Title:
Portable camping oven
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An oven device for use with a heat source and a cooking utensil is provided. The oven device is supported on a base and is positioned over or adjacent to the heat source. The oven device has at least a wall structure, an oven chamber and an oven support. The wall structure is made of a high temperature flexible, foldable fabric. The wall structure has at least a circumferential side-wall, a top and an open bottom. The side wall has a bottom edge. The top does not have a vent. The oven chamber is located within the wall structure and defined by the interior surface of the wall structure. The oven chamber has an enclosed volume suitable for cooking (baking) food in the cooking utensil. The oven support is for supporting the wall structure enclosing the heat source and cooking utensil such that the bottom edge is spaced above the base to provide an air gap to allow an in flux of air to the heat source.



Inventors:
Rice, Jared (Houston, TX, US)
Application Number:
10/063337
Publication Date:
10/17/2002
Filing Date:
04/12/2002
Assignee:
RICE JARED
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/30
International Classes:
F24B1/20; F24C1/16; (IPC1-7): F24C1/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
PRICE, CARL D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
POLSINELLI PC (HOUSTON, TX, US)
Claims:
1. An oven device, for use with a heat source supported on a base and a cooking utensil positioned over or adjacent to the heat source, the oven device comprising: a wall structure made of a high temperature flexible, foldable, fabric, wherein the wall structure has at least a circumferential side-wall, a top and an open bottom and wherein the side-wall has a bottom edge and the top does not have a vent; an oven chamber within the wall structure having an enclosed volume suitable for cooking food in the cooking utensil; and an oven support for supporting the wall structure enclosing the heat source and cooking utensil such that the bottom edge is spaced above the base to provide an air gap to allow an in flux of air to the heat source.

2. The oven device of claim 1, further comprising a pair of handles attached to the wall structure to facilitate raising and lowering the wall structure over the cooking utensil.

3. The oven device of claim 1, wherein the oven support comprises a plurality of rods attached to the base.

4. The oven device of claim 3, wherein the plurality of rods are positioned within the oven chamber, each of the plurality of rods has an upper end that contacts the inside surface of the top at a point adjacent to the side-wall, and each of the plurality of rods is of sufficient length to provide the air gap, thereby supporting the wall structure and providing the air gap.

5. The oven device of claim 1, wherein the fabric has at least a flame resistant layer forming the inside surface of the wall structure to withstand the heat from the heat source.

6. The oven device of claim 5, wherein the flame resistant layer has a water-repellent finish on the side opposite the side facing the oven chamber.

7. The oven device of claim 5, wherein the fabric further comprises an insulating layer to assist in retaining the heat from the heat source within the oven chamber.

8. The oven device of claim 7, wherein the insulating layer has a water-repellent finish on the side that is opposite the side facing the oven chamber.

9. The oven device of claim 7, wherein the fabric further comprises a water resistant layer, wherein the insulating layer is located between the flame resistant layer and the water resistant layer.

10. The oven device of claim 5, wherein the fabric further comprises a water-resistant layer.

11. The oven device of claim 3, further comprising a plurality of fasteners attached to the exterior of the wall structure, wherein the plurality of rods are position outside of the oven chamber and wherein the each of plurality of fasteners are fastened to a corresponding one of the plurality of rods.

12. The oven device of claim 1, wherein the wall structure has a plurality of side panels with each of the plurality of side panels having a top edge, a bottom edge, a first side edge, and a second side edge, wherein the top edge is integral or attached to one side of the top and each first side edge of one panel is attached to the corresponding second side edge of an adjacent side panel to form the circumferential side wall.

13. The oven device of claim 12, wherein each first side edge of one panel is releasably attached to the corresponding second side edge of an adjacent side panel to form the circumferential side wall.

14. The oven device of claim 13, wherein such releasable attachment utilizes a fire resistant hook and loop fastener.

15. The oven device of claim 12, wherein adjacent first and second side edges of side walls are sewn together forming seams such that fumes escaping from the oven chamber are inhibited from escaping through such seams.

16. A method of using the oven device of claim 1, comprising: providing the heat source; placing a cooking utensil with food to be cooked over or near to the heat source; positioning the oven support; supporting the oven device with the oven support so as to enclose the utensil and heat source and to provide the air gap; and cooking the food.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the heat source is coals.

18. The method of claim 16, wherein the heat source is sterno cans.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims the benefit under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) of prior provisional patent application number 60/283,674, filed Apr. 13, 2001, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] 1. Field of the Invention

[0003] The present invention relates to portable camping ovens.

