[Design Story] Chef Collection: Virtual Flames Stoke Passion for Cooking

on June 11, 2015
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This is the age of the food-lover. As people around the world feel more compelled to eat better, they are also discovering their love for cooking. No longer just about putting food on the table, there is a genuine appreciation for culinary art. And with its growing popularity, people seek out the right tools to achieve the perfect culinary experience. At the heart of this experience are more than just pots and cutlery, but the kitchen appliances themselves.




The History of Heat


The evolution of cooking has always relied on heat. After the gas stove was invented in the 19th century, ovens and gas ranges were commonly found in kitchens. Because gas heating produces carbon-dioxide, an alternative was introduced in the late 1970s. The induction or electric heating solution addressed both environmental concerns and health and safety issues for users. Though induction heating made cooking safer, professional chefs preferred the use of gas ranges. Without a visible flame, it could be harder to know when a pot or pan reached the correct temperature. This inconvenient challenge would last until Samsung saw it as an opportunity. The Samsung Chef Collection Induction Range features a virtual flame that reinvents the most essential part of cooking.




The Art of Food


Because cooking is an art, it requires both experience and intuition. Though induction heating is safe and efficient, it lacks the visual cues of gas ranges. Samsung set out to create a virtual flame that would bring intuition and feeling back into the kitchen. By making a flame that could show the amount of heat applied to cookware, Samsung hoped to bring back the life to the art of food. Made From the Best




The idea for a virtual flame may sound simple but turning it into a reality proved to be challenging. First, finding the right materials was difficult. Traditional induction stoves use a dense cloudy ceramic glass top, but this required a transparent ceramic glass top that could project the virtual flames. Not many materials can withstand temperatures exceeding 120° C (248° F). The temperatures under the surface of the range had to maintain a cooler temperature of 85°C (185°C). To achieve this, Samsung developed an ultra-efficient fan and circulation system, plus the right insulation to make it possible. It took a lot of rigorous testing to get it right.




Seeing is Believing


When designing the flame, engineers at Samsung knew it had to look real. LED lights were considered, but to create the most life-like virtual flame, achieving the right color, brightness and lighting speed was of utmost importance. On standard gas ranges, when the pilot light is turned on and the flame is ignited, the flame flickers an average of 64 times in 2.6656 seconds. It also changes its brightness nine times. It was this kind of research that went into creating a virtual flame that was convincing. Samsung added magnetic dial knobs to control the size of the flames for a more intuitive, hands-on feeling for users. The space beneath an induction surface is small, making installing a virtual flame projector very difficult. Thanks to the ingenuity of Samsung’s engineers, they were able to design a projection system compact enough for a 430 x 250mm wide flex zone underneath the range.




Precision, With Heart


Finally, the obstacles of being an enthusiastic cook and the safety and efficiency of induction heating have been bridged. Great design does not stop with just technology. Just as consumers are passionate about cooking, Samsung is passionate about designing products that enhance the lives of users. Joining logic and emotion in the art of cooking, Samsung introduces its Chef Collection Induction Range.




Visit design.samsung.com to read more Samsung Electronics design stories.


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