US20110049138A1 - Apparatus for Holding, Storing and Protecting Charcoal Briquettes and Methods of Using the Same - Google Patents

Apparatus for Holding, Storing and Protecting Charcoal Briquettes and Methods of Using the Same Download PDF

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Publication number
US20110049138A1
US20110049138A1 US12/870,981 US87098110A US2011049138A1 US 20110049138 A1 US20110049138 A1 US 20110049138A1 US 87098110 A US87098110 A US 87098110A US 2011049138 A1 US2011049138 A1 US 2011049138A1
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outer covering
apparatus
lid
disposed
top
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US12/870,981
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Lisa Korczak
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Lisa Korczak
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Priority to US12/870,981 priority patent/US20110049138A1/en
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C7/00Collapsible or extensible purses, luggage, bags or the like
    • A45C7/0059Flexible luggage; Hand bags
    • A45C7/0063Flexible luggage; Hand bags comprising an integrated expansion device
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A45HAND OR TRAVELLING ARTICLES
    • A45CPURSES; LUGGAGE; HAND CARRIED BAGS
    • A45C13/00Details; Accessories
    • A45C13/008Details; Accessories for making water- or air-tight

Abstract

An apparatus preferably holds a bag or charcoal briquettes that are useful for filling and heating a barbecue grill. More specifically, the apparatus holds and/or stores a bag of charcoal and is useful for maintaining charcoal briquettes contained therein dry and for easily dispensing the same upon use. The apparatus may be made from a flexible, watertight material and includes a lid over a top opening for easily dispensing the charcoal briquettes therefrom.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO PRIOR APPLICATIONS
  • The present invention claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/275,644, entitled “Waterproof Charcoal Bag”, filed Sep. 1, 2009, which is incorporated herein in its entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes. More specifically, the present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes that is useful for maintaining charcoal briquettes contained therein dry and for easily dispensing the same upon use. Moreover, methods of using the apparatus are provided.
  • BACKGROUND
  • It is, of course, generally known to utilize charcoal to aid in the formation of a fire for cooking thereon. Specifically, it is common to utilize charcoal briquettes, or other like ignitable material, in a barbecue grill, a firepit, or other like location for cooking food thereon or therein. In fact, charcoal is one of the oldest fuels utilized by human beings, and can be found in archeological sites throughout the world.
  • Charcoal is typically made by burning wood without sufficient oxygen to burn the wood completely, leaving a carbon-rich residue that burns easily and retains heat when ignited in a barbecue grill. Charcoal, therefore, is an ideal fuel to utilize for barbecuing or grilling purposes. It is estimated that about 95 percent of the charcoal use in the United States is for barbecue grills.
  • Lighting a batch of fragrant mesquite chips or sparking a mound of charcoal briquettes are the first steps many take when creating a delicious meal outdoors. Whether one enjoys cooking for a yard full of guests, the immediate family or simply for oneself, barbecue grilling offers a quick and easy means to prepare flavorful foods. A barbecue grill can be utilized to prepare everything from hearty steaks, hamburgers and hotdogs, to tender shrimp, fish and poultry, as well as flavorful vegetarian dishes. Requiring minimal cleanup, barbecue grilling represents a preferred method of cooking for many busy consumers.
  • While there is little dispute that barbecue grilling offers consumers an easy and efficient means to cook food, it is typically difficult to maintain charcoal briquettes fresh and ready to use. In many cases, charcoal briquettes are stored at or near a barbecue grill, outside and exposed to the elements, such as rain, snow, fog, mist and other like weather. Water has a detrimental effect on the ability for charcoal to ignite, burn, and cook foods. When charcoal briquettes are exposed to environmental factors such as rain, snow, mist, fog, and other water sources, the elements may have a deleterious effect on the charcoal briquettes. In many cases, a consumer may attempt to load a barbecue grill with charcoal, only to find that the briquettes have been exposed to moisture, rendering them unusable.
