Saturday, June 9, 2012

Rumford Roasters and Reip Ovens

Not all metal ovens are Rumford Roasters.  Count Rumford (Benjamin Thompson, 1753 - 1814) and his Roasters, pictured left, are certainly the most well known, but other iron and tin ovens inserted into the side of the hearth were used in Europe and the United States such as the Reip Oven and Roaster of Maryland, patented in 1825. 

Brick bake ovens are heated by burning wood for several hours, removing all the burned wood coals, then just using the heat from the bricks to bake the food.  The heat decreases since the burning wood is gone.  The oven, pictured below, takes me about 2 1/2 hours to get up to baking temperature.

Rumford and Reip ovens both have a firebox directly under the oven where charcoal or mined coal were burned.  The ashes fell into the second, lower box.  Thus the heat could be maintained after the food was put on the shelves in the oven to bake.
Among the variety of metal ovens found in Maryland are Reip's Bake Ovens. Henry Reip of Baltimore obtained a patent for a Bake Oven and Roaster in 1825. He and his sons manufactured and sold the ovens for about forty years.  The oval oven, above, was made by Alfred Reip.

The Rumford Roaster pictured (first one; round) was made by Elijah Fuller (1778-1852).  His shop was at 23 Neptune St, Salem, MA from at least 1803 until he died in 1852.

If you know of any type of iron oven [or stew stove, set kettle, boiler, oven...] please contact me at

And if you must remove a Reip oven from the wall, please email me for instructions.

Posts on Reip ovens HERE

Article on Hampton NHS Reip oven, stew stove, and outbuildings for Oxford Food Symposium HERE

Rumford Roaster posts HERE

Octagon cast iron oven HERE

©2012 Patricia Bixler Reber

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