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Title:
A BARBECUE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/191438
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A barbecue (1) comprising a cooking area (3), a hood (5) having sides and a mounting arrangement (15). The mounting arrangement is a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn as the hood moves from a covering orientation, in which the hood covers at least most of the cooking area, to an upright orientation in which the hood horizontally clears at least most of the cooking area. The mounting arrangement, at each of the sides, constraining a first-point, fixed relative to the hood, to follow a rearward path as the hood moves form the covering orientation to the upright orientation; and a second-point, fixed relative to the hood and rearward of the first-point, to follow a downward path, non-concentric to the rearward path, as the hood moves from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

Inventors:
BRIDGEFORD PAUL (AU)
KUYS BLAIR (AU)
LEWIS MATHIEU (AU)
HOOK RACHEL (AU)
CHIA NICHOLAS (AU)
AU ERIC (AU)
Application Number:
AU2020/050279
Publication Date:
October 01, 2020
Filing Date:
March 24, 2020
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PAM CO PTY LTD (AU)
International Classes:
A47J37/07; A47J27/08; A47J36/06; A47J37/10; A47J37/12
Foreign References:
US20120266857A12012-10-25
GB2178945A1987-02-25
US4062340A1977-12-13
US6253760B12001-07-03
US20080078374A12008-04-03
EP1964497A12008-09-03
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
WADESON (AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A barbecue comprising a cooking area; an opening behind the cooking area; a hood having sides; and a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn as the hood moves into the opening en route from a covering orientation in which the hood covers at least most of the cooking area; to an upright orientation in which the hood horizontally clears at least most of the cooking area; the mounting arrangement, at each of the sides, constraining a first-point, fixed relative to the hood, to follow a rearward path as the hood moves form the covering orientation to the upright orientation; and a second-point, fixed relative to the hood and rearward of the first-point, to follow a downward path, non-concentric to the rearward path, as the hood moves from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

2. The barbeque of claim 1 wherein the opening runs along a back of the cooking area and comprises on each side of the cooking area a portion for receiving a side wall of the hood.

3. The barbeque of claim 1 or 2 wherein the cooking area is predominantly rectangular. 4. The barbecue of claim 1 , 2 or 3 wherein the mounting arrangement comprises at each of the sides a first link and a second link longer than the first link; each first link being mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a first pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the first pivot axis to follow the rearward path; and each second link being mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a second pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the second pivot axis to follow the downward path.

5. The barbecue of claim 1 , 2 or 3 wherein the mounting arrangement comprises at each of the sides, a four-bar linkage.

6. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 5 wherein the mounting arrangement is a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn through at least

70° from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

7. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 6 wherein, when in the upright orientation, the hood horizontally clears at least 80% of a top of the cooking area.

8. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 7 wherein, when in the upright orientation, the hood is behind at least 80% of the cooking area.

9. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 8 wherein, when in the upright orientation, the hood defines a splash back in the range of 200 to 300 mm inclusive high. 10. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 9 wherein the hood comprises one or more lights mounted to shine down on the cooking area when the hood is in the upright orientation.

11. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 10 comprising a heating arrangement and an interlock; the barbecue being reconfigurable to vary a height at which food is supported above at least a portion of the heating arrangement; the interlock being configured to limit an output of the at least portion of the heating arrangement in positive relation to the height. 12. A barbecue comprising a heating arrangement and an interlock; the barbecue being reconfigurable to vary a height at which food is supported above at least a portion of the heating arrangement; the interlock being configured to limit an output of the at least portion of the heating arrangement in positive relation to the height. 13. The barbecue of claim 12 comprising a hood, movable from a covering orientation to open the barbecue.

14. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 11 and 13 wherein, when the hood is in the covering orientation, an apex of the hood is rearward of at least 80% of the cooking area. 15. The barbecue of claim 14 wherein, when the hood is in the covering orientation, from the apex forward, at least about 80% of a top of the hood slopes down towards a front of the barbecue.

16. The barbecue of any one of claims 11 and 13 to 15 wherein, when the hood is in the covering orientation, the hood is not more than 250 mm high. 17. The barbecue of any one of claims 1 to 11 and 13 to 16 wherein at least most of the hood is double-skinned.

