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Publication numberUS3837568 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateSep 24, 1974
Filing dateMay 2, 1973
Priority dateMar 18, 1971
Publication numberUS 3837568 A, US 3837568A, US-A-3837568, US3837568 A, US3837568A
InventorsGoodhouse C, Niemand E
Original AssigneeRobertshaw Controls Co
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Computer cooking means
US 3837568 A
Abstract
A computer-controller device for controlling the cooking operation of a cooking apparatus, the device having a manually settable weight input for indicating a single selected indicated weight applicable to all meat items and corresponding to the weight of a particular meat item to be cooked. The device has a second manually settable input for indicating a selected variable under other than the weight of the meat. The device has a timer that has a time period output operatively associated with the inputs to provide as an output a cooking time period for the particular meat item computed as a function of both of the inputs. The timer has a time period setting indicator operatively interconnected to the inputs to indicate the computed cooking time period as selected by the inputs. The timer has a reference means movable relative to the indicator to indicate lapsing time during the running of the computed cooking time period.
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Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

Goodhouse et al.

[451 Sept. 24, 1974 COMPUTER COOKING MEANS [75] Inventors: Carl J. Goodhouse, Litchfield; Emil Niemand, Waterbury, both of Conn.

[73] Assignee: Robertshaw Controls Company,

Richmond, Va.

[22] Filed: May 2, 1973 [21] Appl. No.: 356,499

Related US. Application Data [62] Division of Ser. No. 125,743, March 18, 1971, Pat.

[52] US. Cl. 235/61 A, 99/332, 219/492 [51] Int. Cl G06g 1/00 [58] Field of Search 235/61 A, 103, 104, 132; 219/489-493; 236/46; 99/325-333, 339

[56] References Cited 3,731,059 5/1973 Willson 235/61 A Prirnary Examiner-Richard B. Wilkinson Assistant ExaminerVit W. Miska Attorney, Agent, or Firm-Candor, Candor & Tassone [5 7] ABSTRACT A computer-controller device for controlling the cooking operation of a cooking apparatus, the device having a manually settable weight input for indicating a single selected indicated weight applicable to all meat items and corresponding to the weight of a particular meat item to be cooked. The device has a second manually settable input for indicating a selected variable under other than the weight of the meat. The device has a timer that has a time period output operatively associated with the inputs to provide as an output a cooking time period for the particular meat item computed as a function of both of the inputs. The timer has a time period setting indicator operatively interconnected to the inputs to indicate the computed cooking time period as selected by the inputs. The timer has a reference means movable relative to the indicator to indicate lapsing time during the running of the computed cooking time period.

15 Claims, 15 Drawing Figures WEIGHT- POUNDS COOKING TIME COOKING FACTOR 2O 4 7 COOKING FACTOR BEEF Ron I BEEF Well 16 BEEF Modlum 6 to 14 HAM (Fresh) Well 20 PORK SHOULDER Well 20 LAMB Medium 6 CHICKEN (stuffed Wall or not stuffed) TURKEYtnotatuffod) win 0 TURKEY(ltutfod) vmi lo PAIENIEDSEPZMW 3.837; 568

SHEET 1 N 5 COOKING FACTOR BEEF Rare .l

BEEF Well l6 BEEF Medium 6 #0 I4 HAM (Fresh) I Well 20 PORK SHOULDER Well 20 LAMB Medium 6 CHICKEN (stuffed Wall or not stuffed) TURKEY(not stuffed) Well 0 COOKING FACTOR WEIGHT POUNDS COOKINIG TIME TUR EY(sm"d) H lo 3 4 6 T T J FIG.I

FIG.2

PAIENIEBsmmsn SEEIBUF 5 Elli/III FIG.9

WEIGHT-POUNDS COOKING TIME COOKING FACTOR 1 COMPUTER COOKING MEANS This is a division of application Ser. No. 125,743, filed Mar. 18, 1971, and now us. Pat. No. 3,746,250.

This invention relates to a cooking computer means for determining the cooking operation of a cooking apparatus as well as a cooking apparatus having such a computer device.

It is well known from the co-pending patent application of James R. Willson, Ser. No. 47,345, filed June 18, 1970, and its recently filed.continuation-in-part application, Ser. No. 111,727, filed Feb. 1, 1971, that a most accurate cooking of various meat items can be provided by a cooking formula for cooking all types of meat by utilizing only two variables, namely, the weight of a particular meat item to be cooked and the desired degree of doneness of that meat item whether the desired degree of doneness relates to a range of doneness conditions for a particular meat item or to meat items of different types.

For example, such cooking formula when being utilized in connection with gaseous fuel-burning cooking apparatus provides a cooking time period in minutes as being equal to seventy times the square root of the weight of the meat item plus or minus a K factor with the cooking temperature being approximately 325 F. and with the K factor being the selected degree of doneness for the particular meat item. For electrically heated cooking apparatus, the cooking formula provides the cooking time period in minutes as being equal to 40 times the square root of weight of the meat item plus or minus a K factor for the desired degree of doneness for the particular meat item and with the cooking temperature being approximately 325F.

