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Publication numberUS3425845 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateFeb 4, 1969
Filing dateJul 19, 1965
Priority dateJul 19, 1965
Publication numberUS 3425845 A, US 3425845A, US-A-3425845, US3425845 A, US3425845A
InventorsDunn Richard P
Original AssigneeDun Hot Inc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Popcorn package
US 3425845 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
Next page
Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Feb. 4, 1969 P. D NN 3,425,845


RICHARD P. DUN N BY MA W W A T TORWEVS United States Patent 3,425,s4s POPCORN PACKAGE Richard 1. Dunn, Mount Clemens, Mich., assignor to Dun-Hot, Inc., Mount Clemens, Mich, a corporation of Michigan Filed July 19, 1965, Ser. No. 472,828

US. Cl. 99-171 Int. Cl. A231) 9/00 2 Claims ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE The present invention relates to an improved package for use in the quick and easy preparation of popcorn. To that end, the package of the invention incorporates a disposable pan-like utensil of semi-rigid foil and a cover, these parts encasing a measured charge of uncooked kernels; and the invention deals with the provision of simple and improved type of combined sealing and lifting means whereby the package may be rendered air-tight, and also comfortably handled after popping is completed. The package is preassembled in its entirety before sale to the ultimate consumer or vendor, and although specifically devised to handle popcorn as the comestible to be cooked, the use of other sorts of uncooked product is also contemplated.

It is an object of the invention to provide a package of the foregoing nature which, in addition to a relatively shallow, pan-type foil utensil and the charge of kernels to be popped, further comprises a flexible cover or top panel, and an annular sealing member or ring coacting with the foil pan and cover. The latter is of a nature adapted to expand during or after the cooking operation and in doing so, to actuate certain integral lifting or handle means of the sealing ring to a position to be gripped conveniently by the user or consumer, without risk of being burned.

More specifically, the package comprises a light weight disposable popping pan of the general outline mentioned above, which is fabricated of a thin foil material (for example, aluminum) having good heat conduction and of a type and thickness such that the pan is semi-rigid when die-stamped; a flexibly expansible cover panel, preferably fabricated of a thin transparent material, such as cellophane, which is to be secured in airtight sealing relation to the pan as by crimping a marginal flange of the latter; and a combined annular sealing and lifting member which is interposed and tightly held between the crimped pan flange and the cover in a horizontal outer annular zone. Thus the combined member effects an air-tight seal of the package interior and affords convenient lifting means for the package in addition.

Further in accordance with the invention, the member last mentioned is preferably fabricated of an inexpensive fiexible material having substantial body, such as a suitable grade and gauge of paperboard or cardboard. This member is die stamped in an annular outline providing .an outer rim portion adapted to rest upon a horizontal annular rim surface of the pan, and two 3,425,845 Patented Feb. 4, 1969 generally rectangular finger tabs projecting radially inwardly in diametrically opposite relation to one another from the rim portion. The combined sealing and lifting paperboard member, positioned flatwiseupon the periphery of the cover and the pan rim, is firmly crimped downwardly by the pan flange to provide the desired seal of cover to pan; and the tabs of the combined member or ring are thus located so as to be automatically lifted to readily accessible position by the expanding or balooning cover as popping proceeds to completion. The hot package is thus handled in the users fingers without discomfort.

The foregoing as well as other objects will become more apparent as this description proceeds, especially when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing illustrating the invention, wherein:

FIG. 1 is a top plan view, partially broken away, illustrating the complete package as furnished to the ultimate vendor or user, diametrically opposite finger tabs of its sealing and lifting ring being shown in an opcratively depressed position enabling a number of the,

packages to be compactly nested;

FIG. 2 is a view in transverse vertical section along line 2-2 of FIG. 1, showing in solid lines the parts of the package in the condition described above, this view indicating in dot-dash line the upstanding position of an outer peripheral flange of the pan component, prior to final crimping downwardly and inwardly in its solid line sealing position, the view also showing in dotted line the position of the cover and sealing and lifting components upon completion of the popping of the con; and

FIG. 3 is a smaller scale view showing the cardboard combined sealing and lifting ring as stamped out in a.

flat condition.

