[Spit-Project] Some further conclusions about open fire cooking

Michael Gunter countgunthar at hotmail.com
Thu Aug 23 10:00:49 PDT 2007

>I looked through a book I purchased from Poison Pen Press on early
>American open-hearth cooking.

I REALLY need to go to their website. I was going to purchase some
books at Pennsic and then the rain closed everything down.

>   The book is: "The Open-Hearth Cookbook; Recapturing the Flavor of Early 
>America," by Suzanne Goldenson, with Doris Simpson.  ISBN: 0-911469-26-5.  
>Published in 1982 by Alan C. Hood & Co., Inc., Chambersburg, PA.

I'll have to look it up.

>   They recommend hanging the meat to be spun with regular kitchen twine 
>about 5" or so IN FRONT of the fire (not over it). They also recommend 
>turning the meat 90 degrees when it is about 1/2 to 3/4 done, to cook the 
>ends. They say it is important to have a drip pan under said meat (which I 
>usually do for most meats), and to baste the meat with the drippings from 
>time to time "...when you remember to do it."  A reflector is mentioned, 
>saying it will make the meat cook faster, but is not absolutely essential 
>to the cooking process, as a whole.

That's some things I've discovered as well. I also agree with hanging the
meat in front and not over the fire. I think that is part of the problem we
had with the meat at the potluck. It was between two fires and a forge
on a third.

The heat will be reflecting from the hearth and onto the meat, a reflector
is simply a metal shield on the other side so there would be more 
heat coming from two sides instead of one. I can certainly see how that 
help in hearth cooking.

>   The fire, as they they explained it, should be good enough to cook said
>meat with just two healthy armloads of wood (

Some interesting bits about laying a correct hot and slow fire. Nice.

>   Anyway, this book appears to be full of all sorts of good things... 
>is even a nice recipe section, with a couple spitted meats listed.

I'll have to look it up. There are also a couple of nice websites about
spinning techniques.

>   Meisterin Katarina Helene von Schönborn, OL


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