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another presto pot question (sorry!)

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This is probably a stupid question! But, is it detrimental to the wax to be melted and remelted again? (as I pour very small amounts at a time, and pretty much filled my presto pot).

I was wondering if it was bad for the wax to do that.




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If it is, then I'm in trouble. I hardly ever let my pot run out, just keep adding more in. It's frequent for me to heat it up then not have time to play and turn it off again. As long as you're not over heating it, it should be fine. Now very excessive re-heating might break it down, like hundreds of times, but I have no idea of any testing on that.

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I have some sitting cold in the Presto right now. Although I usually don't melt more than I intend to use at one time, I often leave it to reheat another day. I use it all before melting the next batch. I don't think I've ever remelted more than 3 times on a single batch, but did not see any deterioration or problems. As Ducky wisely said, being sure not to overheat is important!

Be sure to keep the lid on to keep dust and debris from the air out. I strain mine anyway when I pour, but I still keep the lid on tightly to keep as much stuff out as possible. There is little that is more aggravating to me than seeing a stray dog or cat hair in the bottom of a candle I am fixing to sell!

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Like everyone's been saying, it's a common thing to do. The potential problem is oxidation of the wax, which will show up as discoloration and possibly an off smell. I don't want you to get the impression that it's nothing to worry about. You can do what you're doing, but be careful.

The wax is always oxidizing, but the speed with which it happens depends on temperature. Don't keep the wax hotter than you need and turn down the heat if you aren't using it.

Unlike professional melters that heat all around, Presto pots have pretty brutal hot spots on the bottom. Keep the temperature setting low when you first turn it on and melt the wax slowly.

Keep in mind that veggie waxes can oxidize relatively fast.

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Presto pots have pretty brutal hot spots on the bottom. Keep the temperature setting low when you first turn it on and melt the wax slowly.
You are so right about the hot spots, Top!!! Cranking the thermostat up to melt the wax faster is foolhardy because Prestos use the same type of element and thermostat as electric frying pans. Unlike electric stove elements, which produce variable heat, the thermostat on the Presto doesn't control the heat the element itself produces - it simply turns the element on/off. It turns off when it reaches the temp set on the dial and turns back on when the temperature of the kettle falls below the setting. So the actual temperature of the surface where the Presto meets the wax (particularly right over the element) is a LOT hotter than the actual setting on the control dial, which is simply an average.

The site below had the following explanation:


Current electric frying pans do not easily or satisfactorily allow one to slow cook food, such as meat, without having the heating element of the electric frying pan getting overly hot. A typical thermostat control of a frying pan merely switches the heating element from full on to off, with the control being an average temperature. For example, if one wants to cook meat in the electric frying pan, the user will typically sear the meat first. After searing the meat in the pan, if one wants to slow cook, the user adjusts the temperature of the electric frying pan to a lower temperature such as 2000F. However, in order to maintain the average temperature of 200° F, the heating element in the bottom of the electric frying pan will be turned fully on, thereby obtaining an extremely hot temperature until the overall temperature comes to 2000F. Nevertheless, the extremely hot temperatures will cause some burning off of the meat juices, gravy and similar liquids during the time when the heater is on.
Here's a link to a more technical explanation of the drawbacks of this type of element/thermostat combination for those who understand electric stuff...


Because of this, we stir the wax constantly until it has melted a couple of inches or so of wax to prevent overheating during the initial melting time. Even if the wax is in the Presto, we chip it up some so that it can be stirred to avoid overheating the bottom while the top is still solid. It would be better to have an element which would product variable heat according to the setting so that the melting pot would never get hotter than the set temperature, but I don't know of an affordable kitchen kettle manufactured this way, so we stir to keep the wax in constant motion to compensate and even out the temp.

I suspect this may be the source of some of our maddening, whimsical problems with soy-based waxes. ;)

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