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2009 Best in Category: Food Preparation Electrics

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Component Design Northwest Inc.

Dual-Sensing Probe Thermometer/Timer

In designing its 2009 Housewares Design Award-winning Dual Sensing Probe Thermometer/Timer, which took top honors in the Food Prep Electrics category, Component Design Northwest (CDN) was focused on having a product that offered two functions in one probe item. The new Dual-Sensing Probe Thermometer/Timer is the first in the CDN line to measure both the temperature of the oven and the temperature of the food being cooked. “That was literally the most important thing to me,” said Jan Murtagh, CDN’s president. “The best part of this is that you have a continual readout of oven temperature from a probe thermometer while you’re also monitoring cooking temperature, which is unique. It’s really the neatest feature.”

For CDN, a key element of design is giving consumers what is most important to them, as well as ease-of-use and new technology. That is taken into consideration especially when designing the control elements of both thermometers and timers, Murtagh said. Sometimes, she said, a design starts out to be simply for looks and winds up serving an even greater purpose.

“In trying to make the design new and fresh, we decided to make the control buttons nice and flat to modernize the appearance and give it a fresh look,” she said. “In our experience, people are happy with the old designs, and don’t really want anything different unless it’s brand new. When we changed the design of the buttons, we made the product much more sanitary and hygienic in that you can wipe it clean and not have bacteria and food get into the buttons.”

Said Murtagh, updating the company’s products is important in giving the thermometers and timers the ability to stand on their own. While the factories come up with a number of ideas, Murtagh and her team always ultimately knows what they want, and getting it right is important.

“Designing the right display is important,” Murtagh said. “It is important that it has a modern look that fits with new technology that’s out there, and the feedback we get is that, for the Dual Sensing Probe, it looks cool and feels updated for the world today.”

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