19 October 2010

Cookers Gone Bad

The second commercial in the brand new 0800 trilogy sees Jeff our virtual cooker specialist attending to a pizza throwing oven unit

Now we have to stress that food throwing is a very unusual failure mode for a cooking appliance but here again Jeff like his colleague Tom manages to get the situation under control with the minimum of fuss and the errant oven is once again as good as new. This commercial along with the washing machine episode below is due to air in the Tyne Tees region early next year.

Some fascinating facts about Cooking with Electricity

  • The first electrical cooking device was invented in 1859, by George B. Simpson and took the form of a secondary surface indirectly heated by a platinum-wire coil.
  • Cooking with electricity was relatively uncommon in the UK until the mid 1950s when the indirectly heated element hob became steadily more fashionable than gas or solid fuel heated stoves. Electrical supply and load demand issues were a significant deterrent to the promotion of electrical cooking appliances up until this time.
  • The first application of microwave energy to cooking was devised in 1945 in the USA following the accidental discovery of the heating effect of short wavelength electrometric waves. The Microwave oven is still by far the most energy efficient method of heating food or liquids available. The device that generates the microwave beam inside the oven is known as a Resonant Cavity Magnetron and identical to the device used in RADAR and telecommunications systems. The Magnetron in an 800 Watt microwave oven is powerful enough to send a detectable beam of energy over a distance of 6000 miles. Microwave cooking did not really catch on in the UK until the early mid 80s.
  • Halogen hobs were the last word in fashionable cooker technology in the late 70s. The halogen hob has enjoyed moderate popularity since but contrary to popular belief they do not cook “on light” but the infrared radiation emitted by under run liner halogen lamps, similar to those used in flood lights. Halogen hobs are more efficient than indirectly heated plate hobs or the earliest encapsulated coiled heater elements.
  • The induction hob is probably the most exotic but also least popular cooker type. Induction hobs had a brief period of popularity in the late 80s early 90s. This is a very complex but highly efficient method which cooks by inducing heat into the cooking utensil rather than the hob itself which remains cool. A large and very powerful electromagnetic field is generated by the hob which produces ‘eddy currents’ in the base of specially designed pans thus producing heat in the base. Induction cookers can produce heat very rapidly; some are capable of heating the pan base to red hot in seconds. Induction hobs pose risks for anyone fitted with a pace maker.

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