Question about new microwave size

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Assistant Cook
Oct 29, 2020
I need a new microwave and the choices are very poor. There's one I really like but the turntable/tray is smaller than my plates. The turntable is just a smidge over 10" (10.04" or 255.016 mm) and my plates are 10.75" or 273.05 mm. The internal dimensions of the microwave are around 13" X 12.5" (330.2 X 317.5 mm). The microwave is 0.9 cu. ft. and 900 watts. I'm used to 1.1 cu. ft, 1000 watts and a turntable around 12" (304.8 mm). I couldn't find any that size that I was happy with.

Do you think the small turntable size would be a problem? We heat up at least one plate of food in the microwave everyday. The only other things it would be used for are heating cups of coffee, boiling a cup of water, microwave popcorn, and microwave foods like Hot Pockets and similar things.

I've never used a microwave this small so I don't know if I'll be happy with it or not. I don't mind the longer cooking times.
Katie, I was looking at replacing my microwave convection oven, as it is over 30 years old. I tried to shop for one as large as it is 13x16x9 inches interior. I couldn't find one as large as that. It doesn't have a turn table, I've never had a turn table and have never needed one. Are you sure you need one?

I hope you can find what you are looking for.
I've always had a turntable. With some steps in a recipe that are done in a micro, object needs to be turned several times to evenly heat. I like that I don't have to remember to turn something every 2 min.

But if you've never had - then that is what you are used to.
I seriously don't know about going smaller. Think that would drive me nuts. But that's me - I often get into overdrive on some things.

As I no longer have a stove top, I am cooking more and more with the micro. Steaming vegies, etc.

Sorry I can't answer your question adequately, Kate. Can/do you put an elongated casserole in and have it turn? With a larger cavity, even with a smaller table, you would not have a problem.
Hmm.... From what I've seen, all microwaves in the USA have turntables in them that are supposed to be left in. Perhaps some of the larger, fancier ones don't have them but those are too big for my cabinet anyway.

The plate will sit on the turntable and still turn, there's room for that. I just didn't know how well that would work. I'm just not familiar with smaller microwaves under 1.1 cu. ft.

Darn decisions. There's an appliance shortage here so I need to decide quickly. All the microwaves were purchased from this one particular store in just a few hours. Crazy! There's the 1.1 cu. ft. microwaves, I just don't like the price. I'd basically be paying so much extra because of a brand name that's probably the same quality.
The inside of the microwave is bigger than your plates so it should be OK if they overhang the turntable. The reduced wattage will mean it takes longer to reheat/cook/boil whatever you put in there. If you're OK with that go for it. If possible, take a plate to the store and make sure it fits.
Just glancing at the microwaves in Amazon I see a lot of the larger ones available - 1.1 & 1.2 cu ft, larger turntables, and over 1000w, but they are all over $200 now! All the cheaper ones are the smaller ones - .9 cu ft, or smaller, and 900w or lower. Seems the larger ones should be found somewhere local, but I don't know what stores you have around.
For years I had an unusual microwave. It was taller than it was wide because the control panel ran across the top edge of the microwave rather than the traditional right side. This was great because it fit on a section of countertop between my range and fridge the was just wide enough. It had a 13" turntable and was 1000 watts. PERFECT! Then it died. I could not/cannot find an equal replacement. I had to rearrange my entire countertop.
The thing about a smaller turn table in a smaller microwave oven is that, you won't be able to put the plate very much off centre. If the plate is exactly centred, the food will cook or reheat in a sort of target pattern. The waves are stronger in certain areas and weaker in others.

I used to have a microwave with no turntable, but it had a temperature probe. A friend gave us a removable turntable, so we had the best of two modes. Reheating coffee or tea works much better when you can tell the MW to shut off when the probe reaches the temperature that you want your beverage. Depending on how long that tea or coffee has been sitting around cooling off, it will take different amounts of time to reheat them to a person's preferred temperature. I was very sad when that MW died. They don't seem to make them with temperature probes now, because they have those danged, built in turntables.
True taxy! I forgot completely about the 'portable' turn tables for microwaves. I had also heard of the probes but never saw one - or really, even had an interest in one. At that time had never thought about the ideal temperature for anything.
The first MW I had was the largest, and the only one that didn't have a turntable. But I did get a turntable to go into it, eventually tossing it out, since they all eventually had turntables in them.
Ours has a turntable, but one can stop it from turning by pressing a button. Ours also doubles as a second oven and has an oven feature that I was certain I would never use. I've used it much more than I ever thought I would!
I have never had a microwave oven without a turntable. I bought my first one about 40 years ago. Not very big, only 500w, with two knobs [one for power setting, one a timer] - and a turntable. It also came with a brilliant book which taught me how to actually cook properly in it as against just re-heating or defrosting.

I brought that to Israel with me and gave it to friends when I wanted a larger one. Three digital microwaves later [the last one having had hysterics and forgotten to switch itself off...] I have reverted back to a manual two knob one. But it is big - and [I think] 1200w and was a quarter of the cost of the digital ones.
I am praying that my current microwave will outlast me, as I doubt if manual ones are still available - I know I hadn't seen one when I bought the digital ones. This one a friend found for me in a little store near where he lives - he'd previously got both my tumble drier and the 4-drawer 140 litre freezer I wanted when I changed my previous dog onto raw feeding and needed yet another freezer, from the same store.

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