Title:
Apparatus for cooking meats
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A disposable liner for use with a rigid plastic coated cooking tray. The disposable liner comprises a preformed flexible member having a predetermined shape and a predetermined thickness. The preformed flexible member conforms to a predetermined configuration of such plastic cooking tray. The preformed flexible member covers at least an upper surface of such plastic cooking tray for collecting grease from bacon and other fatty foods being cooked on such plastic cooking tray.



Inventors:
Carlson, Edward Scott (Delmont, PA, US)
Application Number:
11/283255
Publication Date:
05/18/2006
Filing Date:
11/18/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
220/912
International Classes:
B65D55/02
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
HICKS, ROBERT J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JAMES RAY & ASSOCIATES (MONROEVILLE, PA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A disposable liner member manufactured from a preselected material for use with a rigid plastic cooking tray, said disposable liner comprising a preformed flexible member having a predetermined shape and a predetermined thickness, said preformed flexible member substantially conforming to a predetermined configuration of such plastic cooking tray, said preformed flexible member covering at least an upper surface of such plastic cooking tray for collecting grease from bacon and other fatty foods being cooked on such plastic cooking tray.

2. The disposable liner, according to claim 1, wherein said preselected material is selected from the group consisting of plastic and paper.

3. The disposable liner, according to claim 2, wherein said plastic is selected from group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, polymethylpentene, polyeterimide, polysulphone and stearic maleic anhydride copolymer.

4. The disposable liner, according to claim 2, wherein said paper is coated with plastic making it impervious to passage of fluid therethrough.

5. The disposable liner, according to claim 1, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member is generally rectangular to fit a generally rectangular plastic cooking tray.

6. The disposable liner, according to claim 5, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes upturned edges around a periphery of such preformed flexible member in order to keep grease generated from cooking bacon and other fatty meats inside said preformed flexible member.

7. The disposable liner, according to claim 5, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes a well portion closely adjacent one end corresponding to a well portion of such generally rectangular plastic cooking tray for collecting grease generated from cooking bacon and other fatty meats.

8. The disposable liner, according to claim 7, wherein said well portion of said preformed flexible member further includes an absorbent material for absorbing any grease that results from cooking of fatty meats.

9. The disposable liner, according to claim 1, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member is round to fit a generally round plastic cooking tray.

10. The disposable liner, according to claim 9, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes upturned edges around an outer periphery of said preformed flexible member in order to keep grease generated from cooking bacon and other fatty meats inside said preformed flexible plastic member.

11. The disposable liner, according to claim 9, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes a well portion closely adjacent an outer periphery of said preformed flexible member to correspond to a well portion of such generally round plastic cooking tray.

12. The disposable liner, according to claim 11, wherein said well portion of said preformed flexible member further includes an absorbent material for absorbing any grease that results from cooking of fatty meats.

13. In combination with a rigid plastic cooking tray having a predetermined configuration, a disposable liner for covering at least an upper surface of said plastic cooking tray and for collecting grease from bacon and other fatty foods being cooked on said plastic cooking tray, said disposable liner comprising a preformed flexible member having a predetermined shape and a predetermined thickness, said preformed flexible member conforming to said predetermined configuration of said rigid plastic cooking tray.

14. The combination, according to claim 13, wherein said preselected material is selected from the group consisting of plastic and paper.

15. The combination, according to claim 14, wherein said plastic is selected from group consisting of polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, polymethylpentene, polyeterimide, polysulphone and stearic maleic anhydride copolymer.

16. The combination, according to claim 14, wherein said paper is coated with plastic making it impervious to passage of fluid therethrough.

17. The combination, according to claim 13, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member is generally rectangular to fit into a rectangular rigid plastic cooking tray.

18. The combination, according to claim 17, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes upturned edges around-the periphery of said preformed flexible plastic member in order to keep grease generated from cooking bacon and other fatty meats inside said preformed flexible member.

19. The combination, according to claim 17, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes a well portion closely adjacent one end corresponding to a well portion of said generally rectangular rigid plastic cooking tray for collecting grease generating from cooking bacon and other fatty meats.

20. The combination, according to claim 19, wherein said well portion of said preformed flexible member further includes an absorbent material to absorb any grease that results from cooking of fatty meats.

21. The combination, according to claim 13, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible plastic member is round to fit a generally round rigid plastic cooking tray.

22. The combination, according to claim 21, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes upturned edges around the outer periphery of said preformed flexible plastic member in order to keep grease generated from cooking bacon and other fatty meats inside said preformed flexible plastic member.

23. The combination, according to claim 21, wherein said predetermined shape of said preformed flexible member further includes a well portion closely adjacent an outer periphery of said preformed flexible plastic member to correspond to a well portion of a generally round rigid plastic cooking tray.

