[Spit-Project] Some conclusions about open fire cooking

Anna Sera larougemonte at yahoo.com
Tue Aug 14 17:42:34 PDT 2007

  My name is Anna Serre. My husband is the blacksmith who makes the portable firepits. I've never tried spinning before but I have cooked several things on my firepit. It still takes a long time to cook on the spits. I once cooked a pork roast on the spit in rainy, windy March weather (in California but still) and I ended up having to make a temporary heat shield with a cookie sheet. I would think for ease and speed, something similar to a cast iron dutch oven is better. 
  Anna Serre

Michael Gunter <countgunthar at hotmail.com> wrote:
  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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