Editor's note: A newer version of this product is available. We will evaluate, rank and review version 14 of this product when we next update the Cookbook and Recipe Software reviews.
MasterCook cookbook and recipe software offers several new and improved features that will decrease your cooking time and increase your enjoyment in the kitchen. Some of these features include a timer function, verbal cooking instructions and the ability to download recipes and shopping lists to your iPhone or iPad. With all of these features, and more than 8,000 included recipes, it is easy to see why this recipe program earns our Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award.
Because MasterCook recipe software offers so many different options, any type of cook will enjoy using it. And because many families have members with different dietary needs, this recipe program offers a list of sorting features for finding the perfect recipe to keep everyone happy. Just a few of these categories are diabetic recipes, low fat recipes, low sodium recipes, lactose-free recipes and gluten-free recipes. They also offer different options that include kosher recipes and ideas for pleasing your picky eater.
In addition to the new filtering features mentioned above, the program allows you to sort by preparation time, key ingredient or specialty diet (low carb, low sodium, kosher, etc.). In addition, for more productive searches you can assign your recipes to 12 different categories, including breads, appetizers, beverages, main dishes and so on. You can also easily add your own categories.
MasterCook version 11 makes customization easy. Add your own recipes, directions, photos, important notes, preparation time, nutritional value and ratings to any recipe. Add your own recipes into My Cookbook, which can be easily separated into different files. All of the recipes include nutritional values. Click on the heart icon in each recipe and you will have all the health facts.
The MasterCook menu planner can help you plan breakfasts, lunches and dinners for an entire week; however, a drag and drop option would make this process easier. Once you have your plan, this program will generate a shopping list and even track the food you currently have in your pantry. The shopping list will group your products by the area in which they are usually found in the grocery store. The only thing this list won't do is automatically estimate prices. You'll have to manually enter the correct price the first time you enter a product into the system. After that, MasterCook will use that price to calculate the cost. If you don't feel like shopping, the software will produce a list of recipes that you can make with the food you have on-hand.
The recipes are organized into several different attractive cookbooks. In addition, MasterCook recipe program offers Weekend Gourmet, Food for 50, and Cooking with Gadgets. The recipes come from manufacturers and national food councils, and about 20 percent of these recipes come with images. You can also print on recipe cards, making it easier to keep a recipe card file.
This recipe program also offers some extra features that are helpful to any cook, including a one-click substitution button that converts unhealthy recipes into healthy recipes with appropriate substitutes such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg for allspice. If you’re missing an ingredient and don’t have time to go buy it, this software will help you find a solution. No baking chocolate on hand? MasterCook gives you four options to make the equivalent of the chocolate bar. Additionally, this recipe software has an embedded wine list where you can keep track of your wine inventory and record information such as where and when you bought different bottles, as well as tasting notes.
The MasterCook software has a section of FAQs, a user manual and a tips section. They also offer customer support via email form. However, ValuSoft doesn’t offer any way to contact a live representative if you need help quickly. We would like to see them at least add a telephone number for quick questions.
MasterCook is a great product for those that want a user-friendly cookbook and recipe software for a great price. It comes with over 8,000 recipes, and there is plenty of room to add your own. The hands-free audio cooking instructions and interactive website make this a competitive software package. We would like to see them add a bit more in the way of help and support in the future, but as long as you are patient, this will not be a problem for you.
In the latest edition, you can import recipes from the web and listen to talking instructions when cooking.
They don’t offer phone support.
MasterCook provides a great feature set, which will take the hassle out of cooking.