Cooking, the art of dressing or preparing food. It is effected by various methods, of which boil-ing is the most common, but also the most objectionable ; as it deprives flesh of its nutritious juice. A better mode of dressing animal food is roasting, by which its strength is less dissipated; because a crust is soon formed on its surface, that more effectually pre-serves the nutritive particles from evaporation. Hence, one pound of roasted meat is, in real nourishment, equal to double that quantity of boiled animal food.
Many substances, though naturally possessed of salubrious qualities, are rendered unwholesome, by the refinements of cookery. By compounding several incongruous ingredients, to produce a poignant sauce, or rich soup, the cook frequently forms compositions that are almost poisonous. Thus, high seasoning of every kind, pickles, and the like, merely stimulate the palate, and cannot fail to injure the stomach. Hence, the plainest dishes are uniformly the most conducive to health, while they are most easily digested. This self-evident proposition is acknowledged by every reflecting person, but gives the least satisfaction to the epicure,who consults his taste, before he appeals to his warped understanding.
Animal food is generally boiled in half-open vessels, instead of which, close utensils only ought to be employed for that purpose. We therefore preferably recommend the process called stewing; as it is not only the most wholesome mode of dressing meat, but at the same time well adapted to retain and concentrate the most substantial parts of animal food. The utility of preparing victuals after this method, having been generally acknowledged, various patents have been granted to persons for the invention of machinery, by which that object may be attained, at the smallest expence. Of these, we shall communicate the following ; for the better illustration of which we have subjoined Cuts.
A patent was granted, in December 1793, to Mr. Stanley Howard, of St. Paul's Churchyard, iron-monger, for his invention of a machine which he calls a Pneumatic Kitchen, for cooking provisions by steam; in such a •way, that no complex machinery is required for supplying the boiler with water, to replace the quantity dissipated by evaporation, nor any pump (the boiler being constantly supplied during the evaporation, without the aid of a cistern) ; which apparatus may be fixed at a small expence, without any alteration of the chimney; and, when once arranged, requires no repair. The steam-boiler, and cooking-vessels, being made in the usual way, the former is to be supplied with water by a fountain-reservoir, marked A, which is to be placed at a convenient distance from it, with its discharging tube, marked B, inserted in a cistern, or pipe, marked C; in which the surface of the water will, by means of the fountain, be preserved always at one height, pointed out by the letter D : and by a communication marked E, from the said cistern or pipe, with the steam-boiler, marked F, the water therein will, during the evaporat on, be preserved at a height corresponding with such cistern or pipe, and always at the same level, marked G. By means of the fountain above-mentioned, the necessity of cocks and pipes, or pumps, for supplying the boiler, is obviated ; and the supply rendered more immediate, more certain, and at the same time more simple, than by any method hitherto contrived. The fountain may be made of any materials, or in any form, suited to the purpose.
A patent was likewise granted, in December 1796, to Mr. James Tate; of Tottenham-court-road, iron-monger, for a portable cooking machine, for the use of officers in the army or navy, which is provided with lamps. The patentee directs a lamp to be made with any number of burners, or wicks, a cording to the size of the machine, and they should be placed in one or more straight lines. To one side of this lamp he fixes an oven, for the purpose of washing, or baking; one side of the former is applied to one of the latter, in an inclined direction, so as to come in con-tact with the flame of the wicks. On the other side of the lamp, he places another oven, which may be either with a straight side next the lamp, or may incline in the same direction as the former; but, if this latter oven incline from the flame, it will serve only to keep any fluid or solid substances in a hot state. The two sides of the ovens will form a flue, or chimney, and convey the remainder of the heat upwards to a vessel of any shape, which may be put over them, for the purpose of raising steam, either to turn a jack, or boil water for tea, etc.; and on the top of which, another steaming vessel may be placed. A frying, or boiling pan may also be occasionally substituted for that last mentioned. Any of these utensils can be used separately with, or over, the lamp ; and, if baking or roasting only be required, that purpose will be better flected, by having an oven so constructed as to receive the whole heat of the lamp, or lamps, which ought to be surrounded with a case, for con-fining the flame, with an open space at the bottom to admit the heat, and another at the top to give it vent.
Description of the different articles, as they are combined to form this machine, when made portable.
Fig. 1. R, is the lamp for the machine.
Fig. 2. is the lamp, in combination with the two ovens, and the boiler or vessel for raising steam, and boiling any substance in water. P, is the baking oven. Q, is the heating oven. R, the end of the lamp ; and S, is the vessel for boiling in, and raising steam for other purposes.
This machine, and its various component parts, may be constructed of any of the different metals, of which similar articles are usually made. And, though it is at present described only as operating with a lamp and oil, yet the patentee proposes to construct such as may be used with common fuel, as wood, coal, etc. upon dif-ferent scales or sizes.