18. The barbecue of claim 11 , 12 or 13 comprising a set of interchangeable food supporting members interchangeable to vary the height. 19. The barbecue of claim 18 wherein the barbecue comprises supports; and the set comprises a first food-supporting member configured to sit on the supports and support food at a first height; and a second food-supporting member to sit on the supports and support the food at a second height lower than the first height; the first food-supporting member being at least one of a hotplate and a grill plate.

20. The barbecue of any one of claims 18 to 19 wherein the interlock comprises an electronic sensor for identifying the food-supporting members.

21. The barbecue of claim 18, 19 or 20 comprising further food-supporting members to bracket an in use one or more of the interchangeable food-supporting members.

22. The barbeque of any one of claims 1 to 21 mounted in one of an island bench and a peninsula bench.

Description:
A BARBECUE

FIELD

The invention relates to barbecues.

BACKGROUND

A barbecue is a cooking apparatus comprising a cooking area overlying a heat source. Food is placed on the cooking area to cook.

A simple barbecue may consist of a hotplate or a grill plate mounted over a wood fire. A hotplate is an at least mostly impermeable food-supporting member having a more or less plate-like form. A typical grill plate consists of a horizontal array of parallel bars mutually connected by two or three cross-pieces to form a member occupying a more or less plate-like envelope.

Barbecues have evolved well beyond these humble beginnings and are now frequently used for more elaborate forms of cooking. Many barbecues are equipped with a hood for covering the cooking area to form a chamber, akin to an oven chamber, for roasting - e.g. for roasting bulky foods such as a turkey, a leg of lamb or a shoulder of beef.

Food and cooking have always performed an important social function beyond the provision of mere sustenance. In Australian culture (and in many other cultures) barbecuing frequently provides the pretext for a social gathering.

The present inventors have recognised that the now commonplace barbecue hood can reduce social interaction. Typical barbecue hoods are mounted to pivot about a horizontal axis to an upright position at which they impose a visual barrier between the chef (in front of the barbecue) and others (at the rear of the barbecue). The inventors have also recognised that older, hoodless barbecues are not without their drawbacks. Cooking fat spattering from the cooking area can deter people from socialising around the rear of the barbecue. This is particularly the case in the context of more formal settings wherein guests wearing fashion garments are likely to avoid the barbecue altogether, to avoid grease stains.

With the foregoing in mind, the present invention aims to provide improvements in and for barbecuing, or at least to provide an alternative for those concerned with barbecuing.

It is not admitted that any of the information in this patent specification is common general knowledge, or that the person skilled in the art could be reasonably expected to ascertain or understand it, regard it as relevant or combine it in any way before the priority date.

SUMMARY

One aspect of the invention provides a barbecue comprising a cooking area; a hood having sides; and a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn as the hood moves from a covering orientation in which the hood covers at least most of the cooking area; to an upright orientation in which the hood horizontally clears at least most of the cooking area; the mounting arrangement, at each of the sides, constraining a first-point, fixed relative to the hood, to follow a rearward path as the hood moves form the covering orientation to the upright orientation; and a second-point, fixed relative to the hood and rearward of the first-point, to follow a downward path, non-concentric to the rearward path, as the hood moves from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

The barbecue may comprise an opening behind the cooking area. The mounting arrangement is preferably a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn as it moves into the opening en route from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

Preferably the opening runs along a back of the cooking area and comprises on each side of the cooking area a portion for receiving a side wall of the hood. Optionally the cooking area is predominantly rectangular.

The mounting arrangement may comprise at each of the sides a link mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the pivot axis to follow the rearward path. The mounting arrangement may comprise at each of the sides a link mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the pivot axis to follow the downward path.

Preferably the mounting arrangement comprises at each of the sides, a four-bar linkage.

The mounting arrangement may comprise at each of the sides a first link and a second link longer than the first link; each first link being mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a first pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the first pivot axis to follow the rearward path; and each second link being mounted to pivot relative to the hood to define a second pivot axis and to the cooking area to constrain the second pivot axis to follow the downward path.

The mounting arrangement may be a mounting arrangement by which the hood is mounted to turn through at least 70° (e.g. 80° to 100° inclusive) from the covering orientation to the upright orientation.

Preferably, when in the upright orientation, the hood:

• horizontally clears at least 80% of a top of the cooking area;

• is behind at least 80% of the cooking area; and/or

• defines a splash back in the range of 200 to 300 mm inclusive high.