24. The combination, according to claim 23, wherein said well portion of said preformed flexible member further includes an absorbent material to absorb any grease that results from cooking of fatty meats.

25. An apparatus for cooking meats, said apparatus comprising: (a) an outer tray like member for collecting grease therein; (b) an inner shelf like member having a predetermined number of ridges for supporting meat to be cooked; (c) a lid sealed to one of said outer tray and said inner shelf; and (d) a predetermined number of vent holes formed in said apparatus for allowing steam to escape.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is closely related to and claims benefit from U.S. Provisional Application Ser. No. 60/628,972 filed Nov. 18, 2004.

FIELD OF INVENTION

The present invention relates, in general, to a flexible tray for cooking bacon and other fatty meats and, more particularly, the present invention relates to a tray for cooking bacon and other meats in a microwave wherein the grease is collected in a disposable portion of the tray and then discarded and, still more specifically, the present invention in one aspect thereof relates to stackable flexible trays for cooking meat products in a microwave.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Cooking of bacon and other fatty meats which produce significant quantities of grease during the cooking process has always created a problem. These foods can be cooked in a broiler, in a skillet on the stove top or in a microwave. Regardless of the mode of cooking, the resulting grease presents a problem. There is always a messy clean up whenever these foods are cooked.

Some prior art solutions to the problem involve the use of absorbent materials upon which the bacon, sausage or other meat products are placed during the cooking process. The grease is then absorbed in the absorbent medium. Most of these processes are devoted to a broiling process rather than skillet frying or cooking the meat in a microwave. Other modes of cooking bacon or other fatty meats besides broiling include frying in a skillet and cooking in a microwave oven. Regardless of the mode of cooking all methods produce some volume of grease that must be disposed of after cooking along with the mess that accompanies cooking these foods. Frying in a skillet is the traditional method of cooking bacon where the bacon cooks in its own grease. This mode leaves little means for removing the grease other than pouring it off at certain intervals.

In the cooking of bacon or sausage in a microwave paper towels or other absorbent pads have been used to absorb the grease during cooking but this process is still not totally satisfactory.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Therefore, the present invention provides a disposable cooking tray and/or liner for use with a rigid cooking tray. The disposable liner preferably comprises a preformed flexible member having a predetermined shape and a predetermined thickness. The preformed flexible member conforms to a predetermined configuration of such cooking tray. The preformed flexible member covers at least an upper surface of such cooking tray for collecting grease from bacon and other fatty foods being cooked on such cooking tray.

Another embodiment of the invention provides in combination with a rigid plastic cooking tray having a predetermined configuration, a disposable liner for covering at least an upper surface of the plastic cooking tray and for collecting grease from bacon and other fatty foods being cooked on the plastic cooking tray. The disposable liner comprises a preformed flexible member having a predetermined shape and a predetermined thickness. The preformed flexible member conforms to the predetermined configuration of the rigid cooking tray.

Yet another embodiment of the invention provides an apparatus for cooking meats. The apparatus comprises) an outer tray like member for collecting grease therein and an an inner shelf like member having a predetermined number of ridges for supporting meat to be cooked. There is a lid sealed to one of the outer tray and the inner shelf and a predetermined number of vent holes formed in the apparatus for allowing steam to escape.

OBJECTS OF THE INVENTION

It is, therefore, one of the primary objects of the present invention to provide a disposable liner for a cooking tray so as to make clean up easy.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable liner for a cooking tray that conforms to the shape and configuration of the cooking tray.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable liner for a cooking tray wherein grease from cooking fatty foods is collected in the disposable liner.

Still another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable liner for a cooking tray wherein grease from cooking fatty foods is collected in an absorbent material disposed in the disposable liner.

Another object of the present invention is to provide a disposable liner which can be made of paper or plastic.

Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a paper liner which is plastic coated.

These and various other objects and advantages of this invention will become apparent after a full reading of the following detailed description, particularly, when read in conjunction with the attached drawings as described below and the appended claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a rectangular plastic cooking tray.

FIG. 2 is a cross section view of the plastic cooking tray shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a plan view of a disposable liner that fits a plastic cooking tray shown in FIG. 1.

FIG. 4 is a cross section view of the disposable liner shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is a plan view of a cover for the disposable liner and the plastic cooking tray shown in FIGS. 1 and 3.

FIG. 6 is a cross section view of the cover shown in FIG. 5.

FIG. 7 is a plan view of a circular plastic cooking tray.

FIG. 8 is a cross section view of the plastic cooking tray shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 9 is a plan view of a disposable liner that fits a plastic cooking tray shown in FIG. 7.

FIG. 10 is a cross section view of the disposable liner shown in FIG. 9.

