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Publication numberUS20060288997 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/158,783
Publication dateDec 28, 2006
Filing dateJun 22, 2005
Priority dateJun 22, 2005
Publication number11158783, 158783, US 2006/0288997 A1, US 2006/288997 A1, US 20060288997 A1, US 20060288997A1, US 2006288997 A1, US 2006288997A1, US-A1-20060288997, US-A1-2006288997, US2006/0288997A1, US2006/288997A1, US20060288997 A1, US20060288997A1, US2006288997 A1, US2006288997A1
InventorsEdwin Griffin
Original AssigneeEdwin Griffin
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Portable steam table
US 20060288997 A1
A mobile portable steam table with a chafing dish system heated by liquid propane gas (LPG), to keep previously cooked meats and vegetables warm and moist through a water medium reservoir intimately involved directly beneath and holding the chafing dishes.
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1. A mobile steam table, comprising:
a tubular main frame;
a gas burner attached to said tubular main frame;
a holding pan supported by said tubular main frame above said gas burner, said holding pan adapted to hold a liquid therein and transfer heat from said gas burner to the water upon operation of said burner;
a plurality of walls attached about said tubular main frame to form an enclosed stored space accessible via at least one of said plurality of walls, the least one of said plurality of walls pivotally attached to said tubular main frame; and
a plurality of wheels pivotally attached to said tubular main frame to render the cart mobile.
2. The mobile steam table of claim 1, wherein said holding pan is adapted to receive serving dishes and to heat food supported by the serving dishes with steam.
3. The mobile steam table of claim 1, wherein said tubular main frame is constructed with low carbon steel rigidly welded square tubing to provide strength and durability to said mobile steam table.
4. The mobile steam table of claim 1, said tubular main frame including a metal platform to support a gas tank.
5. The mobile steam table of claim 1, said tubular main frame including a plurality of axels extending from said tubular main frame, each axel adapted to accommodate a wheel for mobility.
6. The mobile steam table of claim 1, said tubular main frame including square tubing fixed members welded integrally to support said holding pan and fuel burner for operation, said fuel burner including a thermal control and igniter for lighting fuel escaping from said fuel burner.
7. The mobile steam table of claim 1, further comprising a bottom horizontal wall attached to said tubular main frame below said holding pan and supported by said tubular main frame, said plurality of walls including three vertical walls, each attached to said tubular main frame along a different vertical plane of said tubular main frame, and a fourth vertical wall having at least one inch door pivotally attached to said tubular main frame for access to the compartment therein, wherein the placement of said holding pan at said tubular main frame completes the enclosure of the storage space.

This invention relates to food maintenance, and in particular to keeping prepared food warm.

Typically, when having a Barbecue or cookout, the cook grills meats, such as chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, etc. After the food is prepared, there is no place to set the food down except an available table. This placement of food takes up valuable table space that could otherwise be used for something else. After a while the prepared food dries out and gets cold and hard. When placed in this situation, guests and friends take their food out of the container on the table, place it on their plates and head for the kitchen to warm their food, for example, on a stove or in the microwave oven. This creates the problem of people going in and out of the house, causing unwanted traffic, unintentionally tracking dirt in and out of the house, and possibly accidentally dropping or spilling food on the floor. This is where the portable steam table of the invention comes into play.


While not being limited to a particular theory, the portable steam table in accordance with the invention was created preferably for the weekend griller, and eliminates all of the problems stated above. According to the preferred embodiments, after the food is cooked (e.g., grilled, baked, fried, steamed, broiled, roasted, prepared, poached, seared), the cooked food is placed in chafing pans on the portable steam table. Now anyone wanting the cooked food can take his or her plate to the portable steam table and proceed to fill their plates with the food, which has been kept warm, moist and as desired for eating. The portable steam table keeps food moist and delicious for hours at a temperature warm for human consumption, yet not hot enough to recook or burn the food.


The invention will be described in conjunction with the following drawings in which like reference numerals designate like elements and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a partially sectional perspective view showing the preferred structural material used in the manufacture of this embodiment;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary main frame for the portable steam table according to the preferred embodiments;

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view if a fuel burner adapted to the main frame of FIG. 2;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the main frame, the fuel burner and a fuel supply (e.g., liquid propane gas tank) in accordance with the preferred embodiments;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the main frame and wall supports for forming an enclosed storage space for the preferred example of the invention;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a water reservoir/holding pan of the preferred embodiment; and

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the water reservoir/holding pan, main frame and wheels in accordance with the preferred embodiments of the invention.


According to the preferred embodiments of the invention, a mobile steam table includes a tubular main frame, a gas (e.g., liquid propane) burner, a water reservoir holding pan, enclosed storage space, and wheels associated to render the cart mobile. An exemplary tubular main frame 1 is shown in a partial cross sectional view. Currently a half-inch square hollow low carbon steel tubing is being utilized, although the invention is not limited thereto.