  • Moreover, charcoal briquettes typically are bought in paper bags. While this form of packaging may offer rudimentary protection from the elements, once a charcoal briquette bag is opened, moisture may quickly find egress through the opening, especially if the bag is stored in a location that is exposed to the elements. Further, it is difficult to control opening of the charcoal bag, as many times when pulling a bag of charcoal briquettes open, the bag may tear causing a larger hole to form in the bag than originally intended.
  • Many times, charcoal briquettes are utilized at picnics, at tailgates, at campsites, and other places away from where a bag of charcoal briquettes is typically stored, such as on a deck or in a garage. Often, it is difficult to transport the bag of charcoal briquettes. For example, a bag of charcoal briquettes may be very heavy, requiring a decent grip on the bag. However, many times, it is difficult to hold a heavy bag of charcoal in one's hands and carry the bag where needed. In addition, charcoal briquettes generate dust that commonly escapes the bag, especially when the bag is opened. The dust is typically a black color, and can cause discoloration of clothing, skin, the interiors of automobiles, and other like objects and locations.
  • Still further, charcoal typically requires other items to light and maintain the burning of the charcoal briquettes. For example, a match, lighter or other fire or heat generating instrument is typically required. In addition, lighter fluid, containing a combustible liquid providing controlled burning of the charcoal briquettes is typically required. In many cases, the matches, lighter or other fire or heat generating instruments, as well as the lighter fluid, is stored separately from the charcoal briquettes, requiring an individual to find these items prior to using the same.
  • A need, therefore, exists for an apparatus and methods of using the same that provide a dry, watertight and weatherproof storage location for storing and holding charcoal briquettes. Moreover, a need exists for an apparatus and methods of using the same that provide a storage location for a quantity of charcoal briquettes that maintains control over charcoal dust that may be generated from the charcoal briquettes and keeps the charcoal dust from discoloring clothing, skin, interiors of automobiles, and other like items and locations.
  • Further, a need exists for an apparatus and methods of using the same for holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes that may be easily transported from one location to another, and further provides an easy and efficient means for carrying a heavy load of charcoal briquettes.
  • Still further, a need exists for an apparatus and methods of using the same for holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes while also providing a storage location for other items required for the ignition of the charcoal briquettes, such as matches, lighters, and/or other fire or heat generating instruments, lighter fluid, and other like items necessary for the use of the charcoal briquettes.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes. More specifically, the present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes that is useful for maintaining the charcoal briquettes contained therein dry and for easily dispensing the same upon use. Moreover, methods of using the apparatus are provided.
  • To this end, in an embodiment of the present invention, an apparatus is provided. The apparatus comprises an outer covering made from a flexible watertight material, wherein the outer covering forms a space for holding an item and further wherein the outer covering includes a bottom, a top, and a plurality of sides; an opening at the top of the outer covering; and a lid hingedly attached to the outer covering and closing over the opening at the top of the outer covering, the lid having a sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the space has a cross-section having a shape selected from the group consisting of circle, oval, square and rectangular.
  • In an embodiment, the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange around the edge of the lid wherein the sealing mechanism is attached to the downwardly disposed flange for sealing with the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the sealing mechanism is a watertight zipper.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a zipper disposed on the edge of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a handle disposed on the outer covering for holding the apparatus.
  • In an embodiment, the handle is disposed at a center of gravity of the apparatus when the apparatus is filled with an item.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises at least one pocket disposed on the outer covering for holding one or more items.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises at least one clip disposed near the top opening of the outer covering; and a mating clip disposed below the at least one clip, wherein the at least one clip mates with the mating clip disposed below the at least one clip wherein mating of the at least one clip with the mating clip collapses the outer covering forming a smaller space within the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the lid slopes downwardly when the lid is sealed to the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a reinforcing material attached to the outer covering and disposed near the bottom of the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a quantity of charcoal briquettes disposed in the space within the outer covering.
  • In an alternate embodiment of the present invention, a method of using an apparatus holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes is provided. The method comprises the steps of providing an apparatus comprising an outer covering made from a flexible watertight material, wherein the outer covering forms a space for holding an item and further wherein the outer covering includes a bottom, a top and a plurality of sides; an opening at the top of the outer covering; and a lid hingedly attached to the outer covering and closing over the opening at the top of the outer covering, the lid having a sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering; providing a quantity of charcoal briquettes within the space formed by the outer covering; unsealing the lid from the outer covering; and dispensing a quantity of charcoal briquettes from the apparatus.