The hood may comprise one or more lights mounted to shine down on the cooking area when the hood is in the upright orientation. Preferably at least most of the hood is double-skinned. Preferably, when the hood is in the covering orientation:

• an apex of the hood is rearward of at least 80% of the cooking area; from the apex forward, at least about 80% of a top of the hood slopes down towards a front of the barbecue; and/or the hood is not more than 250 mm high. The barbecue may comprise a heating arrangement and an interlock. Preferably the barbecue is reconfigurable to vary a height at which food is supported above at least a portion of the heating arrangement. The interlock may be configured to limit an output of the at least portion of the heating arrangement in positive relation to the height.

Another aspect of the invention provides a barbecue comprising a heating arrangement and an interlock; the barbecue being reconfigurable to vary a height at which food is supported above at least a portion of the heating arrangement; the interlock being configured to limit an output of the at least portion of the heating arrangement in positive relation to the height.

The barbecue may comprise a set of interchangeable food-supporting members interchangeable to vary the height. The barbecue may comprise supports. The set may comprise a first food-supporting member configured to sit on the supports and support food at a first height; and a second food-supporting member to sit on the supports and support the food at a second height lower than the first height.

The first food-supporting member may be at least one of a hotplate and a grill plate.

Preferably the interlock comprises an electronic sensor for identifying the food supporting members. The barbecue may comprise further food-supporting members to bracket an in use one or more of the interchangeable food-supporting members. The barbeque is preferably mounted in a bench, e.g. in one of an island bench and a peninsula bench.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

Figure 1 is a perspective view of a barbecue; Figure 2 is a vertical cross-section view of the barbecue;

Figure 3 is an enlargement of detail A in Figure 2;

Figure 4 is an enlargement of detail B in Figure 2;

Figure 5 shows an alternate variant of detail C in Figure 2;

Figure 6 is a side view of a closed barbecue; Figure 7 is a side view of a partly open barbecue; and Figure 8 is a side view of an open barbecue.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

Figure 1 illustrates a barbecue 1 comprising a cooking area 3 and a hood 5 mounted to move relative to the cooking area 3. The cooking area 3 is a horizontal, predominantly rectangular, area made up of a trio of food-supporting members 3a, 3b, 3c. The trio comprises side plates 3a, 3b and a roasting pan 3c.

The side plates 3a, 3b are rectangular plates running in the fore-aft direction and defining the horizontal-depth of the cooking area 3a. The roasting pan 3c is a shorter rectangle running in the same direction. A smoker 3e is a smaller rectangle running in the width-wise direction along the rear edge of the pan 3c. The smoker 3e defines a small rectangular indent along one of the long sides of the otherwise rectangular cooking area 3.

The smoker 3e is an upwardly open tray for receiving material (e.g. woodchips) from which food-flavouring emissions (e.g. smoke) are given off in response to heat. Preferably the smoker 3e incorporates its own electric heating element. Alternatively, it may be arranged to be heated by the heating arrangement 7.

A heating arrangement 7 underlies the cooking area 3. In this case, the heating arrangement comprises a trio of gas heating elements including the element 7b of Figure 2. The heating arrangement further comprises gas control knobs 9a, 9b, 9c by which the respective portion of the heating arrangement underlying each of the food-supporting elements is separately controllable. In this example, the heating arrangement takes the form of a pinhole gas burner to provide uniformly distributed heat to the undersides of the food-supporting members, although simpler gas burners (and indeed other heating arrangements more generally) are possible. By way of example, some variants of the barbecue 1 might incorporate electric heating elements.

The barbecue 1 comprises a base 11 carrying the cooking area 3 and heating arrangement 7. The base 11 defines an opening 13 at the rear of the cooking area 3. The opening 13 is for the most part a long rectangle running along the back of the cooking area 3 but further includes two short extensions running forward alongside the cooking area 3.

To improve the aesthetics of the barbecue 1 , the hood 5 is a low-profile hood preferably having a hood height HH of at least but not too much more than 150 mm. Preferably the hood height is not more than 225 mm, or most preferably is not more than 200 mm.

In this particular example, a hood height HH is about 190 mm and the cooking area 3 has a horizontal depth in the vicinity of 420 mm, whereby the hood height HH is not more than about, and in this example is in fact less than, half the horizontal depth of the cooking area. This aspect ratio creates a sleek, attractive product unlike conventional hoods which have a somewhat bulbous or drum-like appearance.

