Title:
Portable, self-heating cooking utensil
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A portable cooking utensil having self-contained heating features for cooking food without requiring gas or electric includes a handle having a chamber for storing therein batteries, the handle projecting from a cooking body that has heating coils embedded within the body, and the coils forming an electrical circuit with the batteries that are controlled by an on/off switch mounted on the handle so that switching the switch to the on position causes food placed within the utensil to be cooked from the heat generated in the coils and conducted through the body of the utensil to the food.



Inventors:
Little, Arlethia (North Chicago, IL, US)
Little, Mary Ann (North Chicago, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/446713
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
06/05/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24D1/00
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
20080066731Biomass pellet fuel heating device, system and methodMarch, 2008Johnson
20070272226Afterburner Device for FireplacesNovember, 2007Hustad
20070157919Tempered glass for thermal insulationJuly, 2007Marandon
20060283442Fireplace insertDecember, 2006Miles et al.
20070235020MULTI-ZONE GAS FIREPLACE SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR CONTROLOctober, 2007Hills et al.
20060150965Exhausting and cooling system for cooking utensilJuly, 2006Kim et al.
20090320725FURNACE SYSTEM WITH INTERNAL FLUE GAS RECIRCULATIONDecember, 2009Kang et al.
20080149094Burner base of gas stoveJune, 2008Wu
20050194002Adjustable air bypass system for heating applianceSeptember, 2005Henry et al.
20100089384MODULAR BURNER WITH AN OPTIMIZED SUPPLY FOR A HOBApril, 2010Inzaghi
20090026279Environmental Control EnclosureJanuary, 2009Dittmer et al.



Primary Examiner:
RALIS, STEPHEN J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
THE INVENTORS NETWORK, INC. (332 ACADEMY STREET, CARNEGIE, PA, 15106, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A cooking utensil for cooking food, comprising: a concave-shaped body having a flat bottom portion and an upwardly extending sidewall; a handle attached to and projecting from the sidewall of the concave-shaped body; the handle including an internal compartment for containing therein at least one battery; a removably securable cap for closing the internal compartment and sealing the batteries from the external environment; an on/off switch mounted to the handle for controlling battery energy discharge; and a plurality of coils embedded within the concave-shaped body and forming an electrical circuit with the batteries so that the coils heat when the switch is turned on thereby causing food placed within the body of the utensil to be cooked through the heat conductance of the coils.

2. A portable, self-heating cooking pot for cooking food, comprising: a concave-shaped body having a flat bottom portion and an upwardly extending sidewall; a handle attached to and projecting from the sidewall of the concave-shaped body; the handle including an internal chamber for storage therein of a plurality of batteries; a removably securable cap for closing the internal chamber and sealing the batteries from the external environment; an on/off switch mounted to the handle for controlling battery energy discharge; and a plurality of coils embedded within the concave-shaped body and forming an electrical circuit with the batteries so that the coils heat up when the switch is turned on thereby causing food placed within the concave-shaped body of the utensil to be cooked by the heat that is conducted from the coils to the food.

3. A portable, self-heating skillet for cooking food, comprising: a concave-shaped body having a flat bottom portion and an upwardly extending sidewall; a handle attached to and projecting from the sidewall of the concave-shaped body; the handle including an internal battery storage chamber for containing therein a plurality of batteries; a removably securable cap for closing the internal battery storage chamber and sealing the batteries from the external environment; an on/off switch mounted to the handle for selectively controlling battery energy discharge; and a plurality of coils embedded within the concave-shaped body and forming an electrical circuit with the batteries so that the coils heat up when the switch is turned on thereby causing food placed within the concave-shaped body of the skillet to be cooked through the conductance of heat from the coils to the food.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains to cooking utensils, and, more particularly, pertains to a portable, self-heating cooking utensil for both indoor and outdoor use.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

In order to cook food in residential, commercial, and recreational settings contemporary society is dependent upon a continuous and readily available supply of gas and electric. As long as this energy supply is continual and uninterrupted the preparation and consumption of food is a generally ordinary and uneventful process. However, should there be any interruption in the supply of gas or electric to heat and prepare food, most members of today's society have little recourse but to await the resumption of the heat supply by the utility providers before any substantial preparation and cooking of food can occur. Only a small number of households have access to or use of wood burning stoves. Thus, such interruptions in the supply of electrical or gas heat can be the result of natural disasters, such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and earthquakes, failures or breakdowns in the energy grid system, or the inadvertent severing of electrical lines or gas pipe during construction projects.

