Title:
Multi-chambered convertible grilling device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A grilling system comprising a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, and multiple chambers. The multiple chambers are adapted to receive multiple heatable substances. When applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, the multiple heatable substances produce multiple grilling flavors. The multiple grilling flavors mix together to produce a combination flavor that permeates either a fowl affixed to a removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes or a grillable substance placed on a removable grilling structure having a plurality of holes. An optional lid to the grilling system provides for indoor or outdoor use on any heat source.



Inventors:
Citrynell, Andrew (Carbondale, CO, US)
Miller, Kimberly Ann (Carbondale, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/893061
Publication Date:
01/19/2006
Filing Date:
07/16/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24B3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
ALEXANDER, REGINALD
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - West Coast (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A grilling system comprising: a multi-chambered grill base that is adapted to be heated by a heat source, the grill base having an inner chamber and an outer chamber, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance; a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the base plate coupled to the grill base such that the hole is positioned over the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; and a vented tube having a plurality of vent holes distributed between the top end and the bottom end, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base plate, wherein the vented tube is adapted to receive a fowl for cooking, and wherein said plurality of holes permit a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor from the first and second heatable substances to pass laterally outward into the fowl.

2. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when a heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base.

3. The grilling system of claim 2, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

4. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the multi-chambered grill base further comprises at least one additional chamber adapted to receive at least one additional heatable substance, and wherein the multi-chambered grill base comprises a top and a bottom, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber, the outer chamber and the at least one additional chamber, and the bottom is constructed of a material adapted to receive the heat source and provide heat to the first and second heatable substances in the inner and outer chambers and the at least one additional heatable substance in the at least one additional chamber.

5. The grilling system of claim 4, wherein the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base is a thermally conductive material.

6. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when the heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base, and wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base, mixes together to form a combination flavor and the combination flavor passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube, through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube into the fowl.

7. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the combination of the multi-chambered grill base, the grill base plate and the vented tube are adapted to act as a serving device such that fowl may be removably attached to the vented tube, and wherein dipping sauces may be added to the multi-chambered grill base.

8. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

9. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the fluid collection channel of the grill base plate has a channel adapted to keep grease and other fluid away from the heat applied to the multi-chambered grill base so as to reduce splattering, prevent a fire and prevent smoke from escaping to an indoor environment.

10. The grilling system of claim 1, further comprising a heat resistant lid adapted to rest on the grill base plate.

11. The grilling system of claim 10, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when the heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base, and wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base and mixes together to form a combination flavor, and wherein the heat resistant lid keeps the heat and the combination flavor in a confined area in and around the fowl.

12. The grilling system of claim 1, wherein the vented tube is configured to be coupled to the multi-chambered grill base with a twist-on connection, with the vented tube extends vertically upward from the top end of the multi-chambered grill base to permit a fowl to be inserted over the vented tube and rest on the grill base plate while also permitting a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor from the inner chamber and outer chamber to pass through the vented tube to flavor the fowl.

13. A method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for cooking a fowl, the method comprising: providing a multi-chambered grill base that is adapted to be heated, the grill base having an inner chamber and an outer chamber, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance; providing a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the grill base such that the hole is positioned over the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; and providing a vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base lid, wherein the vented tube is adapted to fit into a fowl during cooking.

14. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 13, further comprising: applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance; mixing the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor to produce a combination flavor having multiple grilling flavors; and introducing the combination flavor to the fowl through the vented tube.

15. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 14, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

16. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 13, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

17. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 13, further comprising: providing at least one additional chamber to the multi-chambered grill base, wherein the at least one additional chamber is adapted to receive at least one additional heatable substance; affixing the fowl to the vented tube; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance; producing at least one additional grilling flavor from the at least one additional heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor, the second grilling flavor and the at least one additional grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor having multiple grilling flavors; and introducing the combination flavor to the fowl through the vented tube.

18. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 13 further comprising: applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor such that the combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base and passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

19. A grilling system comprising: a multi-chambered grill base that is adapted to be heated, the grill base having an inner chamber and an outer chamber, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, and wherein the first heatable substance and second heatable substance produce a smoke or a liquid vapor when heated; a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the grill base such that the plate hole is positioned over the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; and a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to he grill base plate and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby the smoke or liquid vapor rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate hole and then through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

20. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when the heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base.

21. The grilling system of claim 20, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

22. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the multi-chambered grill base further comprises at least one additional chamber adapted to receive at least one additional heatable substance, and wherein the multi-chambered grill base comprises a top and a bottom, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber, the outer chamber and the at least one additional chamber, and the bottom is constructed of a material adapted to receive the heat source and provide heat to the first and second heatable substances in the inner and outer chambers and the at least one additional heatable substance in the at least one additional chamber.

23. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure are concentrated on at least one outside edge of the grilling structure with a small concentration located in the center of the grilling structure, thereby causing a generally even distribution of the smoke or liquid vapor to the grillable substance.

24. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when the heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base, and wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base, mixes together to form a combination flavor and the combination flavor passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the removable grilling structure into the grillable substance.

25. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the combination of the multi-chambered grill base, the grill base plate, the removable grilling structure and a heat resistant lid are adapted to act as a serving device, wherein sauces or spices may be added to the multi-chambered grill base.

26. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

27. The grilling system of claim 19, wherein the fluid collection channel of the grill base plate has a channel adapted to keep grease and other fluid away from the heat applied to the multi-chambered grill base so as to reduce splattering on a surface exterior to the grilling system, prevent a fire and prevent smoke from escaping to an indoor environment.

28. The grilling system of claim 19, further comprising a heat resistant lid that is adapted to be removably affixed to the multi-chambered grill base lid and configured to enclose at least a portion of the multi-chambered grill base, the grill base plate and the removable grilling structure, wherein the heat resistant lid allows the smoke or liquid vapor to permeate the grillable substance and prevents the spread of smoke or grease.

29. The grilling system of claim 28, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor when the heat source is applied to the multi-chambered grill base, and wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base and mixes together to form a combination flavor, and wherein the heat resistant lid keeps the heat and the combination flavor in a confined area in and around the grillable substance.

30. The grilling system of claim 28, wherein the heat resistant lid is transparent.

31. A method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance, the method comprising: providing a multi-chambered grill base that is adapted to be heated by a heat source, the grill base having an inner chamber and an outer chamber, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, and wherein the first heatable substance and second heatable substance produce a smoke or a liquid vapor when heated by the heat source; providing a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the grill base such that the plate hole is positioned over the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; providing a heat resistant lid that is adapted to be placed over the grill base plate; and providing a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to he grill base plate and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby smoke or liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate hole and then pass through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

32. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 31, further comprising: providing at least one additional chamber to the multi-chambered grill base, wherein the at least one additional chamber is adapted to receive at least one additional heatable substance; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance; producing at least one additional grilling flavor from the at least one additional heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor, the second grilling flavor and the at least one additional grilling flavor mix together to produce a combination flavor having multiple grilling flavors; and introducing the combination flavor to the grillable substance.

33. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 32, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

34. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 32, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

35. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 32, further comprising: placing at least one grillable substance onto the surface of the removable grill plate; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor having multiple grilling flavors; and introducing the combination flavor to the grillable substance through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

36. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 32, further comprising: configuring the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure to be concentrated on at least one outside edge of the grilling structure with a small concentration located in the center of the grilling structure, thereby causing a generally even distribution of the smoke or liquid vapor to the grillable substance; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor having multiple grilling flavors such that the combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base and passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

37. A convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or a grillable substance comprising: a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, such that upon applying the heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor; a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the grill base such that the plate hole is positioned over the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; a removable grilling structure, wherein the grill plate is removably coupled to he grill base plate and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby smoke or liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate hole and then through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure, wherein said removable grilling structure is sized such that a small grillable substance does not fall through the plurality of grill surfaces; and a removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base lid, wherein the vented tube is adapted to fit into a fowl during cooking such that the smoke or the liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base mix and pass through the hole in the grill base lid into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

38. The convertible grilling system of claim 37, wherein either the removable vented tube or the removable grilling structure are removably coupled to the grill base plate.

39. The convertible grilling system of claim 37, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

40. The grilling system of claim 37, wherein the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base is a thermally conductive material.

41. The grilling system of claim 37, wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base, mixes together to form a combination flavor and the combination flavor passes through the hole in the grill base plate.

42. The grilling system of claim 37, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard sauce, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

43. The grilling system of claim 37, wherein the fluid collection channel of the grill base plate has a channel adapted to keep grease and other fluid away from the heat applied to the multi-chambered grill base so as to reduce splattering, prevent a fire and prevent smoke from escaping to an indoor environment.

44. The grilling system of claim 37, further comprising a heat resistant lid that is adapted to be removably affixed to the grill base plate and configured to enclose at least a portion of the multi-chambered grill base and the grill base plate, wherein the heat resistant lid allows the first and second grilling flavors to permeate the fowl or the grillable substance and prevents the spread of smoke or grease in an indoor environment.

45. The grilling system of claim 44, wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base and mixes together to form a combination flavor, and wherein the heat resistant lid keeps the heat and the combination flavor in a confined area in and around the fowl and the grillable substance.

46. The grilling system of claim 44, wherein the heat resistant lid is transparent.

47. The grilling system of claim 37, wherein the vented tube is configured to be coupled to the inner chamber of the multi-chambered grill base with a twist-on connection, with the vented tube extends vertically upward from the top end of the multi-chambered grill base to permit a fowl to be inserted over the vented tube and rest on the grill base plate while also permitting a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor from the inner chamber and outer chamber to pass through the vented tube to flavor the fowl.

48. A method for providing a convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or grillable substance, the method comprising: providing a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, such that upon applying the heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor; providing a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the grill base such that the plate hole is positioned above the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; providing a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to he grill base plate and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby smoke or liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate lid hole and then through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure; and providing a removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base lid, wherein the vented tube is adapted to fit into a fowl during cooking such that the smoke or the liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base mix and pass through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

49. The method for providing a convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or grillable substance of claim 48, further comprising: applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from heating the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from heating the second heatable substance; mixing the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor to produce a combination flavor; and introducing the combination flavor to the fowl or the grillable substance.

50. The method for providing a convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or grillable substance of claim 49, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

51. The method for providing a convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or grillable substance of claim 48, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard sauce, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

52. The method for providing a convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or grillable substance of claim 48, further comprising: providing a removable grilling structure having the plurality of holes that are concentrated on at least one outside edge of the grilling structure with a small concentration located in the center of the grilling structure, thereby causing a generally even distribution of the smoke or liquid vapor to the grillable substance; placing at least one grillable substance onto the surface of the removable grill plate; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor; and introducing the combination flavor to the grillable substance through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

53. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors of claim 48, further comprising: affixing the fowl to the vented tube; applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from heating the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from heating the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor; and introducing the combination flavor to the fowl through the vented tube.

54. The method for providing a multi-chambered grilling system for providing multiple grilling flavors to a grillable substance of claim 48, further comprising: applying a heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base; producing a first grilling flavor from heating the first heatable substance; producing a second grilling flavor from heating the second heatable substance, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor such that the combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base and passes through the hole in the grill base plate.

55. A method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a grillable substance, the method comprising: providing a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance; providing a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate being removably coupled to the multi-chambered grill base; providing a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to the grill base plate and positioned generally above the plate hole; adding a first heatable substance to the inner chamber and a second heatable substance to the outer chamber; placing at least one grillable substance onto the grill surface; and applying heat to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together and travel up through the plate hole into the removable grilling structure and permeates the at least one grillable substance.

56. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a grillable substance of claim 55, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

57. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a grillable substance of claim 55, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard sauce, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

58. A method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a fowl, the method comprising: providing a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance; providing a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel; providing a removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber of the multi-chambered grill base through the hole in the grill base plate; adding a first heatable substance to the inner chamber and a second heatable substance to the outer chamber; placing a fowl on the removable vented tube; and applying heat to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, wherein the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor such that the combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base and passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

59. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a fowl of claim 58, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

60. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a fowl of claim 58, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard sauce, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

61. The method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a fowl of claim 58, further comprising providing a removable grilling structure having a plurality of holes that are concentrated on at least one outside edge of the grilling structure with a small concentration located in the center of the grilling structure, thereby causing a generally even distribution of the smoke or liquid vapor to the grillable substance.

62. A convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or a grillable substance comprising: a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the inner chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, such that upon applying the heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor; a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the multi-chambered grill base such that the plate hole is positioned above the inner chamber, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; a grill member removably coupled to the grill base plate and positioned generally above plate hole, wherein the grill member is adapted to receive the first and second grilling flavors from the multi-chambered grill base and disperse the first and second flavor so as to permeate the fowl or grillable substance.

63. The convertible grilling system of claim 62, wherein the grill member further comprises a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to the grill base lid and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby smoke or liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate hole and then through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

64. The convertible grilling system of claim 62, wherein the grill member further comprises a vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base plate, wherein the vented tube is adapted to fit into a fowl during cooking such that the smoke or the liquid vapors rising from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base mix and pass through the hole in the grill base lid into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

65. The convertible grilling system of claim 62, wherein the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either a smoke or a liquid vapor.

66. The grilling system of claim 62, wherein the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base is a thermally conductive material.

67. The grilling system of claim 62, wherein the first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber and the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base, mixes together to form a combination flavor and the combination flavor passes through the hole in the grill base plate.

68. The grilling system of claim 62, wherein the first heatable substance and the second heatable substance are chosen from a group comprising beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, mustard sauce, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce.

69. The grilling system of claim 62, further comprising a heat resistant lid that is adapted to be removably affixed to the multi-chambered grill base lid and configured to enclose at least a portion of the multi-chambered grill base and the grill base plate, wherein the heat resistant lid allows the first and second grilling flavors to permeate the fowl or the grillable substance.

