Seabee MS learning how to maintain the M2 burner unit

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Rapid Deployment Kitchen
Technology Demonstrator for Thermal Fluid Heat Transfer

Unlike most field kitchens that use small multipurpose burners in each appliance, the RDK uses a single large burner to heat a thermal fluid that is circulated to the appliances. This concept has proven to be very efficient and responds quickly with more heat than conventional burners. With thermal fluid heat transfer, cooks can prepare more food faster, and with greater safety and comfort than current burner systems.

Key Features

  • Burner: Residential oil burner that will burn no.2 heating oil, any diesel fuel, and JP8

  • Fluid: Food grade mineral oil heated to 450F and circulated at a low 15 psi pressure

  • Appliances: Convection oven, warming oven, griddle, 2-20 gallon kettles, water heater

Significant Advantages

  • High fuel efficiency (75% vs. 25%)

  • High heat input (up to 200,000 BTU/hour vs. 15,000 BTU/hour)

  • Garrison-like appliances with timers and thermostats

  • Low noise (80dB)

  • Safely vented combustion products

  • Low maintenance and high reliability


This technology was successfully demonstrated in FY97 and transitioned to a large Marine Corps containerized kitchen.

The Marine Corps containerized RDK will be tested during FY99. The smaller HMMWV-towable RDK is currently being improved with a cogenerator, and is called the Central Heat Unit Cogeneration Kitchen or CHUCK wagon. The CHUCK wagon will be demonstrated during 4Q99 and transitioned to Advanced Development as a possible replacement for the Army’s aging Mobile Kitchen Trailer.

Reprinted from the Army's Field Feeding Equipment Research and Development page.

November 1999

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