[0004] 2. Description of Prior Developments

[0005] While various camping ovens have been developed, they are generally of the type which use folding metal sheets used as reflectors to concentrate and create an oven region within the reflectors. They are relatively heavy, bulky and not particularly suited for backpacking, bicycling, canoeing and other-back country travel.

[0006] Examples of prior devices include those disclosed in U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,035,768; 6,041,773; and 6,125,835.

[0007] A portable oven is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,584,232 to Bush. This portable oven has an oven body (looks like a large pot), a baking mold and a cover. The baking mold looks like an angel food cake mold. The mold is placed in the pot and covered. Then, the assembly is placed on direct heat to heat the air inside the covered pot to cause the food inside the mold to be cooked or baked.

[0008] Another portable oven is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 5,195,500 to Lerner. The oven device has a foldable, fabric convection dome with a vent at its top. The convection dome is placed over a covered pan where the food is cooked. The covered pan is positioned over and separated from the heat source by a heat shield. A disadvantage of this device is that the vent at the top allows too much of the heat generated by the heat source to escape, requiring a larger and/or longer lasting heat source to cook the food.

[0009] Therefore, a need continues to exist for a portable camping oven.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0010] An oven device for use with a heat source and a cooking utensil is provided. The oven device is supported on a base, for example, the ground, and is positioned over or adjacent to the heat source. The oven device has at least a wall structure, an oven chamber and an oven support. The wall structure is made of a high temperature flexible, foldable fabric. This allows the wall structure to be folded and light weight. The wall structure has at least a circumferential side-wall, a top and an open bottom. The side wall has a bottom edge. The top does not have a vent. The oven chamber is located within the wall structure and defined by the interior surface of the wall structure. The oven chamber has an enclosed volume suitable for cooking (baking) food in the cooking utensil. The oven support is for supporting the wall structure enclosing the heat source and cooking utensil such that the bottom edge is spaced above the base to provide an air gap to allow an in flux of air to the heat source.

[0011] The oven device may also have a pair of handles attached to the wall structure to facilitate raising and lowering the wall structure over the cooking utensil. The heat source may be any suitable heat source, for example, coals and sterno cans.

[0012] In one embodiment, the oven support comprises a plurality of rods attached to the base. The rods may be, for example, wooden or made of metal. The rods may be secured to the ground by driving them into the ground. The rods may be carried by the camper or obtained from sticks available in the area. The plurality of rods may be used to support the wall structure in several ways. In one embodiment, the plurality of rods is positioned within the oven chamber. Each of the plurality of rods has an upper end that contacts the inside surface of the top at a point adjacent to the side-wall. Each of the plurality of rods is of sufficient length to provide the air gap. In another embodiment, a plurality of fasteners is attached to the exterior of the wall structure. The plurality of rods is positioned outside of the oven chamber. Each one of the plurality of fasteners is fastened to a corresponding one of the plurality of rods.

[0013] The fabric has at least a flame resistant layer forming the inside surface of the wall structure to withstand the heat from the heat source. In one embodiment, the flame resistant layer has a water-repellent finish on the side opposite the side facing the oven chamber. This allows campers to continue cooking even if it is raining. Alternatively, or in addition, the fabric further comprises a water-resistant layer that is opposite the side of the flame resistant layer facing the oven chamber. In another embodiment, the fabric further comprises an insulating layer to assist in retaining the heat from the heat source within the oven chamber. Preferably, the insulating layer has a water-repellent finish on the side that is opposite the side facing the oven chamber. Alternatively, in addition to the flame resistant layer and insulating layer, the fabric may further comprise a water resistant layer, wherein the insulating layer is located between the flame resistant layer and the water resistant layer.

[0014] The wall structure may have any suitable shape, for example, circular, elliptical and polygonal. Where the wall structure is polygonal, the wall structure has a plurality of side panels. Each of the plurality of side panels has a top edge, a bottom edge and a first and second side edge. The top edge is integral or attached to one side of the top. The first edge of one panel is attached to the second edge of an adjacent side panel with a fastener thereby forming the side wall. These first and second edges may be releasably attached with a fastener, for example, snaps, zipper and hook and loop fasteners. The fasteners are preferably fire resistant. Alternatively, these first and second edges of the adjacent side panels are sewn together forming seams such that fumes escaping from the oven chamber are inhibited from escaping through such seams.

