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$1,428
pledged of $150,000pledged of $150,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Feb 27 2019
$1,428
pledged of $150,000pledged of $150,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Canceled
Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on Feb 27 2019

About

 CrunchyTop™ turns a common pot or pan into an air fryer that doesn't take up any counter space. 

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The universal lid fits pots and pans with diameters from 9.5-12" (24-30.5 cm). Use with gas, electric and induction stovetops, hot plates and camping stoves too. 

Air frying means fast, low fat cooking of healthy and fun foods, from marinated chicken to chicken fingers, roasted vegetables to pizza and... s'mores! It generally takes 1/2  the time recommended for a conventional oven. It's fun to peer through the glass lid and see what's cooking. 

Turbo fan pulls heat from the bottom like a mini tornado and swirls it around the food to transfer heat and crunch.

Turbo fan swirling air action (shown with puffed amaranth).
Turbo fan swirling air action (shown with puffed amaranth).

The fan blade swirls air up from the bottom of the pan. The air is then pushed out towards the sides and back down to deliver a powerful convection effect. The result is fast cooking and a uniquely satisfying crunch. Blunt with chamfered edges, the fan blade is safe to touch, even if accidentally stopped by a finger while spinning. 

 Cleaning is Easy.  

The unit disassembles easily so that the lid can be washed in a dishwasher and the fan assembly (handle with motor and fan blade) stored in a kitchen drawer. The motor and batteries should be kept dry and most of the time the CrunchyTop™ lid can be simply wiped off with a sponge or paper towel. 

 Crunchy, tastier, pizza.  

Pizza should never be limp like a noodle. With CrunchyTop™ swirling hot air reheats pizza fast and crunchy - it tastes even better than fresh (really)! The crunch is that good. 

Air fry without loss of counter space. 

Get the benefits of air frying without crowding your counter top with another appliance. CrunchyTop™ stores under the counter with pots and pans. 

 Air fry while camping, tailgating, on a boat or RV.

CrunchyTop™ is portable and stores in small spaces and enables you to cook more things in more ways and in more places than before. Make fried chicken in a RV, cookies and muffins while camping and s'mores on a boat. 

And s'mores...  

Fast and easy.

Place food on rack. Turn on fan. Set stove to medium. There's no need to wait for pre-heating. You can start cooking right away. Temperatures will vary with respect to the stove and pan being used. In general, when set to medium, the cooking zone reaches approximately 300-400F (150-200C) within 5-10 minutes. 

Hot air moves quickly over the food being cooked and this transfers heat to the food much faster than the still air in a conventional oven. Fast moving hot air also creates an amazing crunch.

Note: excess heat may cause damage to pan and fan unit - the stove should never be set above medium. Nonstick coatings in general can be damaged if overheated beyond 550F. Teflon™ should only be used at temperatures below 500F (260C surface temp). Here are answers to questions about cooking with Teflon. 

Power 

CrunchyTop™ is cordless and powered by three AA batteries. In our testing we've found that alkaline batteries effectively power the fan for approximately 30 hours - enough for two months of heavy use or up to one year of regular use (three AA alkaline batteries are included with the kit). You can substitute rechargeable AA batteries but note that lithium ion are very heat sensitive and should be avoided.

Remove the fan and motor/handle assembly to put the universal lid in the dishwasher. 

Shipping Costs

Shipping is not included in the pricing above. When you choose a reward the shipping cost will show. The cost is based on USPS priority mail and only covers the actual amount we will be paying in postage to ship the product (there is no handling charge). Know in advance that shipping costs are high (we don't get Amazon's discount). For a single unit shipped to a US location the cost is $15; it's much more to locations outside of the US. 

 Experiment with a new kind of cooking.

CrunchyTop™ cooking is easily understood as "air frying" but it's different because of the unique way the fan moves hot air and because of variables in the pans used - deep pans, shallow pans, pans with vertical and angled sides, all behave differently. There are so many possibilities that we could not even begin to cover them in our development process. Is it best to cook at medium quickly or longer and slower on low? What happens when you cook something in the pan bottom and on the rack simultaneously. What about using wood chips or garlic or wine on the bottom while cooking meat on the rack? That's where we need you again. We need your creativity and feedback on how you're using CrunchyTop™. At our website there will be a board for CrunchyTop™ experiments where you can report your results, the crunchy and tasty and the let's-not-do that-agains.


CrunchyTop™ lid details.

Max Dimensions:  12"  (30 cm) diameter, 5" high with fan assembly, 2" without fan or handle.

Power: Three (3) AA batteries - alkaline are included with kit. Rechargeable AA's are available. A single set of batteries runs for approximately 30 hours - this could be as much as 2 years or as little as two months of regular use.

Materials: Tempered glass and silicone lid, high temperature plastic handle, stainless steel safety fan blade.

Weight: 1.7 lbs

Manufacturing: Manufacturers are ready to begin in China and sources in the United States are being considered. Hybrid sourcing with the universal lid coming from China and the turbo fan from USA is a possibility.

Invention City is responsible for developing, manufacturing and marketing CrunchyTop™.

Invention City helps independent inventors and companies confirm, develop, protect, license, manufacture and market new product ideas.  Our company began in 1986 with a three guys making a cool screwdriver in a family garage. Since then, products developed by Invention City have been sold by some of the world's most famous brands and largest retailers. We know from successes and failures how to make quality products and deliver them on time.  Invention City is rated A+ by BBB

We believe that Kickstarter is an ideal place to tell a new product's story and learn whether or not it resonates with backers. The full story of CrunchyTop™ is that an expensive commercial was made and tested by a direct response TV company, but the response rates were too low to go forward. We loved the product too much to give up and that's why we're on Kickstarter - we're seeking another way to make CrunchyTop™ a reality. 

