Title:
Vapor Heating Type Cooking Apparatus
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention relates to a vapor heating type cooking apparatus cooking food materials using high pressure vapor as a heat source. A vapor heating type cooking apparatus includes: a vapor supply section generating the high pressure vapor; a vapor supply pipe and a vapor discharge pipe for introducing and discharging the high pressure vapor; a body section including a vapor introduction opening connected to the vapor supply pipe, an interior space having a dual structure so as to circulate the high pressure vapor in the caldron in which food materials are accommodated, a vapor discharge opening provided between the interior space and the vapor discharge pipe; a cooling water supply pipe and a hot water discharge pipe; a lid section including a cooling water introduction opening connected to the cooling water supply pipe, a storage space having a dual structure, in which the cooling water is temporarily stored, and a hot water discharge opening provided between the storage space and the hot water discharge pipe; and a control section for controlling introduction and discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water.



Inventors:
Lee, Won-ki (Gyeonggi do, KR)
Application Number:
11/676102
Publication Date:
09/13/2007
Filing Date:
02/16/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F24D1/00
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Primary Examiner:
SIMONE, TIMOTHY F
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
QUARLES & BRADY LLP (MILWAUKEE, WI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A vapor heating type cooking apparatus cooking food materials using high pressure vapor of a predetermined temperature as a heat source, the cooking apparatus comprising: a vapor supply section generating the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature; a vapor supply pipe and a vapor discharge pipe for introducing and discharging the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature which is generated in the vapor supply section; a body section comprising a vapor introduction opening connected to the vapor supply pipe to introduce the high pressure vapor, an interior space receiving a caldron in which the food materials are accommodated and having a dual structure for heating the entire caldron by circulating the high pressure vapor introduced from the vapor introduction opening, a vapor discharge opening provided between the interior space and the vapor discharge pipe for discharging the high pressure vapor; a cooling water supply pipe through which cooling water of below a predetermined temperature is introduced and a hot water discharge pipe through which hot water of above a predetermined temperature is discharged; a lid section disposed at an upper portion of the body section to close the caldron, the lid section comprising a cooling water introduction opening connected to the cooling water supply pipe to introduce the cooling water, a storage space having a dual structure, in which the cooling water introduced from the cooling water introduction opening is temporarily stored to condense the vapor, and a hot water discharge opening is provided between the storage space and the hot water discharge pipe to discharge the hot water; and a control section for controlling introduction and discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water.

2. A cooking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the control section comprises: a temperature sensor detecting the temperature of the interior of the body section and the temperature of the interior of the hot water discharge section; a display window displaying a result detected by the temperature sensor; a logic circuit determining the introduction and the discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water on the basis of the result detected by the temperature sensor; and an automatic valve operated by signals transferred by the logic circuit.

3. A cooking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the hot water discharge pipe is connected to an external hot water storage tank to provide the hot water for heating and supply of the hot water.

4. A cooking apparatus according to claim 1, wherein safety valves are provided so as to be communicated with the interior space of the body section and the storage space of the lid section, respectively to discharge the vapor or the cooling water when the pressures of the interior space of the body section and the storage space of the lid section are above a predetermined value.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims benefit to Korean Patent Application No. 10-2006-0016197 filed on Feb. 20, 2006.

STATEMENT OF FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not applicable.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates to a vapor heating type cooking apparatus for boiling food materials such as vegetables, meat, fish, and shellfish, medicinal decoctions, etc., and more particularly to a vapor heating type cooking apparatus which can boil food materials such as vegetables, fish, shellfish, meat, bones of meat, etc. at a predetermined temperature, in which vapor is the heat supply source, and can condense the evaporated vapor again by temporarily storing cooling water in a lid section to prevent reduction of moisture during cooking.

2. Background of the Related Art

Conventionally, in order to cook cow bone soup, etc., a method in which food materials such as vegetables, meat, and bones are put into a large-sized cooking vessel such as a caldron together with water and are heated for a long time by heat supply of briquettes or gas fuels has been used.

However, in the heat supply method by briquettes or gas fuels, since heat is ununiformly transferred to the interior of the cooking vessel, food materials or coagulated soup easily sticks to the cooking vessel or is burned. Further, in order to prevent this, it is necessary to continuously stir the cooked materials with a scoop or the like during cooking.

