People have been cooking food for centuries on end, but how did we get from cooking on open fires to the fancy electric cookers of today?
The cooking fires first used in ancient history were built on the ground and later simple masonry construction was used to hold the food. Simple ovens were used by the ancient Greeks for making bread and other baked goods.
By the Middle Ages, taller brick and mortar hearths, often with chimneys, were used. The first written record of an oven being built is from 1490, in Alsace, France. This oven was made entirely of brick and tile, including the flue.
Improvements to Wood Burning Ovens
Inventors began making improvements to wood burning stoves primarily to contain the smoke that was being produced. Fire chambers were invented that contained the wood fire, and holes were built into the top of these chambers so that cooking pots with flat bottoms could be placed directly upon them, replacing the cauldron.
Around 1728, people started making cast iron ovens in large quantities. These first ovens, of German design, were called Five-plate or Jamb stoves.
Around 1800, Benjamin Thompson invented an iron kitchen stove called the Rumford stove that was designed for very large working kitchens. The Rumford had one fire source that could heat several cooking pots; the heating level for each pot could be regulated individually. However, the Rumford stove was too large for the average kitchen and inventors continued to improve their designs.
Cast iron stoves continued to evolve, with iron gratings added to the cooking holes as well as chimneys and connecting flue pipes.
British inventor James Sharp patented a gas oven in 1826, the first gas oven to appear on the market. Gas ovens were found in most households by the 1920s with top burners and interior ovens. The evolution of gas stoves was delayed until gas lines that could bring gas to households became common.
Electric ovens were available as early as the 1890s, but it was not until the late 1920s and early 1930s that they began to compete with gas ovens. At that time, the technology and distribution of the electricity needed to power these appliances still needed improvements.
Some historians credit Canadian Thomas Ahearn with inventing the first electric oven in 1882. Thomas Ahearn and his business partner Warren Y. Soper owned the Chaudiere Electric Light and Power Company of Ottawa. However, the Ahearn oven was only put into service in 1892.
The Carpenter Electric Heating Manufacturing Company invented an electric oven in 1891. An electric stove was exhibited at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. On June 30, 1896, William Hadaway was issued the first patent for an electric oven.
Bio: This blog was written by Britannia Living, a company who specialise in selling modern range cookers.