Medieval Open Fires

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Bobfrance
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Medieval Open Fires

Postby Bobfrance » Mon Mar 15, 2010 11:20 pm

I am looking for authentic medieval fire implements which would be used in the field rather than in houses. What was available for example for holding cooking pots over fires or did they just use three legged cauldrons. I have seen tripods with chain and hooks to hold pots but doubt their authenticity. Similarly I have seen fire boxes with metal barbecue style roasting spit implements above

Any help appreciated



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gregory23b
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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby gregory23b » Tue Mar 16, 2010 4:54 pm

"in the field" is an odd one, mainly if someone was wealthy enough or an army was of the sort that had field kitchens, then there seems to be an array of kit, however for the humble soldier who has to be self sufficient, then a dearth of evidence. WOTR armies were not professional, the archers were recruited on commission for a daily wage that had to cover their food costs, the esquire or knight who has subcontracted them seems to only be obliged to pay them, he gets reimbursed later by the person initiating the commission, eg the king.

So, who are you portraying? King, lord or bog standard commissioned man?

Does the commissioned man:

a) need cooking kit?
b) if at all, how much?
c) does he expect to have to cook, or simply rely on local sources of food, bear in mind the nature of say WOTR campaigns and their longevity, or lack thereof.?

The fire trays and tripods are, in the main responses to limits on what can be done on historic sites, some groups try to hide their trays by having them raised on earth, then buried to minimise the site of the tray, others do not.


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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby John Waller » Wed Mar 17, 2010 11:46 am

Then there are the mobile ovens mounted on carts. I've seen a couple around on the UK scene and one at an event in Normandy. Not sure of their provenance but they look the business.


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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Mar 18, 2010 1:52 pm

I have seen a picture for that, I think that it was re-printed in Call To Arms 2 or 3 issues ago.


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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby wulfenganck » Fri Mar 19, 2010 7:20 pm

John Waller wrote:Then there are the mobile ovens mounted on carts. I've seen a couple around on the UK scene and one at an event in Normandy. Not sure of their provenance but they look the business.

Something like this: http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server/images/7008536.JPG?
It's Folio 48v of Cod. 3044 from Swabia, Chronic by Ulrich von Richental, dating around 1465 - 1475; describing the great counsel(?) of Konstanz.
But of course Konstanz lasted for more than 3 years and temporarily made Konstanz to one of the bggest cities in Europe at the time.
Then again we have frequent mentioning of these mobile pie-bakerys (or is it pate, can't remember the word) in the 15th century.



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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Langley » Tue Mar 23, 2010 12:34 pm

In a fire pit rather than on a firestand, a sag bottomed caludron works best. it is actually easier to balance in the ash. Remember too that cast iron is post mediaeval and if you really want ot get it right it is big round earthenware you are looking for...



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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Sophia » Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:52 pm

Langley has the right of it - cooking in ceramics is quite doable and impresses the public immensely. You just need to be very patient and start early. Jim of Trinity Court Pottery makes a wide range of period cooking vessels and can advise on what is suitable for your needs.

Personally I have done some quite complicated things in ceramic cookware but this is helped by my willingness to pay for charcoal to use instead of firewood as it is easier to control.


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Bobfrance
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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Bobfrance » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:41 am

Many thanks for the help. I am looking at cauldrons there are bronze one available in the right shape dimensions with three legs. I am wondering if it is better to get a bronze or cast iron one

Have worries about verdegris which will poison if used for real cooking Has anyone any views please



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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Merlon. » Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:17 pm

See the previous thread on cauldrons here



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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Tuppence » Wed Apr 07, 2010 1:54 pm

cast iron and bronze are both secondary to beaten cauldrons, but they are very hard to find, and may be expensive.

bear in mind when looking at cooking kit, that the majority of sites these days no longer aloow pits to be dug, so you'll need stuff compatible with a raised firebox.


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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Langley » Fri Apr 09, 2010 6:17 pm

As for provenance of raised fireboxes - can't give you one from mediaeval period but there is one (plus a mobile oven) illustrated in the Bayeux Bishop Odo before it all kicked off. Maybe stretching it a bit to later mediaeval period but better an illustration from before than after I suppose...



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Re: Medieval Open Fires

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Mon May 03, 2010 8:44 pm

Bobfrance wrote:I am looking for authentic medieval fire implements which would be used in the field rather than in houses. What was available for example for holding cooking pots over fires or did they just use three legged cauldrons. I have seen tripods with chain and hooks to hold pots but doubt their authenticity. Similarly I have seen fire boxes with metal barbecue style roasting spit implements above


As to mobile ovens, there's a few late medieval German illustrations that show such things in use. The clearest example I can provide is http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server ... 008536.JPG (Konzil von Konstanz, ÖNB 3044, fol. 48v, c. 1465-1475) but I think there are more among the links at http://larsdatter.com/bakers.htm

I'd also suggest checking out the field-kitchens in the camp of Charles V at Lauingen in the year 1546 by Matthias Gerung, 1551 -
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server ... 016579.JPG
http://tarvos.imareal.oeaw.ac.at/server ... 016577.JPG

And also, there's several interesting illustrations in The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi, of which perhaps the most useful one for this conversation can be found at http://www.flickr.com/photos/bibliodyssey/3353827202/

Additional kitchen-related illustrations at http://larsdatter.com/cooks.htm too. :)




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