Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
A COMPACT KITCHEN ASSEMBLY
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/161438
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A compact kitchen assembly including a housing having a lid and at least one deployable forward flap, at least one insulated compartment provided within the housing, at least one cooker within the housing and storage compartments for at least cups, plates and cutlery allowing storage of all components within the housing when in the closed condition.

Inventors:
CROWE, Rupert William Ashton (37 Brine Road, Kalamunda, Western Australia 6076, 6076, AU)
Application Number:
AU2019/050118
Publication Date:
August 29, 2019
Filing Date:
February 15, 2019
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
WYETH MEDIA SERVICES PTY LTD (3100 Main Neerim Road, Neerim Junction, Victoria 3832, 3832, AU)
International Classes:
F24B1/20; A47J37/07; F24C1/16; F24C3/14
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
SPRUSON & FERGUSON (GPO BOX 3898, Sydney, New South Wales 2001, 2001, AU)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1. A compact kitchen assembly including a housing having a lid and at least one deployable forward flap, at least one insulated compartment provided within the housing, at least one cooker within the housing and storage compartments for at least cups, plates and cutlery allowing storage of all components within the housing when in the closed condition.

2. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 1 wherein the compact kitchen is portable, transportable, and self-contained.

3. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2 wherein an on-board supply is provided to operate the cooker.

4. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including an on-board water supply for use.

5. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein a

removable gas storage bottle is provided in the at least one cooker.

6. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including one or more connections to allow the connection of utilities to the compact kitchen assembly, the connections including at least one or more of a connection for supply of gas, water and/or electricity.

7. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 6 further including one or more on-board filters in order to filter any one or more of the connected utilities to use.

8. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the lid and at least one deployable forward flap are movable between an open condition in which access is possible to the interior of the housing and the components therein, and a closed condition in which access to the interior of the housing in the components is restricted or prevented.

9. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the housing is generally rectangular having base wall, a substantially transversely extending rear wall and a pair of substantially transversely oriented end walls which are attached together to define a housing volume and which together with the lid and the deployable forward wall, form a housing which can be opened and closed.

10. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the at least one deployable forward flap is hinged at a lower edge, configured for use as a cutting board or a preparation surface, when in an open position.

11. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including at least one insulated compartment provided within the housing.

12. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 11 further including a heat or cold pack removeable located within the at least one insulated compartment, to one side of the compartment with one or more guide assemblies provided to allow the heat or cold pack to be inserted into the at least one insulated compartment and to be retained there against accidental but not determined removal.

13. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the at least one cooker is located within the housing on a platform which is fixed in position within the housing.

14. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 13 wherein one or more location guides are provided on the platform in order to allow the gas cooker to be positively located relative to the location guides in order to minimise movement of the cooker when properly located in the housing.

15. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the at least one cooker is a self-contained cooker, including at least one on-board gas storage bottle.

16. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the lid of the kitchen assembly is provided with cut-off functionality in order to disconnect the at least one cooker to prevent function of the at least one cooker when the lid is in the closed condition.

17. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 16 wherein a cut-off assembly is provided as a pivotally mounted lever with one end portion adapted to be depressed by a locking lever of the gas cooker and a second end that is angled relative to the first end so that when the first end is depressed, the second end is elevated and vice versa, the lever positioned so that when the lid of the kitchen assembly is closed, the second end of the lever is forced downwardly and the first end upwardly, forcing movement the locking lever of the cooker into the unlocked condition which prevents or disconnects the flow of gas to the cooker.

18. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein an elongate cutlery drawer is provided below the at least one cooker.

19. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein an open storage compartment is provided towards the rear of an internal volume of the housing.

20. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 19 wherein a number of shaped comer configurations are provided in the open storage compartment in order to hold plates and/or at least one cooking pot substantially centrally.

21. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 6 of claim 7 further including at least one liquid dispensing assembly to dispense liquid.

22. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in claim 21 wherein the at least one dispensing apparatus is rotatably mounted to be movable between a stored position in which the dispenser is within a volume defined by the housing and a deployed position in which the dispenser extends outside the housing.

23. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including one or more walls are provided, temporarily stored within the housing and moveable between a storage and a use position to provide a windbreak for the at least one cooker as required.

24. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including one or more lights to provide light for working.

25. A compact kitchen assembly as claimed in any one of the preceding claims further including a plate for use on the at least one cooker as a barbeque plate provided and stored in the housing when not in use.

Description:
A COMPACT KITCHEN ASSEMBLY

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention relates to compact and transportable kitchens and particularly to a compact, self-contained and transportable kitchen used for camping and other outdoor activities.

BACKGROUND ART

[0002] Camping kitchens, car mounted kitchens and camper trailer kitchens are available.

[0003] The available camping kitchens are basically shelving units that are mounted relative to a portion of a vehicle (usually pivotally) with a gas cooktop provided on a shelf portion, a number of drawers, and at least one bench top which typically folds out (usually pivotally) from the main unit which may or may not include a sink.

[0004] It will be clearly understood that, if a prior art publication is referred to herein, this reference does not constitute an admission that the publication forms part of the common general knowledge in the art in Australia or in any other country.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

[0005] The present invention is directed to a compact kitchen assembly, which may at least partially overcome at least one of the abovementioned disadvantages or provide the consumer with a useful or commercial choice.

[0006] With the foregoing in view, the present invention in one form, resides broadly in a compact kitchen assembly including a housing having a lid and at least one deployable forward flap, at least one insulated compartment provided within the housing, at least one cooker within the housing and storage compartments for at least cups, plates and cutlery allowing storage of all components within the housing when in the closed condition.

[0007] The compact kitchen assembly of the preferred embodiment is portable,

transportable, and self-contained. In the preferred form, the kitchen will typically have an on board supply to operate the cooker and preferably, an on-board water supply for use. In a preferred form, the cooker will be a gas cooker. Storage vessels may be provided for each of the water and the gas to operate the cooker although some cookers are provided with a gas storage bottle in the cooker assembly. [0008] In a preferred form, the kitchen assembly of the present invention may include one or more connections to allow the connection of utilities to the compact kitchen assembly. For example, connections may be provided to allow the connection of gas, water and/or electricity for example. The provision of an electricity connection in particular might allow the provision of more advanced components in the kitchen assembly such as on-board heating of water and/or an electric stove for example. The connections will typically be in the form of conduit connections to allow gas and/or water to be connected to the kitchen and an electricity connection can be in the form of a socket for example.

[0009] The compact kitchen assembly may include one or more on-board filters in order to filter any one or more of the connected supply lines prior to use, particularly where an external supply is provided. This may be particularly important in the context of the connection of an external water supply for example.

[0010] The compact kitchen assembly of a preferred embodiment may be powered or not and if powered, may be powered through one or more on board batteries which are replaceable and/or rechargeable or through the provision of a connection allowing an external power supply to be provided and attached to the compact kitchen assembly.

[0011] The compact kitchen assembly of the present invention includes a housing having a lid and at least one deployable forward flap. The at least one deployable forward flap is preferably movable between an open condition in which access is possible to the interior of the housing and the components therein, and a closed condition in which access to the interior of the housing in the components is restricted or prevented.

[0012] The housing will preferably be generally rectangular. The housing will preferably be formed from a base wall, a substantially transversely extending rear wall and a pair of substantially transversely oriented end walls which are attached together to define a housing volume and which together with the lid and the deployable forward wall, form a housing which can be opened and closed.

[0013] The lid and at least one deployable forward flap preferably movable between an open condition and a closed condition in order to allow access and deny access to an internal volume of the housing and the components therein.

[0014] In a preferred form, each of the end walls may have a handle or similar gripping means in order to allow an operator to lift the kitchen assembly. [0015] The at least one deployable forward flap will typically fold up first into a closed condition to close the forward side of the housing and the lid can then be folded down to lock or latch relative to the at least one deployable front wall. One or more latch or lock assemblies are typically provided with a portion provided on each of the lid and at least one deployable forward flap.