The hood 5 is also shaped to enhance this sleek appearance. The apex 5a is positioned towards the back of the barbecue, e.g. behind at least 80% of the cooking area 3. Furthermore, most (or preferably substantially all) of the top of the hood forward of the apex 5a is downwardly inclined towards the front of the barbecue.

Whilst this sleek, low-profile hood is highly desirable, it has the potential to reduce the capacity of the barbecue to receive bulky foods such as the shoulder S of beef. To address this issue, the barbecue 1 is reconfigurable to vary the height at which food (such as the shoulder S) is supported relative to the height of the underlying portion 7b of the heating arrangement 7. Height adjustability could be achieved in a variety of ways. By way of example, a hotplate might be mounted upon screw- adjustable feet.

In this example, the base 11 includes simple right-angled brackets defining supports (such as the support 11a of Figure 3) in the form of inwardly directed flanges co-operable with the peripheral margins of the food supporting members. Other forms of support are possible.

The height is preferably adjusted by interchanging the pan 3c for a hotplate 3d (Figure 5) to vary the height H between the heating arrangement and the food supporting element. Thus, for the purpose of grilling (such as cooking steak) the hotplate 3d may be used, and then to cook bulkier items, such as the shoulder S, the hotplate 3d can be swapped out for the roasting pan 3c. The hotplate 3d is contoured to produce griddle marks whilst shielding the underlying heating arrangement from debris such as meat juices, etc.

When the pan 3c is utilised, the separation between the element 7b and the pan 3c (i.e. height H) is reduced whereby the heating element 7b may overheat the base of the pan 3c and in turn food supported thereon. To address this issue, the inventors propose an interlock to limit the output of the burner 7b in positive relation to the height H whereby, as the height H is reduced, the upper limit on the output of the burner 7b is likewise reduced.

Various positive relationships are possible, e.g. the relationship could be simply binary, e.g. the interlock might serve to deactivate and lock out the burner 7b when the pan 3c (rather than the hotplate 3d) is in place.

One form of interlock entails a contact sensor mounted about the edge of the cooking area 3 and the food-supporting members 3c, 3d having mutually different shapes so that one but not the other activates the contact sensor. The interlock may be an electronic interlock, e.g. taking an electronic output from the contact sensor and electronically limiting the output of the burner 7b in response thereto. Other options are possible. By way of example, instead of an electronic contact sensor, a contact may be arranged to mechanically actuate a gas-limiting valve when the pan 3c is dropped into place. Indeed, an underside of the pan 3c might be configured to block the outlets of the burner 7b to form a rudimentary interlock.

The contact sensor might take the form of a limit switch although more preferably it takes the form of a load cell. The load cell may be arranged to take at least some of the weight of one of the food supporting members but not another food supporting member that might be used in its place. Load cells advantageously do not have the exposed movable parts of limit switches and therefore may be less affected by grease and other deposits that may accumulate in use.

Advantageously the sensor is positioned below the operative portions of the heating arrangement to avoid overheating. In the context of contact sensors, a transmission may be arranged to connect the sensor to the food supporting member. Figure 9 illustrates a sensing arrangement 27 comprising a load cell 29 and a transmission 31 arranged to transfer some of a weight of the pan 3c to the load cell 29.

The transmission 31 comprises an upright push rod 33 mounted to slide within a pair of supports 35. A lower end of the rod 33 is engaged with the load cell 39 whilst a top of the rod 33 is arranged to abut a base of the pan 3c. The

transmission 31 and the hotplate 3d are configured so that the hotplate 3d sits above the clear of the rod 33. A signal from the load cell 29 thereby serves to identify which of the food supporting members 3c, 3d is in place.

In this example, the load cell takes weight when the pan 3c is placed and does not take any weight when the hotplate 3d is in place. Other options are possible. The logic might be reversed. By way of example, the rod 33 might be positioned to avoid contacting the pan 3c and the hotplate 3d might have a downward formation for the purpose of contacting the transmission 31.

A reed switch or hall effect sensor might be employed for which purpose one or more of the selectable food supporting members might carry a magnet. Preferably, each food supporting member is at least predominantly formed of stainless steel. When formed of stainless steel (or other non-magnetic material) the sensor might rely on a magnet (or magnetic portion) carried by a subset (e.g. one) of a set of food supporting members.

