Concept cooking-pot can be subdivided into smaller pots

Another sweet entry from DesignBoom's Dining in 2015 contest: Kechenyi Camille's "Eco-Cook" -- a pot with smaller, divided sub-pots so that you can boil different kinds of veggies all at once. The idea is neat, but the fact that the water is all mingled means that you can only cook foods whose flavors and chemicals can be allowed to merge. For example, I don't think I'd want to do starchy pasta and greenbeans in the same pot, because you don't really want a lot of starch on the beans. On the other hand, if you had a bunch of different veggies that needed different cooking time (legumes, broccoli, carrots), this could do the trick neatly. Link


  1. this is one of those “why wasn’t this thought of before?” things. Which usually turns out to be a case of “why wasn’t this successful on the market before?” Which usually the answer is, “because no one wants starchy green beans.”

  2. If you’re just going to end up using it to cook similar foods (like three kinds of vegetables), then why do you need it at all? You can just use a regular pot.

  3. Because you might want to keep them separate — say, for sauces, or because they have different cooking times.

  4. But wouldn’t the sauces sashay their way into the other divisions also? The cooking times though is a solid example.

    The only “meh” to the cooking time point is perhaps they just shouldn’t be in the same pot at the same time. Perhaps one would impart a flavor on the other that you don’t want.

    What about if one required a different temperature?

  5. Whoops. Silly me, neglecting to read the fine print. I now see that some of the things I brought up were addressed.

  6. If the pot were quite tall, you could cook pasta in the bottom, and have the triangle bits sitting above the water, steaming your vegetables while the pasta boils.

  7. This type of cookware has been used in commercial kitchens for years.
    They are mainly used for re-heating pastas and veggies that have been par cooked or completely cooked.
    It is not a good idea to try and cook 3 different things at one in the same pot.The flavors will intermingle, and the cooking times have to be taken into account,ect..

  8. hey, that’s nothing new. My grandma used to have something identical in aluminium, and that was over 20 years ago. She used to cook for big groups of farmers at lunchtime, so one of these took up less room on the stove.

  9. Eww who wants “boiled” veggies. Are we British suddenly boiling our food?

    I can’t see how this plastic new version of an old tool qualifies as “Eco” either just more to consume.

  10. #9: Yes, I have a 1970s pressure cooker similar to this- it has one large compartment at the bottom, and three wedge-shaped ones above it.

    Though my mother often used to use it to cook several kinds of veg at once, I don’t use it like this very often- stacking steamers are much more useful.

  11. According to Dorothy Hartley’s Food in England, an essential resource for the fantasy or historical writer, the iconic Pot In The Fireplace At The Old Inn worked something like this, except that the different food substances were suspended inside the pot inside pouches of cheesecloth. Modern writers have tended to assume that the pot always contained A Hearty Stew, which turns out not to have been the case.

  12. I actually do boil beans, pasta (tagliatelle) and (peeled) potatoes in one pot occasionally. Drain it, put some pesto on it, maybe some grated parmesan – pasta genovese. Very nice and very easy. And takes only about 8 minutes in cooking time.

  13. I guess, if you have limited resources. I’d go for a stack steamer before this. Besides, my beans tell me they do not like to be cooked in the same water that the carrots are in. They just don’t like it!

  14. Chikurt@11:

    ‘Suddenly’ started boiling? Any Englishman knows that a vegetable is nothing until it has had several shades of Jebus boiled out of it, and that all cooked vegetables should be a uniform grey in colour, especially carrots.

  15. This is hardly a new idea. The Chinese, for example, have used this technique for years. “Hot pot” restaurants, anyone? The liquid is also kept separate cooking this way.

  16. The idea of divided, sub-steamers is not new. Pasta restaurants use them all of the time.

    The idea of boiling your vegetables in the same pot as you boil your pasta is new, and moronic.

  17. It might be a British thing – my mother had a set of three wedge-shaped aluminium containers with wire handles and perforated bases that fitted into her pressure cooker or over a saucepan of boiling water.

    Used for any three-way combination of carrots, beans and sprouts – sprouts, carrots, beans; beans, sprouts, carrots; etc — I seem to remember from the 70s. But they were all home-grown and tasty, and there’s little evidence of malnutrition now!

    Back then, of course, ‘pasta’ meant spaghetti bolognese.

  18. This is so not new. I’ve got hand-me-down saucepans that must be at least 20 years old that come with almost identical dividers, except they’re made of metal.

  19. I agree with several other posters: the way to steam multiple items is with a stackable steamer. You can even be boiling something in the bottom level at the same time. Barring that, just steam consecutively, starting with the item that takes the longest time. Boiling multiple items simultaneously in the same water (when meant to be eaten separately, not as a soup or stew) is only for people with no taste buds.

  20. Very vieux chapeau…. They were probably the 1960s equivalent of the wrought iron casserole dish in the wedding present popularity stakes.

    The “Waterless Cooker” was a 1920s equivalent that used stacked internal dividers for steaming food without mixing flavours. They were still turning up, more or less complete, in junk shops and charity shops in the 1970s – admittedly we used ours mostly for boiling up wort.

  21. We had an aluminium version of this when i was kid, 30 years ago…

    First electric kettles then this, my heads dizzy with the possibilities… ;)

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