When ceramic heat exchangers work: The first step to a better ceramic smoker
This ceramic heat-inhibiting ceramic pipe is the first step towards the production of ceramic-tipped smoker pipes.
It’s the first time a manufacturer has tried to build a ceramic smoker using a new technology.
It has taken three years of painstaking research to develop a ceramic heat exchange system, the first such pipe ever made in the US.
The ceramic pipe was designed to reduce the heat emitted from charcoal to around 100 degrees Celsius, which would prevent it from burning.
“This is the next step in the evolution of ceramic smoking,” says Mark Hildebrandt, a mechanical engineer who developed the technology.
“It’s a very powerful device and I’m excited to see it being used to make the world’s first ceramic smoker.”
The ceramic heat is used to heat the pipe and the ceramic heating element that is used is a type of ceramic called ceramicsilver.
This ceramic is extremely efficient at keeping the heat to around 50 degrees Celsius and can be used to cook foods at temperatures of up to 500 degrees Celsius.
The pipe is powered by a nickel-based ceramic heater and the system uses a combination of heat and electricity to heat up the pipe.
“The ceramic heating device creates a low-energy heat transfer system which can heat up ceramic pipes to up to around 300 degrees Celsius,” says Dr Hildebradt.
“So, if you are using it to cook a turkey, the heat transfer is around 90 degrees Celsius or about two-thirds the normal heat transfer.”
The heat transfer takes place at the top of the pipe, and the rest of the heat is transferred through the ceramic cooling element and into the pipe through the vents.
The heating element heats the ceramic surface of the bowl using a ceramic thermal mass.
“Ceramic heating systems have always been a very hot topic in the food industry because ceramic heating is very efficient, which is why the heat has been used in cooking vessels for over a century,” Dr Hiltbrandt says.
“There is no other material that is capable of that, because it is so efficient.”
Dr Hildebeldt says the ceramic heat transfer works well, with only a few problems.
“Because of the way the heat diffuses through the bowl, the temperature of the food stays about the same throughout the entire cooking process, so you don’t have the problem of overcooking,” he says.
Dr Hiltbradts ceramic heating system can also be used for cleaning.
“We’ve developed a ceramic cleaner that has been designed to remove bacteria from ceramic surfaces and it works really well, which allows us to cook food without overcookings,” he said.
“I think we’re doing pretty good.”
Dr Hirlbrandt said the ceramic system has a long future and the pipe will be sold to restaurants, cafes and restaurants catering for larger groups.
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