US 3537442 A
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United States Paten t J  Inventor Victor M. Berger c/o Ilarvic Mfg. Corp., 760 St. Anns Ave., Bayside, New York  Appl. No. 827,244  Filed May 23, 1969  Patented Nov. 3, 1970  COOKING UNIT WITH EXHAUST 3 Claims, 5 Drawing Figs.
 US. Cl. 126/299, 126/21; 99/423; 219/460  Int. Cl. F24c 15/20  Field 01 Search... 219/400, 399, 395, 396, 375,. 460, 524, 403, 477, 479, 478, 410, 411, 279; l26/2l(A), 299; 99/374, 377, 378, 379,383,390, 393,400, 444,423,425
[56 References Cited UNITED STATES PATENTS 1,839,112 12/1931 Mills 99/379X Nelson et a1 126/21 2,586,023 2/1952 Gi11ct1.l 126/21 2,595,480 5/1952 1 Nelson et alQ 126/299 2,634,718 4/1953' Williams 126/21 2,681,404 6/1954 Hofer 219/525 2,974,663 3/1961 Humbert 126/299 3,320,873 5/1967 Niss en et a1... 99/425X 3,417,742 12/1968 Perl 126/21 3,423,568 1/1969 Meckley et a1. 219/279 Primary Examiner-Volodymyr Y. Mayewsky Attorney-Myron Amer v ABSTRACT: A cooking unit having a main downdraft to exhaust smoke and odors from the cooking surface thereof and having also an overhead, positionable hood or housing through which an auxiliary exhaust is functional whenever the food loaded on the cooking surfaceinterferes with operation of the main downdraft.
COOKING UNIT WITH EXHAUST The present invention relates generally to cooking units, and more particularly to improvements in the smoke, odor and excessive heat exhausts thereof.
In an exemplary cooking unit of the present invention, the
cooking surface is an electrified grate. consisting of spaced apart cooking elements. Advantageously combined with such a cooking surface is a downdraft exhaust, located belowand in.
lirie with the grate, which effectively draws a current of air down through the grate openings and, as a consequence, sweepswith it smoke, odors and excessive heat which it is desirable to remove from the area adjacent the cooking unit. It has been found, however, that the effectiveness of the downdraft exhaust is responsive to'and varies in accordance with the cooking load or blockage of the grateand that an auxiliary exhaust system is therefore advisable. The provision of such auxiliary exhaust system must not be permitted to interfere with normal advantageous operation of the downdraft exhaust, nor is it commercially feasible to complicate the mode of operation of the unit by requiring control of the two exhaust systems.
Broadly, it is an object of the, present invention to provide a cooking unit with a unique, cooperating downdraft and overhead exhaust systems. Specifically, it is an object to provide a cooking unit, in the operation of whichthe cooking surface is theoretically exhausted in opposite, opposing directions, but which in practice has only the main downdraft exhaust normally functioning and the overhead exhaust in reserve. Moreover, the auxiliary or overhead exhaust automatically takes over the burden of smoke removal as the main exhaust is rendered ineffectual.
An exhaust arrangement for a cooking unit having a cooking surface grate which demonstrates objects and advantages of the present invention includes, as already noted, a downdraft blower or the like beneath and in line with the grate. Additionally, there is communication made from the blower through a tortuous path to a positionable hood or housing to provide an auxiliary exhaust system. It has been found that ordinarily the direct communication path to the blower predominates over the tortuouspath, but the auto: matic conversion to the latter occurs as a function of the load capacity or blockage of the grate, all to the end of assuring effective smoke removal for the cooking unit hereof. Further, the overhead exhaust has significant, noteworthy aspects in and ofitself.
The above brief description, as well as further objects, features and advantages of the present-invention, will be more fully appreciated by reference to the following detailed description of a presently preferred, bu't nonth'eless illustrative embodiment in accordance with the present inventionywhen taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein:
FIG. 1 is a front elevational view ofa cooking unit according to the presentinvention; g 1
FIG. 2 is a side elevational view, in section taken or line 2-2 of FIG. I, illustrating internal structuralfeatures thereof;
FIG. 3 is a partial elevational view, on ar enlarged scale and in section, of an exemplary means of holding the'upper auxiliary housing ofthe cooking unit in anyone of several possible positions of movement; 1
FIG. 4 is a rear elevational view ofthe upper auxiliary housing, as seen in the direction of the.- arrows"4-4*of FIG. 2, in
5 jacent areas which, in an obvious manner, promotes comfort cooking operation of thefunit 10. In fact, this functioning of the unit 10 even effectively prevents excessive heating of adin the kitchen area where the unit I0 is apt to be located.
