. It’s easy to control with the sleek touchpad control panel. You can also defrost food by time or weight.
Cuisinart’s inverter technology makes cooking quicker and more even. You also have to deal with lesser noise and lower energy consumption without sacrificing much on the 1-kilowatt power level for faster cooking results overall.
You can have your cake and eat it too. You can have faster cooking times without using too much of your electricity. Although it’s one of the larger microwaves it maintains a compact design thanks to how the 1.1 cubic foot interior is placed dimensions-wise.
4. The Most Powerful, Heaviest, and Biggest Capacity Flatbed Microwave of the List
|Capacity||2.2 cubic feet|
|Size||19.44 x 23.88 x 14 inches|
|Material||Aluminum (stainless steel coloring)|
Last but not least is the Panasonic NN-SN966S is a stainless steel countertop. It comes built-in with inverter technology. It even has a “genius” sensor that senses when a dish has been cooked or not based on how hot it is and how long it’s been microwaved.
This is an extra-large stainless steel countertop microwave with a genius sensor and built-in propriety cyclonic inverter technology. The high-quality Panasonic microwave has the highest power and the biggest capacity on this list.
Moreover, it still has decent enough user ratings to be the third-best microwave on this list of 6 microwaves due to the cyclonic inverter that ensures consistent and even application of the 1.25-kilowatt max power on its huge 2.2 cubic feet of interior space when cooking family-sized festive meals.
However, it’s not able to defeat the highest rated microwave on this list—Farberware B01EIZSF6I—mostly because of complaints about units that just suddenly stopped working. Long story short, the majority of ratings show that the majority of units don’t simply stop working after use.
Instead of a rotating disk that evenly cooks or warms up your food by making it spin, you can instead avail of the flatbed that leaves more space for your bigger dishes. It also evenly heats your food thanks to its advanced antenna technology.
This means you have less food that comes out cold on one side and warm on the other side or vice-versa. With that in mind, the best flatbed on this list is Panasonic NE-1054F.