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Cooking food smarter

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000184849D
Original Publication Date: 2009-Jul-02
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2009-Jul-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 16K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Is your food cooked smartly? The aim of this article is to take a step forward in making the process of cooking food smarter. The kitchen is the room in the house where people undertake the difficult task to cook food. To perform this activity, people spend lot of time, energy, (like gas or electricity) and resources (like water). Any smart way to do this activity means saving these important elements and hence, reduce costs. One of the possible fields of application of this invention is food cooked in boiling water, for example, the cooking of "pasta". Has it ever happened that you put less water in the pot, so that after a few minutes the water is completely evaporated? Or has it ever happened that you put too much water in the pot to cook a small amount of food, and as a consequence, a lot of energy is wasted to boil an unnecessary amount of water? Is the problem the amount of water? Or the size of the cooking pot chosen to cook the small amount of food? Finding the right amount of water and the corresponding pot of the right size pot is not an easy task. Or, when the water is boiling, have you ever thought that increasing the heat of the burner on the stove will reduce the cooking time? In fact, a well known rule of physics states that this is not true.

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Cooking food smarter

Scenario of the invention

This system described in this article attempts to address these situations through the realization of a smart stove-top element for the kitchen that uses a series of sensors and automatic measuring controls to optimize the process of cooking and the energy and resources consumed during the process.

The system can accomplish three optimizations:

Given the amount and volume of food, the appropriately sized cooking pot is

1.

proposed to optimize cooking time. For example, 1 kg of spaghetti requires a larger sized pot than 1 kg of "ditalini" (typical Italian's pasta).

Optimization of the amount of water needed to cook given the amount of food,

2.

and the size of the cooking pot.

Automatic control of the power of the burner so that once the boiling point is

3.

reached, the power is reduced to maintain the boiling point, but not exceed the required amount of heat needed.

Description of the system

When the "pasta" (or other food item) is placed in boiling water, it is cooked at 100°
C. It is not possible to exceed this temperature with a one atm air pressure, so increasing the heat of the burner once the water has reached boiling point, is only a waste of energy. Increasing the heat would only make the water boil faster, but it will not reduce the cooking time. Cooking time depends only on the speed of transmission of the heat: water that has already reached boiling point that boils faster results only in increased costs and increased gas expenditure (consumption). Moreover, the volume of the water decreases faster because the water evaporates. An optimization that can be achieved by increasing the heat is the time required to reach the boiling point. The goal of reaching boiling point could be more efficiently reached if the heat temperature is set at the maximum. The higher the heat, the faster the water begins to boil.

The first...