Why Does My Microwave Have a Metal Rack? (Explained)

Categorized as Microwave
Why Does My Microwave Have a Metal Rack

Microwaves have come a long way from simply heating food up with radiant waves of heat. With the influx of different styles and types, comes a multitude of accessories. One such extra accessory that you can find in many microwaves today is a metal rack.

What? Why does your microwave need a metal rack? I know this is one question on your mind, so I wrote a blog post to help explain why your microwave might include this unconventional addition and what uses it serves! 

Why Do Some Microwaves Have Metal Racks? Are They Safe to Use?

Some microwaves are equipped with metal racks, which can be used for a variety of purposes. The most obvious use for the metal rack is to provide an elevated cooking surface for items that may otherwise not be cooked evenly on the base. Not only does the metal rack provide even heat distribution, but it also helps circulate air around food for faster defrosting and cooking times.

In addition to providing better heat circulation, metal racks also allow you to cook multiple items at once in your microwave, which saves time and energy compared to cooking with several single-serving dishes.

For example, you can microwave your breakfast burrito along with your coffee in one go. This is especially useful when you’re in a hurry and need to get something cooked quickly.

Are Metal Racks Safe to Use in The Microwaves?

Yes, metal racks are generally safe to use in microwaves as long as you follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer. To prevent sparking and arcing, most microwaves use plastic or rubber clips to attach the metal racks securely to the sides of the oven. If there’s no contact between the metal rack and the microwave walls, no sparks or arcing can occur.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean you can just place any metal item in the microwave. This includes metal cookware, aluminum foil, and utensils. Doing so can be dangerous and cause a fire. The metal rack that comes with your microwave has been designed specifically so that it won’t interfere with the operation of your microwave.

Another thing is to only use the metal rack that is made specifically for your microwave brand and model. If one day your microwave breaks, you can’t simply use the metal rack from a different brand or model as it will not fit securely into the oven and could cause sparking.

Tips for Using Metal Racks in Microwaves

To get the most out of your metal rack in the microwave, here are a few tips to follow:

1. Make Sure Your Metal Rack Is Secured Properly

Before you start cooking with a metal rack, make sure it is securely installed inside the microwave so that it won’t move around while the food is being cooked. Double -check that the clips are secure, and if necessary, readjust them as needed.

2. Remove the Metal Rack When Not in Use

It’s recommended to remove the metal rack from the microwave after each use. This helps prevent wear and tear on the rack, as well as avoid the possibility of the rack interfering with your microwave’s performance.

3. Always Rotate the Food

When you place food at the bottom of your microwave, you have turntable that rotates the food as it cooks. However, when you place food on top of the metal rack, you don’t have turntable that does this job. As a result, you need to manually rotate the food while it’s cooking.

4. Don’t Use a Browning Dish With a Metal Rack

Although many microwaves are equipped with both a metal rack and a browning dish, you should never put the two together as the combination can cause sparking.

5. Always Use a Microwave-Safe Dish

This tip is stay the same regardless of whether you’re using a metal rack or not. It’s important to always make sure whatever dish you are using is microwave-safe so that it won’t melt or warp while cooking.

6. Avoid Popping Popcorn in the Microwave With a Metal Rack

Your metal rack is not designed for popping popcorn and could potentially cause a mess

in your microwave. If you want to pop popcorn in the microwave, it’s better to remove the metal rack and pop it directly in the microwave.

7. Don’t Let the Food Container on the Metal Rack Touch the Top or Sides of the Microwave

To avoid possible sparking, keep the food container away from the walls of your microwave. Always keep it in the center of the metal rack, ensuring that there is enough space around it.

Troubleshooting: My Metal Rack Sparks, What Should I Do?

A sparking metal rack in a microwave can be dangerous, as sparks indicate that the metal is coming into contact with electricity. If you find your metal rack sparking, the first thing to do is switch off the microwave and unplug it. After disconnecting the power source, carefully inspect both the racks and their slots in the interior of the microwave to determine what may be causing them to come into contact with each other.

If your metal rack was recently added or replaced, it’s possible that it wasn’t installed correctly and is coming into contact with one of the internal components of your microwave.

In this case, you should take out any racks that have been added and read the instructions again or watch a tutorial before re-installing it. You can find helpful installation instructions for many brands and models on YouTube.

In some cases, the spark in the microwave has nothing to do with the metal rack, and is instead caused by a faulty interior component.If this appears to be the case then it’s likely you will need professional assistance from either a technician or an experienced electrician who can inspect and replace any faulty parts inside your unit safely.


Using a metal rack in your microwave oven can provide numerous benefits when it comes to cooking food more efficiently and evenly. Not only does it allow you to cook multiple items at once, but it also helps ensure that every area of what you’re cooking gets heated more evenly and thoroughly. Metal racks are an essential part of many microwaves and can make a huge difference in your cooking experience.

Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using the metal rack. Additionally, always be careful when handling the hot metal rack after it has been in use. Safety should always be your top priority when using a microwave oven. With the right precautions and knowledge, you can take advantage of all the benefits that a metal rack has to offer.