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Pickle unit cheap alternatives


hi im new here so i may get this wrong!

ive just graduated and im trying to set up a little workshop at home
and i cant afford a pickle unit, can anyone tell me of any cheap
alternatives? i think a few friends of mine just use a plastic tub
with some pickle solution in it but obviously its not as effective
cold. if anyone could help me that would be great.



Get a crock pot from your local second hand store. Maybe cost you a
buck or two…

Good luck,


Hi Charlotte:

The traditional standby is an old crock-pot from a garage sale. I
got mine for $2, about 20 years ago, and aside from being rusty, it’s
still going strong.



Cold pickle is fine, just slow. A garage sale crock pot pretty close
to ideal unless you have too much money. Even at full retail they
are a cheap solution.

Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing


Thrift store crock pot. Get one with an adjustable thermostat or a
"Low" setting so that you can keep it from boiling. A removable pot
makes dumping the bath easier too. Can’t get much cheaper than that.

Willis Hance


Hi Charlotte,

ive just graduated and im trying to set up a little workshop at
home and i cant afford a pickle unit, can anyone tell me of any
cheap alternatives? i think a few friends of mine just use a
plastic tub with some pickle solution in it but obviously its not
as effective cold. if anyone could help me that would be great. 

The most inexpensive source for a pickle pot other than garage sales
is usually a 2nd hand store (Salvation Army, Good Will, St Vincent
DePaul, etc). Look for a a glass or ceramic lined crock pot.
Depending on where you live, for pickle swimming pool supply,
grocery, drug & home centers for pH Minus /Down. It’s sodium
bisulphate, the same thing as Sparex, the stuff sold as jewelers
pickle. pH minus is lots cleaner & less expensive. All that you have
to add is tap water.



Go to a re-sale store and watch for a recycled mini or full size
crock pot. You’ll want one with the shiny glaze coating inside. A
seat of the pants alternative is to keep it in a sealed container, i
use a “throw-away” deli style (read potato salad for 6) and pour it
into a glazed bowl and heat it when needed, when done back into the
deli jar and lid on and I’m good. Just an idea. peace.



a used crock pot from a thrift store works great.


Hello Charlotte,

get a hold on an old used perculator with automatic temp controll.
Take care about your fingers and take precautions like as eye
protectors. REMOVE the perculator from your power source bevore you
start working on it…

Cut of the top part with a saw…most of them are made out of
plastic anyway. Keep the bottom part with the heating coil, plate and
the surrounding protection. Cover up the whole with a piece of
or inject some liquid foam in this way that splashes can’t reach the
electrical wirings. Use a stronger glass jar as a container for the
pickle and your are fit to start working.

The temp created by the perculator is around 80 celcius…perfect
for this job.

It’s easy, cheap and works awsome. The one that I have is still
working even after 8 years of use. I bought a while ago a
peoffesional one but I’m so familiar with this old piece that I just
leave it untill it refuses to perform his job.

Have fun and keep it stupid simple (kiss)


I’ve been using a cheap small crock pot for yrs. now with no
problems. You can pick one up at Walmart or a local Hardware store.



Hello Charlotte,

If you want a cheap pickle unit try using a Pyrex casserole dish or a
Pyrex saucepan and lid as your pickle pot. Add your preferred pickle
solution and heat on a gas ring or hob. I have been using Pyrex
casseroles and saucepans for pickle pots in my workshop for the past
25 years, I use a sulphuric acid and water dilution for my pickle,
adding one part acid to four parts water, I use an old pyrex mixing
jug for this purpose. If preparing your own pickles always remember
to wear eye protection and add acid to water, never the reverse as it
will explode and spit acid in all directions. I have a friend who
heats his pyrex pickle pot on an old electric slow cooker unit.

Peace and good health to all
James Miller FIPG


Look for a crock pot at a thrift shop or a yard sale.

Failing that, a glass bowl on a warming tray worked well for me for
several months.




You can use a pyrex dish on a hot plate. I’ve seen this work.

Good luck.
Mary A


you should have this suggestion 100 times by now but: the "standard"
pickle pot is a standard hot pot slow cooker. these can be found at
resale shops unused or slightly used. they can also be found in the
bib box and grocery stores new. they come in all sizes from ones used
for vaporizing odor improvement units to big real cook pots.

they seem to be standard unwanted shower gifts so they are often
brand new. maybe $10.

It is usually not worth driving around to find one.

Don’t let them boil dry - pull out cord when not in use.


Good morning Orchidland

My pickle pot running on 12 years now is a garage sale find of
$2.00!!! A good ole crock pot it has 2 setting and so I don’t
forget to turn it off at night I have it plugged into a $4.00 light
timer no pitted joints hot pots in the am. I don’t even have to
remember to turn it on in the am before I start the days bench work.



Hey charlotte, I’m in a similar position. Keep your pickle solution
in a jam jar and when you need to pickle pieces just fill a pan with
warm water, put your jar in the pan and your pan on the hob. Be sure
to keep it on the the lowest heat (otherwise your jar will break)

Good luck!


Hi Charlotte

I have been using a small crock pot for about 20 years to heat
pickle. These are cheap (I just replaced my original and only paid $7
for one at Target) and they work very well. This newest one has low,
high, warm and off settings. If you can, get one with a plastic lid
since the pickle will affect any metal with which it comes in

Judy Keller


Hello Charlotte,

If you search the archives, you’ll find that most of us use an
inexpensive crock pot/slow cooker with a ceramic pot and all-glass
lid. I’ve also used a potpourri warmer, which looks like a
mini-crock pot. If your work is fairly small, consider a ceramic mug
and mug warmer. In a pinch, a glass plate will work as a cover on
the pot.

These items can usually be found at yard sales and second-hand
stores like Goodwill for cheap. You may have a relative who will
donate one to you. Be sure that there is NO METAL in the pot or lid,
for it can contaminate your pickle.

While I’m at it, may I encourage you to use citric acid pickle. It’s
safer and isn’t ruined if you make an error and put steel tongs into
the solution.

Glad to see some young blood interested in becoming a precious

Judy in Kansas



Use a crock pot. I have been using the same one for about 10 years



There was a brief mention of what the crock pot’s lid is made of,
but since I actually needed this spelled out for me (and I think the
thanks go to Ms. Rourke for this), I’ll spare you my grief – make
sure there’s no metal anywhere on the lid. No bolt holding a knob on
to it, no metal edge around it, no metal whatsoever. If there is any
metal, and you do any work with copper, you’ll end up copper-plating
things you didn’t plan to copper-plate.

It should be mentioned that I ended up with a very cool-looking
piece because of that, I call it “The Happy Accident”, but I also
absolutely fried a piece of silver filigree.