70. The convertible grilling system of claim 62, wherein the plurality of holes in the removable grill structure are concentrated on at least one outer edge of the grill structure thereby allowing the first and second grilling flavors to be evenly distributed to the grillable substance.

71. A convertible grilling system adapted to provide multiple grilling flavors to a fowl or a grillable substance comprising: a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, a first chamber and a second chamber, the top defining at least one opening to the first chamber and the second chamber, the bottom adapted to be heated by a heat source, wherein the first chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the second chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance, such that upon applying the heat source to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor; a grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel, the grill base plate coupled to the multi-chambered grill base such that the plate hole is positioned above the interior of the multi-chambered grill base, wherein the fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids; a grill member removably coupled to the grill base plate and positioned generally above plate hole, wherein the grill member is adapted to receive the first and second grilling flavors from the multi-chambered grill base and disperse the first and second flavor so as to permeate the fowl or grillable substance.

72. The convertible grilling system of claim 71, wherein the multi-chambered grill base further comprises a third chamber adapted to receive a third heatable substance that produces a third grilling flavor, wherein the grill member is adapted to receive the third grilling flavor from the multi-chambered grill base and disperse the third flavor so as to permeate the fowl or grillable substance.

73. The convertible grilling system of claim 72, wherein the multi-chambered grill base further comprises a fourth chamber adapted to receive a fourth heatable substance that produces a fourth grilling flavor, wherein the grill member is adapted to receive the fourth grilling flavor from the multi-chambered grill base and disperse the fourth flavor so as to permeate the fowl or grillable substance.

74. The convertible grilling system of claim 73, wherein the multi-chambered grill base further comprises a fifth chamber adapted to receive a fifth heatable substance that produces a fifth grilling flavor, wherein the grill member is adapted to receive the fifth grilling flavor from the multi-chambered grill base and disperse the fifth flavor so as to permeate the fowl or grillable substance.

75. The convertible grilling system of claim 71, wherein the grill member further comprises a removable grilling structure, wherein the removable grilling structure is removably coupled to the grill base and positioned generally above the plate hole, wherein the removable grilling structure comprises a plurality of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces, wherein the grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance, whereby smoke or liquid vapors rising from the first chamber and the second chamber of the multi-chambered grill base pass through the plate hole and then through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure.

76. The convertible grilling system of claim 75, wherein the plurality of holes in the removable grill structure are concentrated on at least one outer edge of the grill structure thereby allowing the first and second grilling flavors to be evenly distributed to the grillable substance.

77. The convertible grilling system of claim 71, wherein the grill member further comprises a vented tube having a plurality of vent holes, the vented tube being removably coupled to the first chamber through the hole in the grill base plate, wherein the vented tube is adapted to fit into a fowl during cooking such that the smoke or the liquid vapors rising from the first chamber and the second chamber of the multi-chambered grill base mix and pass through the hole in the grill base lid into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates generally to the field of cooking, and in particular to the grilling of grillable substances, such as meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, vegetable burgers and the like. More specifically, the invention relates to the cooking of such substances using a convertible multi-chambered grill/fowl cooker, while simultaneously introducing multiple grilling flavors to such substances.

Grilling is a favorite pastime for many throughout the world. Perhaps the most common types of grills are traditional charcoal-type grills, open flame grills and grills using heating elements. With charcoal-type grills, a pile of charcoal pieces is ignited in a grill base. Once the charcoals turn into coals, a grill is placed over the coals and the item to be grilled is placed onto the grill. Open flame grills typically use a flammable gas, such as propane or natural gas, to produce an open flame. A grill is placed over the open flame and the item to be cooked is placed onto the grill. Grills that utilize heating elements can take a variety of forms including solid grill surfaces that are directly heated with electrical elements, open flames or the like.

Traditional techniques for cooking fowl generally require the fowl to be placed in a roasting pan that is then inserted into an oven. While roasting is perhaps the most popular way to cook fowl, grilling is another common technique. Grilling may be accomplished by cutting up the fowl and grilling the individual pieces, by placing the entire fowl on a grill, by using a rotisserie, or the like.

An important aspect of a successful grilling practice is the appropriate infusion of flavoring into the food. Given its significance, the expertise of flavoring food during the grilling process is a skill learned over time that has a decisive impact on the final product and either tantalizes the taste buds of a hungry recipient or is extremely distasteful. Flavoring choice, combinations, amount and timing and are the keys to success. With each of the previously mentioned techniques, a considerable amount of work and creativity is required to flavor the food at the right moment, even with a single flavor choice. Multiple flavors present a formidable task and are often left to the grilling elite.

It is therefore desirable to provide grilling systems and methods for supplying a multi-flavored grilling environment for savory cooking of both a fowl and a grillable substance by either a discerning grilling connoisseur or a casual grilling enthusiast. It is also desirable that such grilling systems and methods may be adapted to easily convert between a fowl cooker and a conventional grill with little or no effort.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The invention provides grilling systems and methods that permits the grilling of a grillable substance or the cooking of a fowl while simultaneously providing a multi-flavored grilling environment. For example, the multiple grilling flavors may comprise both a substance that is heated to produce a smoke flavoring and a substance that is heated to produce a liquid vapor flavoring. Hence, essentially any type of smoke and/or vapor can be simultaneously combined and applied to the grilling substance. However, a particular griller's taste may dictate that two substances that produce smoke flavoring or two substances that produce liquid vapor flavoring are used to generate a desired grilled taste. Given the unique aspects of the grilling systems and methods of the present invention, an unlimited combination of grilling flavors may permeate a grillable substance or a fowl, thus creating an infinite number of one-of-a-kind taste sensations.

In one embodiment, the grilling system of the present invention is constructed of a commercial grade stainless steel that produces a bright brushed finished when manufactured from a spinning process. A high quality stainless steel construction allows the grilling system to be washed in a conventional dishwasher without fear of damage. Stainless steel also produces no toxins when heated and is relatively rust resistant.

In one embodiment, a grilling system comprises a multi-chambered grill base that is heated by a heat source. The grill base has an inner chamber and an outer chamber. The inner chamber may be filled with a first heatable substance and the outer chamber may be filled with a second heatable substance. The grilling system also has a grill base plate with a hole in the center and a fluid collection region. The grill base plate rests on the multi-chambered grill base so that the hole is positioned generally above the inner chamber. The grilling system further has a vented tube with a number of vent holes distributed between the top end and the bottom end. The vented tube is secured to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base plate, but is easily removed. The vented tube is used for internal cooking and holding a fowl in place while cooking.

The grilling system produces a combination flavor that permeates the fowl. The first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor by applying heat to the multi-chambered grill base using an appropriate heat source (e.g. a BBQ grill or oven cook top). The first grilling flavor rises from the inner chamber while the second grilling flavor rises from the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base and mixes together to form a combination flavor. The combination flavor passes through a hole in the grill base plate, up into the vented tube and through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube where it enters into the fowl.