  • In an embodiment, the method further comprises providing a handle on the outer covering; and dispensing the quantity of charcoal briquettes from the apparatus by grasping the handle and tipping the apparatus.
  • In an embodiment, the handle is disposed about at a center of gravity on the outer covering when the apparatus is filled with charcoal briquettes.
  • In an embodiment, the method further comprises the steps of sealing the lid to the outer covering when the dispensing of the charcoal briquettes is completed.
  • In an embodiment, the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange around the edge of the lid wherein the sealing mechanism is attached to the downwardly disposed flange for sealing with the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the sealing mechanism is a watertight zipper.
  • In an embodiment, the apparatus further comprises a zipper disposed on the edge of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
  • In an embodiment, the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange and further wherein the apparatus further comprises a zipper disposed on an end of the downwardly disposed flange of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
  • It is, therefore, an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methods of using the same that provide a dry, watertight and weatherproof storage location for storing and holding charcoal briquettes.
  • Moreover, it is an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methods of using the same that provide a storage location for a quantity of charcoal briquettes that maintains control over charcoal dust that may be generated from the charcoal briquettes and keeps the charcoal dust from discoloring clothing, skin, interiors of automobiles, and other like objects and locations.
  • Further, it is an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methods of using the same for holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes that may be easily transported from one location to another, and further provides an easy and efficient means for carrying a heavy load of charcoal briquettes.
  • Still further, it is an advantage of the present invention to provide an apparatus and methods of using the same for holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes while also providing a storage location for other items required for the ignition of the charcoal briquettes, such as matches, lighters, and/or other fire or heat generating instruments, lighter fluid, and other like items necessary for the use of the charcoal briquettes.
  • Additional features and advantages of the present invention are described in, and will be apparent from, the detailed description of the presently preferred embodiments and from the drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • The drawing figures depict one or more implementations in accord with the present concepts, by way of example only, not by way of limitations. In the figures, like reference numerals refer to the same or similar elements.
  • FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes in an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes in an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a sectional view along the lines III-III in an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus holding charcoal briquettes in an embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes in an alternate embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 6 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes wherein the apparatus is collapsed in an alternate embodiment of the present invention.
  • FIG. 7 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes having a top flap configuration.
  • FIG. 8 illustrates a close-up perspective of the apparatus for holding charcoal briquettes having the top flap configuration.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENTLY PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • The present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes. More specifically, the present invention relates to an apparatus for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes that is useful for maintaining charcoal contained therein dry and for easily dispensing the same upon use. Methods of making and using the same are provided.
  • The apparatus of the present invention may be considered at least water-resistant, in that the apparatus at least resists the penetration of water to maintain the charcoal and other items contained therein dry. In a preferred embodiment, the apparatus of the present invention is waterproof, meaning that the apparatus is constructed to be impervious to water. For purposes of the present invention, the term “water-resistant,” as used herein, shall mean resistant to the penetration of water including being impervious to water.
  • Referring now to the figures, wherein like numerals refer to like parts, FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus 10 in accordance with the present invention. Specifically, the apparatus 10 comprises an outer covering 12 that preferably forms a three-dimensional shape to create a space to contain charcoal briquettes therein. The apparatus 10 may be a cube, a cylinder having a circular or oval cross-section, or may be cube or rectangular in shape. Preferably, the apparatus 10 has a three dimensional rectangular or cube shape.
  • Ideally, the outer covering 12 may be useful for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes and may be made from a durable, waterproof canvas, vinyl, nylon/polyester, plastic/PVC, polyurethane/polyethylene or similar material. Moreover, the outer covering 12 may measure approximately seventeen inches (17″) to approximately twenty inches (20″) in height, twelve inches (12″) to approximately fifteen inches (15″) in width and approximately nine inches (9″) to approximately twelve inches (12″) in depth, and ideally is sized and shaped to hold an 18-20 pound bag of charcoal briquettes. It should be noted, however, that the apparatus 10 of the present invention may be any size useful for holding a bag of charcoal briquettes, and the size should not be limited as herein specified. For example, the apparatus 10, as described herein, may be appropriately sized so as to hold a 9-10 bag of charcoal. Preferably, the outer covering 12 is made from a flexible yet durable water-resistant material.
