Electric pickler

Hey Guys,

I need some advice. Should I use an Electric Pickler or the Crock
Pot/Slow cooker?

I have been using the little black one, with the stoneware dish
inside. While ti works very well with me, I hate that it takes so
long to heat up…at least 3 hours.

Would the heating up time be shortened if I use an electric pickler?


Hi Gian,

I’ve been using a plain old kitchen crock pot with a ceramic interior
for about 20 years. Mine a 2 temp (High & Low) switch. I aways leave
it on the low setting & leave the glass lid on it.

I turn it on when I come in in the morning, it takes about 15 min
before it’s ready for pickling. I got it at the local Goodwill or
Salvation Army store for about $5.00. I use Ph Down for my pickle.


Would the heating up time be shortened if I use an electric

Yes it is faster but it depends on the size as well…turn the crock
on high for a little while to get it going faster.

Russ Hyder

Would the heating up time be shortened if I use an electric

Yes. But the Ferris picklers are a lot more expensive than a crock
pot. And if you happen to drop a hot piece of metal of sufficient
size into that pickler, sometimes you can crack that pyrex beaker
they’re built out of. Unrepairable. You’ll never do that with the
ceramic containers of the crock pots.

Two options. Go to the slightly larger crock pots that have more
than on off capability. If I read between your lines, you’re using
the little one that either plugs in to turn it on, or unplugs to turn
it off, right? That’s intended as a potpouri pot, not for active
cooking. So it’s low power. Not really meant for boiling your meal.
That’s why it’s slow. I use a one quart size from Target that cost me
somewhere around 12 dollars. the removable ceramic insert is easy to
clean, or carry to the sink for cleaning, etc, if needed. Has a
cover, and importantly, a three position switch. On “low”, it simmers
at an appropriate pickling temp. But on “high”, it heats the pickle
to almost boiling within perhaps 20 minutes or less, and warm enough
to be useful within half that time. The Ferris picklers are not
faster than that.

Alternatively, if your little pot has a removable ceramic insert,
you could always pop it into the microwave for a minute or two to
pre-warm it. if you only warm it up, not boil it, you won’t get
pickle fumes into your microwave…

Ok, shop chemicals in the kitchen microwave may not be the best
practice in many cases, but pickle is pretty dilute, and unlikely to
make your microwave unsafe for food, especially if you cover the
container loosely, and only warm it up, not boil it. Run a paper
towel around the inside after heating just to be sure. I actually got
a cheap microwave (saw it on sale, again at Target, for 40 bucks)
that I keep in my shop for quick heating of anything. That includes
for warming up things like thermoplasic compounds like jet sett
(immersed in water, usually), to heating up the electrocleaning
solution if I need to do some plating. I do refrain from heating some
things like cyanide based plating solutions in there, simply because
of potentially risky situations with subsequent incompatible things
later on. For those, there’s still a hot plate. But for most simple
quick heating like this, it’s worked well for my shop.

And one other odd suggestion that works. Have you ever seen these
little electric hot pads intended for keeping a cup of coffee
drinkably warm? They work just as well with, say, a 400 ml pyrex
beaker of pickle. Or for that matter, a coffee cup, if made of an
appropriate acid proof ceramic or glass. Again, you can preheat in
the microwave. Or just let the pad do it. Slower than the microwave,
but it’s not three hours by any means.

Peter Rowe

I use a mini crock pot (about 4") with little problems. It was
cheaper than an electric pickler. I bought it in a thrift store for
$1.00. I guess for the difference in price I could stand a little
wait. When I know I am going to use it I just turn it on first thing.
If I am in a real hurry I just pre heat the solution a bit and than
put in in the mini. By the time I need it all is ready. The only down
side is trying to pickle longer pieces.

I am interested in what other suggestions people come up with.


What we use in our studio is a warming tray (cheap at second-hand
stores) and a clear covered Pyrex casserole dish.

The covered dish is wide, almost 12 in., and accommodates longer
pieces of metal. Since it is wide and shallow, it is easier to see
things inside, as well as get them out with tongs. The cover keeps a
lot of evaporation from happening, and keeps fumes out of the studio,
as well.

The warming tray (many are adjustable for temp.) keeps the pickle
warm enough to be effective, but doesn’t boil it.

Because the Pyrex dish and lid are clear, it’s easy to tell,
sometimes from across the room, if someone has left something in the
pickle. The pickle’s color is often a clue that it needs to be
replaced, and easy to see, as well.

Jay Whaley

I’ve been using a small potpourri warmer for 25yrs now and they work
just great. I use one for regular pickle and one with "Black Magic"
pickle for chains with steel spring clasps. The Black Magic allows
you to be able to put steel into it without it contaminating it.

Good luck, Steve

That seems like a really long time to me. I used to have a little
Rival one and it heated up fairly quickly, but I do have an electric
one with anon/off switch in the front now, and I find my pickle is
usually ready to go in less than 10 minutes. I do love it but it is
kind of pricey. Maybe your crock pot isn’t working properly?

Tracy Arrington
Contemporary, Timeless, Artisan Jewelry

I buy the oval shaped, casserole size crock pot at Wal-Mart for
around $25. I like the bigger size for pickling cuff bracelets before
they are formed. I take a separating disk and cut the metal lip off
the lid to keep it from contaminating the pickle. The screw that hold
the knob on the lid is made of stainless steel (I think) because it
doesn’t corrode/contaminate. They last a long time as long as you are
not too sloppy and splash pickle down on the heating element or until
I do something stupid with it like realizing I left it on all night
and my pickle is now a crystallized mass at the bottom and I pour
cold water in before I allow enough time for it to cool down.

Rick Copeland
Silversmith and Lapidary Artisan

Gian, the way to go is with a crock pot, the thing to look for is
the ceramic pot liner. The glaze on stone ware is slowly dissolved by
the pickle over the years. I prefer the larger pots as I occasionally
do some forged pieces or draw my own wire and need the extra volume.

I have been using a small “crock-pot” as a pickle pot for at least 12
years now. In fact this is my second one. If you can find it get one
with a plastic edge on the lid as opposed to a metal edge. The metal
rust out after a while which is why I’m on the second pot now. Mine
is plenty hot enough in about 1/2 an hour.

John (Jack) Sexton The most precious things in life cannot be built
by hand or bought by man.

I have a small crock pot. When I want it heated fast, I put it in
the microwave!!! sans any metal btw.