The results of the above formula is in minutes from the time the cooking apparatus begins to cook the meat item to the time that the meat item is ready to be removed from the oven at the termination or zero position of such completed time period. However, during such cooking operation, the high cooking temperature (325F.) is terminated at a set point so that the temperature in the oven while drifting down from the high cooking temperature to a holding and non-cooking low temperature, such as 170 R, will continue to cook the meat item until the oven reaches the hold temperature of the oven which is at the zero or the end of the computed cooking time period. In this manner, the cooked meat item will be at the desired degree of doneness at the completion of the computed cooking time period so that if the housewife does not remove the meat item at this particular time, the oven will maintain the meat item at a palatable temperature which is a non-cooking temperature so that the cooked meat item can be removed from the oven any time after the elapsed and computed cooking time period.

For example, it has been found that for gaseous fuelburning ovens, the automatic cut-back time for the oven temperature to the end of a computed cooking time period can be approximately 45 minutes whereas in electrically heated ovens such automatic cut-back time can be approximately 60 minutes.

However, in the computer structure of the aforementioned co-pending patent applications, the housewife manually sets both of the cooking variables of the cooking formula into the computer by separate input means with the computer subsequently providing a visual indication of the computed cooking time period. Such a computer can be utilized by itself or in combination with a cooking apparatus to automatically cause the cooking apparatus to cook the food at the computed cooking time period if the housewife so desires.

However, such prior cooking computer structure, while indicating the elapsing time of the computed cooking time period, does not indicate to the housewife during the cooking time period what her original input setting indicated as the total computed cooking time period as well as permit a repeating of that computed cooking time period without further operation of the input means of the computer.

Therefore, one of the features of this invention is to provide a cooking computer of the above type wherein the housewife need only manually insert the two input means of the aforementioned cooking formula into the computer to provide for the computed cooking time period for a particular meat item with such computer not only indicating the elapsing time during the running of the computed cooking time period, but also still indicating the total computed cooking time period as set in the computer during-the running of the computed cooking time period.

Another feature of this invention is to provide a cooking computer having means for automatically repeating acomputed cooking operation without requiring the resetting of the input means thereof.

In particular, one embodiment of this invention provides a cooking computer for determining the operation of a cooking apparatus, the computer having a manually settable weight input for indicating a single selected indicated weight applicable to all meat items and corresponding to the weight of a particular meat item to be cooked. The computer has a second manually settable input for indicating a selected variable other than the weight of the meat. The computer has a timer that has as a time period output operatively associated with the inputs to provide as an output a cooking time period for the particular meat item computed as a function from both of the inputs. The timer has a time period setting indicator operatively interconnected to the inputs to indicate the computed cooking time period as selected by the inputs. The timer has a reference member movable relative to the indicator to indicate elapsing time during'the running of the computed cooking time period.

Accordingly, it is the object of this invention to provide an improved cooking computer having one or more of the novel features set forth above or hereinafter shown or described.

Another object of this invention is to provide an improved cooking apparatus utilizing the cooking computer means of this invention.

Other objects, uses and advantages of this invention are apparent from a reading of this description which proceeds with reference to the accompanying drawings forming a part thereof and wherein:

FIG. 1 is a front view of the cooking computer of this invention.

FIG. 2 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view taken on line 2-2 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 3 is a reduced cross-sectional view taken on line 3-3 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 4 is-a fragmentary and reduced cross-sectional view taken on' line 4-4 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary and reduced cross-sectional view taken on line 5-5 of FIG. 2.

FIG. 6 is a fragmentary and reduced cross-sectional view taken on line 66 of FIG. 2 and schematically illustrates the computer of this invention in combination with a cooking apparatus.

FIG. 7 is an exploded, perspective view of certain parts of the computer of FIG. 1.

FIG. 8 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 1 and illustrates the computer having the two inputs thereof moved to selected positions thereof for providing a computed cooking time period for a particular meat item.

FIG. 9 is an enlarged fragmentary cross-sectional view taken on line 9-9 of FIG. 1.

FIG. 10 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and illustrates the computer structure as set by the input means in the position of FIG. 8.

FIG. 11 is a fragmentary view similar to FIG. 8 and indicates the computer structure at the automatic cutback time period thereof during the running of a computed cooking time period.

FIG. 12 is an enlarged, fragmentary, cross-sectional view taken on line 12-12 of FIG. 11.

FIG. 13 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and illustrates the computer structure at the automatic cutback time period thereof as indicated in FIG. 11.

FIG. 14 is a view similar to FIG. 11 and illustrates the computer structure just as the same reaches the zero or end of the running of the computed cooking time period and before the reference member moves back to its home position.

FIG. 15 is a view similar to FIG. 4 and illustrates the computer structure as the same reaches its zero position as indicated in FIG. 14.

While the various features of this invention are hereinafter described and illustrated as being particularly adaptable for operating an electrically operated oven heating means, it is to be understood that the various features of this invention can be utilized singly or in any combination thereof to provide cooking computer means for other types of cooking apparatus, such as gaseous fuel-burning cooking apparatus, micro-wave cooking apparatus, etc.

Further, it is to be understood that the various features of this invention can be utilized to provide a cooking computer means by itself for informational purposes, if desired, rather than in combination with a cooking apparatus.

