Leviticus hints that pan frying complementing the styles of roasting/grilling, steaming/boiling, and baking. Frying would not become truly popular until the cast-iron pan.
Home heating and cooking began to seriously merge. An iron cook-stove was patented and in production, along with other stoves described as "suitable for families and ships."
By the 1860s
The fundamental way to cook, roasting by an open fire and baking on the floor of the oven (no pans), disappeared. Many complained bitterly about the loss of good crust on their bread, and how meat was not really roasted, but steamed, by the new stoves. It made no difference to the relentless progress in cooking methods.
By the 1920s
Natural-gas and electric stoves were widely adopted for home use. In a radical move, stoves became white, a dramatic change from the black iron stove and sooty fireplaces, more modern and sanitary.
LIn perhaps the most dramatic moment in cooking history since the first cooked meal, Percy Le Baron Spencer invented the microwave oven, which cooked food without a direct source of heat. In 1967, a compact version was sold for home use. Today, the majority of American homes have microwave ovens and our connection with cooking fire has been severed.
5 Interesting Facts
Before cooking, food was eaten raw, decayed, and putrefied. The human discovery of roasting remains unattributed, though Charles Lamb wrongly glamorized the story of the Chinese boy who accidentally burned down his hog shed and, in trying to save a well-barbecued piglet, discovered the glory of crackling.
Early cooking took place over the open fire, using what was at hand. Sticks, ashes, smoke, leaves, stones. Spits and pits.
From whenever it began, however, roasting spitted meats over fires remained virtually the sole culinary technique until the Palaeolithic Period, when the Aurignacian people of southern France began to steam their food over hot embers by wrapping it in wet leaves.
Earth ovens are one of the oldest methods of cooking and can be used to bake, steam, or smoke food. An earth oven is made by digging a pit in the ground and lighting a large fire in it. Once the fire has died down and has produced some hot coals, the food is thrown on top and buried.
Prior to the discovery of ceramics and metals, boiling was very problematic, as all cooking vessels were either hollowed gourds or made out of wood. Boiling water over an open fire was impossible to do, but our clever ancestors figured out an ingenious solution. They would fill a vessel full of water, place the food in it, and then heat up stones in a fire to drop into the water-filled vessel.