Further, in the case in which heat is supplied for a long time, much moisture is evaporated from foods, and it is necessary to watch the cooking state to supplement water occasionally during cooking. Further, since the cooking vessel should be heated to a predetermined temperature again after supplementing the water, energy is wasted and the cooking time is delayed. Therefore, the nutrition in the materials is destroyed due to long time heating. Further, the vapor is evaporated to the outside of the caldron, thereby losing the natural taste and smell of the food.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Accordingly, the present invention has been developed in order to solve the above-mentioned problems occurring in the prior art, and an object of the present invention is to provide a vapor heating type cooking apparatus which can remove inconveniences for the user and display the nutrition of food materials and the natural taste and smell of the food by supplying heat by high pressure vapor of a predetermined temperature and condensing the evaporated vapor again with cooling water temporarily stored in a lid section.

It is another object of the present invention to provide a vapor heating type cooking apparatus which can provide hot water for heating and supply of the hot water using condensation heat of evaporated vapor.

In order to accomplish the objects, there is provided a vapor heating type cooking apparatus cooking food materials using high pressure vapor of a predetermined temperature as a heat source, the cooking apparatus comprising: a vapor supply section generating the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature; a vapor supply pipe and a vapor discharge pipe for introducing and discharging the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature which is generated in the vapor supply section; a body section comprising a vapor introduction opening connected to the vapor supply pipe to introduce the high pressure vapor, an interior space receiving a caldron in which the food materials are accommodated and having a dual structure for heating the entire caldron by circulating the high pressure vapor introduced from the vapor introduction opening, a vapor discharge opening provided between the interior space and the vapor discharge pipe for discharging the high pressure vapor; a cooling water supply pipe through which cooling water of below a predetermined temperature is introduced and a hot water discharge pipe through which hot water of above a predetermined temperature is discharged; a lid section disposed at an upper portion of the body section to close the caldron, the lid section comprising a cooling water introduction opening connected to the cooling water supply pipe to introduce the cooling water, a storage space having a dual structure, in which the cooling water introduced from the cooling water introduction opening is temporarily stored to condense the vapor, and a hot water discharge opening is provided between the storage space and the hot water discharge pipe to discharge the hot water; and a control section for controlling introduction and discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water.

Preferably, the control section may comprise: a temperature sensor detecting the temperature of the interior of the body section and the temperature of the interior of the hot water discharge section; a display window displaying a result detected by the temperature sensor; a logic circuit determining the introduction and the discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water on the basis of the result detected by the temperature sensor; and an automatic valve operated by signals transferred by the logic circuit.

Preferably, the hot water discharge pipe may be connected to an external hot water storage tank to provide the hot water for heating and supply of the hot water.

Preferably, safety valves may be provided so as to be communicated with the interior space of the body section and the storage space of the lid section, respectively to discharge the vapor or the cooling water when the pressures of the interior space of the body section and the storage space of the lid section are above a predetermined value.

As mentioned above, according to the vapor heating type cooking apparatus of the present invention, since the temperature distribution of the caldron is uniform and the heat distribution rate of the caldron is high, the food can be prevented from sticking to the caldron or being burned. Therefore, the inconvenience for a user of having to stir the food with a scoop is remarkably improved.

Further, since the vapor generated in the lid section is prevented from being discharged outside by the lid section in which the cooling water is temporarily stored and is condensed to water droplets, which drop into the caldron, the amount of the soup is not reduced and a user does not need to supplement water. Accordingly, the inconvenience caused by having to supplement water and wasting energy can be reduced and the cooking time can be reduced. Therefore, destruction of the nutrients of the materials can be prevented and the natural taste and smell of the food can be displayed by shortening the cooking time.

Further, the hot water of above a predetermined temperature can be obtained by using the condensation heat of the vapor generated in the caldron. The hot water can be stored in an external hot water storage tank for heating or supply of the hot water and can be provided to a lodging house such as a hotel, a dormitory, a house, etc., thereby obtaining economical effects such as saving energy.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above and other objects, features, and advantages of the present invention will be more apparent from the following detailed description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing a vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view showing the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a view for explaining the operation of the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a view showing the used state of the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

Hereinafter, the structure, the operation, and the effects of a vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention will be described in detail through a preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 1 is a schematic perspective view showing a vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention. FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view showing the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention. FIG. 3 is a view for explaining the operation of the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention. FIG. 4 is a view showing the used state of the vapor heating type cooking apparatus according to the present invention.

Referring to FIGS. 1 and 2, the vapor heating type cooking apparatus 1 according to the present invention receives heat from high pressure vapor of a predetermined temperature to cook food materials accommodated in a body section 20.