The improved cooking package of the invention is generally designated by the reference numeral 10. It comprises four components, namely, a utensil 12 which is stamped from aluminum foil of, say 0.003"-0.005" thickness, in a relatively shallow, dish or p an-like outline; a supply or charge 14 of popcorn kernels to be fried or cooked (or other particulate edible, as mentioned above); a transverse cover sheet 16, preferably of transparent cellophane, Pliofilm or the like, and an annular combined sealing and lifter member 18 stamped from a suitable grade of flexible but self-sustaining paperboard stock.

The utensil or pan 12, as stamped out of aluminum, or other suitable metallic foil, in the instanced gauge or thickness, has a semi-rigid degree of stiffness. It includes a circular bottom panel 20, which may have concentric annular reinforcing and heat distributing rib formations 21 (FIG. 1); an upwardly .and outwardly angled, annular .side wall 22, which will perforce be crinkled to some degree at 23 in the stamping operation; a circular, horizontal and outwardly projecting ledge or rim 24 which is also inherently, and even more intensively, crinkled in the pan stamping operation; and a circular outer flange portion 25. As originally stamped, this flange projects at to the rim portion 24, as indicated in dot-dash line in FIG. 2, and is thereafter crimped 90 inwardly and downwardy to the solid line position.

As for the charge 14 to be cooked, illustratively popcorn kernels 27, it is contemplated that it will in addition he treated with an appropriate selection of flavoring and other ingredients, for example, sallt, butltger, artificial color, and the like. Naturally, the nature of such treating components is a matter of choice on the part of the compounder, and may. indeed, be secret.

The cover panel 16 is in the form of a circular disc of a suitable grade of transparent cellophane or like synthetic sheeting which is of an area sufficiently great to enable it, as sealingly clamped to the pan 12 in the manner hereinafter described, to be depressed over the kernel charge 14 into general conformity with the outline of the pan, as shown in solid line in FIG. 2. Preferably, cover member 16 is attractively imprinted, as at 28 (FIG. 1), to bear the trademark designation of the ultimate edible product, any necessary information regarding the composition of the charge 14, etc.

Reference being had now to FIG. 3, the sealing and lifting member 18 is, in its initial flat, stamped condition, in the form of an annular, circular disc or ring which provides a rim portion 29 of radial width approximating that of the pan rim 24, so that it will freely nest within the upstanding annular pan flange 25.

Ring 18 is formed at diametrically opposite points to provide radially inwardly projecting lifting tabs 30, which are of generally rectangular outline and of substantial side-to-side width and radially inward extent. Each tab is creased transversely at 31 to define an inner terminal lip 32, and hinges to rim 29 on a base crease 33.

In the assembly of the package 10, with the charge 14 of kernels 27 or other comestible product to be cooked in a relatively thin layer on the pan bottom 24 the circular cover member 16 is placed on and depressed into the pan 12, in flatwise engagement with the charge 14- and in general conformity with the pan contour, as best shown in FIG. 2. Cover 16 has a diameter such that its outer periphery then rests on and in conformity with the annular rim 24 of pan 12. Naturally, there will be some wrinkling of the cellophane cover in thus locating it.

The ring 18 is dropped in place upon the outer marign of cover 16; and the flange 25 of the pan is then crimped firmly downwardly about its entire periphery onto the smooth rim portion 29 of the sealing and lifting ring. Thus the latter .and the cover 16 are firmly crimped in air-tight sealing engagement with the pan rim 24. After this, the tabs 30 of lifting disc 18 may be swung inwardly to the position shown in solid line in FIGS. 1 and 2, with their body portions generally paralleling pan wall 22 and with their terminal lips 32 flexed into engagement with the cover 16 adjacent the bottom periphery of the latter.

In this condition, a number of the packages may be compactly nested for shipment, storage and/or counter use. As needed, the packages are heated to popping temperature, whereupon the expansion of the kernels 27 will balloon the cover member 16 to the dotted line position of FIG. 2. This automatically swings the lifter tabs 30 to their dotted line raised position, in which they may be finger-grasped by the user without discomfort. If desired, the cover .16 may be punctured for access to the popcorn, or the finger tabs may be ripped through to expose the cover member margin for removal. It is contemplated that a cover employed in a package containing a food other than popcorn will be correspondingly ballooned under gas pressure, even without contact by the cooked product.

