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MasterCook is Back and Better Than Ever

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

This article is brought to us by our sponsor MasterCook.  Thanks so much to MasterCook for sponsoring our community!


·       Go Beyond Recipe Collection with MasterCook’s Advanced Features

·       MasterCook has undergone a sleek new makeover (Visit our new site -

·       Anyone can go beyond recipe organization with MasterCook


It has been more than 20 years since a small software company name Arion published the first version of MasterCook. Since then, MasterCook has been making some very dynamic advances to keep up with demand and technology. Under the current management with ValueSoftCosmi, MasterCook v14 will accomplish everything it has always been known for and much more.


MasterCook comes highly recommended from home cooks and novice chefs to executive chefs at high-end resorts and restaurants. "I've used MasterCook from v6 to v14. I've looked at Living Cookbook, Big Oven, Cook-N, and about a dozen others and found that they do not compare to Mastercook, especially using RecipeFox in FireFox (Mozilla) for web downloads, single click from over 350 recipe web sites. And now, v14 has a built-in app for capturing web recipes that I find very useful" – Pete McCracken (Chef/Owner Personal Chef Services)


Home cooks and novice chefs like MasterCook because it comes with thousands of recipes as well as directions on cooking techniques, a glossary and reference material. MasterCook has the ability to create and share custom cookbooks for their family, school, church or community organization, or even a commercial environment. Caterers and professional chefs appreciate MasterCook for its simplicity to organize recipes and menus, but also for its more advanced features. Since MasterCook is fundamentally database software, it gives users the power to organize and display data in many different ways.


MasterCook is a recipe management system and not just a collection of recipes. It has a very robust engine. You can write in your own recipes and store them. You can print them individually or as a cookbook. You can add them to menus. You can have MasterCook tell you the nutritional analysis of your recipes or menus, etc. You can add your own ingredients to the ingredient database. It comes with 6,000 already. You can add costs to the ingredients so you can calculate the cost of a recipe or a menu or meal plan of several recipes, etc. MasterCook v14 is on sale this month at for only $14.99. It comes with a free 1-year subscription to which allows you to upload and store your recipes on your personal account privately, so you can access them when away from your computer and from your tablet or phone when it has internet access.


Creating Cookbooks – organize your recipes into custom cookbooks. Share cookbooks with other MasterCook users.


Finding Recipes – there are so many recipes on food related web sites and blogs. MasterCook now has an easy, one-click download tool. Once you’ve registered on you can drag the “Add to MasterCook” button to your browser’s toolbar.


Saving Recipes – The days of typing recipes into a word processor, printing that recipe and putting it into a binder are changing with the growth of digital data storage and organization. Hand writing a recipe on an index card and keeping it in a box on your counter as taken on a new way to share recipes. Cutting a recipe out of a magazine and putting it into a folder or binder can be done much faster and more efficiently.  It is so much easier to keep all of those recipes in one place.


Scaling – Easily scale recipes or entire menus based on the number of servings. Accurately scales ingredients.


Costing – Foodservice professionals live and die by their business’s food costs. If you need to know how much you should charge for a menu item, MasterCook can provide calculated figures based on your input for all your purchases which can be change as easily as the market prices. Instead of pulling out your calculator and a sheet of paper, MasterCook can accurately calculate the values every time. There are other programs that will calculate cost from a spreadsheet, but the cost data is in a different program from your recipes, menus, purchase list, nutritional data and even substitutions and inventory. 


Support - One of the cornerstones of MasterCook’s foundation is the company’s outstanding customer support. contains a number of support articles and video tutorials in the Getting Started section. Pam Erickson is the head of support and has been part of the discussion group on Yahoo groups almost from the very beginning. She was a MasterCook user since 1994 and the Lead Support Moderator since 1999.


Nutritional Analyses – add your own ingredients and their nutritional value


Security – Other database driven software for recipe organization can have trouble with recipe files and can be challenging to organize. MasterCook uses files in which each recipe is its own separate file. What does that mean and why does it matter? Most recipe programs store all of your recipes as one data file. So if one recipe has corrupted data then the whole file is corrupted – all of your recipes, menus, etc. With MasterCook, if you have a recipe with corrupted data it only affects that recipe file and none of the other recipe files that you’ve spent time creating. This will save time in productivity when met with a need for information that corrupts more than just the file needed.


Network Accessible – Culinary operations with more than one kitchen can benefit from MasterCook’s ability to make recipes accessible via cloud-based storage. As a business grows and expands to separate locations, the standardization of a set of recipes is crucial to the consistency needed to operate. Friends and family can stay in touch and keep shared recipes in the hands of those who love to make them. Many family recipes are lost as they are never written down and sometimes measurements are miscalculated. Food writers can share recipes in a more organized manor in order to keep their work safe and capable of easily being shared with the publisher.


Publishing – When it is time to print a recipe, there are many forms that are available to create your hardcopy. A print version can be created to look like a simple sheet with the recipe info or any of the other pre designed formats (custom editing available) to add a more creative display. PDF files can be produced when used in conjunction with Adobe Acrobat™ to make a more secure uneditable document.











post #2 of 6

I am so glad to have my Mastercook back.  I used it for years, then sometime around Microsoft Vista they seemed to stop updating it.  I eventually got it to work, somewhat, with XP, but the work-around left me unable to use many of the features.  Once I upgraded to Windows 8, it stopped working all together, and I ended up trying other software.  I was thrilled when I heard that Mastercook was doing a full overhaul of the product and bringing it up to date. I immediately purchased the latest version and am so glad to have my Mastercook back.

post #3 of 6

Hi Everyone,


My name is Pam Erickson. I am the director of customer service at MasterCook. I have been a MasterCook user for about 20 years. I have been assisting users with this product since Sierra released version 5.0 in 1999. Cosmi purchased the assets of ValuSoft which included MasterCook over two years ago and brought me on board.


We have some video tutorials at the website to help familiarize you with the product. I would be happy to answer any questions you have about the software. Feel free to reach out to me or contact us at MasterCook Support at


I have enjoyed helping chefs get the most out of MasterCook and am looking forward to helping our new customers as well.

post #4 of 6
Tell me about file formats for import and export, especially plain text, rtf and mmf. A spreadsheet export, import would be handy as well.

How about synchronization via cloud so my phone app is in sync with my pc and vice versa. Even through dropbox would be great.
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
post #5 of 6

It is not a spreadsheet program, so it does not export or import in that format. It can import .mmf files directly. The easiest way to import any other format is to save it as a .txt file and import in the generic format as explained here:


We are currently developing native apps to install on your Android or iOS phone or tablet. This has been the most requested feature just as you are inquiring about. They are expected to be released by then end of this year. Until then you can manually sync them between MasterCook 14 and your phone or tablet today by using the web app. See these articles for further details:


We have many chefs that use MasterCook 14 in conjunction with the web app.


MasterCook's license is per user, so if you have more than one computer you can install them on all of them. You can then use Google Drive or Dropbox to sync your cookbooks/recipes and menus and meal plans between those computers by following these instructions:

post #6 of 6

Bula Pam,


I have been trying to decide what software to purchase for our business and the main question I have is regarding inventory? Is there a place to input our inventory items/stock? When you create recipes are you linking it to inventory items you have? I want to know if when you create shopping lists it knows that you are running out of "sugar" because it sees that you served 18 people that dish and therefore need to restock sugar? Looking forward to hearing back from you.


Take Care!


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