Therefore, this invention is not to be limited to only the embodiment illustrated in the drawings, because the drawings are merely utilized to illustrate one of the wide varieties of uses of this invention.

Referring now to FIGS. 1 and 2, the cooking computer-controller device of this invention is generally indicated by the reference numeral and comprises a control panel 21 suitably supported by frame means 22 of the device 20, the frame means 22 comprising a plurality of support plates 23, 24 and 25 suitably secured together in spaced parallel relation by interconnecting post means 26 and 27 so that the device 20 can be suitably mounted to the supporting structure of a cooking apparatus, such as the cooking apparatus generally indicated by the reference numeral 28 in FIG. 6, for controlling the operation of the electrical heating means 29 of the oven 30 of the cooking apparatus 28 in a manner hereinafter described.

The device 20 includes a first manually settable input means 31 comprising a control knob 32 secured to a rotatably mounted shaft 33, FIG. 3, and having an indicator or pointer 34 thereon for being set against a weight indicating scale 35 disposed on the front surface 35 of the control panel 21 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 1, the weight scale 35 being for all meat items and being in pounds, as indicated.

Another manually settable input means 36 is carried by the device 20 and includes a manually settable control knob 37 secured to a rotatably mounted shaft 38, FIG. 3, for setting the rotational position of the shaft 38 in relation to a reference point or pointer 39 on the control knob 37 against a scale 40 disposed on the front surface 35 of the control panel 21 and indicating the K factor of the aforementioned cooking formulas so that a setting of the input means 36 will provide a desired degree of doneness of a particular meat item or the selection of a particular meat type. For example, while the scale 40 for the K factor is in numbers, a suitable scale 41 can be provided on the front surface 35 of the control panel 21 to permit the housewife to select a cooking factor not only for the degree of doneness of a particular meat type, but also for selecting a particular meat type while still permitting the housewife to infinitely vary the K factor within a desired range for a desired degree of doneness of the meat item as will be apparent hereinafter.

The computer-controller device 20 also includes a computer cooking time period indicating means 41 that comprises a movable indicator scale or dial 42 exposed at a circular opening 43 formed in the control panel 21 and having hours of time indicated thereon. The time indicator 42 is rotated relative to the control panel 21 by the input means 31 and 36 in a manner hereinafter described so that the scale or indicator 42 will position a time number thereof relative to a reference line 44 on a push button member 45 of the device 20 when the push button member 45 is in the home position of FIG. 1. The push button 45 will cause the device 20 to not only actuate the cooking apparatus 28 for automatic cooking thereof, as will be apparent hereinafter,

but also the push button 45 is utilized to initiate the running of the computed cooking time period as set by input means 31 and 36 in a manner hereinafter described. The push button 45 when actuated by being manually pushed inwardly toward the control panel 21 in a manner hereinafter described will be rotated relative to the control panel 21 during the running of the cooking time period to cause the reference point 44 thereof to indicate against the scale 42 the elapsing time of the cooking time period so that the housewife can visually see the time remaining for the cooking operation before she can remove the food being cooked by the computer 20, the indicator 42 still indicating the total amount of cooking time period that had been selected even though the same is elapsing in a manner hereinafter described.

The time indicating means 41 of the computercontroller device 20 of this invention can be of a timer type that is fully disclosed and claimed in Ser. No. 47,011, filed June 17, 1970, and will now be described.

The time indicating means 41 has the push button means 45 thereof fastened to a shaft 46 axially movable through an opening 47 in a bushing 48 rotatably carried between the frame plates 23 and 24. The hour or time indicator wheel 42 is rotatably carried on the shaft 46 and is fixed to the bushing 48 that is rotatably disposed on the shaft 46 so as to permit the dial 42 to be rotated relative to the shaft 46 and the shaft 46 to be rotated relative to the wheel 42 as will be apparent hereinafter.

The shaft 46 has a bushing 50 fixed thereon with the bushing 50 being secured to a clutch plate 51 having a resilient face 52 for clutching against a drive plate 53 fixed to a bushing 54 rotatably mounted on the end 55 of the shaft 46 and having outer peripheral gear teeth 56 disposed in meshing relation with the teeth of a pinion gear 57 secured to the output shaft 58 of an electrical timer motor 59 that is secured to the rear frame plate 25 in any suitable manner. In this manner, the timer motor 59 can be continuously operated and, thus, continuously drive the pinion gear 57 which will continuously rotate the drive plate 53 on the shaft 46. However, the drive plate 53 will not rotate the shaft 46 until the clutch plate 51 is axially moved with the shaft 46 to the right in FIG. 2 to have the resilient face 52 thereof pressed against the drive face 60 of the drive plate 53 to cause the shaft 46 to rotate in unison with the drive plate 53 in timed manner for a purpose hereinafter described.

A cam plate 61 is fixed to the bushing 50 of the shaft 46 and as illustrated in FIG. 5 has a first cam surface 62 and a second cam surface 63 respectively extending outwardly from the normal circular surface 64 thereof for a purpose hereinafter described. Thus, the cam member 61 will rotate in unison with the shaft 46 when the shaft 46 is being driven by the drive plate 53 in the manner hereinafter described.