The improved package is extremely simple and inexpensive as to its components, and equally simply, expeditiously and inexpensively assembled for sale in quantity. Its combined sealing and lifting ring is in particular of negligible cost, low indeed in proportion to the advantages and sales appeal which it contributes to the package.

What I claim as my invention is:

1. A plurality of cookable popcorn kernel packages, each comprising, an open topped, semi-rigid pan shaped in a relatively shallow outline, a readily flexible cover extending across and downwardly into said pan and having substantially the same relatively shallow outline as said pan, a charge of popcorn kernels to be cooked confined between said pan and cover, and a combined sealing and lifting ring including a rim portion disposed upon the margin of said cover to engage the latter against an outer annular portion of the pan, said rim portion upwardly exposing a substantial area of said cover radially inwardly of the rim portion and said pan having a peripheral portion crimped onto said rim portion of said ring to seal the latter marginally against said cover, said ring being of flexible material and having at least one integral further portion projecting inwardly of said rim portion in closely overlying relation to said cover, said packages being nested together with the pan of one received within the rim portion of the other, said nested packages being separable from one another .and as to each package when separated the upwardly exposed area of said cover flexing upwardly through said rim portion of said ring upon the cooking and expansion of said kernels.

2. A plurality of packages in accordance with claim 1, in which said pan is of metal foil, said ring is of flexible paperboard stock and said cover is of transparent sheet material, said further portion comprising a tab bendable inwardly of said pan and against said cover into a position adjacent a wall of the pan, said tab flexing away from that position upon cooking of said kernels.

References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS A. LOUIS MONACELL, Primary Examiner.

S. B. DAVIS, Assistant Examiner.

U.S. Cl. X.R.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2673806 *May 19, 1953Mar 30, 1954Top Pop Products CompanyPopcorn package
US2829057 *May 12, 1954Apr 1, 1958Voelker Henry JPie shell package
US3244356 *Feb 6, 1964Apr 5, 1966Container CorpTray cover with guard
Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US3531298 *Jun 2, 1967Sep 29, 1970Reynolds Metals CoProtective cover means and blanks for making such cover means
US3873738 *Feb 12, 1973Mar 25, 1975Aluminum Co Of AmericaPopcorn popping package
US3969535 *Jan 4, 1974Jul 13, 1976American Home Products CorporationPopcorn package
US4006820 *Jul 31, 1975Feb 8, 1977Phillips Petroleum CompanyMixing container
US4007285 *Sep 19, 1974Feb 8, 1977Dun-Hot, Inc.Popcorn container and handle assembly
US4288027 *Sep 20, 1979Sep 8, 1981Champion International CorporationOpenable cardboard lid for extendable popcorn pans
US4292332 *Jan 19, 1978Sep 29, 1981Mcham David EContainer for prepackaging, popping and serving popcorn
US4904487 *Mar 29, 1988Feb 27, 1990Nabisco Brands, Inc.Uniformly-colored, cheese flavored, microwaveable popcorn
US4904488 *Mar 29, 1988Feb 27, 1990Nabisco Brands, Inc.Uniformly-colored, flavored, microwaveable popcorn
US5034234 *Nov 14, 1989Jul 23, 1991Golden Valley Microwave Foods Inc.Microwave heating and serving package
US5985343 *Jul 30, 1997Nov 16, 1999Ryt-Way Industries, Inc.Microwave popcorn package
US6126976 *Sep 21, 1999Oct 3, 2000Ryt-Way Industries, Inc.Microwave popcorn package
US6705210 *Mar 20, 2002Mar 16, 2004Joseph L. LeonardChafing dish with utility handles
US8610039Sep 13, 2010Dec 17, 2013Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc.Vent assembly for microwave cooking package
US8729437Jan 7, 2008May 20, 2014Con Agra Foods RDM, Inc.Microwave popcorn package, methods and product
US8735786Sep 14, 2009May 27, 2014Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc.Microwave popcorn package
US9079704Nov 23, 2010Jul 14, 2015Conagra Foods Rdm, Inc.Microwave cooking package
U.S. Classification426/111, 229/125.36, 206/515, 220/573.1, 206/525
International ClassificationB65D81/34, A23L1/18
Cooperative ClassificationB65D81/3407, B65D2581/3421, A23L1/1812
European ClassificationA23L1/18C6, B65D81/34A