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Old 10-09-2012, 04:18 AM   #1
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Default Will temperature controllers work on slow cookers?

I have a digital slow cooker (has push button Keep Warm, Lo, High settings, no dial), and I've seen a lot of discussion on the net about how these are too hot to do anything really slow (sous-vide, low temp baking, etc.) I even saw a homemade control for a slow cooker using an adapted dimmer switch, but it only works on dial-controlled slow cookers.

I was wondering if a homebrew temp controller would work on a slow cooker? I figured a temp controlled pot would be handy for starting yeast, and it would be a lot easier to make a batch of koji rice in one.

We have a deep fryer with a built-in temp control, but there's a big heating element at the bottom, so I don't know if the heat's diffuse enough. I think a thick-walled crockpot would work better, but if anyone has info on using a temp controlled deep fryer for low temps, I'd be interested to hear about that as well.

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Old 10-09-2012, 04:59 AM   #2
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I have used one for sous hide and it worked great.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:33 PM   #3
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Really? Was it a digital slow cooker? Does it work just like anything else with a temp controller?

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:39 PM   #4
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the problem with the digital slow cooker is that the homebrew temp controller will cut the power - and when it re-energizes the slow cooker will be in startup mode and won't be applying heat.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:44 PM   #5
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Yes. When I don't want to fill 3 gallons of hot water into my beer cooler sous-vide setup because I'm just cooking a single item, I've been hooking up my stc-1000 ebay temp controller that I use to run it to my crock pot. I just run the temp probe into it. I sometimes also stick one of my immersion heater coils from the sous-vide into it for added heat.

I also feed the aquarium bubbler stone in as well.

Lately I've been toying with the idea of just going to salvation army and getting the largest crock pot I can find, and just using that as a dedicated sous-vide cooker.

Here's my temp controller......



Here's my cooler sous-vide setup.


In that thread, you can see at least one temp controller run crock pot sous-vide machine.

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Old 10-09-2012, 03:45 PM   #6
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the problem with the digital slow cooker is that the homebrew temp controller will cut the power - and when it re-energizes the slow cooker will be in startup mode and won't be applying heat.
oooh that's a good point. Mines an old school "analog" crock pot.
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Old 10-09-2012, 04:20 PM   #7
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oooh that's a good point. Mines an old school "analog" crock pot.
top 6 inches. why i get the big bucks.
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Old 10-09-2012, 09:00 PM   #8
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Thanks guys. I'll continue with my old plan of starting koji in an oven, keep an eye out for analog crock pots, and stick with wine jugs for my yeast starters.

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Old 10-09-2012, 10:07 PM   #9
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Thanks guys. I'll continue with my old plan of starting koji in an oven, keep an eye out for analog crock pots, and stick with wine jugs for my yeast starters.
Got a salvation army or other resale shop in your area? I go to them every couple of weeks, just to look through the housewares section. Usually to pick up extra coffee pots or other stuff for my church, but I also pick up stuff for brewing and cooking.

Last week I picked up a deydrator, a nearly brand new Braun stick blender and a meat grinder for 9 bucks total.

Every one of the stores I visit (there's three in a row near me) has several crock pots.
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Old 10-10-2012, 02:40 AM   #10
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I'll check that out. We're coffee homeroasters, so we're no stranger to thrift stores (good used hot air popcorn poppers are getting a little scarce because of roasters, actually). If I can use it to do some old-school real slow cooking as well, that's a bonus.

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