The shape of things to come?

Flare saucepan

What happens when a rocket scientist applies his skills to cookware? You get a new saucepan that is up 40% more efficient than a conventional pan. The Flare cookware series, developed by Lakeland in conjunction with Dr. Thomas Povey of Oxford University, uses channels in the sides of the pan that allow more heat to enter the pan than a conventional, smooth-sided pan.

An avid mountaineer, Dr. Povey turned his talents to cookware design after struggling to boil water at altitude. He realized that a lot of energy is spent just heating the pan. "There's nothing wrong with (a usual saucepan), but it loses a lot of heat, which means it has less energy efficiency, which means it wastes more heat, energy, and gas," said Dr. Povey, who applied aerodynamic and heat transfer science "used in rocket and jet engines to create a shape of a pan that is more energy efficient."

The cast aluminum pan works most efficiently on gas cooktops, although it can be used on electric, ceramic and halogan hobs (but presumably not induction hobs).  As is the norm with innovation, these pans come at a premium price: the 20cm (8") saucepan clocks in at £49.99 ($86 USD; $91 AUD). 

What do you think of the new design - is it here to stay, or is it just a flash in the pan?

7 Comments

  • wester  on  7/12/2014 at 3:33 PM

    I think that if it does what it says, it's seriously covetable.

  • ellabee  on  7/12/2014 at 4:37 PM

    The fins/flares look to me as if they would carry heat *away* from the inside of the pan, like the fins of radiators and cooling systems. But I'm no rocket scientist. If they really work as described, they might be of interest to cooks in high-altitude locations like Denver.

  • SoRefined  on  7/13/2014 at 1:47 AM

    I live at about 5000 ft (1500ish meters) and in my experience, water boils faster up here, not slower. More accurately, it boils at a lower temperature--200 degrees Fahrenheit instead of 212. (93 C vs 100.) When you get up past about 7500 ft, you pretty much have to have a pressure cooker if you ever want to cook beans, etc., not because it takes so long for the water to boil, but because without increased pressure, it boils before it can ever get hot enough to cook the beans.

  • Susan_F  on  7/13/2014 at 3:42 AM

    I think it looks fabulous! Lakeland is a UK company that often comes up with new and innovative products related to cooking. There's a video from the inventor on this page on their website: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/19501/Flare-20cm-Saucepan

  • KarinaFrancis  on  7/13/2014 at 10:44 PM

    If this guy teams up with Alesi he will make a fortune - form + function!

  • FuzzyChef  on  7/13/2014 at 11:39 PM

    I'm waiting for Kenji to do a review.

  • sir_ken_g  on  7/14/2014 at 11:09 AM

    Looks like it would be he77 to clean - and aluminum is not dishwasher safe. I will stick to copper core

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