[0016] The walls of the housing are typically substantially planar. The walls of the housing are preferably manufactured from a robust material in order to withstand accidental impacts and the like.

[0017] In use, the at least one deployable forward flap may be configured for use as a cutting board or a preparation surface for example, when in the open position. Depending upon the configuration, an internal surface of the at least one forward flap may have a low friction surface (if configured for use as a cutting board for example) or a higher friction surface (if configured as a preparation surface for example).

[0018] The lid of the housing of a preferred embodiment may have a substantially planar portion with depending side wall portions and a depending rear portion in order to create a hollow lid to provide clearance between an underside of the lid and an upper side of any components located in the top of the housing.

[0019] The compact kitchen assembly of the present invention includes at least one insulated compartment provided within the housing.

[0020] Preferably, a single insulated compartment is provided. Typically, the insulated compartment is provided in a lower portion of the housing, generally extending from a forward part of the housing through to the rear of the housing. The compartment will typically be provided with a door which is movable between an open condition and a closed condition in order to provide and deny access to the compartment as well as to retain items within the compartment while the kitchen assembly is being moved. The door will typically be insulated as well. In use, the at least one insulated compartment will preferably receive a heat or cold pack in order to raise or lower the temperature within the insulated compartment in order to keep heated items warm and cold items cool, as desired by the user.

[0021] Generally, the heat or cold pack will be substantially planar and will typically be located within the compartment, to one side of the compartment. One or more guide assemblies may be provided to allow the heat or cold pack to be inserted into the compartment and to be retained there against accidental but not determined removal. [0022] The door will typically be hinged at a lower forward side. Preferably, a single insulated compartment is provided, but in some configurations, a pair of insulated compartments may be provided, one for heated items and one for cooled items. A pair of separate doors may be provided, or a single door may be provided for both compartments.

[0023] The kitchen assembly of the present invention includes at least one cooker within the housing. Typically, only one cooker is provided. Preferably, the cooker may be stored in the housing and removed for use and/or, may be usable in situ within the housing without removal from the housing.

[0024] As mentioned above, the cooker will typically be a gas cooker but in some configurations, an electric cooker may be provided. The cooker will typically be located above the at least one insulated compartment, normally on a platform which is fixed in position above the insulated compartment. One or more location guides are preferably provided on the preferred platform in order to allow the feet of the gas cooker to be positively located relative to the location guides in order to minimise movement of the cooker when properly located in the housing.

[0025] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the at least one cooker will be a self- contained cooker, including at least one on-board gas storage bottle.

[0026] Preferably, the lid of the kitchen assembly of the present invention will be provided with cut-off functionality in order to disconnect the at least one cooker to prevent function of the at least one cooker when the lid is in the closed condition. This can be achieved in any one of a variety of ways including a physical interaction between the lid or a portion or assembly applied thereto and the at least one cooker. This will preferably act as a safety feature requiring the lid to be open in order to use the cooker and cutting off supply if the lid is closed for whatever reason.

[0027] In a particularly preferred embodiment, the cutoff assembly can be provided as a pivotally mounted lever or similar, with one end portion adapted to be depressed by the locking lever of a preferred gas cooker and a second end that is angled relative to the first end so that when the first end is depressed, the second end is elevated and vice versa. The locking lever is manually depressed to the lock position prior to use of the gas cooker to allow gas to flow from the gas cooker’s on board gas bottle.

[0028] The cutoff assembly is preferably positioned so that when the lid of the kitchen assembly is closed, a portion of the lid (or an attachment) will abut the second end of the lever, forcing it downwardly and the first end upwardly, forcing movement the locking lever of the cooker into the unlocked condition which prevents or disconnects the flow of gas from the gas cooker gas bottle to the outlet. A tab or similar may be provided on the lid (preferably inside and extending rearwardly) to abut the second end of the lever.

