The Whirlpool scan-to-cook microwave just made cooking completely foolproof

It reads the barcodes on your ready meals for perfect results every time

Let's face it, using a microwave isn't exactly rocket science. Yet how come cooking even a ready meal can be such a faff? First, you have to pick the right cooking time. If you get that wrong, and your food comes out quite hot enough, it's a case of blasting it in short bursts until it's piping. And what's the betting you'll leave it in that bit too long and burn it?

So thank you Whirlpool for coming up with a foolproof solution. Its new Smart Over the Range Microwave has something called Scan-to-Cook Technology that ensures you'll never get cooking times wrong again.

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Whirlpool app

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Take your microwaveable food, scan its barcode with your smartphone using a special Whirlpool app, and the cooking instructions – including the time and power level – are sent straight to the microwave. You don't even need to read the packet!

And it gets better. This combi microwave can convection bake like a regular oven, and shortly it will work with the Yummly recipe app. Pick a recipe from the app, and again, you can send the cooking instructions straight to the microwave. So it's not just about getting ready meals right – you can prepare a starter, main course or dessert from scratch and cook it to perfection.


(Image credit: Whirlpool)

'Between piano lessons, football practice and homework help, it can be hard to focus on getting dinner on the table,' says Jennifer Tayebi, Whirlpool's communications brand manager. 'Our new smart microwave includes features to help families better multi-task and even avoid cooking mishaps.'

Still not impressed? Well, if you have a Google Assistant or Amazon Echo speaker at home, you'll also be able to control the microwave using voice commands. We can't wait to issue diva-like demands such as 'Hey Google, cook my dinner!'

Related: 7 things you never knew you could cook in a microwave

microwave with touchscreen buttons

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

Other features include a touchscreen that learns your most-used functions and saves them as presets for you. There's also a 'remote start', so you can set the microwave to begin cooking before you get home.

Whirlpool microwave

(Image credit: Whirlpool)

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The only bad news is that the Whirlpool scan-to-cook microwave won't be in stores until late Spring at the earliest. There's no word on price yet, either. At least that gives you plenty of time to decide what finish you want. There's a choice of stainless steel, black stainless steel and – our personal fave – sunset bronze.

Amy Cutmore

Amy Cutmore is an experienced interiors editor and writer, who has worked on titles including Ideal Home, Homes & Gardens, LivingEtc, Real Homes, GardeningEtc, Top Ten Reviews and Country Life. And she's a winner of the PPA's Digital Content Leader of the Year. A homes journalist for two decades, she has a strong background in technology and appliances, and has a small portfolio of rental properties, so can offer advice to renters and rentees, alike.