Examples of products developed, commercialized and manufactured by Invention City
Examples of products developed, commercialized and manufactured by Invention City

Invention City team. 

Mike Marks – Mike has been developing, licensing, sourcing, manufacturing and marketing simple consumer products for over 30 years. Prior to founding WorkTools and Invention City, Mike worked as a commercial photographer and photojournalist in New York. Away from work he spends as much time as possible outdoors and enjoys surfing, sailing, backpacking and time with his family.  

Dan Fulford -Dan has a creative genius that can find the souls of great products in undeveloped invention ideas and a knack for thinking of great ways to bring those ideas to market. He has shepherded projects in all stages of development from concepts and prototypes into successful licensing deals with companies large and small. If you can't reach him on the phone the odds are pretty good he's out of range somewhere on lakes near the Canadian border or in the mountains of Montana.

Joel Marks -Since the time he could walk, Joel has been inquiring into how things work and how they could be made to work better and more intuitively. Joel has over 100 US patents issued in his name and was honored with a Gold Design of the Decade Award from IDSA/Business Week for his invention of the forward action staple gun that became the Black & Decker PowerShot®. (an award shared by the Apple iMac and VW Beetle).

Advisers:

Michael Schnell - Industrial design, prototyping and sourcing.

Eric Anders - Industrial design and prototyping.

Asa Nadeau - Communications and strategy.

Brad Golstein - Legal affairs.

Bill Byrnes - Usability.  

Giles Dawe - Kickstarter adviser.

 Inventor Bill Stumphauzer. 

CrunchyTop™ was conceived and first prototyped by Ohio-based inventor, Bill Stumphauzer. Bill licensed his invention to Invention City where it has been refined, engineered and sourced.

Manufacturing & first shipments.

Manufacturing sources have been lined up in China and Taiwan and we are speaking with a company in Massachusetts about making the product in the USA. Five or more different sources will be used for the universal lid, rack, motor, fan and final assembly. From the date of funding to first production we anticipate it will take 4-6 months. Allowing for unexpected problems we expect to ship first run rewards in December 2019. The first run is currently planned to be 5,000 units. A follow up run will take place immediately thereafter if there is demand.

Design patent issued. Utility patents pending.

*Bill Stumphauzer is named as lead inventor on the pending utility patents. 

IT'S CRUNCH TIME!

Risks and challenges

RISKS OF MANUFACTURING: This project falls well within the scope of projects and products we've successfully designed and manufactured over the past three decades. The technologies are well known and our suppliers are reliable and experienced. That said, unanticipated delays car happen for factors that are currently unknown. We are committed to delivering on our promises.

The biggest risks we are aware of in making and using this product are:

UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS - Unanticipated problems happen with every new product launch. We've added two months into our timeline to allow for them and believe that for this product, at its current state of development, that should be enough. Likewise, our team has been testing prototypes for the past two years, but there are likely to be things that we will not know until the product has been used by many more people for a period of time.

TRADE ISSUES WITH CHINA - At least some of the parts will be made in China. We've allowed for the possibility of increased tariffs, but if trade with China ceases entirely, we will need to find other suppliers and that would likely cause months of delay.

RISK OF FIT: The silicone lid is dome shaped and on smaller size rims the outer ring(s) overhang the edge of the pot or pan. Depending on how the handle is located and angled, the edge of the rim may touch the handle, causing the lid to lift up to create a less than perfect seal. In most such cases the lid may be set somewhat askew, lower on the side away from the handle, and still function fine.

RISKS OF USE: The risks of using this product are similar to those of using any pot or pan. If the stove is set above "medium" or a pot or pan is left unattended, damage to the pan or worse could result.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1 or more About US$ 1.00

    Help the World Get Crunchy Happiness

    Get our sincere thanks and help make the world a crunchier and happier place. A pledge of any amount makes this project more likely to succeed

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    Pledge US$ 28 or more About US$ 28

    EARLY BIRDS

    ONE CrunchyTop™ Kit: removable turbo fan, universal silicone and tempered glass lid (fits diameter 9.5-12", 24-30.5 cm), round 9" (22.9 CM) diameter cooking rack and three AA alkaline batteries.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 38 or more About US$ 38

    ONE CRUNCHYTOP™ KIT

    ONE CrunchyTop™ Kit: removable turbo fan, universal silicone and tempered glass lid (fits diameter 9.5-12", 24-30.5 cm), round 9" (22.9 CM) diameter cooking rack and three AA alkaline batteries.

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    Pledge US$ 76 or more About US$ 76

    TWO CRUNCHYTOP™ KITS

    TWO CrunchyTop™ Kits: removable turbo fan, universal silicone and tempered glass lid (fits diameter 9.5-12", 24-30.5 cm), round 9" (22.9 CM) diameter cooking rack and three AA alkaline batteries.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 114 or more About US$ 114

    THREE CRUNCHYTOP™ KITS

    THREE CrunchyTop™ KitS: removable turbo fan, universal silicone and tempered glass lid (fits diameter 9.5-12", 24-30.5 cm), round 9" (22.9 CM) diameter cooking rack and three AA alkaline batteries.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
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Funding period

- (33 days)