Title:
Systems and apparatus for providing a universal multiple position warming rack for a grill
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A universal multiple-position warming rack for a grill is attached to the cooking surface with mounting blocks and pivotally supported in a limited range of angular travel. The universal multiple-position warming rack is engaged by the grill upper housing member such that when the upper housing member is opened the universal multiple-position warming rack is compelled to a position behind and above the cooking surface and when the upper housing member is closed the universal warming rack is compelled to a position substantially above the cooking surface.



Inventors:
Kahler, Andrew (Fortson, GA, US)
Cummings, Alan (Opelika, AL, US)
Application Number:
10/974851
Publication Date:
04/27/2006
Filing Date:
10/27/2004
Assignee:
W.C. Bradley Company
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
126/25R
International Classes:
F24C15/16
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Primary Examiner:
BASICHAS, ALFRED
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
McClure, Qualey & Rodack, LLP (Atlanta, GA, US)
Claims:
Therefore, having thus described the invention, at least the following is claimed:

1. A system for providing a warming rack for a grill having a cooking structure, comprising: a warming rack, configured to create a reduced heating position relative to a cooking structure; a support, configured to maintain the reduced heating position; and a universal mounting device, configured to secure the support to the cooking structure.

2. The system of claim 1, wherein the universal mounting device comprises: a bracket configured to receive the support; and a fastener, for attaching the bracket to the cooking structure.

3. The system of claim 1, further comprising a retaining device attached to the support, for engaging the warming rack.

4. The system of claim 3, wherein the retaining device restricts a range of rotational movement of the support relative to the warming rack.

5. The system of claim 1, further comprising a grill top cover, wherein the grill top engages the warming rack.

6. The system of claim 5, wherein the warming rack comprises a first position when the grill top cover is closed and a second position when the grill top is open, such that the warming rack is substantially horizontal through the rotational transition from the first position to the second position.

7. An apparatus for providing a warming device in a grill having a cooking structure, comprising: a universal mount for attaching a warming rack to a cooking structure of a grill; a fastener for securing the universal mount to the cooking structure; a rack support leg pivotally attached to the universal mount; a warming rack, substantially horizontally disposed, pivotally attached to the rack support leg; a biasing element disposed between the warming rack and the rack support leg such that the biasing element limits an angular range through which the warming rack may pivot; and a grill cover for engaging the warming rack wherein closing the grill cover pushes the warming rack to a forward position, such that the warming rack is substantially above the cooking structure, and wherein opening the grill cover pushes the warming rack to a rearward position, such that the cooking structure is substantially accessible.

8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the rack support leg comprises a plurality of substantially U-shaped legs, wherein each of the plurality of legs comprises distal ends, each pivotally attached to the universal mount, and wherein each of the plurality of legs comprises a base section pivotally attached to the warming rack.

9. A system for providing a universally mountable warming rack for a grill having a cooking structure, comprising: a mounting means for attaching a universally mountable warming rack to a grill; a supporting means, pivotally attached to the mounting means, for connecting a rack to the mounting means; a rack means, pivotally attached to the supporting means, for positioning objects relative to a cooking structure of the grill; a biasing means, engaging the rack means and the supporting means, for limiting a pivot range, wherein the pivot range includes a first position at one end of the range and a second position at another end of the range; and an engaging means for propelling the rack means from the first position to the second position, wherein the engaging means is further configured to propel the rack means from the second position to the first position.

10. The system of claim 9, wherein the mounting means comprises a bracket.

11. The system of claim 10, wherein the mounting means further comprises a fastener for securing the bracket to the cooking structure.

12. A cooking grill, comprising: a cooking structure, wherein the cooking structure is positioned above a heat source; a warming structure, wherein the warming structure is movably mounted to the cooking structure; a limiting device for defining a movement range of the warming structure relative to the cooking structure; and a cover for covering the cooking structure, wherein the cover engages the warming structure such that when the cover is closed the warming structure is compelled to a first position and wherein when the cover is opened the warming structure is compelled to a second position.

13. The grill of claim 12, wherein the first position is substantially above the cooking structure and wherein the second position is towards the rear of the grill such that the cooking structure is accessible.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention is generally related to cooking grills and, more particularly, is related to a system for providing a universal multiple-position warming rack for a grill.

BACKGROUND

Cooking on a grill frequently requires various cooking times for different foods being cooked at the same time. One reason for this necessity may be that different types of food are being grilled simultaneously. One solution has been to start cooking foods requiring more cook time before starting the foods requiring less cooking time with the goal of completing the cooking of all food at the same time. However, estimating the difference in required cook times is often a difficult and inexact process.

Another method of addressing the different cook times is to remove the food as the cooking process is completed for each different type or piece of food. The result is that food first removed from the grill may become cold and thus become less desirable to eat. Some grill manufacturers address this problem by providing a grill with a warming rack, whereby food removed from the grill before the entire cooking process is complete can be placed on a rack located further from the heat source than the cooking surface. The relative proximity to the cooking surface allows the removed food to remain warm without continuing to cook.

