Setting up an appropriate IC cooking area

Hi there,
I love the idea of cooking in the IC area and am looking at the various options.

I feel one pot dishes are the way to go and therefore am planning to buy the following item.

Would this be considered immersion breaking or a cool addition to the IC camp?

Thank you for reading, and hopefully guiding me towards culinary greatness.

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I think that looks absolutely fine, I don’t believe there are any guidelines about what counts as IC with cookware, fires or what have you.

My own groups experience is that we’ve used a large firebox (something a bit like this) and hung black metal cookware over it or on the grill. But we’ve also had modern camping burners and kettles tucked away in the corner of our group tent for making coffee or hot mulled apple juice when needed. So don’t stress too much :slight_smile:.

On a practical note, having a IC cooking shelter is a very practical idea with UK weather :slight_smile: That and some solid wooden folding camping tables for food prep and the washing up. We’ve found that’s a chunk of work that needs doing so it’s part of our camp duties rota.

I also think there’s a trader or two who sell re-enactment grade iron mongery and cooking gear at events but I can’t find a link to tell me the name of them. Hopefully someone can recommend who they are.

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Millstream Forge?

Also hot mulled apple juice <3


Yes I have bought a treated cotton canvas shelter, not 100% waterproof but it should help. I couldn’t find a suitable fire box locally, but will continue looking.
Thank you Mark for the answer and advice and Kargur for the trader’s name.

Some cheats you can do:

Pre-cooked stuff that just needs heating up
Pre-prepared stuff to roast or whatever, avoiding much prep work
A coolbox containing various things, with a blanket over it to look like any other box.
A collapsible bucket, if you can get one, for holding water/rubbish/the washing up.

It depends, if you want to host a full medieval banquet, includng the preperation and all, then strength to you! It has been done, and very successfully, before!

Bit ambitious for me though :slight_smile:


Hah, not going to attempt a banquet on my first Empire event. But kind of toying with the idea of serving a bowl of stew and a pint of Kölsch for IC money Saturday evening before exploring the various taverns myself.

Might I then reccomend (if you haven’t thought of it yet), a large stack of wooden bowls? A bowl of stew and chunk of bread for a few rings will likely get you much custom. Oh, and a blackboard to advertise :slight_smile:

… hmm, selling hot food…

You may want to check with PD about that. Selling it for in-game money might be okay, I’m not sure…


I have emailed Clare Evans from the PD team with a lot of questions already, waiting for her answers before asking more. As far as I understand from what I have read (but I might be wrong), if you sell for IC money you are not a “trader” as it is not a real business.

As for bowls and the pint glasses I would turn them myself on a pottery wheel. Well that’s the idea anyway. Washing up will be interesting…

Just a note of advice, think carefully before providing your own drinking vessels. A lot of pubs have stopped lending them out because people will wander off with them while drinking, in a way that they’re unlikely to with a bowl of food. Most people have learnt to buy their own tankards to carry around with them.


If you’re making your own out of pottery

a) Make them chunky and durable as I’ve had pottery break during transit, setup, takedown and when strong winds knocked our tent over onto them :).
b) Have PROPERTY OF X prominently on them :slight_smile: as yes drinking vessels do go walk about (not even in a deliberate way, people just forget and walk off).


Haha thanks for the warning (I know it must have been a pain at the time, but imagining a flying tent wreaking havoc made me laugh). Maybe a IC money deposit for the glasses? Will think about it.


Deposit for the crockery would probably work, especially if you point this out to the kids. Children are mercenary in collecting money, and willing to run all over the place to do it. Just make sure you tell them they are only allowed to bring back the ones that are finished with!


Brilliant! :slight_smile: I was wondering the sort of activities the small ones would be participating in at empire. I have two boys myself, not taking them with me on my first event, but would really like to share this experience with them someday.

There are often many children running around the field, and there is the Academy for them to learn about the Empire and how to be a citizen.


Speaking of that and linked to cooking, do fire pits etc have to be roped off atall? Coming from a reenactors point of view it’s something we’ve always done to stop people blindly running it big hot burny thing!

If you can, I would highly recommend waterproofing it. I think the brand is… fabsil… fabseal? Something like that. With rain or even persistent drizzle, it soaks up in them fibres and then in short order you’ll have a shower under your awning. Like a dozen slightly running taps as the water finds a way through. I’ve also found having a cross bar between the poles helps hugely especially with wind flap.
I’ve been throwing up medieval camps for 10+ years… but only just taken the crossbar advice myself. Last year was sooooo much nicer after that.


As far as I know, fire-pits specifically are forbidden.

There are some half-oil drums passed out by PD, and emplaced on sand etc. There are freestanding BBQ trays and roasting things on little legs. There are even some large iron fireplaces raised off the ground.

These are not fenced off, if you have a fire in them, they’re your safety responsibility.

For clarifications:


Aaah. My use of fire pit is misleading. Technically what we have are fire trays. And they seem to meet the requirements for extra hot n dry events.
As we have to meet English heritage guidelines on our camp kitchen stuffs anyway. So should be fine but I’ll send PD a photo anyway just for approval.

But no ropes? Frrreeeedoooooooom.

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We ran a couple of posts and a hessian wall round ours when we were cooking for the group, but that made it easier for the small kids to know where they were allowed to go, and meant we could hide all the OOC stuff out sight, but that was more a cooking spot only. When we had the bowl fires to sit round they weren’t roped off.

I think the only rule for PD that someone is responsible for the fire, and should be at least mostly sober. One very hot dry summer they did put a minimum height above ground to help prevent grass fires.

I personally also always have a fire bucket to hand (Sainsburies and B&Q do metal ones which look OK) but I’m a Guide leader so that part of fire safety just makes me twitchy if it’s not there.


Hey Pete, thank you for the advice, if you have suggestions as to where I can find some suitable shelter it would be greatly appreciated. I am looking for something around 6 by 4 meters (yeah metric I know). I live in Germany at the moment, so maybe postage from the UK might be prohibitive. Or do you think treating the cotton is enough?

Afternoon joe. The cotton canvas should be fine. Our newest one is the same lite weight material and infact came from Germany. It’s a Small world as they say.

Hit post to soon.

There are a lot of medieval reenactment camp equipment supplies coming out of Czechoslovakia if you’re after that style of shelter.

I’m not sure of the availability or the suppliers closer to home for you, but this is the product we used to water proof our shelter.

And for reference, here’s a picture of the shelter we use.