WHY CAST IRON?
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: WRIST STRAIN
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: HOT HANDLES
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: INSTABILITY
Features: Primary Handle
OVERVIEWThe intent of this project was to re-design an existing product with a focus on solving its ergonomic issues. Having chosen the cast iron skillet, my goal was to rectify any ergonomic issues with the current design, without sacrificing the intrinsic culinary benefits of cast iron as a material. In short, I will need to design around its weight.
WHY CAST IRON?The benefits of cast-iron pans are terrific: Foods glide out of it as from no pan made with Teflon; it goes from stove to oven; no special utensils are needed to cook in it; it won’t warp, and cleanup is a cinch. Professional chefs consider cast-iron pans to be precision cooking tools, as these dependable pans enable precise control of cooking temperatures. Their heat retention qualities allow for even cooking temperature without hot spots. Cast-iron pans can be used on top of the stove or to bake in the oven.
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: WRIST STRAINThe current handle is small and narrow. Hardly sufficient to grip with one hand, the handle is disproportionate in size to stabilize the weight of the pan. This can cause wrist strain and makes the pan awkward and ungainly, especially when pivoting to pour.
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: HOT HANDLESThe cast iron skillet is a single material product. Cast iron, desired for its heat retention qualities, however it has the downfall of requiring an oven mitten for use. The addition of the oven mit compounds the instability issues of the current handle.
ERGONOMIC ISSUES: INSTABILITYThe current handle is small and narrow. Hardly sufficient to grip with one hand, the handle is disproportionate in size to stabilize the weight of the pan. This can cause wrist strain and makes the pan awkward and ungainly, especially when pivoting to pour.
TESTABLE VARIABLES:Have multiple interchangeable handles of different sizes and forms to identify the preferred qualities.Allow for vertical angle of the of the primary handle to be adjustable according to the preference of the testee. Allow for the secondary handle to be adjustable around the circumference of the pan to determine best orientation for pivoting/pouring motion.
Test ResultsHandle C and Handle B were equally preffered by the population.
Dual UsageThe addition of the second material for the handles: FDA Grade Silicone, in no way hinders the high heat retention quality of cast iron. The benefits of using the silicone are that it allows for large, comfortable grips and doesn’t retain heat. This, in turn, allows the skillet to be used in both the oven and on the stove top, without the need for an oven mit.
Features: OctagonalThe pan is octagonal to assist with spatula operation and pouring. The flat interior sides make scooping and scraping with the spatula a breeze. The corner lips of the rim allow for pouring solid and liquid food matter. The previous design was seemingly only configured for liquid.
Features: Primary HandleThe primary handle is over-molded in FDA silicone making it longer, thicker and are more comfortable than the previous design. The primary handle is longer to allow individuals of a lower percentile to hold the handle with two hands, while still being comfortable to be operated with one. These improvements increase the stability of handling and eliminate the hazards of the previous design.
Features: HandlingThe secondary handle is also made from the FDA Silicone, which allows for use without a oven mit. Offering a firm grip, the handle is also designed to keep the users hand from coming in contact with the hot cast iron. As a result this decreases the risk of accidents that can occur while pouring.
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