[0029] Preferably, the at least one cooker is provided with a single gas burner but this is obviously dependent on the size of the compact kitchen.

[0030] In use, where the at least one cooker is used in situ, within the housing, portions of the housing such as the lid for example may provide a windbreak to the preferred gas cooker.

[0031] The compact kitchen assembly of the present invention includes a number of storage compartments for at least cups, plates and cutlery allowing storage of these components within the housing when the housing is in the closed condition.

[0032] The number and configuration of storage compartments can vary depending upon the requirements of the kitchen assembly. Typically, an elongate cutlery drawer or similar will be provided, typically between the top of the insulated compartment and below the at least one cooker. This compartment can be divided into a number of sub compartments with a portion of this compartment allowing for storage of foodstuffs such as coffee, tea and the like. The drawer will typically be movable between the closed position and an open position

[0033] An open storage compartment is preferably provided for a number of plates or bowls or the like. The open storage compartment will preferably be provided beside the insulated compartment, towards the rear of the internal volume. Typically, the plates will be provided towards the bottom of the storage compartment with one or more cooking pots provided above.

If more than one cooking pot is provided, the cooking pots may be nestable inside one another and may be stored in an inverted orientation. A number of shaped corner configurations may be provided in this storage compartment in order to hold the plates and/or at least one cooking pot substantially centrally. In particular, each shaped comer configuration may include a curved surface in order to hold the plates and/or at least one cooking pot.

[0034] A further storage compartment can be provided beneath the at least one cooker and beside the at least one insulated compartment if desired. This storage compartment can be provided on either side of the insulated compartment and is preferably movable between a closed position and an open position.

[0035] At least one liquid storage and dispensing assembly may be provided in order to at least temporarily store and dispense liquid, preferably water, as required. The amount of liquid stored on board will preferably be limited as this will increase the weight of the device but there may be instances in which on-board water storage is preferred. If provided, water storage may be provided in front of the open storage compartment in which the plates are stored, but to one side of the open storage compartment, typically adjacent to one of the sidewalls. A dispensing apparatus may be provided in or associated with the water storage compartment. One or more actuators may be provided in order to dispense fluid as required. The actuator may be a button or similar. The dispensing apparatus will preferably be rotatably mounted to be movable between a stored position in which the dispenser is within the volume defined by the walls of the kitchen assembly and a deployed position in which the dispenser extends outside the volume of the kitchen assembly.

[0036] It is preferred that cup storage is provided in front of the open storage compartment used to store the plates, toward a forward side of the housing. Typically, the cups can be placed into an open compartment which is typically divided from the open storage compartment used to store the plates by an internal wall or similar.

[0037] Other components may be provided in the compact kitchen of the present invention. For example, a removable cutting board may be provided above the cup storage and the plate storage. In this position, insertion of the cutting board into position may act to hold the plates in position and provide a separator between the plates and the pots which are preferably stored above the plates.

[0038] As mentioned above, the compact kitchen may provide limited storage areas for foodstuffs to be stored within the housing such as for example in the cutlery drawer and/or the lateral storage compartment.

[0039] One or more walls may be provided for use as a windbreak for the cooker, particularly if it is a gas cooker. The walls are preferably stored within the housing and may be fixed or moveable between a storage and a use position as required.

[0040] The housing may include one or more lights to provide light for working. In particular, at least a pair of lights are preferred, one in a central, forward location of the top lid and the other in the control panel for the at least one liquid dispenser. Preferably, high lumen, low power lights are used such as a LED’s.

[0041] The lid will preferably be provided with at least one hinge to allow opening and closing. In a preferred form, at least one lockable hinge assembly is provided on one lateral side of the housing and lid to prevent the lid from shutting accidently or by the wind and causing injury. This lockable hinge may be provided in addition to hinges at the rear to allow opening and closing.

[0042] A plate for use on the cooker as a barbeque plate may be provided and stored in the housing when not in use. Preferably the barbeque plate is substantially planar and will fit under the cooker.

