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The Company: Jacob Bromwell
As I was searching for a new camping cook set I wandered across the Bromwell Company. The Bromwell Company, namely Jacob Bromwell, is one of the oldest housewares companies in the United States. They have a long history of products and designs that date all the way back to 1819. On their website, they have a ‘fun facts’ sheet that talks about how they are the oldest company to produce certain products.
For example, Jacob Bromwell is the oldest North American producer of kitchenware, tin, and stainless steel as well as the first producer of the popcorn popper and flour sifter. In addition, they are 100% American made and all their products are non-electric. There’s something to be said about a company that can last nearly 200 years with original products.
I reached out to the Jacob Bromwell Company to learn more and in the process picked up their Potato Cooker. I remember seeing one of these as a kid, in the Midwest. My great-grandparents used these, or something similar, on their wood-burning stove which served a few purposes, especially in the summer.
You see, the potato cooker is like a small oven, holding in the heat and radiating the excess heat outward. The benefit to using this on a wooden stove was how it saved wood and fuel while producing much less overall heat throughout an entire home. Using these in modern times, with modern equipment, is just as easy as it was 100 years ago.
While it didn’t work on my electric stove top, as it’s not designed for electric stove tops, it produced amazing results on my gas cooktop.
When the Potato Cooker finally wound up in my hands it came with a small flyer explaining how to cook biscuits, corn, and potatoes. Being as impatient as I am, I decided against cooking potatoes and jumped right into corn on the cob with biscuits.
I ran out to Trader Joe’s and spent way too much on both because it was Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, it was a rainy day and the possibility of cooking with it, over an open fire, was out of the question. So, instead of letting it all sit in the refrigerator I pulled out my small gas cooker and got to work.
We wrapped up the corn on the cob in aluminum foil with salt, pepper, and butter. Our biscuits were nothing more than a tube mixture that we put right on the cooking section of the Potato Cooker. I didn’t have high expectations, at first. As time went on and the biscuits cooked, the wonderful smell filtered through the room.
We sat there, impatiently waiting for the biscuits so we could put the corn on to cook. 10 minutes later, the corn was going. I got far ahead of myself and neglected to take a photo of the cooked corn; instead opting to eat it as quickly as I could. Never before in my life, have I had a better biscuit or corn on the cob.
As great as the Potato Cooker was on the gas range it isn’t anywhere near as effective as a cooking tool if it can’t be used over an open flame. While it probably isn’t recommended it was worth trying. So, a few days later I packed up the Potato Cooker and headed off into the woods.
I set up a quick, hot fire to cook over. The Potato Cooker was set directly over an open flame, instead of being placed on hot coals. This was really to test the limits of the Potato Cooker. Could it really stand up to the abuse of a harsh flame? Unfortunately, it’s not meant to be over that type of a flame for long periods of time. The small handle on the lid is made from wood and did begin to darken and burn.
So, after I raked a few hot coals over I finished off a few biscuits and decided they needed a quality assurance test. Yep, they were delicious with a hint of oak.
The Product: Old Fashioned Potato Cooker
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The Jacob Bromwell Potato Cooker is a great little cooker. It really is meant to be a small, portable oven. While it may not be suitable for open flames it will still hold up incredibly well over a fire. The difficult part is cooking the contents evenly when using an open flame.
Something more controlled allows for an even, near-perfect result. Bromwell had included a removable handle which made it very easy to move around and adjust.
The Potato Cooker seems like the perfect addition for a Homesteader or serious Survivalist. It makes cooking easier, without using a lot of energy or fuel. It is not lightweight or small but is still easily wieldable when necessary.
It’s doubtful it was designed for a lightweight backpacker or minimalist and I would never recommend it to be used for either purpose. This will make the perfect addition to a Basecamp, Homestead, or modern kitchen kit. Along with Jacob Bromwell’s other products, removing the need for electric appliances would be fairly easy while still completing the same task.
Add this next to your cast iron cookware for truly authentic, and proven kitchenware.
I loved this thing! It outperformed my expectations. On top of performance, I love what Jacob Bromwell stands for and the impact they have had on America. You could probably find some of their products on display in museums across the country, showing how ingrained they are in American culture. This is the kind of stuff you would expect to see on a Cracker Barrel wall.
In addition to products like the Potato Cooker, they also produce a wide range of copper, steel, and tin products. While spending $150 on a kitchen appliance isn’t for everyone it will certainly stand the test of time and has been proven over several generations. Their products truly are your grandmother and grandfather’s kitchen tools that many grew up with.
Check out their products, see what they have. We’re looking forward to seeing what else they may have in store for us and was new, old product they can amaze us with.