  • On an inside surface of the outer covering may be a liner material (not shown) that adds in providing water-resistance to the apparatus, and to maintain the products, such as the barbecue briquettes, in proper condition. The liner material may be disposed over the entirety of the inside surface of the outer covering, or may be located in discrete locations.
  • Disposed on the outer covering 12 may be a plurality of pockets 14, 16 and 18 for holding various items useful for lighting and/or maintaining lit charcoal briquettes when utilized for cooking food. Specifically, the pockets 14, 16 and 18 may be utilized to hold matches, lighters and/or other fire or heat generating instruments. Moreover, the pockets 14, 16 and 18 may contain a bottle of lighter fluid and/or other combustible material apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art. The pockets may be water-resistant to protect the contents thereof. Specifically, the pockets may contain water-resistant zippers, hook and loop fasteners with fold-over covering (commonly referred to as VELCRO® from Velcro USA, Inc.), or may be closed by any means apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art. Alternatively, the pockets may be made from a mesh material. For example, pocket 18 is shown as a mesh material, which may be useful for carrying and easily retrieving items, such as a bottle of lighter fluid.
  • A lid 20 may be disposed on a top of the outer covering 12. The lid 20 may be hinged on a back side of the outer covering 12 or otherwise integrally formed with the outer covering 12. The lid may also be water-resistant, and may further have a water-resistant zipper 22 that may be disposed around the lid 20 for closing the lid 20 around a top opening of the apparatus. The lid 20 may preferably be made from a water-resistant material, such as water-resistant canvas, vinyl, nylon/polyester, plastic/PVC, polyurethane/polyethylene or similar material. The lid 20 may be flat and when zipped provides a level top for the outer covering 12. In a preferred embodiment, however, the lid 20 may be disposed at a downwardly sloping angle (as illustrated in FIGS. 2 and 3) when zipped to the outer covering 12. The downwardly sloping angle allows moisture, such as rain, snow or other moisture, to fall off the lid due to gravity and not stay thereon. Preferably, the zipper 22 is disposed on a bottom of a downwardly disposed flange 24 that rings the perimeter of the lid 20 to dispose the zipper beneath the lid and maintain water-resistance. More preferably, the zipper 22 may be a self-mending zipper closure with RF-welded seams thereby ensuring water-resistant protection of the contents of the apparatus 10, such as a bag of charcoal briquettes that may be stored therein.
  • On an inside surface of the lid may be a pocket 23 (as illustrated in cross-section in FIG. 3) for holding items necessary for having a barbecue. For example, the pocket 23 may hold matches, a lighter, tissues, wipes, or any other item useful for having a barbecue. The pocket may have a main section 25 and a top 27. The main section 25 and the top 27 may be sealable using a conventional sealing mechanism, such as a zipper, hook and loop fasteners (such as VELCRO®), buttons, or any other sealing mechanism apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art. The pocket 23 may be water-resistant to preserve the items located therein.
  • An adjustable strap 26 may be provided on a top of the outer covering 12 for holding and/or carrying the apparatus 10. The strap 26 may be made from a durable and flexible material, such as canvas, vinyl, nylon, or other similar materials. Moreover, a shoulder pad (not shown) may be provided on the strap 26 for ease of carrying the apparatus 10 on a shoulder by a user thereof. Preferably, the strap 26 may be disposed and adhered down one or both sides of the apparatus 10 to provide additional strength and durability to the strap 26 to allow the strap 26 to be used to pick up the apparatus 10, especially when full of charcoal, and not tear away from the apparatus 10.
