October 1, 2009

Colonial Cooking Hearths

Hearth cooking has sustained people for millennia and was prevalent in early America from the 1600s until popularity of the cookstove in the 1830s. This article discusses the American evolution of hearth cooking, colonial fireplaces and hearth utensils, plus explains some of the common historical errors people make in equipping their hearths. It also has a useful guide on who makes cooking-hearth equipment today and where it can be obtained.

Click here for the article.


Kmidas said...

Enjoyed the article, I respectfully differ on your photo caption for the photo of the Sheldon house from Deerfield. It is a common mistake to think that the chamber below the oven is a firebox. Having built a number of period reproduction fireplaces, and having baked in a period style bake oven for some time, the heat in the oven was from a fire built in the oven directly then removed using the ambiant heat to bake. The chamber below was a storage area for ashes which provided lye and were saved for soap making. respectfully, Kmidas, Laconia, NH

Gregory LeFever said...

Thank you for leaving your informative comment, Kmidas. You're right ~ most of the explanations I received from curators and the like were that the lower opening housed the fire itself. Your explanation also makes sense. I hope others read it as well.