The vapor heating type cooking apparatus 1 is provided with a vapor supply section 10 generating the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature. A vapor supply pipe 40 for introducing the high pressure vapor of the predetermined temperature, which is generated in the vapor supply section 10, is connected to the vapor supply section 10. The body section 20 is provided with a vapor introduction opening 21 connected to the vapor supply pipe 40 and has an interior space 22 of a dual structure. The interior space 22 of the body section 20 has a shape capable of receiving a caldron 24. On the other hand, a vapor discharge pipe 50 is connected to the body section 20 to discharge the high pressure vapor from the interior space 22, which has been circulated in the interior space 22. Further, a vapor discharge opening 23 is provided in the body section 20 so as to be communicated with the vapor discharge pipe 50. A lid section 30 for closing the caldron 24 is disposed at an upper portion of the body section 20. Food materials are accommodated in the caldron 24.

The lid section 30 is connected to a cooling water supply pipe 60 through which cooling water of below a predetermined temperature is introduced and to a hot water discharge pipe 70 through which hot water of above a predetermined temperature is discharged. The lid section 30 is provided with a cooling water introduction opening 31 communicated with the cooling water supply pipe 60 and a hot water discharge opening 33 communicated with the hot water discharge pipe 70. Further, the lid section 30 is provided with a storage space 32 of a dual structure to temporarily store the cooling water introduced from the cooling water supply pipe 60.

On the other hand, safety valves 26 and 35 are installed in the body section 20 and the lid section 30, respectively. The safety valves 26 and 35 discharge the high pressure vapor if the pressures of the interiors of the body section 20 and the lid section 30 reach a predetermined value as the body section 20 and the lid section 30 are heated.

An automatic valve 41, a manometer 43, and a operation timer 42 are provided in the vapor supply pipe 40 and are operated automatically by the control section 80 or manually by a user to control the introduction of the high pressure vapor.

An automatic valve 51 is also provided in the vapor discharge pipe 50 to control the discharge of the high pressure vapor.

Referring to FIG. 3, the vapor heating type cooking apparatus 1 further includes a control section 80 detecting the temperatures in the interiors of the caldron 24 of the body section 20 and the hot water discharge opening 33 of the lid section 30 and determining the introduction and the discharge of the cooling water and the hot water. Temperature sensors 25 and 34 for detecting temperature of the caldron 24 and the hot water discharge opening 33 are provided in the caldron 24 and the hot water discharge opening 33, respectively. Further, although not shown, a logic circuit determines the introduction and the discharge of the high pressure vapor, the cooling water, and the hot water on the basis of a result detected by the temperature sensors 25 and 34. Further, a display window 81 displays the result detected by the temperature sensors 25 and 34 and the automatic valves 41, 51, 61, and 71 are operated according to signals transferred from the logic circuit.

Hereinafter, the overall operation of the vapor heating type cooking apparatus 1 according to the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 3 and 4.

The vapor supply section 10 such as a boiler generates high pressure vapor of a high temperature, which is introduced into the interior space 22 through the vapor supply pipe 40 and the vapor introduction opening 21 of the body section 20. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is preferable that the temperature of the high pressure vapor is 120 to 130 degrees Celsius.

The introduced high pressure vapor of a high temperature is uniformly diffused into the interior space 22 and functions as a heat source for supplying heat to the caldron to cook food materials.

The automatic valve 41, the manometer 43, the operation timer 42 of the vapor supply pipe 40 control the introduction of the high pressure vapor in various methods such as an automatic operation of the control section 80, an operation according to manipulation of an operation button 82, and an operation according to time setting of a user. The temperature of the caldron 24 is determined according to the amount of introduced high pressure vapor.

It is preferable that the body section 20 is formed of stainless steel and has a thickness of more than 0.5 mm to easily transfer heat using the vapor and to have the durability in view of the high pressure.

After the high pressure vapor of a high temperature has been used as a heat source in the body section 20, it becomes vapor of a low temperature, which is discharged through the vapor discharge opening 23 and the vapor discharge pipe 50. The discharged vapor of a low temperature is returned to the vapor supply section 10 and is reused as high pressure vapor of a predetermined temperature. The discharge of the vapor is controlled by the operation of the automatic valve 51 provided in the vapor discharge pipe 50.

