The Story of the Self Stirring Pot
About a year ago a story broke about a self stirring pot from Japan called the Kuru-Kuru Nabe (Swirly Pot). Basically when the water in Kurukurunabe gets hot enough, any food added like noodles or vegetables to the pot starts to spin counterclockwise. It recieved a lot of attention from newspapers, blogs and food channels and caused quite a stir (excuse the pun :-)).
You can see an early prototype in action below.
The actual swirly pot people reviewed was just a simple prototype. The good news is that as of January, it was made available to the Japanese market and has been selling like hot cakes.
From Idea to Product
“Wouldn’t it be great,” mused the man of self-confessed limited culinary skills,
“if noodles and vegetables could stir themselves.” Hideki Watanabe – Inventor
Watanabe’s had an idea to make a self stirring pot. Using skills he gained from his day job as a dentist he managed to create a prototype pot using his knowledge of dental plaster that worked and uploaded it to youtube. He recieved a lot of attention from various companies but nothing came of it because neither party could figure out how to mass produce the product.
Through trial and error, Watanabe eventually honed his design to an easily cleaned one with two components: a conventional pot with a separate grooved rig, which rests inside.
When a regular pot is heated, the water adjacent to the side rises vertically by convection. But the grooved sides of the Kurukuru Nabe direct the rising water to rise diagonally, ultimately creating a circular whirlpool.
In October 2012, a specialist IT and sheet-metal company known for producing highly polished components for Apple computers and portable music players agreed to become Watanabe’s production partner. Toyo Rikagaku Kenkyusho Co., based in Tsubame, Niigata Prefecture, is a leading producer of items with a mirror-like finish, an area it gained extensive experience in when specializing in treating high-shine tableware.
“We had never worked with pots before,” said a company official. “We tweaked the design to make sure we got a strong swirling movement going.”
The benefits of the final product are great. Not only does the swirly pot keep pasta on the move, it also causes the scum from soup or boiling vegetables to gather in the middle where it can be skimmed off very easily.
It also causes boiling water to froth in the centre of the pan, making it far less likely to boil over.
The company is producing about 1,000 swirly pots per month but the kuru kuru nabe is currently only available to the West from Amazon.com. Hopefully it will arrive in Great Britain very soon.
Original article by DAISUKE HATANO/ Staff Writer at http://ajw.asahi.com/