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Title:
COUNTERTOP DECK OVEN WITH ADVANCED CONDUCTION ELEMENTS
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/018820
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A countertop deck oven has advanced conduction elements to cook according to an optimum thermal spectral profile of a selected food by selectively using an etched foil heating element and a secondary heating technology element both disposed within the baking chamber. A controller independently controls the etched foil heating element and the secondary heating technology element according to a selected thermal profile having different levels of heating assigned to each of the heating elements. Thereby the oven heats a particular food in the baking chamber according to its associated spectral heating requirement.

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Inventors:
GOBLE, Caroline Elizabeth (2433 Sheffield CT, Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky, 43017, US)
GOBLE, David Robert (225 Salt Box Lane, Watersound, Florida, 32461, US)
Application Number:
US2015/042278
Publication Date:
February 04, 2016
Filing Date:
July 27, 2015
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PATENTCO LLC (PO Box 4691, Santa Rosa Beach, Florida, 32459, US)
International Classes:
A21B1/00
Foreign References:
US20110284518A12011-11-24
US5223290A1993-06-29
US3790735A1974-02-05
US6157002A2000-12-05
US20040182849A12004-09-23
US20030015518A12003-01-23
US20060157479A12006-07-20
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JENEI, Stephen R. (Jenei LLC, 8044 Montgomery RoadSuite 70, Cincinnati Ohio, 45236-2926, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. An oven comprising:

a baking chamber;

an etched foil heating element disposed within the baking chamber;

a first thermal control circuit in electrical communication with the etched foil heating element to selectively drive an electrical current through the etched foil heating element;

a secondary heating technology element disposed within the baking chamber; a second thermal control circuit in electrical communication with the secondary heating technology element to selectively activate the secondaiy heating technology element;

a memory containing more than one thermal profile having different levels of heating assigned to each of the etched foil heating element and the secondary heating technology element to address differing spectral heating requirements for different foods; and

a controller in communication with the memory, the first thermal control circuit and the second thermal control circuit and comprising a processor to execute instructions according to a selected thermal profile to configure the oven to heat a particular food in the baking chamber according to an associated spectral heating requirement.

2. The oven of claim 1 , wherein the etched foil heating element is positioned to heat an upper surface of the particular food in the baking chamber and the secondary heating technology element is positioned to heat an undersurface of the particular food in the baking chamber, the oven further comprising:

a user interface that includes an upper temperature affordance to receive an upper temperature setting for the etched foil heating element and includes a lower temperature affordance to receive a lower temperature setting for the secondary heating technology element.

3. The oven of claim 2, wherein the secondaiy heating technology element comprises an etched foil heating element.

4. The oven of claim 1 , wherein the secondary heating technology element comprises an inductive heating element.

5. The oven of claim 1, wherein the secondary heating technology element comprises a convection technology element.

6. The oven of claim 1 , wherein the secondary heating technology element comprises a wire coil element.

7. The oven of claim 1 , wherein the secondary heating technology element comprises a microwave heating element.

8. The oven of claim I, wherein the secondary heating technology element comprises a steam-assist heating element.

9. The oven of claim 1 , further comprising a support surface, wherein one of the etched foil heater element and the secondary heating technology element are positioned below a support surface to cook an undersurface of a food article placed on the support surface.

10. The oven of claim 1, further comprising:

a housing that encompasses the baking chamber and includes more than one upper surface receiving apertures; and

removable legs to support the oven and attached to attachment contours formed on an under surface of the housing that are spaced to correspond to a pattern of the more than one upper surface receiving apertures of another oven for stacking with the removable legs removed.

11. The oven of claim 10, further comprising a door that pivots above a horizontal hinge attached proximate to one of a top edge and a bottom edge of a front opening in the baking chamber, the door sized to move between an open and closed position without contacting a door of another oven stacked on or under the oven.

12. An oven comprising:

a baking chamber;

an upper etched foil heating element disposed within the baking chamber above a support surface; a first thermal control circuit in electrical communication with the upper etched foil heating element to selectively drive an electrical current through the upper etched foil heating element;

a lower etched foil heating element disposed below the support surface within the baking chamber;

a second thermal control circuit in electrical communication with the lower etched foil heating element to selectively activate the lower etched foil heating element;

a user interface; and

a controller in communication with the user interface, the first thermal control circuit and the second thermal control circuit and comprising a processor to execute instructions to configure the oven to:

present an upper temperature affordance and a lower temperature affordance on the user interface;

receive a first user input selecting an upper temperature setting via the upper temperature affordance;

receive a second user input selecting a lower temperature setting via the lower temperature affordance; and

heat a particular food on the support surface in the baking chamber according to the upper and lower temperature settings.

