Ovens are insulated chambers which can produce very high temperature of up to 1000oC, that may be used to heat raw materials, products and parts. It is also used for baking and cooking food as well as drying things.
Recently a comic featuring Garfield is surrounding everywhere in which the cartoon character raises a question that “Why do they call it Oven?” It’s a very simple yet a very deep question. What is an oven? What is its origin? Where did its name come from? All questions are interesting, yet no one knows the answer.
What is an Oven?
We all know that oven is an enclosed compartment which is usually a part of the cooker for cooking and baking. But the meaning of the word “oven” is different. The word oven is used to describe a very hot place. As the compartment of the cooker which are used to bake or cook are very hot, so they were given a name oven.
Oven name was used during Second World War and by the time it has become a very common word. During Second World War a cremation or gas chamber in a Nazi concentration camp was called an oven because of being a very hot place.
We can say that oven is like a tunnel or you can term it enclosed cavity in which food items are surrounded by scorching hot surfaces. This hot environment makes them baked or cooked and delicious food products are produces. Such as Bread, Cake etc.
Ovens produce this heat energy when fuels like gas, electric or lubricants are combusted. The heat that is generated by combustion process which is exothermic in nature, the energy hence produced is transferred to food products through conduction, convection or radiation.
The ovens have few high temperature resistance materials which are used to insulate inner area of the oven. The ovens must have these materials to keep heat environment for prolonged time.
What Is The Origin Of Oven?
- Oven is a furnace which is used for heating, cooking or baking food items. The heat is radiated from its structure. Such devices were found back in 29000 BC in Central Europe, where people were supposed to use such devices to bake and cook.
- Indus Valley Civilization, back in 3200BC used to have an oven in each and every mud-brick house. They used to use ovens for cooking and making bricks.
- It is also claimed that these were Egyptians who used oven cavity that was handmade using clay. This fire box had a place to put dried wood or charcoal. The baking area was accessible from top.
- Roman empires are also reported to use ovens. Their ovens were more efficient and had better baking abilities. The walls of Roman Empire Ovens were made of bricks.
Where Did The Name “Oven” Come From?
There are many stories behind the word “Oven” but most probably it came from Sanskrit word “ukwnos” which means something that is hot or a Proto-Indo-European word “aukw”, which means cooking pot.
Some people also claim that the word comes from a German word “ofen”, which is indeed an old English word from Germanic origin. It also means a hot food container. Many people claim that it is originated from the “Oven Bird”, a bird which makes arched nests.
Whatever is the origin of the word “oven”, it is a chamber which is thermally insulated. We can cook, bake or make things dry using ovens. Oven is some time also referred to as kiln or furnaces, which are special, type of ovens used in pottery making and metal working.