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Eliminate the microwave cooking guessing game

The TrueCookPlus code system for microwave cooking factors in variables as diverse as elevation and oven age to create the perfect meal.

TrueCookPlus on a Kenmore microwave oven.

The microwave oven is no doubt one of the most popular kitchen appliances available. But before its ubiquity, people had to get used to the idea that a few button presses (or physical dial turn as the case may have been) could produce a hot meal with seemingly little work. Then reality sunk in as this common phrase started to hit home: "Cooking time in your microwave oven may vary." While microwave ovens did not prove to be the easy answer to a properly cooked meal, the promise was certainly still there.

Fast-forward to now, and the promise of the microwave as the gateway to properly cooked quick meals has begun once again. The TrueCookPlus code system for microwave cooking is a simple-to-use numeric code that people punch into their microwave ovens to assure proper cooking time and power level depending on what item they are cooking. More than just a convenient code calibrated to the wattage of a particular brand of microwave, the parameters adjust for your microwave oven.

The code system takes into consideration such factors as voltage, wattage, oven age, hot or cold oven, power levels, and even elevation. (A simple one-time input of your zip code handles that.) Of course, food type, size, and weight are also considerations.

The software used in the TrueCookPlus code system works in conjunction with food manufacturers' test kitchens, so don't expect it to know exactly how to reheat your leftovers just yet. The system works in tandem with a traditional microwave (it will still heat those leftovers just as it does now), so consider this a feature to look for in upcoming microwaves. Currently, the feature is available on LG and Kenmore models with many food manufacturers, such as General Mills and Weight Watchers supplying codes for food products.