By cooking at home, you’re more likely to think in terms of money saved than energy wasted. But fact is, burners aren’t all that efficient, transferring a lot of heat to the air, not just to food on the stovetop. To cut energy consumption in the domestic kitchen, a trio of young French designers--Arnaud Le Cat, Esther Bacot, and Luther Quenum--have developed a concept based on a traditional Norwegian cooking technique that can slash energy use by half.
Shelved Cooking consists of a two vats (one small, one large), each containing a copper-wire induction hotplate and embedded in a work surface mounted on trestles. Once a pot is placed inside and the contents brought to a boil, the vat is covered with insulation flaps made of compressed layers of boiled wool, mylar, and cork. The induction plates automatically shut off, and the food continues to cook on its own. (The electrical elements are removed from the plates and sandwiched between two wooden boards to avoid short-circuiting.) Apart from saving energy, the simple system also frees up the cook to direct his/her attention to more time-sensitive activities.
The concept snatched first place in this year’s Prix Émile Hermès competition. Stay tuned: We’ll be posting more of the winning entries in the coming weeks.
[Images copyright Disko/Fondation d’entreprise Hermès]