I am looking for more documentation showing cast iron (and similar) cook ware for Landsknecht era camping.  Does anyone have some good sources to share?

Views: 1256

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

By 'similar' do you mean any metal ware cookware or only iron cookware? There were lots of different cast metals in the period, both for cookware and other purposes.
My focus right now is cast iron such as cauldrons and other cookware.

The one here might be cast iron. Any archeological digs would be nice.
You know, that is a BIG bunny.

This one not only shows what might be a cast iron cauldron on the left but what is more likely a cast iron waffle maker on the ground.

I don’t know how common iron casting was. I know that there were a lot of pottery ‘cauldrons’ and pipkins found (but who knows if that is because they were more common, or if they were more disposable because they were easy to break and so more are left in the archeological record?). IIRC, they cast quite a lot of pots and pans out of non-iron materials.

Source for items cast from Mary Rose finds: http://www.historiccastings.co.uk/

It has been quite some time since I read this article, but perhaps it will be of use to you (see attached).

It is just hard to be sure that all of these cauldrons are iron rather than bronze or even pottery.
I've never seen any real evidence of cast iron being used in period for cookware. From what I've gathered, we didn't develop the required blast furnaces in the west until the 16th century although they mastered iron casting in the east earlier.

There's a few cast iron mace heads out there, mostly from Poland. It's a brittle material really and that craft didn't seem to take hold in the west until the Victorian area.

There's no reason to believe any of the vessels in the woodcuts are not formed and soldiered tin, copper, bronze, or iron. If we found one that appeared to be cast (due to the construction) it's more likely to have been a cast copper alloy.

While I agree that these cauldrons could be other alloys or ceramics, and I have begun collecting clay pipkins to experiment with, I really do not want to give up all of my old cast iron without a fight.


Fully developed cast iron cookware seems to have magically appeared after 1600 in the New World and I would like to find a 16th century German find like:

If an American farmer finds a piece of 19th century cast iron it is a treasure if a European farmer finds an intact 10th century cauldron it is just something that could have nicked his plow. This difference in attitude and war time recycling makes it hard to be sure how much iron was or was not used. It certainly has desirable cooking qualities over other materials.

While we are here, does anyone know of any health issues cooking in copper, tinned, or bronze cookware? I keep hearing irregular things about copper.... The lack of iron tripods and crossbars in Landsknecht camp pictures has always seemed a little odd to me. Obviously I also do 18th century reenacting.
Naw, don't chuck away your cast iron. It's just a difference in construction and it's very hard to find wrought iron anything these days. I'm guilty of using too much metal in camp as well.

You could make a wood tripod and maybe add a long handled frying pan to your kit.

Copper (including brass and bronze alloys) react to acid. They're fine for water though. If the piece is tinned it's safe for under 400F.
I've only seen metal cauldrons and tripod pots (dreifuß) in bronze so far. But the hunt has only just started! (But have seen pottery pipkins).

The cookbook I'm translating calls out occasionally for messine pfanne, whichon the surface translates as brass pan, which has me a bit curious. The author also calls out for glazed pottery pots for some applications, and mentions that some pottery pots retain flavor from previous use.
In my pottery collection I have both glazes and unglazed items - all of which were copies of extant originals made by Barbara at Moonstone Pottery. They do have different uses, and I can understand why they were created this way in the period now that I have had to use them at a number of events.

Then again, I still use my own cast iron pots as well. ;)
I just might know someone who I can barter some wrought iron cookware out of...

I wish that I had paid more attention to the Roman reenactors when they were tinning their armour now. Take away my high acids and there goes most of my favorite modern and camp recipes. I lived in NC too long so vinegar goes in about everything.

What little pottery that I have so far (that shipping to Juneau thing) is glazed inside but I'll watch out for what I cook in what order. That is one of the advantages of cast iron is being able to "clean" it in the fire. What would they need to specifically use the brass skillet for?

I might be able to have one of these metal firestands made too sometime. Probably a bit over the top for our small local group right now.
My friend (Master) Grendal at Redtroll forge will make historical pans to order.



  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2019   Created by Jonas Samuelsson.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service