[Sca-cooks] Dutch ovens vs Cast Iron was Cast Iron Cookwar/ Bronze Cookware

Saint Phlip phlip at 99main.com
Sat Aug 28 17:59:43 PDT 2010

Yeah, I'm a blacksmith too- was trying to keep it simple, because I
know what happens when I let my enthusiasm carry me away ;-)

Have you taken a good look at the Mastermyr find, and the cooking
stuff therein? Amazing what they did with what they had ;-)


On Sat, Aug 28, 2010 at 8:53 PM, H Westerlund-Davis <yaini0625 at yahoo.com> wrote:
> A few months back this topic came up. I wrote a response to it then and it
> should be in the archives. Besides cooking, fiberholics, and Saami culture my
> husband and I are blacksmiths and white-smiths. We have both period and modern
> equipment we "play with" in our yard.
> Briefly, the words cast iron and Dutch Oven are often interchanged and used for
> the same item which leads to some confusions. During the smelting process of
> iron, the iron alloy was "cast" into "pigs" (pig shaped ingots) for transport.
> Thus "pig iron." A pig could be melted and poured into a mold to cast an object.
> Thus "cast iron." A pig could be heated to white hot (not melted) and hammered
> or bent (thus wrought) into a shape. The Blacksmith would pour and hammer sheets
> of iron and rivet them together to form a wrought iron pot. Examples have been
> found from the Middle Ages.  Bronze bowls were cast, mostly sand cast. Google
> Umha Aois to watch a demo. Amazing!
> The Dutch Ovens, those cast iron pots with the legs that can be placed in the
> oven or over coals, are historically from the 16th Century and later (may want
> to check on the actually dates).
> In the U.S. bronze, pewter and iron should be lead free. But, it is only a
> recent development and any "item" should be tested if made before 1990. Europe
> laws vary and differ on lead and tin contents and I would be cautious about any
> item purchased if not stated otherwise.
> Bless Bless
> Aelina
> Duct Tape is like the Force: It has a light side & a dark side
> and it holds the universe together.
> ________________________________
> From: Saint Phlip <phlip at 99main.com>
> To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>
> Sent: Sat, August 28, 2010 4:17:00 PM
> Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Cast Iron Cookware was Bronze Cookware
> 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.
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Saint Phlip

So, you think your data is safe?

Heat it up
Hit it hard
Repent as necessary.


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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