Author Topic: Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Hack  (Read 1992 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,864
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Hack
« on: January 24, 2015, 03:45:44 PM »
I like slow cookers, or to use the trademarked name, Crock Pots.  There is one thing that has irked me for a long time. Even on the low heat setting they run too hot for my likes. To my mind low should give a simmer; fluid in the pot should not boil. Virtually all slow cookers do this much of the time because they do not have a thermostat that turns the heater element off and on. The two or three heat settings simply vary the power of the element. The element stays powered 100% of the time. I say virtually all slow cookers because I did find two that do have temperature controls with a thermostat. However, they are high priced and 6 or 6 1/2 quart sizes. That's two big for two people. Hidden in the fine print in some of the slow cooker instructions it is noted that the cooker should never be used less than half full. Nor fuller than 3/4. That 1/2 full minimum explains some of the overcooking when trying to do smaller dinners in a large pot.

As a result of all that our slow cookers have not been used as much as we might like. That has now changed though!  :)

Take one Chinese made temperature controller off ebay... <$15  There are literaly dozens of sellers. Some direct from China, some from US, some only in degrees Celsius and some in degrees Fahrenheit.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/120-110VAC-Fahrenheit-All-Purpose-Temperature-Controller-Relay-10ft-Sensor-Cable-/281435311101



Add one aluminum project box, <$14 ...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250597864242?ru=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ebay.com%2Fsch%2Fi.html%3F_from%3DR40%26_sacat%3D0%26_nkw%3D250597864242%26_rdc%3D1

Mix in a power outlet, a 2.5 MM jack and plug, a power cord and plug and voila! 

 






We've used it three times so far now,  and are happy with the performance.   :)

The tip of the probe is not likely waterproof as it comes. I used heat shrink tubing to help with that. I do have some stainless steel tubing that I plan on using to form a tight fitting jacket for the probe. An alternate would be to buy a probe that is already waterproofed. Ebay has some listed. Probes for some digital meat and smoker thermometers can also be used.


Inside view...
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline MountainDon

  • Administrator
  • Journeyman
  • *****
  • Posts: 16,864
  • Jemez Mountains, NM; that's pronounced HEY-mess
    • My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin
Re: Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Hack
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2015, 06:00:58 AM »
I should have mentioned that the controller can be used in either a heat or a cool mode. Also some vendors sell it in a 12 volt version. That couldbe used to turn cooling fans on and off at a programmed temperature. Maybe place the probe in the upper reaches of a cathedral ceiling to control an air circulation fan, for example. The built in relay can handle up to 10 amps. Any higher loads would need a higher rated SSR (solid state relay) of the correct capacity.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2015, 06:48:11 AM by MountainDon »
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline firefox

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 820
  • Eureka NV or Bust
Re: Slow Cooker (Crock Pot) Hack
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2015, 10:31:30 AM »
Thanks Don! This is really useful info and is appreciated.. [cool]
Bruce & Robbie
MVPA 23824

 

Templates: 5: index (default), Ads (default), Portal (default), Display (default), GenericControls (default).
Sub templates: 12: init, html_above, adsheaders_above, body_above, adsindex_above, portal_above, main, portal_below, adsindex_below, body_below, adsheaders_below, html_below.
Language files: 3: SPortal.english (default), index+Modifications.english (default), Ads.english (default).
Style sheets: 1: portal (default).
Files included: 38 - 1132KB. (show)
Cache hits: 13: 0.00148s for 40,957 bytes (show)
Queries used: 29.

[Show Queries]