Did you ever wonder why that scrumptious-looking frozen meal comes out of your microwave a sad, undercooked or burnt disappointment, why your popcorn leaves tooth-breaking kernels at the bottom of the bag or why you have to change the settings in the middle of the cooking cycle?
Wouldn't you rather use smart microwave technology that does all the calculations for you, ensuring the food cooks perfectly at the ideal temperature, tastes great and is safe?
Now thanks to Los Angeles-based Microwave Science JV LLC, there is an app for that. The first breakthough technology since the microwave's invention some 60 years ago, TrueCookPlus is a software operating system licensed by microwave oven manufacturers and brands.
What makes it unique is that it uses customized and rigorously tested numeric codes that combine multiple power levels during the cook time for each packaged food product entered into TrueCookPlus-enhanced microwaves. These codes are translated by the operating system software, which adjusts for all the variables that affect cooking time – be it location altitude, wattage, voltage, power levels, oven age and size or starting temperature.
The codes and software work in sync to create perfect, standardized and exact results every time, cooking each food product for proper temperature and flavor. In fact, it's the only microwave technology endorsed by the National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association.
Most important to both consumers and manufacturers, TrueCookPlus technology meets the safety guidelines set by the FDA and USDA for safe food preparation, eliminating risks associated with E. coli and salmonella.
The brainchild of engineer Steve Drucker, who has extensive restaurant and foodservice experience, and partners Bob and Steven Schaffel, the company holds four internally issued computer software/microwave cooking patents. TrueCookPlus makes microwave cooking as easy as pie (your frozen pie will turn out perfectly browned). Even children can fend for themselves in the kitchen. All you have to do is press the TrueCookPlus button on your microwave three times, key in your five-digit zip code so it can determine your altitude for proper cooking and press the start button. Find the TrueCookPlus number on the back of the food package, put the food in the microwave, key in the code for that specific product and press start again. You are done; the microwave does all the work.
"Consumers like the ease of use, the quality of food product and the improvement in taste," says CEO Bob Schaffel. "Food companies go to great extremes to make a great product, and I give them credit for that. For the first time, the microwave oven is delivering a system that gives consumers the quality of the food the food company intended they have. It's a great marriage.
"The microwave oven is living up to the expectations the food company promised by eliminating the guesswork for the consumer. Food companies can't control the microwave variables in every home, but we've given them an even playing field. Now they can say, ‘Use the TrueCookPlus code and you'll have a perfect meal.'
"LG and Kenmore currently use the technology in their microwave ovens, which are available at Sears, Best Buy and K-Mart and have a retail price of $129 to $140. Short, numeric codes are created by TrueCookPlus for packaged microwavable food products and are printed on the package or are available at http://truecookplus.com/index.php?pg=codes. Food companies on board using the codes as guidelines on frozen food products include Pinnacle, General Mills, Diamond Foods, Schwan's and Heinz North America.
"It's like having a chef in your microwave," says Schaffel.