Can you use a microwave if the glass plate is broken? Experts share their advice

Wondering if you can operate a microwave without the glass plate? Here's what you need to know before you do

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It's hard to imagine a life in the kitchen without a microwave. This appliance is highly convenient, economical, and efficient – when it works. However, if you're wondering if you can use a microwave if the glass plate is broken, it's unlikely that your appliance isn't as efficient as usual.  

While knowing how to clean a microwave correctly is one way to ensure it continues to work well, the glass plate is essential to its effectiveness. So, what happens if you spot a breakage? Here, experts share their kitchen ideas – and what a broken plate means for your microwave. 

Kitchen with neutral cabinets, dark countertop and microwave

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Can you use a microwave if the glass plate is broken?

'You can still use your microwave without the glass plate; however, it is worth noting that it won’t work quite as effectively as before,' says Mark Greig, head of supplier management at Marks Electrical. This is because the food item in your microwave heats up more evenly as it is rotated on the plate. So, if the plate is not working correctly, it will take longer, and the result may not be as good as usual. 

'Depending on the type of food being cooked, the risk of not having a plate is that your food could be undercooked,' Mark explains. 'It may not heat all the way through properly, or conversely, overcooked in some places where the cooking has been concentrated.'

However, having a broken plate does not need to be a big problem. As Mark suggests, you can still use your microwave before rushing to replace it. It is just wise to replace it after some time – to avoid overcooked food. 


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What can you use instead of a microwave plate?

It is always advised to reinvest in a new glass plate [you can pick one up here on Amazon, but remember to pick up the right size for your appliance]. 

'If replacing the glass plate is not an option, then the alternative is heating up your food for shorter periods of time – for example, 30-second periods – and physically rotating the bowl with the food inside yourself, until it’s cooked through properly,' Mark suggests.  

Why did my microwave glass tray break?

'Accidents happen all the time in the kitchen, and considering how often we use our microwaves at home, it’s not unheard of when the glass plate chips or eventually breaks,' the expert says. So, while it may seem unlikely that your tray can break, it is certainly possible. 

'When cleaning a kitchen, I am always extra careful around the glass plate in my microwave,' says H&G's Editor in Chief, Lucy Searle. 'Breakage can also occur through street points, such as extreme heat to continuous cooking, so it's important to keep an eye on the timer to prevent any possible breakages.' 

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.