The vented tube comprises a plurality of holes. The plurality of holes permit the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor from the first and second heatable substances to pass laterally outward into the fowl. In one particular aspect, the first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor are either smoke or liquid vapor. In one option, the vented tube could be replaced with another vented structure, such as wires, cages and the like.

In another embodiment, the multi-chambered grill base may hold multiple additional chambers, e.g., up to five chambers or more, for up to five or more different heatable substances. The chambers may be welded to the interior of the grill base or removable for ease of use and cleaning. The chambers form concentric chambers within the grill base. In an alternate embodiment, the chambers are relatively similar in size and are positioned adjacent to one another. Therefore, it is possible to provide an even greater number of spice/flavor combinations to the grilling system of the present invention. In further embodiments, the chambers may have any configuration or be placed in any location in the base.

In another embodiment, the grilling system comprises a multi-chambered grill base that may be heated. The grill base has an inner chamber and an outer chamber. The inner chamber may be filled with a first heatable substance and the outer chamber may be filled with a second heatable substance. The first heatable substance and second heatable substance produce a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor respectively when heated. The grilling system further has a grill base plate with a hole and a fluid collection channel or region. The grill base plate is coupled to the multi-chambered grill base such that the plate hole is positioned above the inner chamber. The fluid collection channel is adapted to catch grease and fluids so that it does not drain into the base.

The grilling system also has a removable grilling structure. The removable grilling structure is secured to the grill base lid (but removable) and positioned generally above the grill base plate hole. The removable grilling structure has a number of grill surfaces that each have a plurality of holes and a plurality of fluid removal channels interleaved between the grill surfaces. The grill surfaces are configured to receive a grillable substance. The first and second grilling flavors rise from the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the multi-chambered grill base, pass through the plate hole and then pass through the plurality of holes in the removable grilling structure to permeate the grillable substance. In some cases, the grilling system may be used without the grill base plate so that the grilling flavors rise directly up to the grill surfaces. In other cases, a fowl may be cut up into individual pieces and placed directly onto the removable grilling structure.

The multi-chambered grill base may be constructed to have a wide variety of shapes, such as rectangular, square, pyramidal, circular, oblong, and the like. In one particular aspect, the multi-chambered grill base may have an open bottom end to reduce manufacturing costs and provide easy access into the interior.

The holes in the grill surface can have a variety of cross-sectional profiles, including circular, square, oblong, octagonal and the like. In certain embodiments, the holes have a diameter of about one-sixteenth inch to about one-half inch, and in other embodiments, the holes have a diameter of about three-thirtysecondths inch to about three-sixteenths inch. The number and/or size of the holes in the grill surface above the hole in the grill base plate may also be smaller in both size and number so that majority of the steam/smoke is forced to the outsides of the grillable substance.

A removable lid may also be used to cover the grillable substance. The lid may have one or more handles and may rest on the grill member or the plate. The lid helps trap any smoke or vapors passing up through the grill surface and holds in heat to heat the grillable substance quicker. The removable lid also allows the grilling system to be used indoors on a stovetop, in an oven or using another heating device. The removable lid stops the smoke from releasing into the kitchen while simultaneously containing the steam and/or smoke within the interior of the grilling system for more flavor.

To heat the base, it may be placed onto a barbecue grill or other heating element. Further, the heatable substance may comprise moist wood chips that are placed into the interior to produce the smoke. Alternatively, the heatable substance may comprise a liquid that may conveniently be poured into the inner or outer chambers.

In another feature, the multi-chambered grill base may be removed from the grill base plate and the grill base plate may be removed from the vented tube or removable grilling structure. The multi-chambered grill base, the grill base plate, the vented tube or the removable grilling structure may be washed. For convenience of manufacture, all components may be welded together, except for the vented tube or removable grilling structure that may be removed for cleaning. In one example, the various components may be washed in a conventional dishwasher. The use of stainless steel facilitates this process.

In yet another embodiment, a method for providing a grilling environment having multiple grilling flavors for a grillable substance is described. First, a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber is provided. The top has at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber. The bottom may be heated by a heat source. The inner chamber may receive a first heatable substance and the outer chamber may receive a second heatable substance. Second, a grill base plate having a grill base plate hole and a fluid collection channel is provided. The grill base plate rests on the multi-chambered grill base. Further, a removable grilling structure that is secured to the grill base plate (but removable) and positioned generally above the plate hole is provided. Also, a first heatable substance is added to the inner chamber, a second heatable substance is added to the outer chamber, and at least one grillable substance is placed onto a grill surface of the removable grilling structure.

Heat is applied to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base to create the multiple flavored grilling environment. The first heatable substance, when heated, produces a first grilling flavor. Similarly, the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor. The first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together to form a combination flavor that travels up through the plate hole into the removable grilling structure and permeates the at least one grillable substance.

In another aspect, a removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes is provided instead of the removable grilling structure. The vented tube is secured to the inner chamber of the multi-chambered grill base (but removable) through the hole in the grill base plate. The combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base, passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube then travels through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into a fowl.

In one particular aspect, the grilling system is convertible between a grill and a fowl cooker. A removable grilling structure that is removably coupled to he grill base plate and positioned generally above the grill base plate hole is provided. A removable vented tube having a plurality of vent holes that is removably coupled to the inner chamber through the hole in the grill base plate is also provided. This arrangement permits either the removable vented tube member or the removable grilling structure to be removably coupled to the grill base plate at any given time, so that the grilling system can be easily converted to a grilling system for fowl or grillable substances. In either arrangement, the grill base plate collects grease and drippings to keep the stovetop, oven or grill clean.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exploded front perspective view of a grilling system according to the invention.

FIG. 1A is a front perspective view a multi-chambered grill base of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1B is a front perspective view of the removable inner chamber of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1BB is a front view of the inner chamber of FIG. 1B.

FIG. 1C is a front perspective view of the removable grilling structure of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1CC is a front view of the grill member of FIG. 1C.

FIG. 1D is a top view of the removable grilling structure of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1E is a front perspective view of the heat resistant lid of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 1F is a front perspective view of the grill base plate of the grilling system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 2 is a front view of a grilling system in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 3 is a cut away view of the grilling system of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is a front view of another embodiment of a grilling system according to the invention.

FIG. 4A is a front perspective view of a multi-chambered grill base of the grilling system of FIG. 4.

FIG. 4B is a front perspective view of a grill base plate of the grilling system of FIG. 4.

FIG. 4C is a front perspective view of the vented tube of the grilling system of FIG. 4.

FIG. 5 is a front view of a grilling system in accordance with various embodiments of the invention.

FIG. 6 is a cut away view of the grilling system of FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a front perspective view of an embodiment of multi-chambered grill base of the grilling system of the present invention.

FIG. 8 is a front perspective view of another embodiment of the multi-chambered grill base of the grilling system of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Described below are several exemplary embodiments of the invention. Although certain features are described, for ease of discussion, in relation to certain illustrated embodiments, those skilled in the art will appreciate, based on the disclosure herein, that various of the inventive features can be combined in accordance with many different embodiments of the invention. The illustrated embodiments below, therefore, are provided merely by way of example and should not be considered to limit the scope of the invention, which is defined only by the appended claims.

