Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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See-through Griddle

See what you're doing.
  [vote for,

A good cook, especially when executing a familiar recipe, can tell the stage of their food by the way the food sounds and, most importantly, smells.

A poor cook, especially when making food she's never done before and is in fact whipping together based on yesterday's leftover ricotta filling, can not. (Fortunately, even ricotta pancakes a la carbonaia are still pretty tasty.)

Enter the see-through griddle. It's a heated glass plate mounted atop a system of three mirrors that allows the enterprising chef to actually observe the underside of the food as it is heating. No more overdone hamburgers and charcoal fluff!

(NB: How does the glass plate get heated? Infrared? Gas flames underneath? What transparent material with good heat transfer properties could one use? Can one induction-heat glass (or embedded very thin wires in it)?)

jutta, Jul 03 2009

http://www.quartz.com/gedata.html [hippo, Jul 03 2009]

(?) //What transparent material with good heat transfer properties could one use?// http://images04.olx...09/22/5460722_1.jpg
Visions cookware. [2 fries shy of a happy meal, Jul 04 2009]

Burning Food Detector Burning_20Food_20Detector
My take on the same problem. [DrBob, Jul 04 2009]


       Sheer brilliance if it doesn't exist. Magnifico.
blissmiss, Jul 03 2009

       If the glass had a high metal content - like lead crystal, for example, except non-toxic - it could probably be induction heated.   

       Infra-red is certainly an option. If the glass is transparent to infrared, it wouldn't heat itself at all - just the food. Just need to make your mirrors reflect visible light only, and not IR.
BunsenHoneydew, Jul 03 2009

       Love it - a thick, crystal glass frying pan (with or without a mirrored bottom) would allow you to sneak a peek just by lowering your point of view (or by lifting the pan)
zen_tom, Jul 03 2009

       How about a Quartz griddle? Quartz has fantastically good thermal properties - including resistance to thermal shock. I think the ideal griddle would be one in which a good view of the underside of one's burgers was refracted through the griddle into the handle. It probably wouldn't be a good image, but if the handle showed the colour of the underside of whatever was in the middle of the pan, that would be pretty good.
hippo, Jul 03 2009

       Quick, rent the Partridge Family bus and let's gather all the bakers up.
Everyone over to jutta's house for a whoppingingly well done,
perfectly poached, absolutely positively, and unmistakently unequaled, cooked pancake,

       I'll bring the maple syrup.
blissmiss, Jul 03 2009

       I'd go with the induction, myself - personal preference, no data to back up it being better - but you can't use thin wires, because you'd tend to overheat them without getting enough power throughput. And if it's magnetic induction, your metal has to be ferrous. I'd go for a very fine iron honeycomb, maybe 3 or 4 mm thick, embedded in quartz or Pyrex so you can have a good amount of metal and still see through the holes.   

       Then the camera needs to avoid problems with the magnetic fields and infrared, and you're good to go.   

       Batter up!
lurch, Jul 04 2009

xenzag, Jul 04 2009

       So cool - So HOT idea! +
xandram, Jul 04 2009

       Aha - you've read "Heat" (or should). I suspect that this wouldn't stay transparent for long, but I could be wrong. Also, will glass conduct heat fast enough to, for example, sear a steak that's just come out of the fridge?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jul 04 2009

       Maybe the glass plate could be double glazed, and have hot air pumped through it.
mitxela, Jul 05 2009

       //will glass conduct heat fast enough to, for example, sear a steak that's just come out of the fridge?//   

       Yep. [link]   

       Actually, why have a skillet? Why not support the steak, or ricotta pancakes, or whatever, on jets of superheated air blown through microscopic holes in your hob? The hob would radiate heat so your food would get nicely done, it would be non-stick, and you'd be able to look underneath to see the condition of the cooking surface. To serve, blast the air-jets for a moment to lift the food an inch or two above the hob and quickly slip a plate underneath to catch it.
hippo, Jul 05 2009

       Rather than using induction or infrared heating, since the supporting platen is transparent, why not use a raster-scamnning infrared laser from both above and below ? By controlling the beam focus and intensity, it will be possible to control the speed and extent of cooking within very close parameters, and by selective exposure get past the problem of "overcooked at the edges, undercooked at the middle". In combination with a suitably tuned maser (allowing interior heating over selected areas) this would permit very accurate cooking.   

       Can we get fries with that ?   

       //cook, ... making food she's never done before //   


       "We have found a Witch, may we burn her ?"
8th of 7, Jul 05 2009

       //We have found a Witch, may we burn her?// or him
hippo, Jul 06 2009

       Not "See-through Girdle - see what you're undoing" then?
xenzag, Jul 06 2009

       I love the idea of glass-ware with IR-heating. The heating could be done via a sort of DLP beamer with an IR Laser. With scrambeled eggs and other stirred food, the DLP beamer would see to it that no stray radiation goes through any parts of the pan that are not currently layered with food-material. Two wavelengths of IR, one for deep heating (~2cm penetration) and one for crust generation.
loonquawl, Jul 06 2009

       I like [hippo]'s "air-hockey" version, though not sure how it would cope with frying peas (not that I've ever tried to fry peas)
zen_tom, Jul 06 2009

       The peas would each balance on top of a single jet (you've probably seen this work with a ping-pong ball and a jet of air from a hair-dryer). Air-Hockey cooking - it's the future.
hippo, Jul 06 2009

       Impingement air-hockey-type griddle. Now there is an idea [hippo]!
4whom, Jul 06 2009


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