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Old 10-10-12, 12:52 PM   #11
bennelson
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This past weekend, I got a FREE crock-pot.

It's not as fancy as the one we already had, although it didn't come with pre-melted-off handles either. No, this one is the type with the non-removable crockery, and a plastic lid.

It seemed to run a little hotter than our existing pot, and I tried making a loaf of bread in it, unmodified. But I thought this time I would "go big", so I did a DOUBLE-loaf.

It was interesting how it turned out.

Here's a blog entry on the entire experiment, round two.
Crock Pot Bread, Take 2



PS: For those interested, the Kill-A-Watt said it cost me about 5 cents in electricity to bake this 3lb loaf of bread.

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Old 10-10-12, 10:56 PM   #12
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Wow that is super efficient,with insulation probably 1-2 cents to cook it, can't beat that either way.
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Old 10-11-12, 09:22 AM   #13
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That was about 2.5 hour bake time.
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Old 10-12-12, 02:12 AM   #14
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Your bread looks quite good, for crock pot bread its amazing ! haha.
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Old 11-05-12, 10:12 AM   #15
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Your story reminds me of how I insulated a cheap Harbor Freight dehydrator so we could speed up drying times when making fruit strips. It was our first time making them, and it was taking WAY too long. I devised a way to duct the flow inside the dehydrator to give better coverage. Once verifying that the ducted flow worked as expected (maybe 5 minutes of watching and feeling) I wrapped a blanket around the outside, leaving room at the bottom for fresh air to get in. Temperatures went up nicely (measuring with a cooking thermometer at the second level from the top [5 levels total]) and based on the smell of warm fruit, it seemed like we were finally on our way! A couple hours (of constant watching) later, something just seemed off... things were fine top-side (where I had primarily been doing my investigating), but when I removed the blanket, the grates of the bottom two racks were drooping, and very close to touching the heating element... It was definitely my fault, I should have tried ONE thing at a time, maybe ducting first, then insulation, then both (depending on results). I am glad the dehydrator was cheap. We replaced it with a CraigsList find of the day with twice the capacity and temperature control. Definitely be careful when modifying a piece of dumb hardware. Although our "new" dehydrator has "temperature control" it's not a thermostat, and I would guess that most crock pots and other plug in heating devices are the same way.
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Old 11-05-12, 03:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bennelson View Post

The new door handle/lock that I got was $23. It was a mid-grade brand, but all the parts were metal, and had a better strike plate. On the old knob, some of the parts on the inside were plastic. (I saw one brand as cheap as $9! Hate to think about the quality of that one!)

I eventually did an autopsy, and narrowed the problem down to a tiny spec of cheap metal that simply broke off inside the latch. Cheap piece of #$@$#%%$^&**!
A long time ago, in a former life, I used to be a locksmith. I hate to break it to you Ben... $23 is not a mid grade lock. You can tell either by the price, or the fact you got it at a big box store. They are what kept me in food, responding to and fixing your exact problem.

Basically, lock manufacturers make cheap stuff that they sell in bulk to big chain hardware stores. Then they will retool and make a higher quality run that they sell in smaller bulk to locksmith supply stores.

The next time you need a lock, find a locksmith supply store and see if they will sell to you. If not, go to a locksmith shop, and pay his retail price for a good quality lock. Ask for the locksmith grade. Expect to pay +/- $100.00. However, you are talking about the silent sentry guarding your house and family while you sleep. This is one of those things you pay top dollar for so it does not fail at the most inopportune time.
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Old 11-05-12, 03:49 PM   #17
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I was really only comparing it to what I had.

It's easy to spend a fortune on almost anything.

I was surprised at how cheap the materials inside my original door knob were. The materials of the new knob were considerably better at a still very affordable price.
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Old 11-05-12, 04:34 PM   #18
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When we purchased our house, we changed the locks out. Firstly, we wanted to have new keys. Secondly, there were 4 knobs, 4 deadbolts, and 8 unique keys! I went to our local Home Depots and looked for like-keyed sets of knobs and dead bolts. I was fortunate and found two packs of two deadbolts and two knobs each (a total of 4 each), all keyed alike (one key will operate any deadbolt or any door knob). These were not top of the line knobs, but the ability to get into any door with only one key is really nice. I bet if you shopped around, you could find a pack of two knobs and two deadbolts that would at the very least allow you a backup means of entry if one failed again. Or you could store a spare key for the front door, AND one for the back door, in the garage...
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Old 12-19-12, 10:48 AM   #19
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I did a write up on this project at Instructables.

Crock-Pot Bread

Lots of photos and how-to.
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Old 03-17-13, 07:41 PM   #20
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Good Read!

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