The culina or kitchen was usually small, dark, and poorly ventilated, relegated to an obscure corner of the house. Wealthy matronae did not prepare meals; that was the job of their numerous household slaves, so it did not matter if the room was hot and smoky. Baking was done in ovens, whose tops were utilized to keep dishes warm. Embers from the oven could be placed below metal braziers for a form of stove-top cooking; some braziers were more elaborately decorated, like this bronze brazier from Chiusi.
Barbara F. McManus