As is perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 2, main housing 12 is essentially rectangularly shaped and defines an internal chamber or compartment 16 having an upper opening 18 in which there is appropriately mounted an electrified grate 20 which is the prime cooking surface of the unit 10. The electrified grate 20, as best illustrated in FIG. 1, consists of a series of horizontally oriented electrically energized heating elements spaced a uniform distance 22. from each other throughout the upper opening 18, the food that is cooked by the unit'l0 being supported on the grate 20 and cooked by physical'contact with the electrically energized elements 20 which are brought to an appropriate cooking temperature to achieve this result. Returning again to-FIG, 2, it will be noted that located at the bottom of the compartment 16 below and in line with the electrified grate 20 is an-exhaustblower 24 which when operated will be understood to cause a downdraft or air flow, illustrated by the arrows 26, which consists of a flow of air from immediately above the electrified grate 20, through the spacings 22, as well as through a grease separator, generally designated 28, and finally flowing into the blower inlet 30. This air flow is then exhausted to atmosphere through a blower outlet 32. Naturally, carried along with the air flow 26 is any smoke resulting from the cooking operation on the electrified grate 20, as well as cooking odors and also heat, all of which but for the downdraft 26 would be dissipated into the area adjacent the cooking unit 10 and would represent a serious shortcoming of the unit 10.
Turning now specifically to the upper movable auxiliary housing 14, the same includes a generally rectangularly shaped structure having a downwardly facing opening 34. Appropriately mounted'in the opening 34 is a heating or cooking coil 36 which, when electrically energized, is raised to a cooking temperature which produces radient heat that supplements the cooking action of the electrified grate 20. As is perhaps best illustrated in FIG. 2, mounted within the upper housing 14 immediately above the cooking coil 36 is a baffle 38 which cooperates with the upper horizontal wall 40 of the housing '14 to define therebetween a smoke chamber 42 having plural access or entrance openings 44,-It has been found that during cooking operation of the unit 10, smoke resulting from cooking on the electrified grate 20, herein represented by the arrows designated 46, naturally rises from the grate 20 and during this movement passes through the openings 44 and is trapped in the smoke chamber 42. At the rear of the chamber 42 there is an exit opening 48 to which there is connecteda pair of vertically oriented hollow conduits 50 and 52, the conduit 52' serving the double function of firstly supporting the auxiliary housing 14 in its elevated clearance position above the electrified grate 20 and secondly, the function of an outlet conduit for the smoke 46. Conduit 50, as best illustrated in FIGS. '4, 5, serves as an inlet for the electrical circuitry 54 of the cooking coil 36.
The conduits 50, 52 are slidably disposed for movement H through cylindrical openings 56 of a support plate 58 which which portions of the structure are partially broken away to il- I I forms a part of the rear section-of the main housing 12. Additionally, as is best illustrated in FIG. 3, the conduits 50,52 are also disposed through laterally oriented blocks 60 riveted or otherwise appropriately connected, as at 62, to the rear vertiand in section taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 1, illustrating further 7 internal structural features of the upper auxiliary housing.
Reference is now made to the drawings, and in particular to FIGS. 1, 2, wherein there is shown a cooking unit, generally designated 10, demonstrating objects and advantages of the present invention. The unit 10 consists of two housings, namely a lower or main housing 12 and an upper or auxiliary hood or housing 14 which is adjustable in its elevated clearance position above the housing 12. As a consequence, and as will cally oriented wallof main housing 12. Each block 60 includes holding meansin the form of a spring biased detent, generally designated 66, which cooperates with spaced depressions 68 provided in each of these conduits .and, in an obvious manner, is effective to hold each of the conduits in a position of movement while not preventing vertical sliding movement of the conduits 50, 52 and, after each such movement, of retaining these conduits in a selected position of movement.
This degree of vertical movement in the conduits 5 0, 52 naturally results in raising and lowering movement 78 of the auxiliary housing 14 relative to the electrified grate 20, and is achieved in the illustrated embodiment, by hand manipulation using the hand grips 70, 72 on opposite sides of the housing 14. Alternatively, this vertical movement of the housing 14 can also be achieved by motor operation.