13. The oven of claim 12, wherein the lower etched foil heater element is integrally attached to the support surface that portions a bottom portion of the baking chamber. 14. The oven of claim 12, wherein:

the support surface comprises a suspended surface; and

the lower etched foil heating element is attached to a bottom surface of the baking chamber to radiate heat through the suspended porous surface.

Description:
COUNTERTOP DECK OVEN WITH ADVANCED CONDUCTION ELEMENTS

CLAIM OF PRIORITY UNDER 35 U.S.C. §119

[0001] The present Application for Patent claims priority to Non Provisional

Application No. 14/809,866 entitled "COUNTERTOP DECK OVEN WITH

ADVANCED CONDUCTION ELEMENTS" filed 27-July-2015 and Provisional

Application No. 62/029,670 entitled "COUNTERTOP DECK OVEN WITH

ADVANCED CONDUCTION ELEMENTS" filed 28-July-2014, both assigned to the assignee hereof and hereby expressly incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The field of art disclosed herein pertains to cooking equipment, and more particularly to countertop baking ovens. BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Countertop deck ovens provide a space efficient way to bake foods. A number of heating technologies for such ovens are used that have certain spectral advantages. For example, microwave technology can emit wavelengths that energize water content of a food, providing a quick warming capability. Radiant heat such as from wire heating elements can brown the food at a higher temperature to create a different texture than what a microwave oven can achieve.

[0004] U.S. Pat. No. 5,223,290, which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety, provides a conveyor oven for cooking food products using infrared radiation. The oven uses upper and lower etched foil heaters, which are disposed above and below the upper flight of a conveyor belt passing therethrough. The heaters are disposed sufficiently close to the food items to effect rapid and efficient cooking. The heaters, however, are separately controlled. The oven also includes a controller for governing the speed of the belt, the time of exposure to infrared radiation, and a range of radiation wavelength between about 4 and 5 microns for cooking the food in the oven. Additional improvements are desirable, however. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0005] In one aspect, the present disclosure provides an oven including a baking chamber. An etched foil heating element is disposed within the baking chamber. A first thermal control circuit is in electrical communication with the etched foil heating element to selectively drive an electrical current through the etched foil heating element. A secondary heating technology element is disposed within the baking chamber. A second thermal control circuit is in electrical communication with the secondary heating technology element to selectively activate the secondary heating technology element. A memory contains more than one thermal profile having different levels of heating assigned to each of the etched foil heating element and the secondary heating technology element to address differing spectral heating requirements for different foods. A controller is in communication with the memory, the first thermal control circuit and the second thermal control circuit and comprising a processor. The processor executes instructions according to a selected thermal profile to configure the oven to heat a particular food in the baking chamber according to an associated spectral heating requirement.

[0006] In another aspect, the present disclosure provides an oven including a baking chamber. An upper etched foil heating element is disposed within the baking chamber above a support surface. A first thermal control circuit in electrical communication with the upper etched foil heating element to selectively drive an electrical current through the upper etched foil heating element. A lower etched foil heating element is disposed on or below the support surface within the baking chamber. A second thermal control circuit is in electrical communication with the lower etched foil heating element to selectively activate the lower etched foil heating element. A controller is in communication with a user interface, the first thermal control circuit and the second thermal control circuit and comprising a processor. The processor execute instructions to configure the oven to: (a) present an upper temperature affordance and a lower temperature affordance on the user interface; (b) receive a first user input selecting an upper temperature setting via the upper temperature affordance; (c) receive a second user input selecting a lower temperature setting via the lower temperature affordance; and (d) heat a particular food in the baking chamber according to the upper and lower temperature settings.