[0043] The provision of a compact kitchen as described above will allow a user to carry the compact kitchen easily still have basic functionality to prepare a meal once they arrive at a remote site which may be away from urban utilities.

[0044] Any of the features described herein can be combined in any combination with any one or more of the other features described herein within the scope of the invention.

[0045] The reference to any prior art in this specification is not, and should not be taken as an acknowledgement or any form of suggestion that the prior art forms part of the common general knowledge.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0046] Preferred features, embodiments and variations of the invention may be discerned from the following Detailed Description which provides sufficient information for those skilled in the art to perform the invention. The Detailed Description is not to be regarded as limiting the scope of the preceding Summary of the Invention in any way. The Detailed Description will make reference to a number of drawings as follows:

[0047] Figure 1 is an isometric view of a compact kitchen of a first preferred embodiment in the use condition with the insulated compartment door open.

[0048] Figure 2 is an isometric view of the configuration illustrated in Figure 1 with the cooker and pots removed for clarity.

[0049] Figure 3 is an isometric view of the configuration illustrated in Figure 1 with the cutlery drawer open.

[0050] Figure 4 is an isometric view of the configuration illustrated in Figure 1 with the insulated compartment door closed and the lateral storage compartment open.

[0051] Figure 5 is an isometric view of a compact kitchen of a second preferred embodiment in the use condition. [0052] Figure 6 is a view from above of the configuration illustrated in Figure 5.

[0053] Figure 7 is a closeup view of the configuration illustrated in Figure 5.

[0054] Figure 8 is a front view of the configuration illustrated in Figure 5.

[0055] Figure 9 is a detailed view of the portion indicated on Figure 8 showing the cut-off lever.

[0056] Figure 10 is a view of the configuration shown in Figure 9 in the cooker operative position.

DESCRIPTION OF EMBODIMENTS

[0057] According to a particularly preferred embodiment of the present invention, a compact kitchen assembly 10 is provided.

[0058] The compact kitchen assembly of the illustrated embodiment is portable, transportable, and self-contained. The compact kitchen assembly 10 illustrated includes a generally rectangular housing having a lid 11 and a deployable forward flap 12 movable between an open condition in which access is possible to the interior of the housing and the components therein and a closed condition in which access to the interior of the housing in the components is restricted.

[0059] The housing has a base wall, a substantially transversely extending rear wall and a pair of substantially transversely oriented end walls 13which are attached together to define a housing volume and which together with the lid 11 and the deployable forward wall 12, form a housing which can be opened and closed.

[0060] In the illustrated form, each of the end walls 13 has a handle 14 in order to allow an operator to lift the kitchen assembly 10.

[0061] The deployable forward flap 12 folds up into a closed condition to close the forward side of the housing and the lid 11 can then be folded down to lock or latch relative to the deployable front flap 12. In the embodiment illustrated in Figures 1 to 4 a pair of latch or lock assemblies are provided with a portion 15 provided on each of the lid 11 and deployable forward flap 12 but in the embodiment illustrated in Figures 5 to 8, a single latch assembly is provided with a portion 16 mounted to an upper side of the forward wall of the housing. In this embodiment, the deployable forward flap 12 may have a peripheral magnetic assembly to magnetically hold the flap in the closed position.

[0062] The walls of the housing are typically substantially planar, manufactured from a robust material in order to withstand accidental impacts and the like.

[0063] In use, the deployable forward flap 12 may be configured for use as a cutting board or a preparation surface for example when in the open position. Depending upon the

configuration, and internal surface of the at least one forward flap may have a low friction surface (if configured for use as a cutting board for example) or a higher friction surface (if configured as a preparation surface).

[0064] The lid of the housing of a preferred embodiment may have a substantially planar portion with depending side wall portions and a depending rear portion in order to create a hollow lid to provide clearance between an underside of the lid and an upper side of any components located in the top of the housing.

