Saturday, November 23, 2013

Weekend Wonderings: How should we heat our ingredients?

Hi everyone! I'm off to teach my lotion making class at Voyageur this morning, so I only have a few minutes to look at your comments. There'll be more tomorrow morning as I have the whole day off! I can't believe it! 

In this initial post on duplicating products, Sherry asks: Do you recommend any particular tools to start off with? I noticed a woman on Youtube using beakers and some sort of little mini stove/heater system. Not sure if I should invest in some sort of set or just use the stove?

You don't want to expose your ingredients to direct heat, like putting them in a pot, so we use a double boiler to heat them. You can create one on your stove top with a large pot filled with water with a smaller container on top, or you could buy a device to help. Because I make my things in my workshop, a place without a stove, I use my Rival fondue pot. It can hold quite a lot - I can get three Mason jars in there at once or a few beakers - and I can control the heat. But the stove is a good option.

If you are interested in the fondue pot, it's a great time of year to get it. I've seen it on sale for $29 to $35 in Canada. It's harder to find other times of the year. And it makes a great present! 

Related posts:
Weekend Wonderings: Creating a double boiler (scroll down)
Creating products: Equipment (part 1)
Creating products: Equipment (part 2)


Lynda said...

Hiya Swift,

I see in the photo above you are using what looks like light weight polypropylene beakers. How do you keep them from floating to the top? I tried using them in a pan full of water w/ a wire rack on the bottom. I placed them on the wire rack and they floated and careened to the top of the water. I had to balance a plate on top of them to weigh them down. I got away with it, but I worried about the effects of condensation. I made a 100 gram (total) batch, so my ingredient didn't weigh a lot.


Anonymous said...

I see in one of your posts you mention using a metal rack and that sometimes you forget to use it. What is the metal rack that you use on the bottom of your Fondue Pot?

Thanks, Dan.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Lynda and Dan! I've answered both of your questions in today's Weekend Wonderings. The short answers are that I put a lot of ingredients in the container and don't use a lot of water and that I forget the rack in my absent mindedness at times.

Kim said...

When I just started to create lotions I used a double boiler to heat and hold, but I always had issues with my containers (they wouldn't fit well in my largest cooking pot because of their handles). Ever since I've been using my oven to heat and hold. I've used those kinds of thermometers that you use for cooking meat. Leave the "pin" (don't know what else to call it) in your oil/water phase and the reading device outside of the oven. That way I don't have to open the oven often to measure the temperature of my 2 phases, and the the oven's temperature remains steady. I've noticed that my temperature doesn't fluctuates as much compared to the double boiler. I found it hard to keep a steady 70°C in the double boiler.
I haven't seen/read about anyone using an oven for the heating and holding and was wondering what your opinion is about it. For all I know, I might be making a big mistake...