Thanksgiving is just a few days away, but if you’re handy, you can probably build this project in time to wow your friends. Turkey Tek was looking for a Thanksgiving serving device with the elegance of a champagne fountain, only more chic. He may also have been looking for a way to combine the words peristaltic and gravy in the same sentence. Either way he has ended up with a classy device that is both functional and artistic: A gravy fountain. His dog also likes it a lot.
A peristaltic pump, also known by the more descriptive but less impressive name roller pump, has a central rotor with rollers around the perimeter. The rollers press against a flexible tube, squishing it against the circular housing (squish is used here in its descriptive rather than technical sense). As the rotor rotates it forces the liquid through the tube. In addition to applications that transport food, this type of pump has also found use circulating blood while a person is undergoing open heart surgery, so it’s quite the useful device.
The pump is built into a cabinet that also contains a crock pot to keep the gravy warm, and a set of cascading bowls that catch the gravy. Turkey Tek also includes a tasty recipe for gravy. The quantities are probably a little larger than the gravy recipe you are used to: 15-20 pounds of chicken bones for stock, 2.5 pounds of butter, 2.5 pounds of flour, et cetera, et cetera. The extra volume is needed to make sure the
sump crock pot is kept full, and to allow for an artful amount of gravy to remain in the catchment cascading bowls.
Turkey Tek is into big food. For desert this year you may want to try a giant fractal pecan pie. He also built a (non food related) device that I featured some time ago in gadget freak, the interactive multi-touch display.
Design News Gadgeteer