A torsion spring 65 is disposed around the shaft 46 between the cam plate 61 and the clutch plate 51 thereof and has one end 66 secured to the clutch plate 51 and the other end 67 thereof fastened to a stationary post means 68 of the frame 22 so that as the shaft 46 is driven or rotated from its home position of FIG. 1 by the drive plate 53, the torsion spring 65 will be wound up to store sufficient energy to return the shaft 46 to its home position as illustrated in FIG. 1 in a manner hereinafter described.

The shaft 46 carries a stepped cylindrical member 69 that is fixed thereto and defines three stepped and axially spaced annular shoulders 70, 71 and 72 for a purpose hereinafter described.

The end 55 of the shaft 46 is adapted to project through the right side 73 of the bushing 54 that is rotatably mounted and axially movable in the frame plate 25, the end 55 of the shaft 46 being adapted to engage against an arm 74 of a lever 75 pivotally mounted to the frame plate 25 by ears 76 thereof as illustrated in FIG. 6 to cause pivoting of the lever 75 relative to the frame plate 25. The lever 75 has another arm 77 engageable with a plunger 78 of an electrical switch 79 carried by the frame means 22 in any suitable manner. A leaf spring 80 has one end 81 fastened to the frame plate 25 and the other end 82 thereof bearing against the arm 74 of the lever 75 to tend to hold the lever 75 against the plate 25 and, thus, have its arm 77 in a position to permit the plunger 78 of the switch 79 to be in its fully out position.

However, when the shaft 46 is axially pushed to the right in FIG. 2 by the push button 45 being pushed inwardly to actuate the computer 20, the end 55 of the shaft 46 acts against the arm 74 of the lever 75 to cause the same to pivot relative to the frame plate 25 in oppoposition illustrated in FIG. 9 in a manner hereinafter described, the electrical switch 79 is closed to operate the cooking apparatus 28 in a manner hereinafter described for an automatic cooking operation. However, when the shaft 46 is axially moved back to the left in FIG. 9 from the position illustrated in FIG. 12 in a manner hereinafter described, while the shaft 46 is not completely returned to its outermost position as illustrated in FIG. 2, the lever has been moved to such a position that the plunger 78 of the electrical switch 79 is no longer in its inward position so thatthe switch 79is in its'off or open position in the same manner that the switch 79 is in its off or open condition when the shaft 46 is in its outermost leftward position as illustrated in FIG. 2. v

In order to tend to move the shaft 46 to its leftward or out position as illustrated in FIG. '2, the force of the leaf spring acting on the arm 74 of the lever 75 is sufficient to move the shaft 46 to its outermost position of FIG. 2. However, another bowed leaf spring 83 is disposed between the frame plate 25 and the bushing 54 for the drive disc 53 to tend to maintain the drive disc 53 in the position illustrated in FIG. 2. However, when the shaft 46 is moved inwardly from the position illustrated in FIG. 2 to engage the clutch plate 51 against the drive disc 53, further inward movement of the shaft 46 is not only in opposition to the leaf spring 80, "but also in opposition to the bowed leaf spring 83 so that when the shaft 46 is in its innermost position as illustrated in FIG. 9, the stronger spring 83 is tending to move the clutch plate 51 and, thus, the shaft 46 back to the left. However, when the shaft 46 has been moved to the left and just beyond the position illustrated in FIG. 12 when the spring 83 has moved the drive means 53 and the shaft 46 to the left to its unloaded condition, the force of the spring 80 then takes over and further moves the shaft 46 to its outermost position as illustrated in FIG. 2 and, thus, causes separation of the clutch plate 51 from the drive plate 53.

The electrical switch 79 has a pair of terminals located generally in the area of the reference numerals 84 and 85 and being adapted to be electrically interconnected together when the plunger 78 is in its full in position as illustrated in FIG. 9. The electrical connection between the terminals 84 and 85 is disconnected when the plunger 79 is in its outermost position as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 12. The terminals 84 and 85 as respectively interconnected to a control device 86 of the cooking apparatus 28 of FIG. 6 by leads 87 and 88 with the control device 86 being interconnected to a power source L and L by suitable leads 89 and 90. The electrical heating element 29 for the cooking apparatus 28 is interconnected to the control device 86 by lead means 91 and 92. Of course, it is to be understood that the heating element 29 for the cooking device 28 could be a gas burner with the control device 86 interconnecting and disconnecting a source of fuel from such burner in the same manner as the same interconnects and disconnects the power source leads L and L from the heating element 29.

Nevertheless, it is to be understood that the control device 86 when set for a computer cooking operation does not cause the heating means 29 for the oven 30 to operate under the control of a thermostatic means until the plunger 78 of the switch 79 is in its innermost position as will be apparent hereinafter. When the control device 86 is set for an automatic cooking operation to be controlled by the computer means 20 of this invention, the control device 86 automatically sets the thermostatic means thereof to maintain the temperature in the oven at 325F. in accordance with the teachings of the cooking formula of the aforementioned copending patent applications.

Of course, if it is desired to operate the oven independently of the computer device 20 of this invention, the control device 86 is set in a manual position thereof so that the control of the heater means 29 is independent of the operation of the switch means 79 of the computer 20.

