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p-stoves-msg - 6/5/02


Period cooking stoves.


NOTE: See also the files: ovens-msg, camp-ovens-msg, utensils-msg, spits-msg, iron-pot-care-msg, blacksmithing-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



Date: Wed, 6 May 1998 15:14:57 -0400

From: mermayde at juno.com (Christine A Seelye-King)

Subject: SC - Stoves and ovens


So, what we need is the earliest documentation any of us can find for

!) pot au feu 2) cooking with stoves.  What do people have?


>Lady Allison


From"Old Cooking Utensils" by David J. Eveleigh, Shire Publications, UK


        "Boiling was the simplest and most widely practised method of

cooking.  Large boiling vessels, described variously as crocks,

cauldrons, kettles, boilers and furnaces constitute the most widely found

cooking utensils prior to 1800.  They were used at every social level but

amongst the poor especially were regularly employed to prepare an entire

meal.  Meat was placed in a pot of boiling water, followed later with

vegetables and a pudding which were wrapped in cloths and nets.  .....


...............Despite the variety of names, there were basically just

two types of boiling vessel; the *cauldron* and the *kettle*.  Both had a

long ancestry.  Metal cauldrons were first used in Britain about 1000 BC

during the late bronze age, and kettles originated in the Anglo-Saxon

*cytel*.  Cauldrons were round bellied and round bottomed, and by the

middle ages were being made with three legs which gave them stability and

enabled them to stand in the fire.  They were also provided with two

'ears' close to the rim by which they could be suspended over the hearth.

Cauldrons were always made of cast metal, unlike kettles which were made

from sheet metal, usually brass, hammered by hand to form a straighter

sided, open-top vessel.  ......


        Most cauldrons recorded in sixteenth and seventeenth century

inventories were cast in a metal commonly described by contemporaries as

"crock brass" or "bell metal".  This was an alloy of copper and tin,

similar to bronze, although usually containing quantities of lead and

zinc.  There are few inventories that list cauldrons made of iron, but

these were rare.  Although cast iron was cheap it was of poor quality

until... 1709...


     ...........Stewing required a gentle even heat and for this a

separate brick stove burning charcoal was often used in preference to the

main kitchen grate until the developement in the nineteenth century of

kitchen ranges enclosed on top with a hot plate.  ...


     ...........Originally ovens were associated exclusively with baking.

From the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries most substantial homes in

the countryside were built with a wall oven which generally consisted of

a circular domed cavity reached by a small rectangular opening; from

their shape they are sometimes described as 'beehive ovens'.  Faggots

were burned inside the oven to heat the masonry or brick lining, then the

embers were carefully spread around the floor to ensure it was heated

evenly before being raked out.            ...  In Cornwall, northern

England, Wales, Ireland and Scotland the three-legged cauldron was

inverted over the item to be baked and hot embers piled up around the

outside.  ...


Mistress Christianna MacGrain, OP, Meridies



Date: Tue, 5 Oct 1999 16:31:12 EDT

From: LrdRas at aol.com

Subject: Re: SC - Hauviette's Confits


macdairi at hotmail.com writes:

<< Was it Ras who said he had picture of one of these stoves? >>


IIRC, one of the pictures at Cindy Renfrow's site that are archived on the

lindah site shows a center room brickwork with what appear to be a series of

small fireboxes built into it around the walls of the base, overlaying this

is a flat surface with a pot or 2 sitting on it. If this is not a stove, I

would be greatly surprised. Certainly there is no need to conjecture a pot

with fire directly coming into contact with the pot itself if this is a stove

type construction. And once the surface was heated it would be a simple

matter to use the fireboxes to keep the surface variously hot depending on

the type of woods, etc., were maintained in the firebox and the frequency of

replacing fuel or damping the flames.





Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 17:52:26 +0200

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Gridirons (was Historic Liver recipes )


Vehling's Apicius also has pictures.  The portable craticula (combination

broiler and stove) from Pompeii is particularly interesting.


Jost Amman's The Book of Trades (reprinted by Dover) has some illustrations

too, as does Scappi.




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org