Q: Is it really possible to cook with a light bulb?
Q: What kind of light bulb should be used?
A: A standard 100 watt incandescent bulb.
Q: *Exactly* what kind of light bulb should be used?
A: A19, clear, 100 watt. For the final bake-off, each oven will be issued an identical bulb.
Q: Can I compete as an individual? As a group?
A: Yes, both groups or individuals can compete. Group need only register once and pay one registration fee.
Q: How many people can be on each team?
A: As many as you like, but the standing capacity of Machine is 75 people
Q: How am I going to build an oven?
A: The details are up to you. The basic concept is a variant of the following: put lightbulb near food, food gets hot.
Q: How large/small should my oven be?
A: This is up to you, but in general we’re expecting ovens to be in the desktop range. (Please save your giant robo-warrior oven designs for outdoor Solar DorkBake.)
Q: Will we need to build the oven before the competition, or during?
A: You/your group must build your oven far enough in advance to bake an item with it before the competition. You must bring the oven and the pre-cooked item to the competition for the Elimination Round. You might make it to the finals, so you and your oven should be ready for the final bake-off.
Q: Will we be responsible for the purchase of all our own building materials?
A: Yes. The only items that will be provided are the standard list of ingredients, and a light bulb (A19, clear, 100 watt) on the day of the event.
Q: Will everyone get the same ingredients?
A: For your home-baked item — judged in the Elimination Round — you may use whatever ingredients you’d like, although using ingredients from the standard list would be good practice. For the final bake-off, everyone must use the same array of supplied ingredients A short list of surprise ingredients will also be revealed at the event.
Q: Can I request ingredients?
Yes. If you’d like to use something in the final bake off, let us know and we’ll try to add it. The standard pantry is now final. The only items not on the list are the five secret items, revealed on DorkBake Day.
Q: Will we be given recipes?
A: No. For your home-cooked item, you may cook anything your oven can handle. For the final bake-off, you are only limited by the available ingredients. Creative recipes are strongly encouraged.
Q: How will my oven be judged?
A: We will have a team of celebrity judges, who will use the following criterion to evaluate the winner: Presentation (look and style of the oven, the food item, the baking team), Engineering (how oven was made / how it works), and Culinary Excellence (flavor, appearance and uniqueness of cooked items). Finalists in the public bake-off will also be judged on Overall Zazz (spirit, poise, moxie, difficulty, sump’n-sump’n).
Q: Who are the judges?
A: Tom Jennings will represent engineering expertise. Mark Frauenfelder and Carla Sinclair (Editors of MAKE and CRAFT) will represent presentation expertise. Food expert TBA. All our judges are considered experts in zazz.
Q: What could I win?
A: The first place winner will have a picture of themselves and their winning oven in an upcoming print issue of MAKE. First through third place prizes include subscriptions to MAKE and CRAFT, a free class at Machine, various and sundry electronics kits, and donuts.
Q: Who is responsible for this idea?
A: Dorkbake originated in the fertile minds of the Superbunker thought tank. It is being presented by Machine Project, and co-sponsored by MAKE magazine.