Title:
Rice cooker liner
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A generally cylindrical shaped disposable plastic liner for use with a rice cooker for minimizing cleanup after use. The liner has an elastic band, approximately one inch to three inches from the superior edge of the liner, to secure the liner to the rice cooker.



Inventors:
Valles, Rhonda J. (Dana Point, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/135701
Publication Date:
11/30/2006
Filing Date:
05/24/2005
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
383/22, 383/33
International Classes:
B65D33/14; B65D25/14; B65D33/00
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
PASCUA, JES F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Rhonda J. Valles (Dana Point, IN, US)
Claims:
1. A disposable liner for a rice cooker comprising: a cylindrical shape plastic film having a superior open end, wherein said plastic film is selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polypropylene and combinations thereof; and an elastic band extending around a circumference and parallel to a superior edge of said liner.

2. The liner of claim 1, wherein said elastic band is approximately 1 inch to approximately 3 inches from said superior edge of said liner.

3. The liner of claim 1, wherein a diameter of the superior open end is greater than the diameter of an inferior end.

4. A disposable liner for a rice cooker comprising: a) a cylindrical shape plastic film having an open superior end; and b) an elastic band extending around a circumference of said liner and parallel to a superior edge of said liner.

5. The liner of claim 5, wherein said plastic film is selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polypropylene and combinations thereof.

6. A disposable liner for a rice cooker comprising: a) a cylindrical shape plastic film having an open superior end, wherein said plastic film is selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polypropylene and combinations thereof; b) an elastic band extending around a circumference of said liner and parallel to a superior edge of said liner, said elastic band extending approximately 1 inch to approximately 3 inches from the superior edge of the liner; and c) a diameter of the superior open end is greater than a diameter of an inferior end of the liner.

7. A method or providing timesavings in cleaning a rice cooker after use, comprising the steps of: a) inserting a cylindrical shape plastic film into a rice cooker, the film having an open superior end, said plastic film selected from the group consisting of polyethylene, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene, polypropylene and combinations thereof; and b) engaging an elastic band extending around a circumference of said liner and parallel to a superior edge of said liner, to an exterior of the rice cooker, said elastic band extending approximately 1 inch to approximately 3 inches from the superior edge of the liner; c) placing rice within said rice cooker liner; and d) cooking the rice.

8. A disposable liner for a rice cooker comprising: a) a plastic film forming a container having an open superior end, further comprising a superior edge adapted to engage a rice cooker; and b) the plastic film including a closed inferior end.

9. The rice cooker liner of claim 8, further comprising an elastic band extending around a circumference of said liner and parallel to the superior edge of said liner, said elastic band extending approximately 1 inch to approximately 3 inches from the superior edge of the liner.

10. The rice cooker liner of claim 8, wherein the plastic may be may be selected from material of the group consisting of clear, colored, opaque and combinations thereof.

11. The rice cooker liner of claim 8, further comprising features applied to the liner, the features selected from the group consisting of writing, logos, artwork, embossing and combinations thereof.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE DISCLOSURE

The present disclosure relates to a disposable liner for a rice cooker, providing timesavings to a consumer by eliminating the necessity to scrub a rice cooker after use.

Liners of different materials have been used to cover heated cooking surfaces and pans. U.S. Pat. No. 4,320,699 discloses a liner made of tetraflouroethylene polymer, commonly referred to as Teflon®, used to cover heating surfaces to provide ease in cleaning after use. Tetraflouroethylene is generally a non-removable permanent coating of a pan or cooking surface, still requiring a significant degree of cleaning after use.

Paper liners, as used commonly in baking are disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 3,779,231, U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,633,052 and 3,155,304. Paper is not a compatible liner with a rice cooker as the water required to cook rice degrades the paper liner.

The present invention overcomes the disadvantages of the prior art, as described in the detailed description of the disclosure.

SUMMARY

The present invention relates to a disposable liner for use with a rice cooker to minimize cleanup after use. The liner may be used by individual consumers with small scale cooking needs, and by establishments with large scale cooking needs such as restaurants, schools and the like.

