'Smart'ifying stoves, smart socket, or...?

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Old 04-06-19, 05:30 PM
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'Smart'ifying stoves, smart socket, or...?

Hi,

We are in the process of adding smarts to our residence. By 'smart' we mean total remote and safe access and control of various lo and high power devices via various apps on a cellphone. But we seem to have bumped into a problem with our conventional gas stove with mechanical knobs. Note we are very willing to replace it to meet our smart needs. We also will consider smart augments if they indeed adhere to our definition.

As such, below is the line of thinking we've developed with a few questions:

- We have developed an assumption that 'smartifying' gas stoves, except for some options like iGuard or StoveGuard--neither which really are smart as we define it-- are just not possible. Any thoughts? Note, we need to totally switch gas oven on AND off remotely.

- Assuming the above is true and gas stoves are not an option, electrical stoves with knobs can't be 'smartified' either. We have looked at 'smart' outlets but can't find any that can handle the thousands of watts power draw from a typical electrical stove. Does anyone know of a smart socket that can both handle the wattage requirements of an electrical stove AND provide TOTAL smart remote control? The best we've seen are 15A/1800W-- nowhere close to the power requirements of a typical electrical stove.

- Is it correct to assume that smart outlets simply cannot handle the power requirements because of real physical limitations (like size of internal mechanical relay, etc)? If not, what truly smart outlets are available for electrical stoves?

- which leads us to 'smart ranges' supplied by various manufacturers like GE (e.g. here). Here these 'seem' to provide what we want. However, we don't understand how 'smart' ranges can provide total remote control while we can't find a smart socket to do the same? What is the electrical theory behind this if any?

Many thanks in advance for your patience and thoughts!

Mo



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Old 04-06-19, 09:24 PM
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The "logic" to remote control a range needs to be a part of its original design. The relays needed to switch parts of the oven are already inside the oven. They just need to be told what to do. The electronic controls can probably be "hacked" to operate remotely but one question here...... why ?

What would you do.... put raw food in the oven and remotely turn it on.

Years ago..... Caloric came out with electronic oven controls where you could set up start and stop times. A number of my customers though that was great but no one could address how it could be used. You can't leave raw food in the oven until it's time to be cooked. I guess an argument could be raised that you could pre-heat the oven but is worth the hassle. It only takes most ovens 5-8 minutes to warm up.

Even if there were a "smart " receptacle made that could switch the entire unit.... upon power up..... the controls still need to be set.

Note, we need to totally switch gas oven on AND off remotely.
I would never endorse a modification to a gas appliance.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 07:23 AM
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Thanks for response. No, we're not planning to roast a steak from afar.... And, ye, we believe gas range is out of the picture too but we're not experts. There are real applications otherwise left out so not to pollute thinking.

Further thoughts (explicitly to original bullet points) from you and others greatly appreciated.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by PJMax

Caloric came out with electronic oven controls where you could set up start and stop times. A number of my customers though that was great but no one could address how it could be used.
I have used the delayed cook setting, usually on busy holidays when you're visiting one side of the family for lunch, then turn around for dinner with the other side, AND you're supposed to be bringing a hot side dish.

The best use is to start with frozen food, let it defrost in the oven, then have the oven turn on once the food has defrosted to around 40-50 degrees.

Yes this DOES require a bit of calibration, but the calibration is fairly simple.

Dump 1 pound of ice cubes into your favorite cast-iron, la-creuset, or pyrex pan, place the pan in the cold oven, leave it OFF, and measure how long it takes the background heat flow through oven to melt 1 pound of ice at 32 degrees F into 1 pound of water at 32 degrees F. IIRC, this turns out to be 144 BTU.
I got very low numbers, around 6-8 hours per pound for frozen food to defrost.
For BIG items (like a meat roast) I jam a steel handled fillet-knife (long and thin) into the center of the frozen roast, to ensure that it thaws inside-out as well as outside-in.

Now, I can reliably, plunk frozen food (which is going to be mostly ice by weight) into an oven and know will thaw to cooking temp at around 6-8 hours per pound.

Getting back to 144 BTU, that turns out to be a VERY interesting number.
Guess what, your average oven has a 40 Watt light bulb; 40 watts (actually 42 watts) . turns out to be 144 BTU per hour. If you turn on the oven light, you dump 144 BTU per hour into the oven.