In addition, there are many other situations and occasions that require or involve the preparation and cooking of food, and where either gas or electricity are difficult to obtain or simply unavailable. Such situations can include picnics, any camping and outdoors activity, such as hunting, fishing, rock climbing, hiking or white water rafting, and even soldiers in training exercises or in actual combat conditions. All of the aforementioned situations will involve at some point the cooking—and consumption—of food; and yet access to electrical outlets or gas heating will be unlikely, if non-existent.

In view of the above-described problems, a number of devices have been conceived that allow food to be cooked in situations where access to gas and electrical supplies is limited or non-existent, or that provide for a more efficient heating and cooking of the food.

For example, the Shevlin patent (U.S. Pat. No. 3,505,498) discloses a cooking utensil having a cooking receptacle that is insulated from the heating element by a dielectric layer comprised essentially of a vitreous porcelain composition. However, the Shevlin utensil requires an external heating source.

The Kuhlman patent (U.S. Pat. No. 5,873,300) discloses a device for heating food evenly and efficiently, and the device includes a base, a lid, a heat conductive element resting on the base, and a heat distributive shield affixed to the opposite surface of the heat conductive element. The Kuhlman apparatus is heated by various types of heat sources such as candles.

The Hicks patent (U.S. design Pat. No. 391,803) merely discloses a suggested design for a battery powered cooking pot but does not disclose any details pertaining to the actual controlling, regulating and renewing of the heat source.

The Hu patent (U.S. Pat. No. 5,129,314) discloses an electric wok having a receiving space at the pan bottom wherein several induction coils for heating food are disposed; but the induction coils are connected to an external power source.

The Rhear patent (U.S. Pat. No. 4,332,188) discloses a combination cooker having a heating element disposed in the lower portion of the base of the body of the cooker, but the heating element must be heated from an external power source, i.e., an electrical outlet.

Therefore, despite the ingenuity of the above devices, there is a need for a cooking apparatus that can heat and cook food by an internal or self-contained heating element or source in all types of weather and both indoors and outdoors.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention comprehends a portable cooking utensil that includes a self-contained, internal heating element with the cooking utensil preferably being a skillet or pot.

The cooking utensil includes a concave-shaped body having a flat bottom portion further defined by a flat, interior cooking surface and an opposite underside. Attached to the body of the cooking utensil, and extending at an angle upwardly therefrom, is an elongated handle. The handle includes an internal compartment that is sealed by a removable cap. The internal compartment is sized to receive therein three D cell batteries, and the batteries are in electrical connection with heating coils disposed within the flat bottom portion for providing the necessary heat to cook the food placed within the utensil. The batteries and heating coil are controlled by an on-off switch mounted on the handle.

It is an objective of the present invention to provide a portable, self-heating cooking utensil that is able to heat and cook food without the need of gas, electricity or matches as the heat source.

It is another objective of the present invention to provide a portable, self-heating cooking utensil that can be used both indoors and outdoors and does not pose a fire risk during use.

It is still yet another objective of the present invention to provide a portable, self-heating cooking utensil that is lightweight and can be used by campers, outdoorsmen, picnickers, travelers, and soldiers. P Yet another objective of the present invention is to provide a portable, self-heating cooking utensil that can be used in all weather conditions throughout the entire year.

