Friday, September 8, 2023

Working stew stoves in museums

Stew stoves (US), Stewing stoves (UK), Stew-hole stoves, Brick stove, Masonry stoves and Portagers are some of the modern terms. They are different shapes and height, and generally made from brick and clay. The following is a sampling of museums doing demos on their stew stoves.

Each old stew stove is delightfully different, but in general, a grate holds the charcoal, and allows the ash to fall through. The pot or pan must be raised off the surface to allow air flow and smoke to rise.
Kew Palace kitchen. Richmond UK. There was no cooking the day I went to check out the extremely rare octagonal cast iron wall oven (blog post HERE). Kew website HERE)
Hampton Court. Richmond upon Thames UK. Roasting andhearth or oven the day I was there. Kitchen on website HERE
Governor’s Palace, Williamsburg VA. Generally doing some cooking, don't remember if SS was in use in this picture. HERE
Monticello. Charlottesville, VA Excavating Monticello's First Kitchen and South Wing. Article, short tape 2017 HERE. Picture of SS from Monticello website
Jefferson's Poplar Forest. Lynchburg, VA. Extensive work has been done to bring this lovely octagon home back to Jefferson's original design. Stew stove added about 20 years ago (after my visit), and is used on occasion. Picture from HERE
Hermann-Grima Historic House. New Orleans LA HERE
Before Hurricane Katrina of 2005, I spent the day with their hearth cooks, using their stew stove. When I find the pictures I will add one here.

La Purísima Mission. Lompac CA. Fire in the fireboxes. HERE
Tyron Palace. New Bern, NC has a repo stew stove, but not sure if it is used for demonstrations. Picture and info HERE

Does anyone know of any other locations with working stew stoves?

Although I will go anywhere to check out and document original "flue-zies" (stew stoves, set kettles, steam kitchens, wall ovens - metal or brick, etc) in museums or private homes, I may be forgetting some working reproduction stew stoves for this post.


Cooking at Monticello live with Leni Sorensen. Monticello. Se 2020 TAPE HERE

Jefferson's cheeks and grates for his Monticello stew-holes. Blog post HERE

Stew stoves (or stewing stoves) in two Hamptons (Hampton Court UK and Hampton mansion in Maryland. blog post HERE

A Federal-era Kitchen: Hampton’s Stew Stove, Iron Oven, and Hearth my article in Food and Material Culture : proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery 2013 HERE. Hampton in Maryland

Stew Stove blog posts HERE

Sketch is a detail from The Duke of N[ewcast]le and his Cook. Satire by George Bickham the Elder in 1746 at The British Museum. Thomas Pelham-Holles, Duke of Newcastle (1693–1768) was Prime Minister (1757-1762) and his cook was Pierre Clouet. William Verral mentions Clouet and his recipes many times in his 1759 cookbook. HERE

Support museums by visiting to watch a demo or see an original stew stove.


Se 10 Sun 2 Salt Rising Bread: A Nearly Lost Appalachian Tradition. Jenny Bardwell. CHOW/DC Culinary Historians of Washington DC HERE

Se 11 Mon 10-11:30 Barley: more than just a crop? Panel. The Royal Society of Edinburgh HERE

Se 12 Tue 6:30 Food & Feasting in Medieval Times. Francine Segan. AARP not need to be member HERE

Se 13 Wed 6:30 Tour of Fishs Eddy’s Museum of American-made Restaurant-ware. Julie Gaines. The International Museum of Dinnerware Design. HERE TAPE may be HERE

Se 15 Fri 2 How to Eat a Regency Breakfast. Paul Couchman - The Regency Cook £20 HERE

Se 17 Sun 1-3 Historic Foodways Tour at Heritage Park Historical Village. Kesia Kvill. Culinary Historians of Canada. $11.64 HERE

Se 17 Sun 4-5:30 The Story of Jiffy Mix: An American Tradition in a Little Blue Box. by the family-owned Chelsea Milling Company in Chelsea, Michigan. Howdy S. Holmes, 4th generation CEO. Culinary Historians of Ann Arbor. HERE TAPE may be HERE or HERE

Se 19 Tue 7-8:30 Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Food. Sarah Lohman. Chelmsfords Public Library. HERE TAPE may be HERE

Se 20 Wed 6:30 A Virtual Tour of Top Ten Highlights in Barcelona, Spain. Francine Segan. AARP not need to be member HERE

Se 20 Wed 8 The Dane County Farmer’s Market Cookbook, Local Foods, Global Flavors. Terese Allen. Culinary Historians of Chicago HERE TAPE may be HERE or HERE

Se 21 Thu 7-8:30 Endangered Eating: America’s Vanishing Food. Sarah Lohman. Chelmsford Public Library HERE TAPE may be HERE

Se 26 Tue 12 Tasting History. “All recipes were discovered in the collections of the NY State Library and Archives and brought to fruition – including amazing meat sculptures, wartime “salads,” yummy desserts, and perhaps too much gelatin?” Elizabeth Jakubowski, Heather Carroll. NY State Library and NY State Archives HERE

Se 26 Tue 8 Hallmarks: Decoding England's Secret Language of Silver. Ben Miller. New York Adventure Club. $10 HERE


©2023 Patricia Bixler Reber
Researching Food History HOME

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