Now, I put 1 pound of frozen food (which is going to be mostly ice by weight) into the oven and expect it to thaw at around 1 pound per hour.

You can't leave raw food in the oven until it's time to be cooked.
Eh, yes you can.
Baked potatoes work fine.
Same for big sheet trays of broccoli, cauliflower and root vegetables like carrots, turnips, and parsnips. The trick is to cook them whole, then cut up, OR cut and then toss in olive oil and vinegar to keep them from turning brown.

Cooking raw MEAT is a bit more complicated, but still easily doable.

Cook in a pyrex dish, BUT first sterilize the dish in the microwave for 1 minute.
- For comparison, WebMD has found that a sponge soaked with bacteria placed in a microwave is 99% sterilized in 2 minutes, and effectively 100% sterilized after 4 minutes.

The trick to delayed cooking of meat is to ALSO sterilize the surface of the meat in the microwave. One minute on high is usually enough to kill any surface bacteria.

Once you have the meat surface sterilized, follow that up by applying natural preservatives: basting with olive oil, basting with vinegar, rubbing with koshering salt, or covering a roast with jam or jelly. The oil keeps out air and prevents browning and spoilagle, the vinegar, salt and sugar dry out the surface and preventing bacteria from growing. This is why they've been used for preserving foods for thousands of years.

Then put the microwave sterlized and anti-bacterial slathered meat into the oven, set the timer, and show up when done. I WILL say that you want to cook the meat separately from starches or vegetables, so you want to add flaver by adding boilling water to beef of vegetable stock cubes for the starches and vegetables.
 
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Old 04-07-19, 07:31 PM
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I would venture to say that one reason ranges (gas or electric) haven't been enabled with "smart" functions, is simply because of the risk of a cooking appliance operating unattended. A few years ago, ranges had "delayed bake" options for the oven, but those seem to have been discontinued over the years, perhaps due to the concern of unattended cooking and the resultant fire hazard.
 
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Old 04-09-19, 02:43 PM
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More about safety control than looking

The cooking debates notwithstanding, it seems nobody had an answer to my bulleted questions... specifically if there is a heavy duty smart switch that can handle the power requirements of an electric range typically at 40-50 amps at 120v/210-280v...that's about as high as 11000 watts. I know aeotec and GE build 'heavy duty' smart switches but not sure if they can withstand a range:

Aeotec heavy duty smart switch:

https://www.amazon.com/Aeotec-Securi...pd_aw_sbs_60_2

And GE heavy duty smart switch:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YTCZZF0..._vT.QCbHNGG028
 

Last edited by megabyzus; 04-09-19 at 05:01 PM.
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Old 04-09-19, 04:10 PM
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NO..... there is not a smart switch that will handle the entire load of your range. You would have to involve the use of a contactor.

Even if there were a "smart " receptacle made that could switch the entire unit.... upon power up..... the controls still need to be set.
Keep this in mind. The oven defaults off on power up.
 
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Old 04-09-19, 04:54 PM
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Thanks. What you say is key. To confirm, generally for ELECTRIC MECHANICAL (KNOBBED) ranges, if i turn on a burner, then unplug the range and re-plug it, the coil does NOT come back on until I reset the knobs? It may be true for digital electric ovens but not for mechanical (knobbed) ones I believe. Thanks in advance.
 
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Old 04-09-19, 05:51 PM
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I thought we were discussing oven functions. A mechanical top burner control would stay as set.
 
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Old 04-11-19, 03:29 PM
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I don't think a smart plug would help you. @PJmax ran through some scenarios. You would probably have to have an old or really basic mechanical stove that you would turn the knobs to desired temperature then unplug (that is basically what you are doing with the smart outlet), and it would come on to that mechanical setting when plugged in.

The only things a smart stove would realistically add in my humble opinion:

1-I'm driving home and would like to pre-heat the oven. I really think you want a smart stove for this or anything related. I have never researched them so no ideas what features they offer.

2-I cooked something in the oven but forgot to turn it off, alert me and allow me to turn it off.

So what I have done is put a Home Energy Monitor clamp around my stove cable in circuit breaker box. I have it set to alert me if the stove appears to be on for 40 minutes, most frozen pizzas I cook take way less time ;-) I can't remotely turn it off, but at least I know it has been on for 40 minutes and I can decide what to do from there.
 
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