However, when the control device 86 is set for an automatic cooking operation, the control device 86 will maintain the temperature in the oven 30 as 325F. as long as the plunger 78 of the switch 79 is in its innermost position. Once the plunger 78 of the switch means 79 is in its innermost position, the control device 86 will, when the plunger 78 of the switch device 79 is subsequently'moved out to its outermost position as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 12, cause the heating means 29 to maintain the temperature in the oven 30 at a noncooking and warmth retaining temperature, such as l70F., until the housewife or the like again sets the control device 86 for another automatic cooking operation thereof or sets the same for a manual operation thereof or merely turns the device 86 to an off position thereof. In this manner, once an automatic cooking computer operation takes place, the oven will automatically have the temperature thereof reduced at the proper time to maintain a holding and non-cooking temperature until the cooked food is removed from the oven 30 and the control device 86 is reset.

The rotatable bushing 48 is rotatably mounted in a opening 93 of the frame plate 24 and is splined to an arm 94 so that the arm 94 will rotate in unison with the bushing 48. Rotation of the arm 94 in a cunterclockwise direction in FIG. 4 is limited by a stop pin 95 carried by the frame plate 24. The arm 94 has a rectangular slot 96 formed therein and receiving a tang end 97 of a rocker arm or latch member 98 pivoted to the other end 99 of the arm 94 by a pivot pin 100. The pivot pin 100 has a torsion spring 101 wrapped about the same, a free end 102 of the spring 101 bearing against a medial portion 103 of the latch member 98 to tend to cause a straight or latch edge 103 thereof to bear against the stepped cylindrical member 69 in the various axial positions thereof as will be apparent hereinafter. The medial portion 103' of the latch member 98 also carries a pin 104 which is adapted to ride against the surfaces 62 and 63 of the cam member or plate 61 of the shaft 46 for a purpose hereinafter described.

The rotational position of the bushing 48 relative to the frame means 22 of the computer device 20 is controlled by the rotation of the knobs 32 and 37 of the input means 31 and 36 to provide as an output thereof the computed cooking time previously described in accordance with the cooking formulas of the aforementioned patent applications.

In particular, as illustrated in FIG. 3, the shaft 33 for the control knob 32 of the weight input means 31 is interconnected to a gear 105 that rotates in unison therewith, the gear having an outwardly directed pin 106 inboard of the teeth I07 thereof and adapted to abut against a stationary pin 108 carried by the frame plate 24 when the control knob 32 and its associated shaft 33 are turned in a counterclockwise direction so that the pointer 34 thereof will be disposed in the off position as illustrated in FIG. I whereby further rotation of the knob 32 in a counterclockwise direction is prevented by the cooperating pins 106 and 108.

The gear 105 of the shaft 33 is disposed in meshing relation with another gear 109 having its shaft I10journaled in a suitable opening in the frame plate 24 and being supported by a suitable bracket member 111 so as to rotate in unison with the gear 105. The gear 109 is disposed in meshing relation with a gear 112 rotatably mounted on the bushing 48 whereby rotation of the control knob 32 in a clockwise direction in FIG. 1 causes the gear 105 to rotate in a clockwise direction therewith in FIG. 3, the gear 109 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction in FIG. 3 and the gear 112 to rotate in a clockwise direction in FIG. 3.

The shaft 38 of the control knob 37 for the K factor input means 38 has a gear 113 fixed thereto to rotate in unison therewith. The shaft 38 also carries a-disk 114 having an outwardly directed tang 115 which will abut against a stop pin 116 fixed to the frame plate 24 when the control knob 37 is rotated in a counterclockwise direction and has its pointer 39 disposed adjacent the off position on the scale 40 as illustrated in FIGS. 1 and 3 whereby further rotation of the knob 37 in a counterclockwise direction is prevented by the stop pin 116.

The gear 113 of the shaft 38 for the input means 36 is disposed in meshing relation with a gear 117 rotatably mounted to the frame plate 24 by shaft means 118. The gear 117 is, in turn, disposed in meshing relation with a gear 119 rotatably mounted on the bushing 48 whereby the gear 119 is adapted to rotate relative to the bushing 48. However, the gear 119 rotatably carries a shaft 120 on which is mounted a gear wheel 121 having a first set of gear teeth 122 disposed in meshing relation with a gear 123 fixed to the bushing 48 so that rotation of the gear 123 causes rotation of the bushing 48. The gear wheel 121 also has a set of gear teeth 124 that are disposed in meshing relation with the gear 112 that is rotatably mounted on the bushing 48.

In this manner, when the control knob 37 of the input means 36 is rotated in a clockwise direction from its off position'as illustrated in FIG. 1, the same causes the gear 113 to rotate in a clockwise direction, the gear 117 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction, the gear 119 to rotate in a clockwise direction whereby the shaft 120 of the gear wheel 121 will be carried in a clockwise direction in FIG. 3 so that the gear teeth 124 thereof will merely mesh with and move around the gear wheel 112 without rotating the same while the gear teeth 122 thereof will drive the gear wheel 123 which is fixed to the bushing 48 to cause the same to move in a clockwise direction therewith and thereby rotate the bushing 48 in a clockwise direction in FIG. 3.

Thus, it can be seen that when the knob 37 of the input means 36 is being rotated to have the pointer 39 thereof be disposed adjacent the desired amount on the scale 40, the input rrieans 36 is also rotating the E us Iiing 48 relative to the frame means 22 independently of the input means 31.

