Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eureka! By jove, I think she's GOT IT!

MY CrockPots ARE TOO HOT!!!  Boy, I was slow on that discovery -even by the Soap Sister's standard. LOL!   After fighting and scraping and muttering and scraping and scraping.....I had an idea "~ding~" the lightbulb flickered & then came on!  What if I made my HP in my crock in the oven instead of that nasty, overheating "pot"? 

 I know, I know, to all you "Smarty-Pants-Thinkers" out there this isn't a big deal, but for my HP experience it was nothing short of revolutionary, I tell you!  (Now you have to imagine, rather painfully I'm sure, the Soap Sister dressed like Julie Andrews in the Sound of Music twirling and singing -(to the Sound of Music theme)   "My HP is cook-ing in my oven crock now -la la la la,  Now it doesn't stick -like it stuck be-foooore"

I could go on, but I'll spare you.  What a visual.   Sorry.

But I digress....It was FABULOSO!  Smooth, creamy "applesauce"  "Vaseline-like" and NOTHING cooked to the side of that accursed crock!   I was jubilant.  Didn't realize how much I had been gritting my teeth during HP batches past.  I set the oven to 175 degrees F, and did my every-30-minute-stirs.   Worked like a charm, and I wanted to share it with you all.  If your CrockPot overcooks and dries your lovely batch around the edges, I highly recommend  putting the crock in the oven instead of the electric "pot" part.   I think you'll be very pleased with the difference! :D

Today I'm "rebatching" a lovely batch of soap (also in the oven).   I want to make it very fragrant, with no "morphing of fragrance" allowed.   Here's a photo of the pretty "shreds" in my favorite purple crock.   Wish me luck -I'll need every speck of patience I possess for this!  :D


Jennifer Young said...

Hi Becky, Thanks for sharing! I still have not ventured into the world of hot process yet... I actually have to get a Crock Pot but I can't get one here. I can get a rice cooker... but can't find a simple crock pot. I am going to look maybe at 2nd hand markets. The part that you are not putting in the oven, it is simply a ceramic pot? When I finally get around the HPing... I will most likely have lots of questions! xo Jen

thesoapsister said...

Hi Jen! How's it going? So nice to hear from you -I think of you often! Yes, what you want is just that nice, heavy covered ceramic "crock". I guess the outside (which is metal, with the electric heating element inside) works by heating up the outside of the crock only (rather than the gently indirect heat of an oven) which makes the sides and bottom get a bit too hot for my liking.

HP is a blast, takes a long time (3hrs +) overall, but most of the time it's in the oven "cooking", so you can do other stuff at the same time. (You know all that "stuff" on our endless lists: wrapping soap, cutting soap, talking to customers, laundry, cleaning, etc., etc., etc.)

Feel free to email me when you decide to do a batch, I'm happy to help! :D

Merry Merry Christmas, Jen, to you and yours!

Amy said...

Hmmm...HP without crusty bits? Well, that's a novel idea! (I never would have thought of it myself, either!) Thank you for sharing it! Wishing you all the best on this batch as you dance and sing your HP tune! :-)

thesoapsister said...

Hi Amy,

I hope you have the same results, 'cause it was really FUN! That really dry crusty stuff around the edge of the crock pot is now a thing of the past! Yahoo!

cocobong said...

Even if you set your crock at lowest temp, Becky? Never had a problem with this method. Before I got my crockpot (this year actually) I did all of my hping in the oven. Never takes longer than 2hrs max.

cocobong said...

The crusties in crock can also be avoided by frequent stirring which will incorporate them in the mass and melt them. A little extra oil 10min before the vaseline state is completed helps as well :)

Jan said...

That's fantasic Becky, glad you got it sorted. My stupid crock pot cooks too hot too, one day I had the same idea as you, not soaping at the time:) and silly me forgot that the lid was not heat proof, when I came back it was nicely melted:( how stupid!!!! talking of lids, do you use a lid when you put your crock pot in the oven?
PS would really love to hear how that song goes, maybe it's time you did a video for us :P

thesoapsister said...

Hi Cocobong!
Yeah, I only set the CrockPot on "Low", and it overcooks everytime! (Maybe there's a reason they were on sale for $18 at WalMart? LOL) I usually stirred it every 25-30 min., which works just dandy in the oven, but stuck like a buggar in the CrockPot.

I actually added a bit of extra oil yesterday when I re-batched in the oven, and that worked nicely...I will have to try that if my new-to-me oven method ever gives me fits. Also, I'm happy to hear that you only do 2 hours....(I read somewhere that 3 hours will just about guarantee any soap to be fully "done", but shaving an hour off the time would be FABULOUS!)

Boy, I always learn new stuff from my "soapy sistas" -thanks so much! There's just such a wealth of accumulated-over-time stuff that you/we all know....."little things" that can make the difference between "fun" and "frustrating" in soap making. Thanks to you all! :D

thesoapsister said...

Hey Jan,

YIKES! A melted lid! Yes, I used the lid (mine is glass) in my oven. It was fine. I've checked the temp of my soap immediately after it came out of the ol' CrockPot, and it was about 200F! So, I guess on my particular, discount-bargain-basement-variety CrockPot, that is considered "Low"!

Maybe the higher-end versions give one more control over the temp. I've seen some that have a lot of buttons, timers, etc. but have never really checked the features and benefits. (Duh! -maybe I should have!)

Let me ask the other HPers out there: Would any oven-safe, non-porous, covered "casserole dish" (Pyrex, Pampered Chef, Corning ware, etc.) work for HP in the oven? I can't think of why it wouldn't, but I wondered what you all thought....

Happy Soaping to everyone!

p.s. Jan, I'll let you know when I do that video! LOL!