The invention provides grilling systems and methods that may be used to cook fowl such as chicken or duck or grillable substances such as meats and vegetables. In the context of the description herein, including the appended claims, the term “fowl” is inclusive of any bird or feathered creature that may be grilled and by its definition excludes anything that is not considered a fowl. Whereas the term “grillable substance” includes any substance capable of being grilled and specifically does not exclude fowl from its definition. More particularly, the term “grillable substance” necessarily includes all fowl but the term “fowl” does not necessarily include all grillable substances.

In one particular aspect of the invention, a grill or other heating element may be used to heat a grill member that is placed within the fowl, while also permitting the fowl to be steamed and/or smoked by multiple substances. To do so, the fowl may be placed onto a vented tube or other structure, such as a cylinder, that is held by a thermally conductive multi-chambered base. The cylinder may be made from a grill material, such as stainless steel, to grill the meat. When used as a steamer, the steam from the liquid rises from the multi-chambered base and through the cylinder where it enters the body cavity and flavors the fowl. When used as a smoker, the smoke rises in a similar manner to smoke the fowl while it is being cooked. A unique aspect of the present invention is the multi-chambered base that allows for the simultaneous use of both steam and smoke (or multiple steam flavors or multiple smoke flavors). Another unique aspect is use of the present invention either indoors (e.g. stove top or oven) or outdoors (e.g. gas or charcoal grill) while producing the same great flavors. The present invention is also conveniently sized to take the system boating and/or camping or with essentially any type of outdoor activity.

In another aspect of the invention, a grill or other heating element may be used to heat a grill member that has a grillable substance placed on its surface for cooking, while simultaneously steaming and/or smoking the grillable substance with multiple grilling flavors. In this particular example, the grillable substance is placed on the surface of a removable grill member that rests on the thermally conductive multi-chambered base. When used as a steamer, the steam from the liquid rises from either chamber in the multi-chambered base and flows through holes in the removable grill member where it penetrates and flavors the grillable substance. When used as a smoker, the smoke rises in a similar manner. The multi-chambered base allows for the simultaneous use of both smoke and steam (or any combination of the two). For example, beer may be placed in one chamber and mustard in another chamber of a multi-chambered grill base. When heated, a hotdog or brat is simultaneously flavored with both the mustard and beer. The multi-chambered base makes it much easier than current methods for producing a beer/mustard flavored hotdog or brat.

When steaming, essentially any type of liquid may be used. Examples of liquids that may be used include wine, beer, soda pop, fruit and vegetable juices, water, liquid spices, along with any flavorings or other spices, and the like. The liquid may conveniently be placed into either chamber of the multi-chambered grill base. In one embodiment, the inner chamber may be constructed of a heat resistant but conductive material that is different than the multi-chambered grill base material, such as a ceramic or metal insert. The inner chamber may be removable, but is typically welded to the multi-chambered base. If removable, the insert may include a handle, tabs or the like to help grasp and remove the insert. The multi-chambered base may conveniently be constructed of a heat conductive material, such as metal, to transfer heat to the liquid as well as to the grill member. The multi-chambered base is preferably heavy enough to hold the fowl vertically, and may have a conical shape to permit fat and greases to drip downward where they run off the base and into the grill. The width of the multi-chambered grill base provides a stable foundation so the system does not topple over.

When smoking, flavored, moist wood chips may be placed into the outer chamber or inner chamber of the multi-chambered base. The grill member may then be attached to the base, and the fowl or grillable substance placed onto the grill member. The base may then be placed onto a grill and heated, thereby causing the chips to smoke. As the smoke rises from the chips, it passes through the holes in the grill member. This provides considerable flavor as the fowl or grillable substance is cooked due to contact from the heated grill member. The fowl or grillable substance also cooks externally from the heat of the grill on which the base is resting. Cooking time is also decreased because of the simultaneous grilling inside and browning outside while flavoring.

The vented tube serves to hold the fowl upright while the multi-chambered base rests on a grill or other heating element. The vented tube may have various openings to permit the first and second grilling flavors from the inner and outer chambers to pass laterally outward into the fowl. If circular, such holes may have a diameter in the range from about 1/64 inch to about 1 inch, and more preferably about ¼ inch. Other shaped holes may also be used and may have similar area dimensions. The holes may be spaced apart by a distance in the range from about ¼ inch to about 1.5 inches, and more preferably from about ½ inch to about 1.25 inches. The density of holes may be about 0.5 per inch to about 1 per inch, and more preferably about 0.75 per inch. The height of the grill member may vary depending on the fowl being grilled. For example, for chicken or ducks, the grill member may have a height in the range from about 4 to about 6 inches, and more preferably about 5 inches, and may have a diameter in the range from about 2 inches to about 4 inches, and more preferably about 3 inches. These dimensions may be smaller for smaller fowl, such as Cornish game hens, and larger for larger fowl, such as geese and turkey.

The removable grilling structure provides the cooking surface for a grillable substance. The grillable substance is placed onto a grill surface that has a plurality of holes that permit rising smoke and/or steam to pass upwardly through the grill surface and into contact with the grillable substance. In this way, the grillable substance may be grilled while also being smoked, flavored and/or moistened. The grill surface may also include downwardly sloping channels that permit greases and other liquids to drain from the grill surface where they drip onto the grill. This in turn allows for healthier cooking. One significant advantage of using the removable grilling structure is that it includes holes small enough to effectively smoke and/or steam, but are small enough so that food does not fall through them. In this way, small items, such as small vegetables, do not fall through the grilling surface where they could be lost or burned.

Following cooking, the device can be removed from the grill and separated into its component parts. These may be placed into the dishwasher for washing. This makes the process more hygienic than a regular grill, which often has residue remaining from previous uses.

Convertible Fowl Cooker/Grill

One of many unique aspects of the present invention is the ability to quickly and easily convert from a grill to a fowl cooker, and vice versa. The grilling system is provided with a grill member that may be either a removable grilling structure or a vented tube. For example, the grilling system may be assembled as a fowl cooker, with the vented tube coupled to the multi-chambered grill base through the hole in the grill base plate. To make the change, the vented tube is removed and the removable grilling structure fits into a channel of the grill base plate. The fowl cooker is successfully transformed into a grill. In reverse, the removable grilling structure is extracted and the removable vented tube is secured to the inner chamber of the multi-chambered grill base. As such, the grill is converted into a fowl cooker. Either conversion literally takes no more than a few seconds and provides two distinct grilling environments. In certain embodiments, the grilling systems may utilize components found in copending U.S. application Ser. No. 10/727,878, filed Dec. 3, 2003; and Ser. No. 10/727,364, filed Dec. 3, 2003, the complete disclosures of which are herein incorporated by reference.