[0007] In another aspect, the present disclosure provides an oven including a baking chamber with upper and lower etched foil heating elements disposed within the baking chamber wherein the upper and lower etched foil heating elements are used in combination with one or more additional heating technologies selected from the group: (1) inductive heating; (2) convection technology (i.e., movement of heated air); (3) radiant heat (i.e., heated coils); (4) microwave technology; or (5) a steam-assist mechanism. In another aspect, the present disclosure provides an oven including microwave technology, steam-assist or a combination thereof

[0008] These and other features are explained more fully in the embodiments illustrated below. It should be understood that in general the features of one embodiment also may be used in combination with features of another embodiment and that the embodiments are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0009] The various exemplary embodiments of the present invention, which will become more apparent as the description proceeds, are described in the following detailed description in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

[0010] FIG. 1A illustrates a diagram of an oven that utilizes upper and lower etched foil heating element that are independently controlled, according to one or more embodiments;

[0011] FIG. IB illustrates a diagram of an oven that utilizes an etched foil heating element and a secondary heating technology element, according to one or more embodiments;

[0012] FIG. 2 illustrates a diagram of a top view of an example oven, according to one or more embodiments;

[0013] FIG. 3 illustrates a diagram of a front view of the example oven, according to one or more embodiments;

[0014] FIG. 4 illustrates a diagram of a right side view of the example oven, according to one or more embodiments;

[0015] FIG. 5 illustrates a right front isometric view partially cutaway of an exemplary oven with an open door, according to one or more embodiments;

[0016] FIG. 6 illustrates a left front isometric view of the exemplary oven of FIG. 4, according to one or more embodiments;

[0017] FIG. 7 illustrates a left front isometric view of a stack of three exemplary ovens of FIG. 4, according to one or more embodiments;

[0018] FIG. 8 illustrates a left front isometric view of the stack of three exemplary ovens of FIG. 7 with the doors open, according to one or more embodiments;

[0019] FIG. 9 illustrates a left rear isometric view of the stack of three exemplary ovens of FIG. 7, according to one or more embodiments; and

[0020] FIG. 10 illustrates a left front isometric detail view of the stack of three exemplary ovens of FIG. 7, according to one or more embodiments. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0021] The system's goal is to provide consistency in the cooking of food in a countertop deck oven. This is specifically accomplished by the use of advanced elements in conduction in the form of etched-foil heaters attached to conductive metal located within a stable chamber capable of capturing and storing heat utilizing appropriate insulation materials. The food is placed on the conductive surface of the bake chamber via a hinged door on the front of the oven, wherein the etched-foil heaters are activated to heat and bake the food in a consistent manner.

[0022] To provide the optimal heating per particular intended use, the conductive mica and etched-foil heaters, which may be may be used in combination with one or more of the following: (1) inductive heating; (2) convection technology (i.e., movement of heated air); (3) radiant heat (i.e., heated coils); (4) microwave technology; or (5) a steam-assist mechanism. The purpose of the addition of these technologies to enhance the etched-foil heating elements would be to increase (1 ) the speed of cooking or (2) the quality of the bake. The addition of the above heat sources would be included solely in addition to a system comprised of the initially outlined etched-foil heating system. The system may contain one or more of the additional options in any potential combination.

[0023] The metallic etched foil can be attached to a high temperature backing material for structural support during the etching process and subsequent placement. This backing material can be one of ceramic paper, ceramic cloth, ceramic board, mica paper, mica board, fiberglass paper, fiberglass cloth or fiberglass blanket or calcium silicate board. The heating element may comprise a metallic etched foil bonded with one or more layers of an inert material. In that case, the inert material may comprise Kapton®, all-polyimide or mica foil. The etched foil may include a metal sheet cut by a laser or by electro-chemical process. The sheet may be made from any suitable material, for example, an iron- aluminum based alloy, an iron-manganese-aluminum base alloy or Timetal®. The sheet may be rectangular in shape, or may have a patterned shape, which may form a coil-like structure when formed.

[0024] In one embodiment, the etched foil heater is a composite heater, and more particularly still, an etched, multi-zone, mica composite heater. Generally, the composite heater comprises a selectively patterned etched foil heater element, or elements as the case may be, and a mica carrier essentially encapsulating heater element. In another embodiment, the mica-insulated heater is encased in a thin (e.g., 0.030"-0.125") copper "shell," i.e., heat conducting casing.

[0025] The size of the internal baking chamber may vary depending on the specific usage requirements. For example, the internal baking chamber could be sized between six (6) inches wide by six (6) inches deep by two (2) inches high to twenty-six (26) inches wide by twenty-four (24) inches deep by ten (10) inches high. This does not exclude any additional potential sizing, but serves as a basis for describing the potential interior dimensions. The overall oven system would be any interior sizing to accommodate for the addition of electrical components required to run and protect the heated area. The electric power required for the unit ranges from 1 10 volts to 208 single-phase or three-phase system, depending on the usage requirements for the various sizes produced.

