Oxford eco-pan revolutionises cooking efficiency

Oxford’s groundbreaking cooking pan technology utilises uniquely designed vertical fins to capture and absorb heat energy. This technology leads to an efficient, fast and even cooking process.

Tests of initial versions of Oxford’s cooking pans on gas stoves have shown that they can heat food 40% faster than conventional pans in some instances. Foods also cook more evenly because they heat up from the side and not just the bottom of the pan.

With proven improved cooking times and reduced energy use together with a striking visual impact, this is an opportunity for a highly marketable product.

Cooking pans, as used in kitchens around the world, are generally simple vessels whose designs have not changed much over many years. Researchers at the University of Oxford have recognised however that such pans, particularly when used on gas stoves, allow a large proportion of heat energy from the heat source to dissipate into the surrounding atmosphere, rather than being used to cook food.

Efficient cookware

Developed in the internationally-renowned Oxford Thermofluids Institute, Oxford’s novel cooking pan technology achieves higher efficiencies through the use of external fins. The unique, patented, finned design channels heat from the flame across the bottom and up the sides of the pan, resulting in highly efficient, even heat distribution. By ensuring that more energy is captured by the new cooking pan, a higher proportion of energy from the heat source can contribute to heating food within the pan. In turn, this leads to a quicker and more efficient cooking process.

Oxford’s cooking pan designs have arisen from a facility where world-leading solutions for jets and rockets are researched, tested and engineered. Transferring this expertise into an everyday application has led to a cooking pan design found to save up to 31% energy compared to conventional pan designs. The greatest benefit is obtained when the gas flame is largest, i.e. when the user wants the fastest cooking process possible.

The cooking pan has been the subject of two awards in recent years. In 2014, the Worshipful Company of Engineers awarded Professor Thomas Povey, the inventor of Oxford’s novel cooking pan technology, their prestigious Hawley Award for “the most outstanding Engineering Innovation that delivers demonstrable benefit to the environment”. The project behind Oxford’s cooking pan was also a Green Apple Award winner in 2014. The Green Apple Awards is an annual campaign to recognise, reward and promote environmental best practice around the world.

Commercialisation

The Oxford cooking pan technology has been protected with patents, utility models and registered design rights in key territories worldwide. Following a successful initial launch of a range of cooking products (saucepans, frying pans and stockpots), Oxford University Innovation is now seeking commercial partners to make and sell further products incorporating the technology worldwide.

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