[Sca-cooks] Cast Iron Cookware was Bronze Cookware

Saint Phlip phlip at 99main.com
Sat Aug 28 16:17:00 PDT 2010

The problem with cast iron as a material is that for many years, it
was considered junk left over from smelting iron. Cast iron has a
great deal of carbon in it (1% and up), compared to iron or even high
carbon steel (which Medieval folks DID know about, although they were
unable to produce it in any quantity through most of the MA because of
their smelting methods- and HC steel still has less than 1% carbon),
and isn't ductile like iron, but instead is very breakable in
comparison. Since in period, iron was considered very valuable for
weapons and armor, it took a while for a use for cast iron to be
found. Once they did, it took a while for this "junk" stuff to spread
out, particularly keeping in mind that iron in the MA was nowhere near
as common a product as it is today.

On Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 5:40 PM,  <wheezul at canby.com> wrote:
>> They may do bronze ware but they do so with this warning
>> Only use cast-iron if you're going to consume the food you make; if
>> you're demonstrating then Bronze is fine.
>> Johnna
> Hi Johnna,
> I'm glad you brought up cast iron because I was on the verge of asking a
> question about it anyway!  I've been trying to get my hands on anything to
> do with kitchen equipment in Germany in the 16th century.  I've had some
> success, but most of my on-line references are saying that cast iron is
> just not period to the 16th century in Europe or quite rare.  I've been
> looking over period German inventories, and while iron pots/pans are
> listed, it doesn't specify anything further than their material of
> manufacture.  Most kitchens had a majority of copper pans from my still
> nascent survey.
> Because I was interested in the period English equivalent names, I checked
> out "Iron and Brass Implements of the English and American House", by J.
> Seymour Lindsay.  The first edition was published in 1927, so it makes
> this old scholarship, but it seems to clearly indicate that cast iron
> cauldrons are at least datable to the 15th century:
> "A small fifteenth-century bronze water vessel showing Flemish influence
> (Fig. 116) is suspended by an iron handle, the liquid being drawn off
> through either of the two spouts.  Cast-iron cauldrons of this and the
> following century (Frg. 113 to 115) are similar in form to the bronze
> vessels.  As the cast-iron industry expanded they were made in large
> quantities for farmhouses and cottage use, and continued to be an
> indispensable utensil in all kitchens with down-hearths and open grates."
>  The line drawings of figures 113-115 indicate that these examples are in
> the National Museum of Antiquities, Edinburgh.
> Might anyone here have a more modern take on the subject?  Thank you all
> for being such a go-to kind of group!
> Katherine
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Saint Phlip

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Heat it up
Hit it hard
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It's the smith who makes the tools, not the tools which make the smith.

.I never wanted to see anybody die, but there are a few obituary
notices I have read with pleasure. -Clarence Darrow

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