What Does Flatbed Microwave Mean

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Updated August 17, 2022

If you’re shopping for the best microwave oven, you may consider choosing a flatbed appliance. That said, you may wonder what does flatbed microwave mean.


  • Flatbed microwaves do not have a turntable plate. Instead, they feature a rotating microwave antenna below the flat microwave cavity.
  • While flatbed models are more expensive than a typical microwave, they offer a larger cavity and even heating.
  • Flatbed models are easier to clean than conventional microwaves.

Traditional microwave ovens use a turntable mechanism to spin your frozen food while it cooks. While the conventional turntable microwave offers good cooking times, it can leave cold patches in larger meals. So, if you want a more consistent cooking capacity than a regular microwave, keep reading to learn what is a flatbed microwave oven. That said, if you’re interested in cooking Kosher in your microwave, then you’ll want to know how to Kasher a microwave.

Insider Tip

Plastic containers and larger plates are still safe for your flatbed appliance. That said, you should ensure that your paper, plastic, or glass plate is microwave-safe.

Unlike flatbed combination microwaves, turntable microwave ovens use a rotating plate to distribute the electromagnetic field around your food. So, if you know how to use various functions like defrost on a microwave, you’ll quickly realize that cooking functions on a flatbed inverter microwave vary slightly.

How Does a Flatbed Microwave Work?

A flatbed microwave oven still uses microwave energy, but it reaches heat capacity differently than traditional models. Rather than rotating your food on a turntable mechanism, a flatbed model features advanced technology to heat the cooking chamber evenly. Instead of spinning your food, a flatbed model features a rotating microwave antenna that sits underneath the base of the microwave cavity. In addition, some flatbed models, like a grill microwave, use inverter technology to save on energy consumption.

Why Choose Flatbed Technology Over Turntable Models

While flatbed microwaves tend to be more expensive than the average countertop microwave, you get additional features for the cost. In addition, flatbed models offer extra cooking space similar to a small regular oven. So, that means larger families can make enough food in a single microwave heating session.

Due to the heat settings of a flatbed microwave, you get better, more even heating than in a normal microwave. And, when you’re done cooking, the flatbed design lets you clean the cavity without messing with a center plate or worrying about the turntable motor.

Of course, you’ll need to know how to set the clock on a microwave if you want to use the pre-programmed settings on the control panel.

For cleaning tips and tricks, check out our guide to removing scratches from the black plastic microwave.


Do not use continuous heating on a closed container. The lid will likely become intensely challenging to remove.


How does a convection microwave oven work?

Convection microwave ovens use powerful fans to brown foods and give them a baked outer layer. These appliances use heating elements like a convection oven, but you can still cook food with basic microwave energy.

What should I look for when buying a microwave?

If you’re looking for a new microwave, we recommend that you focus on the features you want most. For example, consider a compact microwave if kitchen space is a paramount concern. If you want additional microwave power settings, though, you may enjoy a flatbed microwave.

How can I save money when buying a microwave?

While you don’t need an expensive model, we do not recommend buying used kitchen appliances. You won’t get the faster cooking times of convection cooking methods, but a standard microwave should be sufficient and affordable. If your current microwave still works, wait for a sale.

STAT: According to a US Department of Energy survey, only 3 percent of respondents with an Associate’s degree reported owning a convection microwave oven. (source)

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