Because the grilling system is convertible, the invention may be used to cook either fowl such as chicken or duck or grillable substances such as meats and vegetables. For the sake of clarity, in the context of the description herein, including the appended claims, the definition of the term “grill member” includes any removable grilling structure or vented tube. However, the definition of the term “removable grilling structure” does not include a vented tube and the definition of the term “removable vented tube” does not include a removable grilling structure.

Grill Embodiment

Referring now to FIGS. 1-3, one embodiment of a grilling system 50 will be described. Grilling system 50 comprises a multi-chambered grill base 10, a grill base plate 20, a removable grilling structure 30 and a heat resistant lid 40. FIG. 1 illustrates the individual parts comprising grilling system 50. FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate the assembled grilling system 50.

As shown in FIG. 1A, multi-chambered grill base 10 has a bottom end 11, an open top end 13 and a first chamber 16 and a second chamber 18 that is accessible from the open top end 13. FIG. 1A shows two chambers, however, additional chambers may be added. Further, these chambers may be located adjacent to the inner chamber, concentric to it, or spaced apart from it. First chamber 16 is formed by the interior of wall 14 and second chamber 18 is formed by the exterior of wall 14 and the interior of wall 12. Bottom end 18 is generally flat and is configured to rest on essentially any type of heated surface, such as a conventional grill, a heating element, or the like. Grill base 10 is preferably constructed of a thermally conductive material, such as metal, aluminum, stainless steel, tin, cast iron, aluminum coated with Teflon or the like to efficiently transfer heat to first chamber 16 and second chamber 18 as well as to removable grilling structure 30. Chambers 16, 18 may also hold spices and/or sauces when grilling system 50 is converted to serving mode.

The first chamber 16 and second chamber 18 of grill base 10 may be used to hold a first substance and second substance respectively. Additional chambers allow for additional substances. The first and second substances may be heated to produce smoke and/or liquid vapors that rise into grill base plate 20. When heated, such substances may comprise those that produce smoke, such as wood chips, as well as various types of liquids that produce steam. Further, the size of bottom end 11 may vary depending on how much heat needs to be transferred, as well as on the size of removable grilling structure 30. Another advantage is that the grill base may be constructed to be small enough that it takes up only part of the grill upon which it rests. In this way, other food items may be grilled in the traditional manner on a grill while the grill is used to supply heat to the multi-chambered grill base 10. For example, grill base 10 could be small enough to take up only about ⅛ of the total surface area of the barbecue grill. Similarly, grill base 10 may be small enough to occupy only a single burner on a stovetop or a small part of the oven space, leaving the other burners or remaining oven space for the cooking of other items.

As shown in FIGS. 1B and 1BB, an insert 25 may be optionally held within interior 22 to hold a liquid that is to be heated. Insert 25 may comprise essentially any type of open vessel that is capable of holding a liquid and that can withstand the grilling temperatures. Examples of materials that may be used include ceramics, metals, composites, and the like. One advantage of using insert 25 is that it may easily be removed for cleaning. Examples of substances that may be held in the insert include liquid, wood chips, fruit, dried fruit placed, and the like.

As best shown in FIGS. 1C, 1CC and 1D, removable grilling structure 30 may be constructed of a single piece of a grill material, such as metal, and may easily be removed from grill base plate 20. Removable grilling structure 30 includes a plurality of raised grill surfaces 32 that are generally parallel to and spaced apart from each other, although different configurations and orientations may be used as well. Grill surfaces 32 are designed to hold the substance being grilled. When grilling system 50 is placed onto a grill or otherwise heated, heat from grill base 10 is transferred through the device and up to grill surface which becomes hot enough to grill the substance resting on grill surfaces 32.

Positioned between grill surfaces 32 are a plurality of recessed channels 34. Channels 34 slope downward from an apex that is in the middle of removable grilling structure 30. In this way, greases or other liquids from the item being grilled flow down the channels and away from grill surfaces 32. When these liquids reach the edge of removable grilling structure 30, they drip off removable grilling structure 30 and fall into a channel on grill base plate 20. Removable grilling structure 30 may be sloped to one side or sloped from an apex thereby allowing the drippings to pass to grill plate 20 more easily. Most grills include drip pans that may collect these liquids. Use of channels 34 thus helps to remove any grease or other undesirable substances from the item being grilled to produce a healthier food product. Also, this design prevents small substances, such as vegetables, form falling through the grill surfaces.

Extending through grill surfaces 32 are a plurality of through holes 36 that completely pass through removable grilling structure 30. Holes may also extend through recessed channels 34 to permit grease to flow into the collection plate. In this way, smoke and/or vapors rising up from inner chamber 16 and outer chamber 18 pass through the top of multi-chambered grill base 13 and through a hole in grill base plate 20. Here, the smoke and/or vapors are distributed across bottom of removable grilling structure 30 and pass up through holes 36. As the smoke and/or liquid vapors pass upwardly through holes 36, they come into contact with the items on grill surfaces 32. Depending on the type of smoke and/or steam, the items being grilled may be flavored, moistened and/or further cooked. Hence, the items being grilled may be smoked and/or steamed while simultaneously being grilled. Such a system may therefore be used to flavor the items without requiring them to continually be basted. Further, the items may be provided with a moist delicate flavor because they are moistened while being cooked, even if cooked to the point of being well done. As such, meats may be well cooked to eliminate bacteria or disease while still being moist and delicate.

The number and/or sizes of holes 36 may be varied depending upon a variety of factors, including the type of item being grilled, the substance used to produce the smoke and/or steam, the amount of flavoring required and the like. As one example, the holes may have a diameter in the range from about 1/64 inch to about 1 inch. If the holes have other shapes, the holes may have similar cross sectional areas. The holes are preferably large enough to prevent clogging while being small enough to keep a suitable grilling surface. The holes may be appropriately spaced apart to provide enough smoke or steam to the food while also providing an appropriate grilling surface. Another advantage of using channels 34 is that they assist to remove any liquids or greases so that holes 36 do not become clogged. Further, removable grilling structure 30 may easily be removed following grilling and placed into a dishwasher for cleaning in case any holes do become clogged.

One significant advantage of using the removable grilling structure is that is includes holes small enough to providing for smoking and/or steaming, but which are small enough so that food does not fall through them. In this way, small items, such as small vegetables, do not fall through the grilling surface where they could be lost or burned. The removable grilling structure 30 of FIG. 1D is shaped as such to aid in the draining of fat/drippings, use less material, provide symmetrical grill marks and allow an individual to get his/her fingers underneath the grill plate.

FIG. 1E illustrates one example of a heat resistant lid 40. In operation, heat resistant lid 40 stops smoke from escaping the interior of grilling system 50 to allow the system to be used indoors. Heat resistant lid 40 comprises a left lid handgrip 42 and a right lid handgrip 44 that are constructed of a material that does not transfer heat from the interior of the grilling environment to the handgrips, thereby protecting the individual from burns when touching the handgrips. Heat resistant lid is constructed of a heat resistant material 46 such that the heat generated from grilling system 50 and the grilling flavors generated from the heatable substances are contained within the area created under heat resistant lid 40, without damaging its shape or integrity. Such a material may be a plastic, glass, metal or the like. Heat resistant lid may be transparent to allow an individual to observe the cooking of a grillable substance in the grilling environment. Lid 40 may also be turned upside down and used as a serving bowl. In addition, the lid may be constructed to be dishwasher safe.