To cause continuous evacuation of the smoke chamber 42 and generally to promote effective smoke removal along the path 46 through the auxiliary housing 14, use is made of the same exhaust blower 24 which produces the downdraft 26. To
this end, a flexible connection in the form of an expansible hose 74 is appropriately connected at one end to the lower end of the conduit 52 and, at the other end, to a conduit bounding an entrance opening 76 into the grease separator 28. Thus, the exhaust blower 24 communicates through the flexible hose 74 and the conduit 52 with the smoke chamber 42 and is effective not only in evacuating this-smoke chamber but also in inducing the flow of smoke along the path 46 from an area adjacent the electrified grate to the inlet of the exhaust blower 24. Naturally, this smoke is then exhausted by the blower 24 through the outlet conduit 32 to atmosphere or to block off the conduit 52 in order to insure that the full to some other rein'ote location,where the discharge does not ment of the conduits 50, 52 up and down during vertical adjustment movement 78 of the auxiliary housing 14.
During operation of the unit 10 there are occasions when the electrified grate 20 is so completely filled with steak or other such food that the spacing 22 between the cooking elements 20 are effectively blocked and the smoke removal downdraft 26 which ordinarily is produced by the exhaust blower 24 is no longer completely effective in removing smoke, cooking odors or excessive heat from about the cooking surface. It is at this time during operation of the unit 10 that the use of the auxiliary housing 14 as a smoke removal means is particularly significant and contributes to the continued efficient operation of the unit 10. Thus when grate 20 is blocked, either by food or perhaps by a griddle, the auxiliary housing 14 and its exhaust system 46 is effective in taking over the smoke removal function ordinarily provided by the direct downdraft 26. In this respect, it has been found that since the exhaust blower inlet 30 is located in direct alignment with the electrified grate 20, except of course for the interposed position of the plate 80 which effectively separates the grease, liquid, and other solid content of the downdraft flow 26 from the gaseous content thereof, that'by virtue of this direct alignment that the downdraft 26 usually functions and predominates as the primary smoke removal means of the unit 10. However, the more tortuous path 46 automatically predominates over the downdraft 26 when the element spacings 22 are blocked by the food being cooked. Thus, the two paths of smoke removal, namely the downdraft 26 and the path 46 through the auxiliary hood 14 actually do not usually operate in opposition to each other but are operative in a complimentary manner as a function of the load capacity of the electrified grate 20. In the event, however, that it is desireable capacity of the exhaust blower 24 is utilized in producing the downdraft 26, there is provided a damper 82 in the conduit 52 to appropriately regulate the flow through this secondary smoke removal conduit.
Separate and apart from the just described manner which the auxiliary housing 14 and its smoke exhaust system supplements the primary downdraft 26, it has been found that the auxiliary housing 14 and its exhaust system has several noteworthy aspects in and of itself as a smoke removal means. Specifically, by virtue of verticle adjustment 78 of the auxiliary housing 14, it is possible to so locate the housing 14 in a clearance position above the electrified grate 20 as to achieve the most effective capture of cooking smoke issuing from food being cooked on the grate. That is, although it is well known to provide exhaust systems for cooking units which include an overhead hood or the like, in sharp contrast to such known units the use of the vertically movable auxiliary housing 14 as part of an exhaust system is noteworthy and novel since it enables positioning of the housing at an optimum capture point relative to the electrified grate 20 to promote effective smoke removal through this unit.
A latitude of modification, change and substitution is intended in the foregoing disclosure and in some instances some features of the invention will be employed without a corresponding use of other features.
1. A cooking unit comprising a main housing defining an internal compartment having an upper opening into said compartment, an electrified grate operatively arranged in said upper opening including spaced apart horizontally oriented electric cooking elements, smoke removal draft means located in said compartment effective to normally draw smoke resulting from cooking on said electrified grate through said spacing between said cooking elements, at least one vertically oriented hollow support member slidably disposed on said main housing, an auxiliary housing operatively arrangedon said support member for movement to a selected clearance position located above said electrified grate, and conduit means including said support member connected between said auxiliary housing and said smoke removal draft means to promote cooking smoke removal through said auxiliary housing whenever the spacing between said cooking elements is blocked by the food being cooked thereon.
2. A cooking unit'as defined in claim 1 wherein said cooking surface is comprised of spaced-apart horizontally oriented cooking elements and said smoke removal draft means is an exhaust blower operatively arranged in said main housing and effective to normally draw smoke resulting from cooking on said cooking elements through said spacing therebetween.
3. A cooking unit as defined in claim 1 wherein said auxiliary housing includes a baffle operatively arranged in a clearance position with respect to a wall of said housing so as to define a smoke chamber and wherein said smoke removal draft means is connected to have communication with said smoke chamber so as to be effective in evacuating smoke therefrom.