Low frequency induction coils, ultrasonic sensors, proximity sensors utilising infrared technology and magnetic field sensors are other options.

Most preferably, when the barbecue 1 is used to roast bulky food, its hood is in the closed position and the portion 7b of the heating arrangement 7 underlying the roasting pan 3c is inactive, or operating at a very low output. The low output might be achieved through restricting the instantaneous power and/or by limiting the duty cycle of the gas burner. Whilst the output of the burner 7b is limited, the temperature within the oven chamber-like space defined by the hood 5 may be maintained by controlling the other portions of the heating arrangement 7. Most preferably the temperature is thermostatically controlled.

Lowering the food supporting surface, e.g. replacing the hotplate 3d with the pan 3c, preferably effects a change of mode from a mode, in which each of the knobs 9a, 9b, 9c controls a respective portion of the heating area, to another mode in which one of the knobs (e.g. the knob 9b underlying the lowered portion 3c) controls the temperature under the hood.

Whilst this is the preferred utilisation of the interlock, the interlock may also be employed without the hood, e.g. even in the context of a hoodless version of the barbecue 1 the pan 3c could be useful (e.g. to cook soups and the like), and in that context limiting the heat output of the underlying portion of the burner would also be useful. Likewise, whilst the hood 5 and mounting arrangement 15 are preferred, an interlock may also be useful in combination with another hood movable, from a covering configuration, to open the barbecue. Preferably the hood is at least partially concealed in its open configuration.

Swapping out the centre hotplate 3d for the roasting pan 3c as discussed is but one option, there are other possibilities. By way of example, the side plates 3a, 3b might be swapped out for roasting pans and the portion 7b of the heating arrangement 7 operated to maintain the temperature under the hood.

The barbecue 1 preferably incorporates one or more temperature sensors to sense the temperature of the food supporting members per se (e.g. in addition, or as an alternative, to one or more sensors for sensing the air temperature under the hood). Figure 4 illustrates a temperature sensor 11 b in the form of a contact-type sensor which also functions as a support to support the pan 3c. As such, the sensor 11 b provides an output indicative of the temperature at the periphery of the pan 3c. The barbecue 1 preferably includes a display, such as the display 11 c (Figure 2) for displaying temperature. Most preferably, the display is calibrated to provide an output indicative of a temperature in the vicinity of the centre of the pan 3c (or hotplate 3d as the case may be) inferred from the sensor 11 b. Most preferably, the temperature sensing arrangement is configured to separately sense and display a respective indication of temperature for each of the food supporting elements.

As best illustrated in Figures 6 to 8, the hood 5 is preferably mounted via a mounting arrangement 15 comprising a four-bar linkage at each end of the hood 5. Each four-bar linkage comprises a first link 17 pivotally connected to the hood 5 to define a first pivot axis PAi and pivotally connected to the body 11 to constrain the pivot axis PAi so as to follow a rearward path RP when the hood is moved from the closed, covering position of Figure 6 to the open, upright position of Figure 8. The pivot axis PAi is of course fixed relative to the hood 5.

Link 19 is pivotally connected to the hood 5 at pivot axis PA2 at a rear of the hood. The link 19 is also pivotally connected to the base 11 to constrain the pivot axis PA2 to move downwardly along the downward path DP. In this preferred variant, the pivot axis PAi resides within the middle third, between the front and the back of the hood 5. The link 17 is much shorter than (e.g. less than half the length of) the link 19. Preferably it is mounted to rotate past the vertical en route from the closed to the open position.

The link 19 runs from the front of the base 11 to the rear of the hood 5 at a very shallow angle slightly above horizontal when the hood 5 is closed. When the hood is open, the link 19 rotates through the horizontal orientation to move the rear of the hood 5 downwardly.

In this way, the forward portions of the hood 5 are lifted over any bulky food and the hood 5 turns as it moves downwardly into the opening 13 behind the cooking area 3 whereat the hood is partially concealed. This turning whilst moving downwardly is associated with a smooth, continuous motion whereby the user is presented with a premium feel. Preferred variants of the barbecue 1 incorporate counterweights and/or counter acting biases (e.g. one or more torsion springs or other spring(s) associated with the linkages) to limit the force that a user must apply to move the hood, along with suitable shock-absorbing features.

