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View Exhibit

Steam Cooker

Display: Hearth to Cookstove
Culinary Technique: fuel conservation

Date: c. 1900

Dimensions: 23" h x 8" w x 8" d

Watch collection donor Mel Mickevic demonstrate this object with
Dean Christopher Koetke, School of Culinary Arts, Kendall College,
and Victoria Matranga, exhibition curator.

This four-pot steam cooker prepared several foods at the same time. The copper-bottomed stovetop container heated the water, which steamed up into the next vessel, the only one with a perforated floor. Steam traveled through the tube joining all the pots, and it entered or exited each of the vessels through a hole at each level. The bottom container's funnel-shaped receptacle collected the condensate as it fell, returning it to the reservoir. The maker claimed that cabbage, onions, meat, and pudding could be cooked at the same time without mixing flavors or odors. Advertisements stated that it saved fuel, stove space, and time while it also "saved one-quarter of the food which is lost when cooked the old way."

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