[0015] A method of using the oven device is also provided. The method comprises providing the heat source; placing the cooking utensil with food to be cooked over or near to the heat source; positioning the oven support on the base; supporting the oven device with the oven support so as to enclose the utensil and heat source and to provide the air gap; and cooking the food.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0016] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of an embodiment of the present invention, prior to placing the wall structure in a cooking position.

[0017] FIG. 2 is a side view of an embodiment of the present invention in a cooking position.

[0018] FIG. 2A is side view another embodiment of the present invention without showing the heat source and cooking utensil.

[0019] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of a pattern for an embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of a pattern using multiple layers for an embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIGS. 5 through 8 are perspective view of various embodiments of the fabric used in the present invention, with FIGS. 6 through 8 also presented as exploded views.

[0022] In the drawings and in the following description, like numerals denote the same or similar element.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0023] Referring now to FIG. 1, there is shown an embodiment of an oven device 70 according to the present invention. The oven device 70 is shown with a heat source 72 and a cooking utensil 74 that is supported on a grating 16 above the heat source 72. The oven device 70 is supported on a base 78 and is positioned over or adjacent to the heat source 72. The oven device 70 has a wall structure 20, an oven chamber 22 and an oven support, which is a plurality of rods 24. The rods 24 may be of any suitable material, preferably light weight, for example, wooden dowels and metal rods. The heat source 12 may be, for example, coals or sterno cans.

[0024] The wall structure 20 is made of a high temperature flexible, foldable fabric. The wall structure 20 has at least a circumferential side wall 26, a top 28 and an open bottom 30. The side wall 26 has a bottom edge 32. The top 28 does not have a vent.

[0025] The oven chamber 22 is located within the wall structure 20 and defined by the interior surface of the wall structure 20. The oven chamber 22 has an enclosed volume suitable for cooking (baking) food in the cooking utensil 74.

[0026] The oven support 24 is for supporting the wall structure 20 enclosing the heat source 72 and cooking utensil 74 such that the bottom edge 32 is spaced above the base 18 to provide an air gap 34 to allow an in flux of air to the heat source 72.

[0027] The oven device 10 has a pair of handles 36 attached to the wall structure 20 to facilitate raising and lowering the wall structure 20 over the cooking utensil 74.

[0028] Referring now to FIG. 2, the rods 24 are positioned within the oven chamber 22. Each of the rods 24 has an upper end 38 that contacts the inside surface of the top 28 at a point adjacent to the side wall 26. Each of the rods 24 is of sufficient length to provide the air gap 34.

[0029] Referring now to FIG. 2A, an oven device 10″ shown similar to oven device 70. However, oven device 10″ has a plurality of rod fasteners 40 attached to the exterior of the wall structure 20. This provides the user the ability to set up the oven device 10″ as shown in FIG. 2 or as in FIG. 2A, the plurality of rods 24 are position outside of the oven chamber 22. The rod fasteners 40 are fastened to a corresponding one of the plurality of rods 24. The rod fasteners 40 may be loosened or unfastened to allow raising of the wall structure 20 using the handles 36. Alternatively, the rod fasteners 40 may be loops that may slide over the respective rod 24. The rod 24 may be adapted to have a notch or a hook (not shown) into which the upper most rod fasteners 40 are retained to provide for the air gap 34.

[0030] The wall structures 20 shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A have rectangular tops 28 and accordingly have four side panels 42. Referring now to FIG. 3, there is shown a pattern 44 of the fabric cut to make the wall structures 20 shown in FIGS. 1, 2 and 2A. Each of the side panels 42 has a top edge 46, a bottom edge 48, a first side edge 50 and a second side edge 52. The top edge 46 may be integral or attached to one side of the top 28. Preferably, the side panels 42 have a top edge 46that is integral to the corresponding edge of the top 28. The first side edge 50 of one side panel 42 is attached to the second side edge 52 of an adjacent side panel 42. The respective first side edges 50 and second side edges 50 may be releasably attached using a fastener, for example, snaps, zippers and hook and loop fasteners, which are preferably fire resistant. The fastener is preferably a fire resistant hook and loop fastener, for example, those sold under the brand name NOMEX VELCRO. See, U.S. Pat. No. 6,145,686, incorporated by reference. Alternatively, the respective first side edges 50 and second side edges 50 are sewn together, preferably forming seams that inhibit fumes from escaping the oven chamber. Once the side panels 42 are attached, the circumferential side wall 26 is formed.