Conversely, when the shaft 33 for the input means 31 is being rotated, the same causes rotation of the gear wheel 105 in a like direction therewith so that when the gear 105 is moving in a clockwise direction, the gear 109 moves in a counterclockwise direction to cause the gear wheel 112 to rotate in a clockwise direction and cause the gear wheel 121 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction while its shaft 120 will not orbit but merely rotate in place so that the gear wheel 119 does not move but the drive gear wheel 123 will be driven in a clockwise direction in FIG. 3 to move the bushing 48 in a clockwise direction. Thus, the input means 31 will rotate the bushing 48 relative to the frame means 22 independently of the input means 36.

In this manner, it can be seen that the ratio of the gear teeth for the various gear trains between the input shafts 33 and 38 can be so constructed and arranged that the same will set the timer of the computer 20 to operate for a time period corresponding to the aforementioned cooking formula. Thus, the rotational position of the bushing 48 and, thus, the setting of the dial 42 in a position relative to the reference point 44 on the push button 45 will indicate the computed time period that a particular meat item must be cooked in the oven 30 according to the aforementioned cooking formulas at the particular input settings of the computer device 20.

However, as previously stated, the cooking form a for an electric oven requires a constant cooking temperature of 325F. and then be automatically cut back 60 minutes prior to the completed cooking time whereas for gas burning ovens, such cutback time is 45 minutes from the completion of the cooking time.

Thus, for the electric oven 30 illustrated, the weight input knob 32 will set the timer shaft 46 to be rotated by the timer motor 59 for a number of minutes computed by forty times the square root of the weight setting of the knob 32. The knob 37 when rotated from its off position to a setting of thereof additionally sets the timer shaft 46 over its setting by the weight knob 32 approximately 1 hour and minutes, at a setting of approximately 2 hours and at a setting of 20 approximately 3 hours. Of course, for gas burning ovens the gearing for the knob 32 is selected to cause the shaft 46 to be set in minutes equal to seventy times the square root of the weight setting of the knob 32 minus 50 minutes, the K factor knob 37 and its associated gearing correspondingly being related to the gas cooking formula.

The operation of the computer controller device 20 of this invention for controlling the cooking apparatus 28 will now be described.

Assuming that the control knobs 32 and 37 are disposed in the of positions as illustrated in FIG. 1, and the housewife desires to cook a 6-pound beef roast at a medium setting of 13 on the cooking scale 40 of the control panel 2], the housewife turns the control 32 so that the indicator 34 thereof is positioned opposite the 6 pound weight setting of the scale 35 as illustrated in FIG. 8 and turns the knob 37 so that the indicator 39 thereof is opposite the 13 indication on the scale 40 as illustrated in FIG. 8 whereby such movement of the shafts 33 and 38 for the knobs 32 and 37 has caused the various gear trains to set the bushing 48 in the position illustrated in FIG. 10 where the pin 104 carried by the latch member 98 is disposed approximately at the 12 oclock position of FIG. 10. Such rotation of the bushing 48 has carried the computed cooking time dial 42 therewith so that the 4 -hour cooking number thereon is now positioned against the reference point 44 on the push button 45 as illustrated in FIG. 8.

Thus, for such input selection of the device 20, the device 20 indicates a 4 hour cooking period is required and when actuated will cause the cooking apparatus 28 to cook the 6 pound beef roast at 325F. for 3, hours and then automatically cause the temperature of the oven to drift down to the non-cooking and warmth retaining temperature of 170F. so that after one more hour the meat can be removed from the oven 30 and it will be at the medium doneness selected.