[0026] In use, (1) the oven may be set to pre-heat, if so desired, or may simply be turned on when the need to bake arises. (2) An individual sets the time and temperature on the oven based on the product to be cooked. (3) If pre-heated, the oven will be ready to use. If not pre-heated, the individual will set the oven to pre-heat, at which time the oven will rise to temperature and then alert the individual once the set temperature has been achieved. (4) An individual inserts a food item to be baked by the oven into the baking chamber by opening the door and placing the item inside. (5) The oven will then provide an alert when the set baking time has been completed, and the oven will remain at temperature or begin to cool, based on the pre-heat settings chosen, as described previously. (6) The product will remain in the oven until it is removed by an individual.

[0027] FIG. 1A illustrates an oven 10 that includes a baking chamber 12. An upper etched foil heating element 14 is disposed within the baking chamber 12 above a support surface 16. In one embodiment, the support surface 16 is a bottom interior portion of the baking chamber 12. In other embodiments, the support surface 16 is a suspended surface (not shown). A first thermal control circuit 18 is in electrical communication with the upper etched foil heating element 14 to selectively drive an electrical current through the upper etched foil heating element 14. A lower etched foil heating element 20 is disposed on or below the support surface 16 within the baking chamber 12. In an exemplary embodiment, the support surface is integrally attached to the support surface 16. A second thermal control circuit 22 is in electrical communication with the lower etched foil heating element 20 to selectively activate the lower etched foil heating element 20. A controller 24 is in communication with a user interface 26, the first thermal control circuit 18 and the second thermal control circuit 22 and includes a processor 28. The processor 28 executes instructions to configure the oven 10 to: (a) present an upper temperature affordance 30 and a lower temperature affordance 32 on the user interface 26; (b) receive a first user input selecting an upper temperature setting via the upper temperature affordance 30; (c) receive a second user input selecting a lower temperature setting via the lower temperature affordance 32; and (d) heat a particular food 34 on the support surface 16 in the baking chamber 12 according to the upper and lower temperature settings.

[0028] In one or more exemplary embodiments, the etched foil controllable heating element on top plus an etched foil controllable heating element on bottom can provide differential heating of a baking product, such as 500 degrees on the top but only 250 degrees on the bottom for certain number of minutes so that two sides are precisely cooked. The oven 10 could have secondary heating functions. In one or more exemplary embodiments, a single oven 10 can contain two belts with the thinness of the etched foil heating elements 14, 20 enabling a stacked arrangement. In one or more embodiments, steam can be injected to form a bread crust. In one or more embodiments, convection fans can be used to even out heating. In addition, one housing 40 can include multiple baking chambers 12. In one embodiment, one housing 40 includes three or four baking chambers 12.

[0029] FIG. IB illustrates an oven 100 that includes a baking chamber 102. At least one etched foil heating element 104 is disposed wdthin the baking chamber 102. A first thermal control circuit 106 in electrical communication with the etched foil heating element 104 to selectively drive an electrical current through the etched foil heating element 108. A secondary heating technology element 110 is disposed within the baking chamber 102 in order to provide a different mode (i.e., conduction or convection) or a different radiant spectral frequency than the etched foil heating element 108 to complement its cooking characteristics. A second thermal control circuit 112 is in electrical communication with the secondary heating technology element 110 to selectively activate the secondary heating technology element 110.

[0030] A memory 114 contains more than one thermal profile 116 having different levels of heating assigned to each of the etched foil heating element 104 and the secondary heating technology element 110 to address differing spectral heating requirements for different foods. In one or more embodiments, the secondary heating technology element 110 includes one or more of an inductive heating element 110a, a convection technology element 110b, a wire coil element 110c, a microwave heating element llOd, a steam-assist heating element llOe, and another etched foil heating element llOe. [0031] A controller 118 is in communication with the memory 114, the first thermal control circuit 106 and the second thermal control circuit 112 and includes a processor 120. The processor 120 executes instructions 122 according to a selected thermal profile 116 to configure the oven 100 to heat a particular food 124 in the baking chamber 102 according to an associated spectral heating requirement. A user can interact with a user interface 126 to start, stop, or adjust the cooking parameters. For example, the user interface 126 can include aural, visual or haptic input controls 128 and output controls 130. In an exemplary embodiment, the user interface 126 includes a touch screen display and an audio alert capability.