The present invention rice cooker liner comprises a plastic film, generally cylindrical in shape with an open superior end, adapted to be placed inside a rice cooker. The liner is produced by standard techniques such as heat sealed blown film, or other methods known to those skilled in the art. In addition, the liner has an elastic band proximal to the superior open end of the liner, to secure the liner to the rice cooker during use.

The liner is inserted into the rice cooker, to receive water and rice as known in usual cooking practice. The superior portion of the liner, having the elastic band, is extended and folded over the rim of the cooker to engage the exterior side, thereby preventing the liner from falling back into the cooker during use.

The rice is cooked as known in the art within the liner and is removed easily from the cooker by lifting the liner from the cooker. The rice may be neatly transferred into a another container, and the liner is discarded after use. The use of the liner eliminates the necessity and time consumption of scrubbing the cooker after use, as the rice is prevented from contact with the interior surface of the rice cooker by the rice cooker liner.

Additional features of the present disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon consideration of the following Detailed Description of example embodiments of the disclosure.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a side elevational view of a liner constructed in accordance with the teachings of the present invention;

FIG. 2 shows a side view of a rice cooker having a liner; and

FIG. 3 shows a side view of a rice cooker having a liner folded over the rim of the cooker and held in place by an elastic band.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATED EMBODIMENT

The present invention relates to a disposable rice cooker liner, generally shown as (10) in the drawings. More specifically, the present invention comprises liner (10) for use in a conventional rice cooker. A conventional rice cooker (15) is shown in FIG. 2 for clarity. The liner (10) further comprises an elastic band (11) proximal and parallel to a superior edge (17) of the liner (10), which is folded over a rim (16) of the cooker (15) when in use and engages the exterior of the cooker (15) for the duration of the cooking process.

FIG. 1 depicts the liner (10) in a generally cylindrical shape having an open superior end (18). Those skilled in the art will recognize the liner may be of a variety of shapes, such as cylindrical, cubical and the like. In addition, the size of liner (10) is suitable for a typical rice cooker known in the art, and may have a diameter of approximately 8 inches to approximately 10 inches, and a depth of approximately 6 inches to approximately 8 inches. Preferably, the diameter of the superior open end (18) is slightly larger than the diameter of an inferior end (19), or is tapered, to allow for ease in folding over the rim (16) of the cooker. Given the applicability of this invention to small scale and large scale cooking, it should be understood that the liner (10) may be of any suitable size, proportion or dimension. The rice cooker liner (10) may be made of clear, colored or opaque, material. In addition, there may be writing, logos, artwork or embossing and the like, present on the liner.

The liner (10) comprises an elastic band (11) approximately one inch to approximately 3 inches below and parallel to the superior edge (17), and extending around the circumference of the liner (10). The heat resistant elastic band (11) provides means for preventing the liner (10) from falling back into the cooker (15) during use. The superior edge (17) along with the elastic band (11) will be stretched over the rim (16) of the cooker (15), allowing the elastic band (11) to engage the exterior of the cooker (15), as shown in FIG. 3. The width of the elastic band (11), may be of any reasonable measurement suitable for the size of the liner, preferably approximately 3 mm to approximately 15 mm. Once the liner (10) is engaged and cooking is in process, a lid (not shown) of the cooker may be placed as usual, on the cooker, further securing the liner (10) to the cooker (15). The liner (10) will not interfere with the sealing properties of the lid.

The composition of the liner (10) is preferably polyethylene or polypropylene and the like. The liner (10) is preferably used in conventional rice cookers, the temperature for which reaches up to about 212° Fahrenheit, the boiling point of water. Polyethylene and polypropylene polymers are generally safe up to 212° Fahrenheit, without reacting with water in the presence of heat to produce toxic elements or compounds. The liner (10) may be produced from materials such as polyethylene, high density polyethylene, low density polyethylene and polypropylene. Care must be taken to not use polymers which may react with water in the presence of heat, such as those in commonly found oven bags known in the art.

While the concepts of the present disclosure have been illustrated and described in detail in the drawings and foregoing description, such an illustration and description is to be considered as exemplary and not restrictive in character, it being understood that only the illustrative embodiments have been shown and described and that all changes and modifications that come within the spirit of the disclosure are desired to be protected by the following claims.