Preferably the mounting arrangement 15 comprises features (e.g. a stop or at least a detent), to define the upright orientation.

For the avoidance of doubt, as the words and concepts are used herein:

• the direction of a link is characterised by the imaginary line connecting its pivot axes; and

• a downward path may include one or more upward portions (albeit that in this example the downward path DP is continuously downward).

As illustrated, all four pivot axes of the two four-bar linkage mechanisms are mutually parallel. Any arbitrary point along either of the pivot axes PAi, PA2 is fixed relative to the hood 5 and when viewing the hood end-on (perpendicular to the pivot axes as in Figures 6 to 8) it is convenient to think of each of the pivot axes as a point.

In this example, the paths RP, DP are arcuate paths non-concentric to each other. For the avoidance of doubt, 'non-concentric' is used herein to refer to the absence of concentricity. Other forms of mounting arrangement may define non-arcuate paths for the portions of (or fixed relative to) the hood to move along. By way of example, the link 19 might be replaced by a simple pin, projecting from the side of the hood 5, and a channel fixed relative to the body 11 to receive and guide the pin along the path DP. The channel might be curved, e.g. to define a downward path identical to the path DP, or might have some other shape. It could potentially run vertically straight up and down. Potentially the pin and the channel could be swapped between the hood 5 and the body 11. Similar comments apply in relation to the link 17. As the hood moves, the side walls of the hood 5 move into the portions of the opening 13 at the side of the cooking area 3.

The mounting arrangement 15 preferably enables the hood 5 to move to the open, upright configuration of Figure 8 wherein most (i.e. more than half) of the hood 5 is hidden within the base 11 and the upwardly-projecting portion of the hood 5 defines a splashback with a splashback height SBH above the cooking surface 3 in the vicinity of 250 mm. At this height, the splashback goes a long way to guarding guests at the rear of the barbecue against cooking fats splattering from the cooking area, whilst presenting less of a visual barrier than a conventional barbecue hood and thereby promoting social interaction with the chef. Preferred variants of the barbecue 1 are thus particularly suited to mounting in an island bench or a peninsula bench about which the chef and guests can mingle.

As best illustrated in Figure 2, the hood 5 is double-skinned to trap an insulating layer of air (or other insulation). This not only improves the efficiency of the barbecue when roasting (by reducing the heat loss) but improves safety by reducing the external temperature of the hood.

The hood 5 carries a respective light 5a for each of the food-supporting members 3a, 3b, 3c. The lights 5a are mounted to move with the hood so that when the hood is in its open configuration the lights are advantageously high-mounted to project light downwardly onto the cooking surfaces. The internal space between the skins of the hood 5 provides convenient concealment for the cables for the lights 5a.

In the open position, the hood 5 clears most of the cooking area 3, or more specifically all but about 50 mm of the cooking area 3 in this example, so as to enable 'open grilling' and free access with barbecue tongs, etc. Indeed, it will be observed that, in this particular embodiment, the underside of the hood 5 turns through 90°, from horizontal in the closed configuration to vertical in the open configuration, whereby substantially all of the hood 5 is behind most (e.g. at least 80%) of the cooking area 3. This rearward setting of the hood 5 reduces the impingement upon the space underlying the cooking area 3a and thereby reduces the design constraints on the heating arrangement and leaves space for cupboards and other accessories such as smokers and steamers.

In this example there are three drawers 11 d, 11 e, 11 f. The drawer 11 e is dedicated to storing a fire extinguisher 21 (Figure 2).

Other accessories include a steamer 23 comprising a water inlet 23a and a steam outlet 23b. In this example, the water inlet 23a takes the form of a funnel withdrawable from an upright slot opening from the front of the base 11 , and the outlet 23b takes the form of a steam rail. The steamer is useful both for cooking and cleaning. Steam in the interior of the barbecue 1 can soften debris, thus making it easier to wipe away. Preferably the steamer has a dedicated electronic heating element, although other heating arrangements are possible, e.g. the heating arrangement 7 might be utilised.

The invention is not limited to the various examples described herein. Rather, the invention is defined by the claims.

The term 'comprises' and its grammatical variants has a meaning that is determined by the context in which it appears. Accordingly, the term should not be interpreted exhaustively unless the context dictates so.