[Spit-Project] Some conclusions about open fire cooking

Michael Gunter countgunthar at hotmail.com
Tue Aug 14 10:57:01 PDT 2007

Okay. I'm starting to get a handle on some of the
basics of open fire cookery. After doing a few meals
I've learned some things.

First off, "Spinning" techniques without a heat directing
hearth take a very long time and seem to be a bit
inefficient. If you don't have any form of spit or oven
and a lot of firewood it will do but it takes around 3 hours
for a chicken and a lot longer for a roast.
I haven't done spit cooking yet but I don't think it will
take as long. The coals and fire must be constantly
tended and watched. We also found that sometimes
the string burns through if not positioned just right.

Dutch Oven cooking, although not period, is definately
the way to go. It takes a third of the time, far less coal
and is almost "fire and forget".

Ceramic pottery cooking is wonderful as long as you are
careful. I highly recommend it.

I need more period cooking devices: trivets, spits, pottery,
etc....they knew what they were doing and so it is best
to copy what you can.

Heat directors are your friend. Even a simple windscreen
shows a marked improvement on cooking efficiency.

Meat cooked over coals tastes so much better than basic
roasted meats.

We finally got the wonderful portable hearth just before
we left for Pennsic but we haven't had the chance to put
it together yet.

I still want a Scappi setup.

Any cooking adventures anyone wants to talk about?


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