The Shareware Review People


Type of Program: Recipe
Supported Platforms: Win9x/ME/NT4/2000/XP
Company Name: Lakefront Software
Price: $29.95
Installed Size: 12.4 Mb


During the installation of BigOven there are some decisions to be made. The first one which kind of surprised me was it asks you to enter a User Name and a Company Name. Then you can decide whether or not to accept the default installation directory. After that you can either accept or change the default directory where your recipe files will be kept (My Documents\My BigOven Recipes). I actually like it that it has the ability to store the recipes outside of where the program is installed. The reason is that I back-up the My Documents folder daily. (Don't you?) The next decision to be made is whether or not to put a check mark in the fields: Show my welcome page from the Internet, including recently rated recipes. (they recommend this option) The other is: Always show my recipes in metric (for non-USA customers). I did not check either. Then after the installation you are told that you need to restart your computer. At the same time. if you are online, you are taken to a Welcome webpage. There you are given the opportunity to download Bonus Recipe Boxes though you can't use them in your trial version. BigOven also installs a icon on your desktop.

Now lets really get down to the nitty-gritty. I am not a novice at using cooking software. I have used every major and most minor recipe database software from MealMaster on up. One thing that has always bugged me is that none has really stayed the course.

In the 30 day trial version you will be able to tell whether or not BigOven is for you. Here is what I found. BigOven is the first of this type of software that has really attempted to use the internet fully. They have their own webpages where you can search through they say 150,000 recipes to find what you are looking for and then import it into your own copy of BigOven. You also can after trying a recipe from their database go back and rate it so that other people can make informed decisions.

The people at Lakefront Software obviously looked at what other software of this type does and included into BigOven the features that they thought were important. Here they are. The ability to have different "Recipe Boxes" they can be thought of as different cookbooks. The ability to do shopping lists, schedule meals on calendars, print recipes, and find nutrition information. Plus the two big ones good search features and the ability to import from other formats (all of the major formats Cook'n, Mastercook and MealMaster, plus clipboard)

In conclusion I've been especially looking for a MealMaster replacement, for two reasons, first mine has been full (64,000) for a long time, plus I understand that the next version of Windows probably is not going to support DOS. I think that with BigOven I have finally found it.

User Friendly:
Ease of Installation:
Reviewed by Marge Planchon

Return to - The Shareware Reviewers