June 28, 2006 The best inventions are invariably the simplest, easiest to understand and those that clearly offer a solution to an important problem – inventions that the moment you see them make you wish you’d thought of them, and are so obvious that you believe you might just have done so under the right circumstances. The Simmer Stove fits the bill for such an invention and works by lowering the cooking pot into the benchtop, significantly reducing the chances of the pot being pulled or knocked off the stove and taking the heat source well away from human hands. The safety aspects seem to pale beside the confinement of the heat source which prevents heat loss to the atmosphere and significantly reduces the energy needs of the stove. Given that stoves have been with us forever … we just can’t undertand why has it taken this long to do the obvious. Romy Hockley conceived Simmer Stove and is seeking partners to develop the concept.
Simmer Stove was Hockley’s final year honours project in her Industrial Design Degree at Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology and was conceived to address the issues of cooking in the kitchen of the future. One of the key issues influencing the design was the aging of society, with sustainability and environmental impacts considered and applied appropriately to the design. Simmer Stove was also conceived with safety in mind for chefs of all ages, not just the elderly.
Simmer Stove works by firstly sliding the cooking pot on to the top plate surface, the button is then pushed, activating an internal hydraulic system which gently lowers the pot down into the cooking chamber. Once the pot is lowered, heat can be applied by rotating the control arm toward the red marker. Once cooking has occured, the heat is turned off by rotating the arm back to the blue section, clicking it off. To allow the pot to rise, the heat must be off and the release button can then be pressed.
The control arm is an innovative part of Simmer, which makes it easier to use. Because each burner has the control arm attached to it, there is no confusion about which burner corresponds to which button etc, something you do find with current products.
Some of the features of the product include the safety features, its functionality and sustainability aspects .Simmer stove is a sustainable product. It uses induction technology. This method of cooking is advantageous for a number of reasons because it is very energy efficient, has no heat is lost to the environment, the heat is instant and it is safe as there is no open flame.
Simmer Stove is sustainable through the use of induction, but it is also sustainable through its design. Because the pot is being lowered into this cooking chamber, the heat which is generated when the unit is turned on, is all retained, and doesn’t escape to the atmosphere, so its creating a much more effective heating environment. The chamber is double walled which also increases the insulation and ability to retain the heat, so the product is very energy efficient in a number of ways.
Romy Hockley will be taking up residence in London in April, 2007 and will be seeking employment in the product design fieldas well as seeking interested parties to assist in developing the Simmer Stove concept for market.
She can be contacted here.