Different types of warming racks provided by grill manufacturers include stationary racks affixed to the grill housing and moveable racks. For example, Applicant's pioneer invention of U.S. Design Pat. No. 291,768 discloses a multiple-position warming rack pivotally secured to the top of the lower grill housing on the front of the warming rack and the grill upper housing on the back of the warming rack. This multiple-position warming rack pivots towards the rear of the cooking surface when the grill top is lifted to an open position to provide improved access to the cooking surface. When the grill top is closed, the multiple-position warming rack moves to a position above the cooking surface.

Although the multiple-position racks represent a suitable solution, adding one to an existing grill is difficult because the grill must be configured to accommodate such a rack and the rack must be dimensioned for the specific grill. Thus, a heretofore unaddressed need exists in the industry to address the aforementioned deficiencies and inadequacies.

SUMMARY

Embodiments provide a system for providing a warming rack for a grill, comprising: a warming rack for creating a reduced heating position relative to a cooking structure; at least one support, for maintaining the reduced heating position; and a universal mounting device, for securing the at least one support to the cooking structure.

An embodiment can also be viewed as providing an apparatus for providing a warming device in a grill, comprising: at least one universal mount for attaching a warming rack to a cooking structure of a grill; at least one fastener for securing the at least one universal mount to the cooking structure; at least one rack support leg pivotally attached to the at least one universal mount; a warming rack, substantially horizontally disposed, pivotally attached to the at least one rack support leg; at least one biasing element disposed between the warming rack and the at least one rack support leg such that the biasing element limits an angular range through which the warming rack may pivot; and a grill cover for engaging the warming rack wherein closing the grill cover pushes the warming rack to a forward position, such that the warming rack is substantially above the heat source, and wherein opening the grill cover pushes the warming rack to a rearward position, such that the cooking structure is substantially accessible.

Another embodiment can be viewed as a system for providing a universally mountable warming rack for a grill, comprising: a mounting means for attaching a universally mountable warming rack to a grill; a supporting means, pivotally attached to the mounting means, for connecting a rack to the mounting means; a rack means, pivotally attached to the supporting means, for positioning objects relative to a cooking structure of the grill; a biasing means, engaging the rack means and the supporting means, for limiting a pivot range, wherein the pivot range includes a first position at one end of the range and a second position at another end of the range; and an engaging means for propelling the rack means from the first position to the second position, wherein the engaging means is further configured to propel the rack means from the second position to the first position.

Other systems, methods, features, and advantages of the present disclosure will be or become apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following drawings and detailed description. It is intended that all such additional systems, methods, features, and advantages be included within this description, be within the scope of the present invention, and be protected by the accompanying claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the invention can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily to scale, emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the present invention. Moreover, in the drawings, like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views.

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack on a partial view of a grill in an open position.

FIG. 2 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack on a partial view of a grill in the transition from an open position to a closed position.

FIG. 3 illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack on a partial view of a grill in a closed position.

FIG. 4 illustrates a side elevational view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack in a forward position.

FIG. 5 illustrates a side elevational view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack in a rearward position.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exploded perspective detail view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Reference is now made to FIG. 1 of the drawings, wherein is shown a perspective view of an embodiment of a universal multiple position warming rack on a partial view of a grill, which is identified generally by the reference numeral 100. As is known, the grill 100 may be configured to be mounted on many different types of support structures (not shown) including stationary structures and mobile structures. The grill 100 includes a housing 160 which comprises a lower housing member 162 and an upper housing member 164, which also serves as a grill cover. The lower housing member 162 generally contains a heat source 166 disposed beneath a cooking structure 170. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the heat source 166 may be a bed of ignited combustible materials or a burner supplied with fuel. Further, one of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the cooking structure 170 may also be referred to as a cooking rack, cooking grate or cooking surface.

A system for providing a universal warming rack 110 generally comprises a universal warming rack 110, at least one support 120, and at least one universal mounting device 130, for attaching the at least one support 120 to the cooking structure 170 of a grill 100.

Specifically, a universal warming rack 110 of the present embodiment comprises two universal mounting devices 130, wherein each universal mounting device 130 has a bracket 132 secured to the cooking structure 170 using fasteners 134. The universal mounting devices 130 permit the universal warming rack 110 to be universally mountable to nearly any grill cooking structure 170. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the bracket configuration illustrated in FIG. 1 is merely exemplary and that the fasteners 134 may be any type of heat tolerant fastener such as, but not limited to, bolts, nuts, screws and rivets.

Rack supports 120, which are configured to operate in an angular range of, for example, approximately sixty degrees in each direction from vertical, are pivotally received by the bracket 132 of the universal mounting device 130. By way of example, a rack support 120 as illustrated in FIG. 1 is generally U-shaped having a base 126 and legs 124, wherein each leg has a distal end 122. Each distal end 122 is configured to have a relatively short hinge portion 128, which is substantially parallel to the base 126. The brackets 132 are configured to pivotally receive the hinge portion 128. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the rack support configuration of this embodiment is merely exemplary and that other rack support configurations are included within the scope of the systems disclosed.

A universal warming rack 110 is pivotally secured to the base section 126 of, for example, two rack supports 120 in such a fashion that the rack support legs 124 are substantially parallel.