As shown in FIG. 1F, grill base plate 20 comprises an outer lip 24 and an inner lip 26. A fluid collection channel 27 is created between outer lip 24 and inner lip 26 that collects grease and other drippings from the grillable substance. Grill base plate 20 has an inner channel 28 formed by inner lip 26 that is adapted to receive removable grilling structure 30. Inner channel 28 is sized to allow a gap between the edge of removable grilling structure 30 and inner lip 26, preferably ⅛ inch. The gap allows for the extraction of removable grilling structure 30 as well as the escape of smoke and/or steam from multi-chambered base 10. Grill base plate 20 also has a hole 22 that, in operation, is positioned above the inner chamber of multi-chambered grill base 10. Hole 22 allows the first and second grilling flavors produced by the first and second heatable substances in the base 10 to enter removable grilling plate 30 and exit the plurality of holes 36 to permeate the grillable substance.

Grill base plate 20 comprises a thermally conductive plate having a hole 22 that is aligned with inner chamber 16 of multi-chambered grill base 10. In this way, when grill base plate 20 is coupled to multi-chambered grill base 10, the inner chamber 16 and outer chamber 18 are completely sealed except for hole 22. As such, when smoke and/or steam are produced within inner chamber 16 and/or outer chamber 18, it rises upward and exits the multi-chambered base 10 through hole 22.

FIGS. 2 and 3 illustrate an assembled grilling system 50, including a cut-away section 52, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 2, grill base plate 20 rests on multi-chambered grill base 10 and heat resistant lid 40 fits on grill base plate 20 creating a somewhat tight seal and a confined grilling environment for grilling system 50. The seal creates an enclosed area such that smoke and/or steam emanating from the inner and outer chambers of base 10 rises and permeates removable grilling structure 30 but is contained within grill system 50.

FIG. 3 illustrates the cut-away section A-A from FIG. 2 showing the assembled grilling system 50. Multi-chambered grill base 10 has a bottom 11 that is constructed to rest on the grilling surface. Inner chamber 16 and outer chamber 18 retain the heatable substances that produce a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor respectively. Inner chamber 16 is defined by the interior of wall 14. Outer chamber 18 is defined by the exterior of wall 14 and the interior of wall 12. Grill base plate 20 has a channel 28 that holds removable grilling plate 30. Outer wall 24 partially defines a channel 27 that catches grease and drippings in grilling mode, and holds spices and sauces in serving mode. Heat resistant lid 40 has a left handgrip 42 and a right handgrip 44 with an outer surface 46 that contains heat and flavoring within grilling system 50.

Fowl Cooker Embodiment

Referring now to FIGS. 4-6, a second embodiment of a grilling system 160 will be described. Grilling system 160 comprises a multi-chambered base 100 that is constructed of a thermally conductive material, such as a metal or other grill material commonly used with grills. Grill base 100 is shown as being generally round in geometry, similar to an angel food cake pan, although other shapes may be used as well. However, the round shape provides a low center of gravity to enable to base to support a fowl, as well as permitting fluids and greases from the fowl to flow down its sides and into the grill.

As shown in FIG. 4A, multi-chambered base 100 has a bottom end 110 that is configured to directly rest on a grill, stovetop burner, oven rack, campfire with a rack, fire pit or the like and an open top end 101. Formed within base 100 is an inner chamber 106 and an outer chamber 108 that may be used to hold a first heatable substance and a second heatable substance. The first and second heatable substances create a smoke and/or vapor. Inner chamber 106 is formed from the inner side of wall 104. Outer chamber 108 is defined by the outer side of wall 104 and the inner side of wall 102. Chambers 106, 108 may also hold spices and/or sauces when grilling system 160 is converted to serving mode. In some cases, wall 104 may be defined by a piece of heat conductible metal that is welded directly to bottom 110, while in other cases, wall 104 may be part of an insert that may be placed into cavity and used to hold the substance. The insert may be constructed of any material that is bio-compatible with food and that may withstand grilling temperatures. Examples of materials that may be used include ceramics, metals, composites, and the like. In one embodiment, the insert may easily be removed from cavity multi-chambered grill base 100 for cleaning.

As shown in FIG. 4B, grill base plate 120 comprises an outer lip 124 and an inner lip 126. A fluid collection channel 130 is created between outer lip 124 and inner lip 126 that collects grease and other drippings from the grillable substance. The fat and drippings fall downward onto channel 130 since the substance is held in an upright position on vented tube 140. Grill base plate 120 has an inner channel 128 formed by inner lip 126. Grill base plate 120 also has a hole 122 that, in operation, is positioned above the inner chamber of multi-chambered grill base 100. Vented tube 140 fits through hole 122 and into the inner chamber of multi-chambered grill base 100. Hole 122 also allows the first and second grilling flavors produced by the first and second heatable substances in the base 100 to enter vented tube 140.

Referring to FIG. 4C, system 160 also includes a vented tube 140 having an open bottom end 148, an open top end 144 and a conduit 142 passing between the two ends. Vented tube 140 as shown is cylindrical in geometry, although it will be appreciated that other shapes may be used, including those specifically tailored to mate with the interior cavity of a particular fowl, meat, or vegetable. Formed within the walls of vented tube 140 are a plurality of holes 144 that permit smoke and/or vapors to pass laterally through vented tube 140 and into a fowl. Since vented tube 140 is manufactured from a heat conductive material, such as stainless steel, a fowl is cooked from the inside-out. Also, the holes 144 permit an even distribution of flavor throughout the fowl.

As shown in FIGS. 5 and 6, multi-chambered grill base 100 may include optional threads (not shown) in the top end of inner chamber 106 while vented tube 140 also includes optional mating threads (not shown) at bottom end 148. In this way, vented tube 140 may easily be screwed into multi-chambered base 100 to the position shown in FIGS. 5 and 6. Typically, vented tube 140 just pops into and out of multi-chambered base 100. As such, vented tube 140 may easily be removed, such as when needed to insert or remove insert, or for cleaning. Although shown with threads, it will be appreciated that other connectors may also be used, such as detents, clips, screws, or the like. In another configuration, tube 140 may fit on the outside of chamber 106.

When using grilling system 160, moist wood chips, liquids or other substances may be placed into inner chamber 104 and/or outer chamber 108. Grill member 140 may be screwed into multi-chambered grill base 100. A fowl may be placed over grill member 140 such that grill member 140 fits within the internal body cavity of the fowl. The weight of the fowl causes the neck end of the fowl to rest upon the inner channel 128 of grill base plate 120. The size and circular shape of base 100 serves to prevent fowl from sliding completely over base 100. Further, grill base 100 has a bottom end 110 that is sufficiently wide and heavy to maintain the fowl in a generally upright orientation when base 100 is resting on the grill.

