The oven is another symbol of the divine. It encloses, performs a transformative process (cooking), and is warm and bright. Humans have used many types of ovens, from the mud-brick ovens of the Middle East to the earthen ovens used in both North America and Polynesia. Some cultures honoured an oven goddess, such as Fornacalia of ancient Rome. Others, like the Chinese, see a male deity within its sun-like warmth. In Europe, the oven didn’t come into common use until the eighteenth century; the cauldron, a kind of portable oven,was used in its place.
The oven’s purpose is to retain heat from the burning fuel and to provide the even temperature necessary for proper cooking. Gas or electrically heated ovens are fine for magical cooking. Modern microwave ovens work on a completely different principle to heat the food. As food magic is a traditional practice, it’s best to avoid microwaves and utilize the time-honoured, traditional tools of food preparation.