Should the housewife now desire to start the cooking operation knowing that it will take 4 hours of cooking time from the time she pushes in on the button 45 of the computer device 20 until she can remove the meat from the oven 30, so that if it is now 2 oclock and she desires to have the meat finished by at least 6 oclock, the housewife pushes in on the button'45 at 2 oclock and such inward movement of the push button 45 carries the shaft 46 therewith from the-position illustrated in FIG. 2 to the position illustrated in FIG. 9 so that the shaft 46 not only actuates the lever whereby its arm 77 depresses the button 78 of the electrica 1 switch 79 to close the switch 79, but also the stepped cylindrical part 69 of the shaft 46 has been moved to the right in FIG. 9 a sufficient distance so that the force of the spring 101 acting on the latch arm 98 will cause the same to move its edge 103 against the shaft 46 whereby the shoulder 70 of the stepped cylindrical member 69 will now bear against the latch member 98 when the push button 45 is released and the springs 80 and 83 tend to move the shaft .46 back to its out position. Thus, the shaft 46 is held in its pushed in position as illustrated in FIG. 9 by the latch member 98. This position of the shaft 46 also has placed the clutch face 52 of the clutch member 51 into driving engagement with the driving face 60 of the drive wheel 53 whereby the timer motor 59 now causes the shaft 46 to rotate in unison with the drive member 53 and carries the push button 45 in unison therewith. Thus, the push button 45 begins to rotate in a clockwise direction from the in itial setting thereof in FIG. 8 toward the zero position on the dial 42 in the manner illustrated in FIG. 11. When such reference point or line 44 on the push button 45 has reached the one-hour to go position as illustrated in FIG. 11, the food in the oven 30 has been cooked for 3 hours at 325 F by the control device 86 under the influence of the closed switch 79. However, as previously stated, during the cooking operation for an electric oven, the oven must have its temperature thereof cut back 1 hour from the end of the cooking time period to a warmth-retaining and non-cooking temperature so that when that last hour is up, the internal cooking of the meat will have been terminated and the meat will be fully cooked to the degree of doneness desired. Thus, the shaft 46 is rotated by the timer motor 59 and when the same reaches the position illustrated in FIG. 11, the cam plate 61 being carried with the shaft 46 has the high cam side 62 thereof now acting against the pin 104 of the latch member 98 as illustrated in FIG. 13 to cam the pin 104 and, thus, the latch member 98 radially outwardly to the position determined by the cam surface 62 where the edge 103 of the latch member 98 now clears the annular shoulder 70 of thestepped member 69 of the shaft 46. Thus, the shaft 46 under the force of the springs 80 and 83 will be moved to the left from the position illustrated in FIG. 9 to the position illustrated in FIG. 12 where the next larger annular shoulder 71 of the stepped cylindrical member 69 now abuts against the latch member 98 to stop further leftward movement of the shaft 46. However, such incremental movement of the shaft 46 to the left from the position illustrated in FIG. 9 to the position illustrated in FIG. 12 while still causing the drive member 53 to drive the clutch member 51 of the shaft 46, has permitted the lever 75 to be pivoted by the spring 80 so that the plunger 78 of the switch 79 is now fully extended to cause the controller 86 to tend to now maintain the temperature in the oven 30 at the noncooking and warmth-retaining temperature of 170F. until the housewife turns the controller 86 to an off position thereof. However, since the reference line 44 of the push button 45 is still indicating that the cooking time still has 1 hour to go, the housewife is unaware that the oven temperature is being automatically cut back by the cam 61 of the shaft 46 each time there is one hour to go on a computer cooking operation. Of course, such cam 61 of the shaft 46 is modified to cause such cut back only at 45 minutes to go when the device 20 is made for gas burning cooking apparatus.

Thus, the shaft 46 is continued to be rotated in a clockwise direction in FIG. 11 to cause the push button 45 to move in a clockwise direction therewith so that the indicating member 44 thereof will continue to indicate elapsing time until such line 44 reaches the zero position as illustrated in FIG. 14. At this time, the higher part 63 of the cam member 61 now acts against the pin 104 of the latch member 98 to cam the same further outwardly and thereby permit the latch edge 103 thereof to clear the annular shoulder 71 so that the shaft 46 can be moved completely to the left to the position illustrated in FIG. 2 and thus place the clutch member 51 out of driving engagement with the drive member 53 so that further rotation of the shaft 46 by the timer motor 59 is terminated. However, when the clutch member 51 is released from driving relation from the drive member 53 by shaft 46 moving to the left as illustrated in FIG. 2, the stored up energy in the tension spring 65 through the rotation of the shaft 46 from the position illustrated in FIG. 1 to the position illustrated in FIG. 14 by the timer motor 59 now causes the shaft 46 and push button 45 to rotate in a counterclockwise direction back to the home position as illustrated in FIG. 8 where a tang 125 on the clutch member 51 abuts against the post 68 to terminate the counterclockwise rotation of the shaft 46 and its push button 45 to its home position as illustrated in FIG. 8. Thus, the housewife now knows that the cooking operation has been terminated since the push button 45 is in its out position. However, the control device 86 is maintaining the temperature in the oven 30 at the non-cooking and warmth retaining temperature of 170F. from 6 clock on until the housewife turns off the control device 86 so that no further cooking of the meat takes place and the same can be served any time after the completion of the computed cooking time period, for the reasons previously set forth.

Thus, unless the housewife changes the dial settings for the input means 31 and 36 of the device 20, a like cooking operation can be again accomplished by the device by the housewife merely again pushing inwardly on the push button 45 to cause the operation of the oven 30 in the manner previously described. Of course, she can change the positions of the knobs 32 and 37 for another meat item as desired.

Thus, it can be seen that this invention provides an improved cooking computer means wherein not only is the elapsing time of the computed cooking time period readily visible during the running cooking time period, but also the housewife know exactly the settings that she made in the computer 20 for the particular meat item and what the total computed cooking time period is by merely looking at the hour number on the dial 42 at the 12 oclock position thereof whereby the housewife can repeat exactly the same cooking operation without resetting the computer 20 by merely again pushing in on the push button 45.

Thus, should the housewife when taking the particular cooked meat item from the oven determine that the same is just a little more done or a little less done than what she would normally like, she can again look at the computer 20 and decide the next time she utilizes a similar type of roast, she will turn the knob 37 to a position that will give a rarer or a more well done setting thereof, as the case may be, for her particular taste. Thus, it can be seen that by having the information preserved in the computer 20, until the housewife actually sees the cooked'condition of the meat, the housewife can make mental adjustments so that thereafter when she utilizes the device 20, she will set the same for her particular desires while still being generally guided by the over-all cooking pattern as set forth on the panel 21.

