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Publication Date: 2009-Dec-14
Document File: 4 page(s) / 67K

Publishing Venue

The Prior Art Database


The present invention provides a system that monitors and controls cooking temperatures through a feedback loop arrangement that includes a vibration module. The system comprises a vibration module that is placed in a liquid food load of a pan or cookware and communicates a vibration signal to a vibration sensor. The vibration sensor then communicates a temperature signal to a control module. The control module modulates power to a cooking element based on the temperature setting chosen by the consumer and the temperature signals received from the vibration sensor.

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The present invention relates generally to home appliances, and more particularly to an improved temperature monitoring and control system for a stove cooktop. Specifically, the invention relates to a system that monitors and controls cooking temperatures through a feedback loop arrangement that includes a vibration module.

Cooking food to correct temperatures is critical to food safety and taste. Accurately monitoring food temperatures while cooking is important to ensure appropriate final temperature is achieved. The monitoring of food temperatures remotely is desired so as to minimize constant observation. To accomplish this purpose, temperature probes connected to readers with wires are inserted into food and placed in an oven, stove or on a grille. One problem, however, is that probes which are connected to readers through wires limit the movement of food while cooking and are inconvenient to install and remove, especially when the temperature of multiple food objects are to be monitored. Additionally, many electronic probes and thermometers are limited by the inability of their components to withstand high cooking temperatures. Thus many conventional probes and thermometers cannot be left inside a cooking apparatus during the entire cooking process. In order to monitor the temperature of the food with conventional products, the consumer is forced to periodically insert the probe into the food to obtain the temperature and then remove the probe before continuing the cooking process. This makes it more difficult to continuously monitor food temperature and increases the likelihood that appropriate temperatures will not be maintained during the entire cooking process.    

In order to regulate the heat supplied to a pan or other cookware placed upon a stove cooktop, it is conventional to employ temperature responsive control devices that respond to the temperature of the cookware to regulate heat supplied by a heating element. In conventional cooktops, sensors are commonly located beneath the cooktop surface. This location, however, has proven to be ineffective for the purpose of controlling the heat supplied by a heating element. Disadvantages associated with locating sensors below the cooktop surface include delays resulting from the time lag between the sensor’s receipt of a temperature measurement and the sensor’s regulation of the heating element in response to the temperature measurement. Additionally, because the sensors are not in direct contact with the cookware, locating the sensors beneath the cooktop surface also affects the accuracy of the temperature measurements.  

To resolve the disadvantages associated with locating sensors beneath the cooktop surface, sensors have also been incorporated within specialty cookware. The specialty cookw...