July 15

Can You Put a Microwave on a Metal Shelf? | Are There Any Risks?


Author: Elena Apostolides
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Can you put a microwave on a metal shelf? This is the kind of questions you will usually ask if you have wondered about a perfect spot to put your microwave.

In short, it is perfectly safe to put your microwave oven on a metal shelf even though it may not always be safe to put metal utensils inside.

Microwaves need kitchen space but what happens when you have exhausted all other free spaces in your kitchen? Where else can you put your microwave so that it will function optimally?

In this article, we will further discuss where to put your microwave and the effects (if any) of putting your microwave on a metal shelf.

Can You Put Your Microwave on a Metal Shelf

a microwave on a metal shelf illustration

It is perfectly safe to put your microwave oven on a metal shelf.

Contrary to popular belief that the reflections that occur in ovens extend to the exterior of the oven and can also cause sparks on a metal shelf, most microwave oven manufacturers have redesigned their products to trap this excess on the interior.

So your microwave oven is safe from sparks if you put it on a metal shelf.

On the other hand, the interior of a microwave oven when it is running does not mix with any form of metal, therefore it will be much safer to find an alternative spot to put your microwave oven if you can get one.


How Metal Works With a Microwave

metal and microwave illustration

Usually, when you put a metal container that isn’t microwave oven safe in your microwave, the container casts its reflection on the microwave.

This reflection causes a negative electron reaction from the microwave oven that will usually result in a spark, in extreme conditions it might damage some of the interior functions of your microwave oven or even explode.

Fortunately, this is not the case when you put your microwave oven on a metal shelf.

All the negative reactions that occur when you put metal in your microwave oven usually don’t occur on the exterior of the microwave.

Tips for Putting Your Microwave Oven on a Metal Shelf

Tips illustration

Ensure that there is Adequate Ventilation

This is very important no matter where you choose to place your microwave oven. Your microwave oven needs to be able to expel all the heat that is produced when it is running.

When you decide on a spot to put your microwave oven, check all the 4 sides to ensure that there is enough space for heat to pass through when it is released from the microwave.

Be Very Careful with the Microwave Wires

Apart from the almost nonexistent possibility that a spark can result from you placing your microwave oven on a metal stand, metal and electricity don’t mix well.

So if any live wire remotely touches your microwave oven metal stand, there is a very big risk of electric shock. These shocks can cause anything from tingling in your arm and body to extreme situations or accidents like burns or even internal damage.

Therefore ensure that you maintain the utmost care if you choose to use your microwave on a metal shelf. The remote possibilities of kitchen accidents that could result from this action are not worth it.

Check If your Microwave Manufacturers Advice Against This

There is a possibility that your oven manufacturers have given recommendations on where you can place your microwave oven.

If they advise against putting your microwave oven on metal, you shouldn’t do it. Always stick to the instructions in your microwave oven manual. The manufacturers know best since they created it.

Alternative Places to Put your Microwave Oven

places for the microwave illustration

On your Kitchen Counter

This is one of the best positions to put your microwave oven especially if you have sharp corners on your kitchen counter.

Once you have checked and made sure that there is adequate ventilation around the spot, you can move your microwave oven there. Also, ensure that it is a spot that you don’t have to strain too hard to reach.

Not everyone likes placing appliances like toasters or convection ovens on their kitchen counter.

This is because the counter might begin to look cramped up and clumsy and you might not have any spare space to put other items in your kitchen. If you have the extra space, you should consider putting your microwave oven on your kitchen counter.

A Shelf

metal shelf for microwave oven

You can get a microwave-safe shelf specially for your microwave oven. Though it will likely cost you some extra money, it is worth it.

This will save you from having to look for or create some extra space in your kitchen for your microwave oven. This will especially eliminate the challenges and dangers that will come with putting your microwave oven on a metallic stand.

Under Your Kitchen Counter

If you cannot get enough space to put your microwave oven on your kitchen counter, the space under your kitchen counter might be a great spot to put your microwave oven.

Simply check to ensure that there is enough space for the microwave and extra for it to ventilate.

If you don’t want to put the microwave directly on the floor, you can get someone to make you a small microwave stand or get a ready-made microwave stand.

Under your kitchen counter is a better spot to put your microwave oven compared to a metal stand.

Trim Kit

Built-in Microwave Size Guide
The frame around the microwave oven above is called a trim kit. It allows for ventilation and a good fit inside the cabinets.

If you’re out of options on where to put your microwaves, you can install it with a trim kit instead.

One beautiful thing about using a trim kit is that you don’t need to create any extra space, you can simply install the trim kit on one side of your kitchen wall. If you have young kids, you can make it as high as is convenient for you.

Most microwave ovens come with options for a trim kit. Some others have been predesigned with a trim kit.

All you need to do is the installation. Fortunately, this also doesn’t require any specialized knowledge. Simply follow the instructions on your trim kit and you’re good to go.


If you have a kitchen cabinet that is big enough to put your microwave, it is a great option to put your microwave. Although not everyone finds it convenient to put a microwave in a kitchen cabinet because you have to always keep the cabinet open while it is in use.

Also, you have to check and make sure that the cabinet is properly ventilated otherwise you might have to find an alternative spot to keep your microwave.


In this article, we discussed the topic can you put a microwave on a metal shelf. While this is not a bad spot to put your microwave oven, it isn’t the best.

There are numerous dangers associated with putting your microwave oven on a metal shelf. This is why you should consider other options to put your microwave oven.

Your countertop, under your counter, oven cabinet, and oven drawers are all great spots for your microwave oven and the oven is less likely to become damaged or cause extreme kitchen hazards there.


1. Can you put a microwave on a wire rack?

If your counter space is limited, wire shelves might be an ideal alternative for holding small appliances such as a microwave or toaster oven. We love how, despite the fact that this room was not intended to be a pantry, adding the shelves transforms it into one.

2. How do microwaves with metal racks work?

Microwaves with metal racks work by bouncing microwaves off the metal to cook the food. The microwaves reflect off the metal and are absorbed by the food, cooking it evenly. I recommend using a microwave with a metal rack if you're cooking something that needs to be cooked evenly, like chicken or fish.

3. What happens when you put metal in a microwave?

Putting metal in a microwave is not a good idea. It can cause the microwave to malfunction, and it can create a fire hazard. Metal objects can spark in the microwave, and that spark can easily ignite something else in the oven and start a fire.

4. Can you put a microwave on a shelf?

Yes, you can put a microwave on a shelf. It is important to make sure that the shelf can support the weight of the microwave, and that there is enough space between the top of the microwave and the ceiling or other objects above it to allow for proper ventilation.

5. Why did my microwave come with a metal rack?

Microwaves that include racks are designed especially for the oven in which they are installed. The rack is great for providing an additional area for heating two or more containers simultaneously.

About the author

Elena Apostolides

A professional chef and a passionate writer on all topics related to cooking, baking, appliances and kitchenware. Her posts resonate with foodies, home chefs and professionals.


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  1. I have a microwave that needs to be some where else I want to put it on my metal rack I was going to put a hard or wooden cutting board down and then place it there is that safe

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