[0065] The compact kitchen assembly of the present invention includes at least one insulated compartment 17 provided within the housing. In the illustrated embodiments, a single insulated compartment 17 is provided. The insulated compartment 17 is provided in a lower portion of the housing, generally extending from a forward part of the housing through to the rear of the housing. The compartment 17 has a door 18 which is movable between an open condition and a closed condition in order to provide and deny access to the compartment 17 as well as to retain items within the compartment 17 while the kitchen assembly 10 is being moved. The door 18 is insulated as well. In use, the insulated compartment 17 receives a heat or cold pack 19 in order to raise or lower the temperature within the insulated compartment 17 in order to keep heated items warm and cold items cool as desired by the user.

[0066] Generally, the heat or cold pack 19 (an example is shown in Figure 1) is substantially planar and is located to one side of the compartment 17, within the compartment 17. A pair of guide assemblies, one upper and one lower, are provided to allow the heat or cold pack 19 to be inserted into the compartment 17 and to be retained there against accidental but not determined removal.

[0067] The door 18 is hinged at a lower forward side. As illustrated, a single insulated compartment is provided, but in some configurations, a pair of insulated compartments may be provided, one for heated items and one for cooled items. A pair of separate doors may be provided, or a single door may be provided for both compartments. [0068] The kitchen assembly 10 also includes a cooker or burner 20 within the housing. The cooker 20 may be stored in the housing and removed for use and/or, may be usable in situ within the housing without removal from the housing.

[0069] As mentioned above, the cooker 20 of the illustrated embodiment is a gas cooker but in some configurations, an electric cooker may be provided. The cooker 20 is located above the insulated compartment 17 normally on a platform 21which is fixed in position above the insulated compartment 17, closing the upper side of the cutlery drawer 22. A number of location guides 23 are provided on the platform 21 in order to allow the feet of the gas cooker 20 to be positively located relative to the location guides 23 in order to minimise movement of the cooker 20 when properly located in the housing.

[0070] In the illustrated preferred embodiment, the gas cooker 20 is a self-contained cooker, including an on-board gas storage bottle (not shown but under cover on right side).

[0071] The lid 11 of the kitchen assembly 10 is provided with cut-off functionality in order to disconnect the at least one cooker to prevent function of the at least one cooker when the lid is in the closed condition. This can be achieved in any one of a variety of ways including a physical interaction between the lid or a portion or assembly applied thereto and the at least one cooker.

[0072] In the embodiment illustrated in Figures 9 and 10, the cut-off assembly is provided as a pivotally mounted lever 40, with a first end portion 41 adapted to be depressed by the locking lever 42 of the gas cooker 20 and a second end 43 that is angled relative to the first end 41 so that when the first end 41 is depressed, the second end 43 is elevated and vice versa. In use, the locking lever 40 is manually depressed to the lock position prior to use of the gas cooker to allow gas to flow from the gas cooker’s on-board gas bottle (as illustrated in Figure 10).

[0073] The cutoff lever 40 is positioned so that when the lid 11 of the kitchen assembly is closed, a portion of the lid 11 (or an attachment tab) will abut the second end 43 of the lever 40, forcing it downwardly and the first end 41 upwardly, forcing movement the locking lever 42 of the cooker 20 into the unlocked condition which prevents or disconnects the flow of gas from the gas cooker gas bottle to the outlet. A tab or similar may be provided on the lid (preferably inside and extending rearwardly) to abut the second end of the lever.

[0074] ln use, where the cooker 20 is used in situ, within the housing, portions of the housing such as the lid 11 for example may provide a windbreak to the preferred gas cooker. As shown in Figures 5 to 8, one or more walls 24 may be provided for use as a windbreak for the cooker 20, particularly if it is a gas cooker 20. If provided, these walls 24 are stored within the housing and may be fixed or moveable between a storage and a use position as required.

[0075] The compact kitchen assembly 10 illustrated includes a number of storage compartments for cups, plates and cutlery allowing storage of these components within the housing when the housing is in the closed condition. Some are open storage compartments and some are closed storage compartments or at least compartments that can be opened and closed.