[0032] In one or more embodiments, the etched foil heating element 104 uses Nichrome 80/20 (80% nickel, 20% chromium). Nichrome 80/20 is an ideal material, because it has relatively high resistance and forms an adherent layer of chromium oxide when it is heated for the first time. Material beneath this layer will not oxidize, preventing the wire trace from breaking or burning out. Etched foil elements are generally made from the same alloys as resistance wire elements, but are produced with a subtractive photo- etching process that starts with a continuous sheet of metal foil and ends with a complex resistance pattern.

[0033] In one embodiment, the oven 100 includes a manually-opened oven door 132 that is hinged along a bottom edge to rotate downward. In other embodiments, the oven 104 can include openings on opposite sides with a conveyor surface to perform a continuous timed cooking operation on a sequence of food items such as uncooked pizzas.

[0034] One of the etched foil heater element 104 and secondary heater 110 can be placed below the food 124, such as an etched foil heater element 134 that is integral to a heating surface 136 that supports the food 124. An example of such an etched foil heater element 134 is disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,150,280, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety. Alternatively, the etched foil heater element 134 may be exposed below a support surface such as a mesh that allows for radiant and convective thermal energy to reach an undersurface of the food 124. An example includes the previously incorporated disclosure of U.S. Pat. No. 5,223,290. However, each of the two etched foil heater elements 104, 134 can be independently user-controlled for a desired cooking attribute via an upper temperature affordance 140 and a lower temperature affordance 142 presented by the user interface 126. For example, the upper etched foil heater element 104 can have an upper temperature selected for the type of toppings of a pizza and the lower etched foil heater element 134 can have a lower temperature selected for a desired texture of a baked crust having a particular thickness and moisture content.

[0035] FIGs. 2 - 4 illustrate an example oven 200 having a baking chamber 202 surrounded by insulated areas 203, a control electrical chamber 205 having a recessed area 207 (FIG. 2) for an electrical connector, an insulated door 232, and an oven controller 218 that includes a display 219 (FIG. 3).

[0036] FIGs. 5 - 10 illustrate an exemplary oven 500 having removable legs 501 and top recesses 509 that allow for stacking of one or more ovens 500 (FIGs. 7 - 10). FIG. 10 illustrates that oven doors 532 are dimensioned to not contact one another.

[0037] The oven assemblies described here may be further characterized by combinations of sensors, controllers, cabling and other electrical and/or mechanical components, as well as tight dimensional tolerances, surface flatness, perpendicularity, and a select surface finish. Furthermore, temperature sensors may be configured to provide feedback to allow the controller to control the temperatures of each heating zone to keep the temperatures within a desired range. In one embodiment, the temperature sensors and controller may be configured to maintain accurate temperatures within a maximum range of approximately 150-500 degrees Fahrenheit. In alternative embodiments, the controller may be configured to maintain temperatures outside of this range.

[0038] It must be noted that, as used in this specification and the appended claims, the singular forms "a," "an" and "the" include plural referents unless the content clearly dictates otherwise. Thus, for example, reference to a "colorant agent" includes two or more such agents.

[0039] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as commonly understood by one of ordinary skill in the art to which the invention pertains. Although a number of methods and materials similar or equivalent to those described herein can be used in the practice of the present invention, the preferred materials and methods are described herein.

[0040] As will be appreciated by one having ordinary skill in the art, the methods and compositions of the invention substantially reduce or eliminate the disadvantages and drawbacks associated with prior art methods and compositions.

[0041] It should be noted that, when employed in the present disclosure, the terms "comprises," "comprising," and other derivatives from the root term "comprise" are intended to be open-ended terms that specify the presence of any stated features, elements, integers, steps, or components, and are not intended to preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, elements, integers, steps, components, or groups thereof.

[0042] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein; however, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention, which may be embodied in various forms. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention in virtually any appropriately detailed structure.

[0043] While it is apparent that the illustrative embodiments of the invention herein disclosed fulfill the objectives stated above, it will be appreciated that numerous modifications and other embodiments may be devised by one of ordinary skill in the art. Accordingly, it will be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and embodiments, which come within the spirit and scope of the present invention.