Accordingly, it can be seen that this invention not only provides an improved computer means for determining a cooking time period, but also this invention provides improved computer means for a cooking apparatus or the like.

While the form of the invention now preferred has been disclosed as required by the patent statutes, other forms may be utilized all coming within the scope of the claims which follow. We claim:

1. A cooking apparatus having a source of energy and an oven provided with heating means for heating the same when said heating means is operated by being operatively interconnected to said source of energy, said apparatus having a cooking computer provided with controlling means for operatively interconnecting said source of energy to said heating means to operate the same for a period of cooking time as computed by said computer whereby said cooking computer determines and controlls the cooking operation of said cooking apparatus, said computer having a manually settable weight input means for indicating a single selected indicated weight applicable to all meat items and corresponding to the weight of a particular meat item to be cooked, said computer having a second manually settable input means for indicating a selected variable other than the weight of the meat, said computer having a timer that has a time period output means operatively associated with said input means and said controlling means to provide as an output said cooking time period for said particular meat item computed as a function from both of said input means whereby said controlling means is adapted to operate said heating means for said computed cooking time period, said timer having a time period setting indicator operatively interconnected to said input means to indicate said computed cooking time period as selected by said input means,

said timer having a reference means movable relative to said indicator to indicate elapsing time during the running of said computed cooking time period, said indicator continuously indicating said computed cooking time period even though said reference means is moving relative thereto during the running of said computed cooking time period.

2. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said indicator is a rotatable scale.

3. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 2 wherein said reference means comprises a rotatable member rotatable relative to said rotatable scale.

4. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 3 wherein said computer has an actuating means operatively associated with said timer to cause said timer to run for said computed cooking time period and thereby operate said cooking apparatus when said actuating means is actuated.

5. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 4 wherein said actuating means comprises said rotatable member.

6. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said indicator comprises a rotatable scale movable relative to said reference means in response to the setting of said input means whereby the position of said scale relative to said reference means provides said v.isual indication of said computed cooking time period.

7. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 6 wherein said reference means comprises a rotatable push button concentrically disposed with said rotatable scale.

8., A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 7 wherein said push button has a reference member thereon that aligns with said scale to indicate the computed cooking time period before the running of said cooking time period.

9. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 8 wherein said push button rotates relative to said scale during the running of said timer for said computed cooking time period whereby said reference member of said push button moves relative to said scale to indicate the remaining time of said cooking time period.

10. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 9 wherein said computer has means for returning said push button to its beginning position relative to said scale at the termination of said computed cooking time period.

11. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 10 wherein said push button is operatively associated with said timer to cause runningthereof for said computed cooking time period when said push button is depressed relative to said scale.

12. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 11 wherein said push button has means returning the same to its undepressed condition at the termination of said computed cooking time period so that the running of the particular computed cooking time period can be repeated by merely again depressing said push-button of said computer.

13. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 1 wherein said input means each comprises a rotatable knob rotatable relative to a scale therefor for visually selecting the desired input thereof.

14. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 13 wherein said indicator comprises a rotatable scale rotatable relative to said reference means, each input means having a gear train operatively interconnecting the respective knob to said indicator scale to rotate the same in a certain relation to the rotation of the respective knob.

15. A cooking apparatus as set forth in claim 14 wherein said certain relation of said gear trains causes said computed cooking time period to be based on a cooking formula wherein said time period is the result of a fixed constant times the square root of the selected weight by said weight input means plus an amount corresponding to a doneness selection of said second input

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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US4182112 *Jan 26, 1978Jan 8, 1980Robertshaw Controls CompanyControl panel unit and timer unit and method therefor
US4287583 *Jul 20, 1979Sep 1, 1981Robertshaw Controls CompanyControl panel unit and timer unit and method therefor
US4339646 *Dec 29, 1978Jul 13, 1982Sharp Kabushiki KaishaCooking operation announcement means of microwave oven
US4345145 *May 19, 1980Aug 17, 1982General Electric CompanyUser programmable control system for toaster oven appliance
US4968864 *Dec 27, 1978Nov 6, 1990Keiichiro DoiMagnetic card control microwave oven
US7126088Sep 30, 2004Oct 24, 2006Maytag CorporationCooking appliance control system
US7227107Jul 22, 2005Jun 5, 2007Mclemore John DSafety shut off for a portable cooker
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US8669501 *Jan 4, 2012Mar 11, 2014Myron H. FrommerControl system for cooking appliance during jewish holidays and sabbath
US20120181266 *Jan 4, 2012Jul 19, 2012Frommer Myron HControl system for cooking appliance during jewish holidays and sabbath
Classifications
U.S. Classification235/61.00A, 99/332, 968/613, 219/492
International ClassificationH05B1/02, G04C23/00, G04C23/16, F24C3/12
Cooperative ClassificationG04C23/16, F24C3/124, H05B1/0225
European ClassificationG04C23/16, F24C3/12B, H05B1/02A8
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 28, 1991ASAssignment
Owner name: BANKERS TRUST COMPANY, NEW YORK
Free format text: SECURITY INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:ROBERTSHAW CONTROLS COMPANY A CORP. OF DELAWARE;REEL/FRAME:005758/0075
Effective date: 19900730