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Flatbed Microwaves: A Guide

The microwave is a mainstay of any modern kitchen. When was the last time you upgraded your microwave? One simple change has the potential to revolutionise your microwave cooking.

What is a flatbed microwave?

A flatbed microwave works in a similar way to a regular microwave, with one key difference. A traditional microwave has a turntable at the bottom, and emits heat from the side to cook the food. A flatbed microwave has no turntable, and emits heat from the bottom using a rotating antenna.

This simple design switch has two main benefits. Firstly, the antenna rotating from the bottom rather than the side cooks food more evenly. Secondly, with no turntable to worry about you can now fit large or awkwardly sized dishes into the microwave.

Features to look out for in a flatbed microwave


Flatbed microwaves come with all sorts of features that utilise the latest technologies. The basics include, microwaving, reheating and defrosting. However, some other models may have grilling and convection features included.

Increased capacity

Flatbed microwaves have a larger cooking area due to the elimination of the turntable. This allows cooking of larger dishes or even multiple dishes.
When considering capacity, also consider the size of the space. If your kitchen has a recess designed for the microwave, make sure you measure it first to make sure your microwave will fit.

Ease of use

The inclusion of clear and easy to use controls provide a simplified and seamless user experience when it comes to preparing meals.
With there being no turntable as well as no crevices and gaps for food to get trapped in, it is relatively easy to clean a flatbed microwave. Just wipe the flat cooking surface clean.

Pre-programmed settings

Look for a flatbed microwave which has pre-programmed settings. This means you simply just put your desired food in and select the mode and let the microwave calculate the cooking time and power levels.

Additional features

Grilling and convection features (allow for wider range of cooking options), sensor cooking adjusting the power and temperature levels based on the moisture detected in the food, multi-stage cooking which enables different cooking stages (such as defrosting then cooking) and child lock.

Our top pick

Panasonic 27L Inverter Microwave Oven NNSF574SQPQ

This model’s advanced slimline design gives you up to 31% more workspace, without any reduction in oven capacity. The introduction of Panasonic’s flatbed technology has led to the elimination of the tuntable, affording more cooking space and easier cleaning. The ease of use within the installed control panel is a big bonus as well as the 17 auto cook functions this model is equipped with.

Panasonic NNSF574SQPQ sitting on brown benchtop
  • 17 Pre-programmed auto-cook menu options.
  • Size: 529mm x 422mm x 326mm
  • Child lock
  • 6 power levels
  • Increased cooking space
  • Inverter technology

If this sounds like the upgrade you’re after for a flatbed microwave, come down to your nearest Bi-Rite store and get expert advice on which flatbed microwave suits your needs.

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