These and other objects, features, and advantages will be manifest to one skilled in the art upon a perusal of the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the portable, self-heating cooking utensil of the present invention illustrating the embodiment of the invention in the form of a skillet;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of the portable, self-heating cooking utensil of the present invention illustrating the embodiment of the invention in the form of a pot;

FIG. 3 is a sectioned elevational view of the handle of the skillet taken along lines 3-3 of FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a sectioned elevational view of the concave-shaped body of the cooking utensil taken along lines 4-4 of FIG. 2; and

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the handle of the cooking utensil illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 4 showing the on/off switch for controlling the heating features and elements disposed within the utensil.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Illustrated in FIGS. 1-5 are several embodiments of a lightweight, all-weather, indoor and outdoor, portable cooking utensil having internal and self-contained heating features and elements that allow food to be cooked without requiring the use of gas or an electrical supply outlet.

The embodiment of the cooking utensil of FIG. 1 is in the form of a skillet 10, and the skillet 10 includes a low profile, concave-shaped body 12 having an annular sidewall 14, a flat botttom portion 16 and an elongated, upwardly extending handle 18. The flat bottom portion 16 of the body 12 of the skillet 10 is further defined by an interior flat cooking surface 20 and an opposite underside 22. A lid 24 is sized to fit on the body 12 of the skillet 10 and seal the concave-shaped body 12 from the external environment during food preparation and cooking. The handle 18 includes a removably securable screw-on or snap-on cap 26.

The embodiment for the cooking utensil of FIG. 2 is in the form of a cooking pot 28, and the pot 28 includes a deeper profile concave-shaped body 30 having an annular sidewall 32, a flat bottom portion 34 and an elongated, upwardly extending handle 36. The flat bottom portion 34 of the body 30 of the pot 28 is further defined by an interior flat cooking surface 38 and an opposite underside 40. A lid 24 is sized to fit on and cover the pot 28 and seal the concave-shaped body 30 from the external environment during food preparation and cooking. In addition, the handle 36 includes a removably securable screw-on or snap-on cap 42.

Although FIGS. 2-5 are illustrative of the cooking pot 28 embodiment of the invention, the features disclosed therein pertaining to the self-contained heating elements are also utilized in the embodiment of the invention illustrated in the skillet 10 of FIG. 1.

Thus, with reference to FIGS. 3-5, the cooking pot 28 embodiment of the utensil includes an interior chamber or compartment 44 for containing therein the energy supply means or source for heating and cooking the food. The chamber 44 is completely sealed off from the external environment by the cap 42. The internal chamber 44 is of sufficient size to accommodate at least three D cell batteries 46 in serial arrangement. On the inside of the cap 42 is a metallic contacting plate 48, and electrically interconnected to the contact plate 48 is a conductor 50 embedded within the handle 36 and extending into the body 30 of the pot 28. A second conductor 52 is in electrical interconnection with the batteries 46 in order to complete the electrical circuit. As shown in FIG. 5, the handle 36 includes an on/off switch 56, and for further control of the heating and cooking of the food, both medium 58 and high 60 buttons are included.

As shown in FIG. 5, the batteries 46 supply energy to a plurality of coils 54 embedded within the body 30—in both the sidewall 32 and flat bottom portion 34—of the pot 28, and as the coils 54 heat up, the heat is conducted through the body 30 of the pot 28 to the food whereupon the food is heated and cooked. The number and spacing of the coils 54 can vary according to the dimensions of the particular cooking vessel, and it is conceivable to employ a longer handle for certain cooking vessels that would accommodate more than three fuel cells. The batteries 46, electrical conductors 50 and 52 and the coils 54 are enclosed within the body 30 of the cooking pot 28 and are thus protected from damage due to water moisture infiltrating therein. The skillet 10 shown in FIG. 1 would also include the same elements and features as set forth for the cooking pot 28 of FIGS. 2-5. Moreover, both the skillet 10 and cooking pot 28 embodiments for the portable, self-heating utensil may come with a battery charger for recharging spent batteries, and an adapter may be provided for recharging through the cigarette lighter found in automotive vehicles.

The foregoing description discloses and describes several embodiments for the invention, and those skilled in the art will understand that other variations and modifications are possible and practicable, and still come within the ambit of the invention.





 
Previous Patent: Spark arresting incinerator

Next Patent: Solar Panel