[0031] The fabric used to make the wall structure 20 may have multiple layers as shown in FIG. 5. The pattern of FIG. 4 is duplicated for each of the layers. The layers are then attached by laying the respective layers, for example, layers 54 and 56, on top of each other and sewing along the perimeter of the layers 54 and 56 to attach the layers 54 and 56 together. If the thickness of the layers is too great for the sewing machine being used, then if the side edges are to be sewn rather than releasably fastened, then each layer or a plurality of layers may be sewn to the form of the wall structure 20. Once sewn, the inside layer that defines the oven chamber 22 is used with the excess material at the seams located outside of the oven chamber 22. If an outside layer, for example, a second layer 56 is used, it is also sewn in the form of the wall structure 20 and turned inside out so that the seams with excess material of the first layer 54 and of the second layer 56 face each other. The wall structure form of inside layer 54 is positioned within the wall structure form of the outside layer 56 and the bottom edges 48 of each are sewn together forming the bottom edge 32.

[0032] Alternatively, the two layers 54 and 56 may be sewn together along their respective perimeters, except for a portion of one bottom edge 48 leaving an opening. The opening is of sufficient size and is used to pull the inside out such that the adjacent sides of the layers 54 and 56which were facing each other now facing away from each other. The remaining portion of the bottom edge 48 is then sewn closing the opening.

[0033] Referring now to FIG. 5, the fabric 700 has a flame resistant layer 58 forming the inside surface of the wall structure 20 that defines the oven chamber 22 to withstand the heat from the heat source 76. Preferably, the flame resistant layer 58 has a water-repellent finish 60 on the side opposite the side facing the oven chamber 22. This allows campers to continue cooking even if it is raining.

[0034] Referring now to FIG. 6, the fabric 200 has a flame resistant layer 58 and a water-resistant layer 62 that is opposite the side of the flame resistant layer 58 facing the oven chamber 22.

[0035] Referring now to FIG. 7, the fabric 300 has a flame resistant layer 58 and an insulating layer 64 to assist in retaining the heat from the heat source 72 within the oven chamber 22. Preferably, the insulating layer 64 has a water-repellent finish 70 on the side that is opposite the side facing the oven chamber 22.

[0036] Referring now to FIG. 8, the fabric 400 has a flame resistant layer 58, an insulating layer 64 and a water resistant layer 66, wherein the insulating layer 64 is located between the flame resistant layer 58 and the water resistant layer 66.

[0037] The flame resistant layer 58 may be any suitable material, including but not limited to, an aramid material, a blend of aramid materials, PBI material, a blend of aramid and PBI materials, aluminized versions of such materials (for example, an aluminized 60% Kevlar and 40% PBI material), aluminized fiberglass, high temperature Hypalon-coated glass cloth, and 100% cotton coated with silicone. Woven aramid materials sold as NOMEX and KEVLAR are available from E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Inc. PBI is a trademark of Celanese Corp. for its polybenzamidazole fiber materials. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,195,500; 6,038,700; and 6,145,686, which are hereby incorporated by reference.

[0038] The water repellent coatings 60 and 70 may be provided by treating the components with a commercially available perfluorohydrocarbon finish such as TEFLON (a trademark of E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., Inc.) and/or SCOTCHGUARD (a trademark of Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co.). Silicone coatings may be used also. See U.S. Pat. No. 6,038,700, previously incorporated by reference.

[0039] The water repellent layer 62 is any suitable material that repels liquid water, including but not limited to plastic sheets (such as vinyl) and CROSSTECH semipermeable membrane layer (a trademark of W. L. Gore & Associates, Inc.).

[0040] The insulating layer 64 is preferably a layer of 66 of insulative material quilted to a layer 68 of woven material. The insulative material can be a batting, needle-punch, or multi-layer of a non-woven material. The non-woven material includes but is not limited to aramid material, permanently flame-retardant (PFR) rayon and cotton. The woven layer 68 may be, for example, a layer of aramid face cloth material, a layer of polyester, and the like. See U.S. Pat. Nos. 6,038,700 and 6,145,686, previously incorporated by reference herein.

[0041] The oven device of the present invention may be used by providing the heat source 12, placing a cooking utensil 14 with food to be cooked over or near to the heat source 12, positioning the oven support 24, supporting the oven device 10, 10″ with the oven support 24 so as to enclose the utensil 14 and heat source 72 and to provide the air gap 34, and cooking the food.