  • A rigid frame 28 may be disposed on a bottom of the outer covering 12 and may be integrally formed with the outer covering 12 to provide a reinforcement around the bottom of the outer covering 12 to help hold the contents of the apparatus 10, and to aid in holding the bag in an upright position when unattended. Alternatively, a plurality of stoppers or legs may be provided for holding the apparatus 10 in an upright position or otherwise off the ground to remove the apparatus 10 from standing water, dirt, mud or other like materials. In addition, one or more wheels (not shown) may be disposed on a bottom of the apparatus 10, or in any other location, to aid in moving the apparatus 10 by rolling the same.
  • FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of the apparatus 10 in an embodiment of the present invention. As shown, the apparatus 10 may have the outer covering 12 and the lid 20 disposed on a top thereof. As illustrated, the lid 20 may be disposed downwardly sloped so as to keep moisture, such as rain, snow or other moisture from standing thereon. Further, the apparatus 10 includes the pockets 14, 16, the adjustable strap 26 and the frame 28.
  • Further, disposed on a side of the apparatus 10 is a handle 30 that may be attached to the outer covering 12. The handle may allow the holding of the apparatus 10 when being utilized to dispense charcoal briquettes that may be held therein. Specifically, a user may grasp the handle 30, open the lid 20 of the apparatus 10, and tip the apparatus 10 to dispense charcoal briquettes from the apparatus 10. The handle 30 may be located on any side of the outer covering 12 to aid a user in grasping and holding the apparatus 10. Specifically, the handle 30 may be attached to the outer covering 12 in a location that is at the center of gravity of the apparatus 10 when the apparatus is filled with contents, such as a bag of charcoal briquettes. Although illustrated on a backside of the apparatus 10, the handle may be disposed in any location to aid in picking up the apparatus and dispensing charcoal therefrom.
  • FIG. 3 illustrates a cross-sectional view of the apparatus 10, as shown in FIG. 2, along line III-III. As illustrated, the apparatus 10 includes the outer covering 12 and the lid 20. As shown, the lid 20 includes the downwardly disposed flange 24 aiding in keeping the elements away from the zipper 22. Further, the frame 28 is shown on a bottom of the apparatus 10.
  • Disposed on an inside of the outer covering 12 may be a reinforcing material 32 that may be utilized to strengthen the bottom portion of the apparatus 10 to aid in holding and storing a quantity of charcoal briquettes therein. The reinforcing material 32 may be the same or different material than the outer covering 12. For example, the reinforcing material 32 may be made from canvas, vinyl, nylon/polyester, plastic/PVC, polyurethane/polyethylene or similar material. Alternatively, the reinforcing material may be a different material than the outer covering 12, such as alligator skin, rubberized material, or other like material for added durability. In addition, while FIG. 3 shows the reinforcing material on the inside of the outer covering 12, the reinforcing material may be disposed on the outside of the outer covering 12, in an alternate embodiment.
  • FIG. 4 illustrates a perspective view of the apparatus 10 having the lid 20 opened and a bag of charcoal briquettes 34 contained therein. As illustrated, the apparatus 10 provides a storage container for the bag of charcoal briquettes 34 and allows the charcoal briquettes 34 to stay dry and usable. Alternatively, a bag of charcoal may be emptied into the apparatus 10, such that the apparatus 10 holds only the charcoal briquettes 34. This may aid a user in dispensing the charcoal briquettes from the apparatus 10.
  • To use the apparatus 10, the bag of charcoal briquettes 34 may be opened across the top, and the apparatus 10 may be held by a user and tipped to allow the charcoal briquettes in the bag of charcoal briquettes 34 to be dispensed therefrom. For example, a user may grasp the apparatus 10 by the handle 30 (as illustrated in FIG. 2) to tip the apparatus 10 to dispense the charcoal briquettes therefrom.
  • FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an apparatus 100 in an alternate embodiment of the present invention. The apparatus 100 may be mostly identical to the apparatus 10, as described above, except that the apparatus 100 may include male clips 102, 104 and female receptacles 106, 108 for the male clips 102, 104, respectively. As the bag of charcoal briquettes that may be contained within the apparatus 100 is depleted, the clips allow the apparatus 100 to collapse thereby becoming shorter. This aids in dispensing the briquettes from the depleted bag within the apparatus 100. FIG. 6 illustrates a collapsed apparatus 100. Specifically, the male clip 102 may be disposed within the female receptacle 106, and the male clip 104 may be disposed within the female receptacle 108, thereby holding the apparatus 100 in a shorter configuration. Because the apparatus 100 may be made from flexible material, the apparatus 100 may simply fold at a location between the male clips 102, 104 and the female receptacles 104, 108. When the male clips 102, 104 are disposed within the female receptacles 106, 108, the apparatus 100 may be collapsed and, hence, shorter, allowing a depleted bag of charcoal briquettes to be more easily dispensed therefrom. Of course, more or less clips than are shown on the apparatus 100 may be included as apparent to one having ordinary skill in the art for aiding in collapsing the apparatus 100.
  • FIGS. 7-8 illustrate an alternate embodiment of the present invention of an apparatus 150, mostly as described above with respect to FIGS. 1-6. However, the apparatus 150 includes a flap 152 disposed in a lid 154 of the apparatus 150. The flap 152 may be hingedly connected to the lid 154 so that, when opened, the flap 152 may move away from the lid 154 and provide an opening 156 in the lid 154, as illustrated in FIG. 8. The flap 152 may be held to the lid using conventional fasteners, such as one or more zippers, hook and loop fasteners (such as VELCRO®), buttons, or any other conventional fastening means. The flap 152 preferably forms a water-resistant seal with the lid 154 when disposed thereon and closed over the opening 156.
  • As shown in FIG. 8, when the flap 152 is removed from the lid 154, it may be removably connected to the lid 154 in another location to keep the flap 152 away from the opening 156 in the lid 154. For example, as illustrated in FIG. 8, the flap 152 may be rolled backwards and removably connected to the lid 154 using hook and loop fasteners, such as VELCRO®. Specifically, a strip of loop fasteners 158 may be disposed on the lid 154. A strip of hook fasteners 160 may be disposed on the flap 152. When rolled back away from the opening 156, the strip of hook fasteners 160 may be removably attached to the strip of loop fasteners 158 to hold the flap 152 in place and so as not to interfere with the dispensing of charcoal briquettes 164 from the apparatus 150.
  • The charcoal briquettes 164 within the apparatus 150 may be contained within a separate paper bag, as typically purchased from a store, or may be disposed freely within the apparatus 150, as illustrated in FIG. 8. If disposed within a paper bag, the top of the paper bag should be removed, opened or otherwise made unobtrusive so that charcoal briquettes 164 may be poured from the apparatus 150 freely. Therefore, a user of the apparatus 150 may dispense charcoal briquettes 162 without fully opening the lid 154 of the apparatus 150. A handle 162 is provided to aid in the dispensing of charcoal briquettes from the apparatus 150 when the flap 152 is opened on the lid 154. The handle 162 may be rigid or flexible, and may merely be a strap located to aid in picking up, tipping and dumping charcoal briquettes from the apparatus 150.
  • Other embodiments of the present invention may relate to how the opening of the apparatus allows charcoal briquettes to be added and/or removed from the apparatus, and how the apparatus may be closed and/or sealed to maintain the charcoal briquettes therein dry and useable. Specifically, in an embodiment of the present invention, the apparatus may include an opening at a top of the apparatus, wherein the opening is disposed horizontally across the top of the apparatus. The opening further includes two adjacent elements, each having a wire frame disposed therein, each element disposed on opposite sides of the opening. The opening may be closed and sealed by drawing the two elements together and sealing the two elements together, such as via a zipper, hook-and-loop fastener, such as VELCRO®, or other like closing and sealing mechanism. When unsealed (such as being unzipped), the two adjacent elements of the opening may be pulled away from each other, and the wire frame disposed in the two elements of the opening may allow the opening to be held open thereby easily allowing the charcoal to be added and/or removed from the apparatus.
  • In another embodiment, the apparatus may also include an opening on the top of the apparatus, disposed horizontally at the top of a neck portion. The opening may include opposite sides that may open and close to gain access to the interior of the apparatus to add charcoal thereto or remove charcoal therefrom. When closed, the opposite sides of the opening may be disposed adjacent each other, and folded downwardly together. A bendable strap or other mechanism may be provided on the neck portion for holding the opening, now closed, in a folded configuration, thereby keeping the charcoal contained within the apparatus dry and useable.