FIG. 11 is plan view of the plastic cooking tray shown in FIG. 7 and the disposable liner shown in FIG. 9 together.

FIG. 12 is a cross section view of plastic cooking tray together with the disposable liner shown in FIG. 10.

FIG. 13 is a plan view of a cover for the disposable liner and the plastic cooking tray shown in FIGS. 7 and-9.

FIG. 14 is a cross section view of the cover shown in FIG. 13.

FIG. 15 is a cross section view of the disposable liner shown in FIG. 3 showing an alternate embodiment.

FIG. 16 is a plan view of a presently preferred embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 17 is a side elevation view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 16.

FIG. 18 is a bottom perspective view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 16-17.

FIG. 19 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 16-18.

FIG. 20 is a perspective view of an inner liner of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 16-19.

FIG. 21 is a perspective view of the lid for the embodiment of the invention shown in FIGS. 16-20.

FIG. 22 is a cross sectional view taken along the lines XXII-XXII of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 17.

FIG. 23 is a perspective view of the embodiment of the invention shown in FIG. 16.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION

Prior to proceeding with the more detailed description of the present invention it should be noted that, for the sake of clarity, identical components which have identical functions have been designated by identical reference numerals throughout the several views illustrated in the drawings.

Illustrated in FIGS. 1-4 is an apparatus, generally designated 10, which includes a plastic cooking tray 2 having a substantially rectangular shape and a disposable liner 4 for such plastic cooking tray. Such disposable liner 4 conforms to the shape of the plastic cooking tray 2. The cooking tray 2 has a well 6 at one end to collect grease from cooking of fatty foods such as bacon. The disposable plastic liner 4 also has a well portion 8 that conforms to the well portion 6 of the plastic tray 2. Thus, any grease generated from the cooking of fatty foods will collect in the well portion 8 of the disposable liner. In an embodiment of the invention such well portion 8 includes an absorbent material 12 for collecting the grease. After cooking with the grease all contained in the disposable liner 4, the liner 4 is just thrown away leaving the cooking tray free of grease. Illustrated in FIGS. 5 an 6 is an alternate embodiment of the invention in which is provided a lid 14 to cover the plastic tray 2 with the disposable liner 4 therein.

Such disposable flexible liner 4 is made of either plastic or paper. The plastic for such liner is selected from a group that consists of polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate, polymethylpentene, polyeterimide, polysulphone and stearic maleic anhydride copolymer. Presently it is preferred that such plastic is selected from polyethylene terephthalate, polybutylene terephthalate or polymethylpentene, both from their availability and their use with a microwave. When the disposable flexible liner 4 is made of paper it is presently preferred that such paper is coated (laminated) with plastic making it impervious to passage of fluid therethrough.

Illustrated in FIGS. 7-12 is an alternate embodiment of the invention wherein the shape of the plastic cooking tray 22 is substantially circular. The invention is basically the same as that discussed previously. The only essential difference is the shape of the tray 22 and, therefore, the shape of the preformed flexible liner 24. The well portion 26 of the circular tray 22 is disposed along the outer circumferential edge of the tray and thus the disposable liner 24 has a similar well portion 28.

The present invention provides that the bacon grease because of the sloped characteristics of the bacon racks will flow to the grease wells 6, 26 provided on the racks 2,22. All of the grease is retained in the grease wells 8, 28 provided in the preformed flexible member 4, 24. When the cooking is completed the entire preformed, flexible member 4,24 is discarded with the grease therein. As stated previously in an alternate embodiment of the invention some absorbent material 8 is placed in the well portion to absorb the grease and, thus, make disposal easier. Further the upturned edges (sides) of the preformed, flexible member keep the grease from flowing over the edges and getting on the supporting bacon rack. Thus, the bacon rack 12, 22 remains clean and free from any bacon grease or the marks that are made from the bacon being cooked.

Illustrated in FIGS. 11 and 12 is a composite of the plastic cooking tray 22 with the disposable, flexible liner 24 disposed therein. While FIGS. 13 and 14 show the cover 32 for the cooking tray 22 with the disposable flexible liner 24 disposed therein. FIG. 15 shows the disposable flexible liner 4 shown in FIGS. 3 and 4 with the absorbent material 8 disposed in the well

Refer now to FIGS. 16-23 wherein there is illustrated one other embodiment of the invention. The apparatus, generally designated 50, of this embodiment includes an outer tray 42 an inner tray 44 and a sealable lid 46. Vent holes are provided in the lid 46 and outer tray 42 to allow steam to escape.

While both the presently preferred and a number of alternative embodiments of the present invention have been described in detail above it should be understood that various other adaptations and modifications of the present invention can be envisioned by those persons who are skilled in the relevant art of equipment for cooking meats without departing from either the spirit of the invention or the scope of the appended claims.





 
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