[0076] The number and configuration of storage compartments can vary depending upon the requirements of the kitchen assembly. As shown in both illustrated embodiments, an elongate cutlery drawer 22 is provided, between the top of the insulated compartment 17 and below the cooker 20. This cutlery drawer 22 can be divided into a number of sub compartments, as illustrated in Figure 3, with a portion of this compartment allowing for storage of foodstuffs such as coffee, tea and the like. The drawer 22 is movable between the closed position and an open position.

[0077] As shown in Figure 2, an open storage compartment 25 is provided for a number of plates 26 or bowls or the like beside the insulated compartment 17, towards the rear of the internal volume. Typically, the plates 26 are provided towards the bottom of the storage compartment 25 with one or more cooking pots 27provided above. If more than one cooking pot 27 is provided, the cooking pots 27 may be nestable inside one another and maybe stored in an inverted orientation. A number of shaped comer configurations 28 may be provided in this storage compartment 25 in order to hold the plates circumferentially. In particular, each shaped comer configuration 28 may include a curved surface in order to hold the plates and with a flattened upper surface upon which the at least one cooking pot can be located. An arcuate locator portion 29 is provided on an adjacent sidewall to fix the location of the inverted cooking pots 27 by engaging an edge.

[0078] A further storage compartment 30 can be provided beneath the cooker 20 and beside the insulated compartment 17. This storage compartment 30 can be provided on either side of the insulated compartment 17 and is movable between a closed position (Figures 1 to 3) and an open position (shown in Figure 4).

[0079] A liquid storage and dispensing assembly may be provided in order to at least temporarily store and dispense liquid as required. The amount of liquid stored on board will preferably be limited as this will increase the weight of the device but there may be instances in which on-board water storage is preferred. If provided, water storage may be provided in front of the open storage compartment in which the plates are stored, but to one side of the open storage compartment, typically adjacent to one of the sidewalls. A dispensing apparatus 31 may be provided in or associated with the water storage compartment. One or more actuators 32 may be provided in order to dispense fluid as required.

[0080] It is preferred that cup storage is provided in front of the plate compartment 25 used to store the plates 26, toward a forward side of the housing. Typically, the cups 33 can be placed into an open compartment which is typically divided from the open storage compartment 25 used to store the plates by an internal wall or similar.

[0081] Other components may be provided in the compact kitchen of the present invention. For example, a removable cutting board may be provided above the cup storage and the plate storage. In this position, insertion of the cutting board into position may act to hold the plates in position and provide a separator between the plates and the pots which are preferably stored above the plates.

[0082] As mentioned above, the compact kitchen may provide limited storage areas for foodstuffs to be stored within the housing such as for example in the cutlery drawer and/or the lateral storage compartment.

[0083] In a preferred form, a lockable hinge assembly 44 is provided on one lateral side of the housing and lid 11 to prevent the lid 11 from shutting accidently or by the wind and causing injury. This lockable hinge 44 may be provided in addition to hinges at the rear to allow opening and closing.

[0084] A plate for use on the cooker as a barbeque plate 50 may be provided and stored in the housing when not in use. Although illustrated in Figure 2 located vertically behind the cooker 20, this barbeque plate 50 is preferably substantially planar and will normally fit under the cooker 20.

[0085] In the present specification and claims (if any), the word‘comprising’ and its derivatives including‘comprises’ and‘comprise’ include each of the stated integers but does not exclude the inclusion of one or more further integers.

[0086] Reference throughout this specification to‘one embodiment’ or‘an embodiment’ means that a particular feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the embodiment is included in at least one embodiment of the present invention. Thus, the appearance of the phrases‘in one embodiment’ or‘in an embodiment’ in various places throughout this specification are not necessarily all referring to the same embodiment. Furthermore, the particular features, structures, or characteristics may be combined in any suitable manner in one or more combinations.