  • It should be noted that various changes and modifications to the presently preferred embodiments described herein will be apparent to those skilled in the art. Such changes and modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the present invention and without diminishing its attendant advantages.

Claims (20)

I claim:
1. An apparatus for storing charcoal briquettes comprising:
an outer covering made from a flexible watertight material, wherein the outer covering forms a space for holding an item and further wherein the outer covering includes a bottom and a top and a plurality of sides;
an opening at the top of the outer covering; and
a lid hingedly attached to the outer covering and closing over the opening at the top of the outer covering, the lid having a sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
2. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange around the edge of the lid wherein the sealing mechanism is attached to the downwardly disposed flange for sealing with the outer covering.
3. The apparatus of claim 2 wherein the sealing mechanism attached to the downwardly disposed flange is a watertight zipper.
4. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the sealing mechanism is a watertight zipper.
5. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a zipper disposed on the edge of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
6. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising a handle disposed on the outer covering for holding the apparatus.
7. The apparatus of claim 6 wherein the handle is disposed at a center of gravity of the apparatus when the apparatus is filled with an item.
8. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one pocket disposed on the outer covering for holding one or more items.
9. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising:
at least one clip disposed near the top opening of the outer covering; and
a mating clip disposed below the at least one clip,
wherein the at least one clip mates with the mating clip disposed below the at least one clip wherein mating of the at least one clip with the mating clip collapses the outer covering forming a smaller space within the outer covering.
10. The apparatus of claim 1 wherein the lid slopes downwardly when the lid is sealed to the outer covering.
11. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising:
a reinforcing material attached to the outer covering and disposed near the bottom of the outer covering.
12. The apparatus of claim 1 further comprising:
a quantity of charcoal briquettes disposed in the space within the outer covering.
13. A method of using an apparatus holding a quantity of charcoal briquettes comprising the steps of:
providing an apparatus comprising an outer covering made from a flexible watertight material, wherein the outer covering forms a space for holding an item and further wherein the outer covering includes a bottom, a top and a plurality of sides; an opening at the top of the outer covering; and a lid hingedly attached to the outer covering and closing over the opening at the top of the outer covering, the lid having a sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering;
providing a quantity of charcoal briquettes within the space formed by the outer covering;
unsealing the lid from the outer covering; and
dispensing a quantity of charcoal briquettes from the apparatus.
14. The method of claim 13 further comprising:
providing a handle on the outer covering; and
dispensing the quantity of charcoal briquettes from the apparatus by grasping the handle and tipping the apparatus.
15. The method of claim 14 wherein the handle is disposed about at a center of gravity on the outer covering when the apparatus is filled with charcoal briquettes.
16. The method of claim 13 further comprising the steps of:
sealing the lid to the outer covering when the dispensing of the charcoal briquettes is completed.
17. The method of claim 13 wherein the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange around the edge of the lid wherein the sealing mechanism is attached to the downwardly disposed flange for sealing with the outer covering.
18. The method of claim 13 wherein the sealing mechanism is a watertight zipper.
19. The method of claim 13 wherein the apparatus further comprises a zipper disposed on the edge of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
20. The method of claim 19 wherein the lid includes a downwardly disposed flange and further wherein the apparatus further comprises a zipper disposed on an end of the downwardly disposed flange of the lid and around the opening at the top of the outer covering wherein the zipper forms the sealing mechanism for sealing the lid over the opening at the top of the outer covering.
US12/870,981 2009-09-01 2010-08-30 Apparatus for Holding, Storing and Protecting Charcoal Briquettes and Methods of Using the Same Abandoned US20110049138A1 (en)

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US20150016753A1 (en) * 2013-07-08 2015-01-15 Esther Khawaja Batarseh Resealable Storage Bag
CN105455399A (en) * 2015-11-20 2016-04-06 桂林融通科技有限公司 Preparation method of bamboo charcoal barbecue bag

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