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of an exemplary frame for the portable steam table, formed from the tubing shown in FIG. 1. As can be seen in FIG. 2, the tubing is rigidly welded to form the main frame 1 of the chafing system/mobile steam table. The main frame 1 includes a chafing dish holding pan support and burner mounting 4 that supports at least one holding pan and burner as shown in greater detail below. While not being limited to a particular theory, the steam table includes an expanded metal platform 2 incorporated for supporting a fuel (e.g., liquid propane gas) tank. In this example, four mild steel axels 3 are press fitted into the center of the two lower side cross rails of the main frame and accept wheels 25 to enable mobility to the table as can best be see in FIG. 7.

FIG. 3 is an enlarged view of a fuel burner, in particular a liquid propane gas (LPG) burner 7 and how it is mounted between the rails of the chafing dish holding pan/burner support 4. In this preferred example, propane gas is fed to a burner control valve 11, which is adapted to control both halves of the singularly constructed, but independently controlled burner 7. Of course, the burner 7, is shown as one burner, but could have more than one burner as desired to provide heat to the holding pan, as would be readily understood by a skilled artisan.

FIG. 4 shows the LPG burner 7 with a right side control valve 9 and a left side control valve 8 connected to the LPG gas cylinder 5 by an LPG pressure regulator 12, and an LPG pressure hose 6. Also, shown as an integral part of the burner control valve 11 mounting is an impulse burner igniter 10. Horizontal members of the main frame 1 are rigidly welded in place as previously shown, and include bottom wall supports 13 as desired for structural integrity and protection of the enclosed storage space.

FIG. 5 embodies the aforementioned enclosed storage space for keeping previously cooked food warm and moist. The steam table shown in FIG. 5 includes a right vertical wall 15, a left vertical wall 17 and a rear vertical wall 16 attached to the main frame 1, preferably by sheet metal screws. A bottom wall 14 is supported in place by the bottom wall supports 13, and is not permanently attached so it can be easily removed for cleaning.

FIG. 6 shows a chafing dish holding pan and water reservoir 21, preferably made of stainless steel, which completes the enclosure and is easily removable since its weight is borne only by the holding pan support and burner mounting 4. Access to the enclosure is through a pivotable right door 20 and left door 18. Each door is pivotably attached to the main frame 1 via two hinges 19 secured preferably by sheet metal screws.

FIG. 7 shows the chafing dish holding pan 21 cradled in the main frame 1, according to the preferred embodiments. While not being limited to as particular theory, the holding pan 21 includes an orifice and drain valve 23 that attaches to a hose 24 when necessary to drain liquids from the pan. Shown also are a plurality of wheels 25 for mobility. For compatibility with known products, the holding pan accepts disposable aluminum chafing dishes 22 that are readily available for purchase at existing markets.

While not being limited to a particular theory, the preferred dimensions of the steam table are about 25″38″45″ with a frame that is about inch and hollow formed of low carbon steel, and with all the tubing welded in place. The chafing pan is made of stainless steel.

The chafing dish holding pan 21 preferably holds about 4 to 5 gallons of water and includes a drain with a shut off valve 23 (e.g., about inch) along its bottom side to make it easier to drain the water from the chafing pan. During operating of the steam table, the water is heated with a fuel (e.g., liquid propane) in a container (e.g., about 20-25 lbs.), which sits on a stand. The stand includes supports (e.g., three L-shaped stays of about one inch) to hold the container or tank in place. The steam table also includes an automatic lighting igniter, many of which are well known in the art. In the preferred embodiments, the steam table includes four wheels, each wheel being about six inches and a handle (e.g. about three inches) to make the steam table mobile. That is, with the wheels 25, the steam table can be moved from place to place very easily. Of course, the steam table can be stored outside just like known grills, and it is made of materials known to be easy to clean. It goes without saying that, like all other gas operated appliances, the steam table should be used with the utmost care for safety.

It is understood that the portable steam table described and shown are exemplary indications of preferred embodiments of the invention, and are given by way of illustration only. In other words, the concept of the present invention may be readily applied to a variety of preferred embodiments, including those disclosed herein. While the invention has been described in detail and with reference to specific examples thereof, it will be apparent to one skilled in the art that various changes and modifications can be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope thereof. Without further elaboration the foregoing will so fully illustrate the invention that others may, by applying current or future knowledge, readily adapt the same for use under various conditions of service.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8680438 *Sep 1, 2010Mar 25, 2014Fundways Ltd.Combination urn and warming plate and methods of using same
US20100071567 *Sep 18, 2009Mar 25, 2010The Vollrath Company, LLC.Food pan
US20110049126 *Sep 1, 2010Mar 3, 2011Fundways Ltd.Combination Urn and Warming Plate and Methods of Using Same
US20110088974 *Oct 19, 2009Apr 21, 2011William Ralph BondEntertainment table
US20120024164 *Sep 3, 2009Feb 2, 2012Jae-Hyoun ParkCooking appliance
US20120031910 *Aug 9, 2011Feb 9, 2012Bart Richard HogestynBuffet Serving System
WO2008112809A1 *Mar 12, 2008Sep 18, 2008Desa Ip LlcBistro table heater combination with 360 degree heat source
U.S. Classification126/33, 126/268
International ClassificationF24B9/00
Cooperative ClassificationA47J37/0786, A47J36/26
European ClassificationA47J36/26