Your microwave has different power levels. While you might know that pressing the popcorn button is different than pressing the frozen pizza button, there’s much more to it. You don’t need directional couplers to measure the microwave energy, just a willingness to learn.
Most microwaves have power level buttons, and all of those levels give a different level of energy to your food. You should be able to know what each one does, and you might be able to get a better meal out of your microwave in the future.
First, you need to look for the wattage, which is the max level of energy that the microwave can put out. Then it’s math time! If you have a microwave that has 1,000 watts on it, and you want to steam something at 700 wants, then you need to turn on power level to seven. With microwaves that have wattages at 1,400 or something that isn’t easily divided, then you’ll have to round.
Generally, power levels around 100 watts will serve as a warmer or defroster. So, you can place warm food inside or even start to defrost a turkey. Going from 100-400 watts will allow you to soften items, and make things like pasta, stews, and even fruit cakes. Think of these settings like crockpots, where you can cook slowly.
Finally, 500-800 watts is enough to reheat items and warm up thicker items, like foods that have been in the fridge, while going to 800-1,000 watts will heat up soups and canned food. Most microwaves are set to 700 watts by default, and many recipes or packages will tell you if you need to mess with the power level.
Or you can try to experiment and unlock the complete power of the microwave, and that might make you a better chef.