With multi-chambered grill base 100 resting on a grill, the grill may be heated to transfer heat directly to the fowl as well as to base 100. The heat from base 100 is transferred to vented tube 140 to grill and cook the inside of the fowl. At the same time, the heatable substances in inner chamber 106 and outer chamber 108 are heated, causing steam and/or smoke to pass upward through vented tube 140 and out top end 146, as well as through the plurality of holes 144 to moisten, cook and flavor the fowl. In this way, the fowl may be cooked both externally and internally while also moistening and flavoring the meat.

FIGS. 5 and 6 illustrate an assembled grilling system 160, including a cut-away section 162, in accordance with one embodiment of the present invention. As shown in FIG. 5, grill base lid 120 rests on multi-chambered grill base 100 and vented tube 140 fits into the inner chamber of multi-chambered grill base 100 creating a grilling environment for grilling system 160. Smoke and/or steam emanates from the inner and outer chambers of base 100 and travels into vented tube 140 and permeates the fowl through a plurality of holes in vented tube 140.

FIG. 6 illustrates the cut-away section B-B from FIG. 5 showing the assembled grilling system 160. Multi-chambered grill base 100 has a bottom 110 that is constructed to rest on the grilling surface. Inner chamber 106 and outer chamber 108 hold the heatable substances that produce a first grilling flavor and a second grilling flavor respectively. Inner chamber 106 is defined by the interior of wall 104. Outer chamber 108 is defined by the exterior of wall 104 and the interior of wall 102. Grill base plate 120 has a channel 128, defined by lip 126, that the fowl rests on during cooking. Outer wall 124 partially defines a channel 130 that catches grease and drippings in grilling mode, while the chambers in base 100 hold spices and sauces for use in a serving mode.

Following cooking, the fowl is removed from vented tube 140. System 160 may then be disassembled for easy washing and cleaning. For example, each of the components may easily fit within a conventional dishwasher.

Multi-Chambered Grill Base

Multi-chambered grill base 10, 100 (See FIGS. 1A and 4A) provides a combination flavor in a multiflavored grilling environment. Multi-chambered grill base 10, 100 has an inner chamber that holds a first substance and an outer chamber that holds a second substance. Inner chamber is typically manufactured of the same material as grill base 10, 100 and is secured by welding or the like. When heat is applied to the bottom of grill base 10, 100, the first substance heats up and creates a first grilling flavor and the second substance heats up and creates a second grilling flavor. The first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together within the grill base 10, 100 to form a combination flavor. The combination flavor escapes the grill base 10, 100 to flavor the grillable substance or fowl. Examples of a suitable first and second heatable substance include beer, wine, fruit, fruit juice, soup, olive oil, butter, soy sauce, water, smoke wood chips, spices and BBQ sauce, but are in no way limited as such. In general, the first and second grilling flavors are either smoke and/or liquid vapor.

In one embodiment, the inner chamber of multi-chambered grill base 10, 100 may be removable. Such an arrangement creates one large chamber in the grill base 10, 100 for receiving a heatable substance. A removable inner chamber also provides for easy and sanitary cleaning.

FIG. 7 illustrates an alternate embodiment of a multi-chambered grill base 200. Multi-chambered grill base 200 comprises a plurality of inserts 202, 206 and 210 that are adapted to receive heatable substances in chambers 204, 208 and 212. FIG. 7 shows three inserts having three chambers, however any number of inserts may be used. Such inserts may also be placed in any location and have any size depending on the substance it holds and the recipe being used. Inserts 202, 206 and 210 may be permanently fixed to the bottom of grill base 200 or removable for filling and cleaning.

FIG. 8 illustrates another embodiment of a multi-chambered grill base 230 in accordance with the grilling system of the present invention. Multi-chambered grill base 230 has a first insert 232 and a second insert 234 that form the chambers of the present invention. A first chamber 236 is formed between the inner portion of wall 231 and the outer portion of insert 232. A second chamber 238 is formed between the outer portion of insert 234 and the inner portion of insert 232. A third chamber 240 is formed in the inner portion of insert 234. Each chamber is sized to receive a heatable substance. FIG. 8 shows three chambers, however, any number of chambers may be used of any size. Inserts 232 and 234 may be permanently fixed to the bottom of multi-chambered grill base 230 or removable for filling and cleaning.

Use of the Convertible Fowl Cooker/Grill

Both the grill and the fowl cooker of the grilling system provide a combination of grillable flavors in a multi-flavored grilling environment. In the case of grilling a grillable substance, one aspect of the invention provides for a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, a first chamber and a second chamber. The top defines at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber of the grill base. The bottom is constructed of a material that is heated by a heat source. The first chamber is adapted to receive a first heatable substance and the second chamber is adapted to receive a second heatable substance. A grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel covers the multi-chambered grill base. A removable grilling structure rests within grill base plate and is positioned generally above the grill base hole.

A first heatable substance is added to the first chamber and a second heatable substance is added to the second chamber. A grillable substance is placed onto the grill surface. Heat is applied to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base. Upon heating, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor. The first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together and travel up through the grill base hole into the removable grilling structure. The flavoring mix escapes the removable grilling structure through a plurality of holes and permeates the grillable substance.

In an alternate embodiment, the holes in the removable grilling structure are concentrated on the outer edge, with less of a concentration of holes in the area the grillable substance would be typically located. Locating a high concentration of holes on the outer edge forces the first and second flavors to escape through the outer edge of the removable grilling structure and thereby evenly distributing the first and second flavors to the grillable substance.

In the case of cooking a fowl, one aspect of the invention provides for a multi-chambered grill base having a top, a bottom, an inner chamber and an outer chamber. The top defines at least one opening to the inner chamber and the outer chamber. The bottom is constructed of a material that may be heated by a heat source. The inner chamber receives a first heatable substance and the outer chamber receives a second heatable substance. A grill base plate having a hole and a fluid collection channel covers the multi-chambered grill base. A removable vented tube with a plurality of vent holes fits into the inner chamber of the multi-chambered grill base through the hole in the grill base plate.

A first heatable substance is added to the inner chamber and a second heatable substance is added to the outer chamber. A fowl is placed over the removable vented tube. Heat is applied to the bottom of the multi-chambered grill base. Upon heating, the first heatable substance produces a first grilling flavor and the second heatable substance produces a second grilling flavor. The first grilling flavor and the second grilling flavor mix together in the multi-chambered grill base to produce a combination flavor. The combination flavor rises from the multi-chambered grill base and passes through the hole in the grill base plate into the vented tube then through the plurality of vent holes in the vented tube and into the fowl.

In alternate embodiments, the multi-chambered grill base comprises multiple additional chambers capable of receiving a multitude of heatable substances. Multiple chambers provide the grilling system of the present invention with an even greater number of flavor varieties and combinations, ultimately creating a one-of-a-kind grilling flavor creation.

The invention has now been described in detail for purposes of clarity and understanding. However, it will be appreciated that certain changes and modifications may be practiced within the scope of the appended claims.





 
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