A retaining or limiting device 140 is configured to limit the range of motion of, for example, the pivotal engagement between the universal warming rack 110 and the rack support 120. The range of motion is limited to an angular range of, for example, up to sixty degrees on each side of the vertical position. This range limitation serves to prevent the universal warming rack from pivoting down to a point adjacent the cooking structure 170. The retaining or limiting device 140 may, for example, be in the form of a biasing element such as a spring or in the form of another mechanical range limiting structure. Additionally, the range limiting device 140 may be applied at one or more of the pivotal engagements between the universal warming rack 110 and the rack support 120 or, alternatively, be disposed at the pivotal engagement between the supporting rack 120 and the universal mounting device 130.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, when the grill upper housing member 164 is hinged up to an open position, the universal warming rack 110 is pivoted back to a rear limit as defined by the range limiting device 140.

Reference is now made to FIG. 2, which illustrates a perspective view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack in the transition from a grill open position to a grill closed position. As the upper housing member 164 is moved forward 210 towards a closed position, the universal warming rack 110 is engaged and compelled forward 220 to a position above the cooking structure 170. The forward movement of the universal warming rack 110 is limited by the range limiting device 140.

Reference is now made to FIG. 3, which illustrates an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack on a grill with the upper housing member 164 in the down position 380. Based on engagement between the rear edge of the universal warming rack 110 and the upper housing member 164, the universal warming rack 110 is in a forward position such that the universal warming rack 110 is substantially above the cooking structure 170. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that when the upper housing member 164 is lifted and compelled rearward into an open position 180, the front of the universal warming rack 110 will be engaged by the upper housing member 164 and compelled toward the rear of the grill, thus rendering the cooking structure 170 accessible from the front of the grill 100.

Reference is now made to FIG. 4, which illustrates a side elevational view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack in a forward position 400. The forward position 400 corresponds to a position substantially above the cooking structure 170, which occurs when the upper housing member 164 is closed. The forward position 400 of this embodiment creates an angle 402 between the universal mounting device 130 and the front rack support 121 of approximately 125-130 degrees. Similarly, reference is now made to FIG. 5, which illustrates a side elevational view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack in a rearward position 500, where the rearward position 500 corresponds to a position behind and above the cooking structure 170. The rearward position 500 creates an angle 502 between the universal mounting device 130 and the front rack support 121 of approximately 50-55 degrees. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that the angular ranges of FIGS. 4 and 5 are merely exemplary and that other angular ranges are contemplated in the systems of this disclosure.

Reference is now made to FIG. 6, which illustrates a perspective detail view of an embodiment of a universal multiple-position warming rack 600. The universal multiple-position warming rack 600 of this embodiment includes universal mounting devices 630, which are secured to a cooking structure 670 using fasteners 634. By way of example, fastener 634 includes a bolt 635, a washer 636 and a nut 637. One of ordinary skill in the art will appreciate that in the alternative, fasteners could be in the form of screws, rivets or other heat tolerant devices.

A front rack support 621 and a rear rack support 623 are generally U-shaped, each having a base 622, 624 respectively and two legs 625, 626 respectively. The legs 625,626 each include distal ends 627. The legs 625, 626 are each pivotally attached to the universal mounting devices 130 at their distal ends 627. A universal warming rack 610 is pivotally attached to the bases 622, 624 of the front and rear rack supports 621, 626 respectively. The pivotal engagements between the universal warming rack 610 and the rack supports 621, 623 include pivot range limiting devices 640 for limiting the angular range of movement. The exemplary range limiting devices 640 of this embodiment are biasing elements but the angular range could be limited by mechanical devices other than biasing elements. Further, the range limiting devices 640 could be configured at the pivotal engagement between the rack supports 621, 623 and the universal mounting devices 130.

In the use and operation of the described embodiment, a user would first open the upper housing member 164 to access the cooking structure 170. As the upper housing member 164 opens, it engages the universal warming rack 110 such that the universal warming rack 110 is urged towards the rear of the cooking structure 170. With the upper housing member 164 in an open position, the universal warming rack 110 maintains a position toward the rear of the grill 100 rendering the cooking structure 170 accessible.

After placing food on the cooking structure 170 and, optionally, the universal warming rack 110, a user then closes the upper housing member 164. As the upper housing member 164 closes, it engages the universal warming rack 110 such that the universal warming rack 110 is urged to the front of the grill 100 where it comes to rest in a position substantially above the cooking structure 170. The rearward and forward movements of the universal warming rack 110 correspond, respectively, to the opening and closing movements to the upper housing member 164. Further, the rearward and forward positions of the universal warming rack 110 are determined by at least one retaining or limiting device 140 configured to limit the range of motion of the universal warming rack 110.

It should be emphasized that the above-described embodiments of the present disclosure, particularly, any “preferred” embodiments, are merely possible examples of implementations, merely set forth for a clear understanding of the principles of the disclosure. Many variations and modifications may be made to the above-described embodiment(s) of the disclosure without departing substantially from the spirit and principles of the disclosure. All such modifications and variations are intended to be included herein within the scope of this disclosure and the present disclosure and protected by the following claims.