The cooling water of a low temperature is introduced into the storage space 32 of the lid section 30 through the cooling water supply pipe 60 connected to underground water and a water pipe and the cooling water introduction opening 31 of the lid section 30. Then, the introduction of the cooling water is controlled by the operation of the automatic valve 61 provided in the cooling water supply pipe 60. In the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is preferable that the cooling water is underground water or tap water of below fifteen degrees Celsius.

The introduced cooling water of a low temperature is temporarily stored in the storage space 32 of the lid section 30 and receives condensation heat from the vapor generated in the caldron 24 to become hot water of a predetermined temperature. The condensation heat of the vapor is taken by the cooling water so that water droplets are formed on the outer surface of the storage space 32 of the lid section 30.

The lid section 30 not only prevents the vapor evaporated from the food materials accommodated in the caldron 24 from being discharged to the outside while the food materials are being cooked by closing the body section 20 but also prevents the moisture of the food materials from being reduced by condensing the vapor.

A connection ring 36 is formed at a central portion on the upper side of the lid section 30 and is engaged with a hook 38. The lid section 30 is separated from the body section 20 if the connection ring 36 is moved upward by a pulley 37.

It is preferable that the lid section 30 is formed of stainless steel and has a thickness of more than 0.5 mm to easily transfer the condensation heat of the vapor to the cooling water and to have durability with respect to a constant pressure.

If the temperature of the cooling water temporarily stored in the storage space 32 is increased to above a predetermined temperature by the vapor generated in the caldron 24, the control section 80 operates the automatic valve 71 provided in the hot water discharge pipe 70 to discharge the hot water.

That is, the temperature sensor 34 measures the temperature of the hot water in the hot water discharge opening 33 and transfers the measured temperature to the logic circuit. Then, the logic circuit determines the discharge of the hot water on the basis of the detection result and the automatic valve 71 is operated according to the signals transferred from the logic circuit.

The control section 80 closes the automatic valve 71 of the hot water discharge pipe 70 if the temperature of the hot water is below a set value. Further, the control section 80 opens the automatic valve 71 to maintain the temperature of the discharged hot water constantly if the temperature of the hot water reaches the set value. According to the preferred embodiment of the present invention, it is preferable that the temperature of the interior of the hot water discharge opening 33 is maintained between 60 and 70 degrees Celsius.

The hot water of a predetermined temperature is stored in a hot water storage tank 90 for heating or supply of the hot water through the hot water discharge pipe 70 and is provided to a lodging house such as a hotel, a dormitory, and a house, etc.

On the other hand, if the temperature of the caldron becomes higher or lower than a set temperature, the automatic valves 41 and 51 of the vapor supply pipe 40 and the vapor discharge pipe 50 are opened or closed to control the introduction and the discharge of the vapor, thereby constantly maintaining the temperature of the caldron 24.

Further, if the pressure in the interior space 22 of the body section 20 or the storage space 32 of the lid section 30 becomes excessively high as much vapor or much cooling water is introduced into the interior space 22 or the storage space 32, the vapor or the cooling water can be discharged by operating the safety valves 26 and 35 to safely use the cooking apparatus.

The temperatures of the caldron 24 and the hot water can be constantly maintained by manipulating the automatic valves 41, 51, 61, and 71 with operation buttons by a user, with the user seeing the temperatures indicated on the display window 81 or by setting an operation timer 42.

As mentioned above, since the high pressure vapor introduced into the body section 20 is uniformly diffused in the interior space 22, the temperature distribution of the caldron 24 is uniform and the heat distribution rate of the caldron 24 is high, so that the materials of cow bone soup or dense soup can be prevented from sticking to the caldron 24 or being burned even after long cooking. Therefore, the inconvenience for the user of having to stir the soup with a scoop is remarkably reduced.

Further, since the vapor generated in the caldron 24 is not discharged outside by the cooling water temporarily stored in the storage space 32 of the lid section 30 and is condensed to water droplets which are formed on the outer surface of the storage space 32 and drop into the caldron 24 again, the amount of soup is not reduced even after long cooking and water does not need to be supplemented frequently, thereby removing the inconvenience of having to supplement water and waste energy and shortening the cooking time. Therefore, destruction of nutrients in the materials is prevented by shortening the cooking time and the natural taste and smell of the food can be displayed by preventing evaporation of the vapor outside the caldron 24.

While a preferred embodiment of the present invention has been described for illustrative purposes, those skilled in the art will appreciate that various modifications, additions and substitutions are possible, without departing from the scope and spirit of the invention as disclosed in the accompanying claims.