BERLIN, GERMANY — If you have a little extra time to spare, Berlin designer May Kukula has an alternative to stove cooking that could shrink your carbon footprint. Her recent creation, Hot Pot, uses cork, iron and porcelain to slowly cook dishes that have been pre-heated in the oven.
To use the pot, food is pre-heated on the stove and then placed inside the hot pot. Cork insulates the pot, which allows the food inside to continue simmering even though external heat isn’t being applied to it. Like crock pot cooking, the user has only to set the pot aside and wait until the food is tender. The cork allows the user to place the heated pot directly on the table, without having to worry about scorch marks. In their review of the product, designboom describes the history behind the process:
‘hotpot’ is an homage to an old cooking method, referencing a historical kitchen device called ‘kochkiste’, dated from the early 1900’s in germany. back in those days, energy resources were precious and, therefore handled thoughtfully. the ‘kochkiste’ was a big isolation box which helped serving energy thanks to its warmth insulation properties. the trapped heat and steam created by the pre-boiled food was enough to make the food tender. by using this technique, only 30% of the original cooking time on the stove was needed. the cooking process might take longer however, the energy consumption reduces drastically.
Kukula (born 1990) studied industrial design at UdK Berlin. She is the first prize winner of IKEA design awards 2015 with Aroma. In 2014 she was a design intern at KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan, Kahla; and a design intern at Kakoii advertising agency in Berlin.
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