The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

has anyone used a ceramic heat emitter for a proofing box?

pcake's picture
pcake

has anyone used a ceramic heat emitter for a proofing box?

i was looking at the homemade proofing box thread, and my husband and i started brainstorming.  we looked up egg and chick incubators, all sorts of heating lamps (using with a dimmer for temperature control) and then thought of the heat emitters they use for reptile enclosures.

https://www.amazon.com/Ceramic-Heat-Emitter-Reptile-Emitting/dp/B079254FFP/ref=pd_day0_60_3?

has anyone here used these to heat a box?

i was thinking of using my seed mat i got to keep starters warm for their first day under two metal stream trays, one over the other so they make a closed box, but the ceramic heat emitters seem like they have a lot of potential.

 

 

Dsr303's picture
Dsr303

hi. I use a plastic zippered case my bedspread came in. It zips close and I use an electric candle warmer with a mug of hot water on it to keep dough warm and moist. Works very well and was cheap

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Those bulbs look nice, but I think they would put out way too much heat. I haven’t tried this but I think a 25 watt or so light bulb and a controller similar to this would work, https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000NZZG3S/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Dan

barryvabeach's picture
barryvabeach

 I think the ceramic heater may be overkill unless you have a very large proofing box.  I just used a controller and a heating pad set on low, but others have used under tank heaters  like this  https://amazon.com/dp/B0002AQCKA/?coliid=I3GSWG5O6NWZU&colid=GOJV21WXXM07&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

tgrayson's picture
tgrayson

Do you really need one in Los Angeles? You really don't want over 80 degrees F.

pcake's picture
pcake

in my kitchen, sometimes a tad under.  i guess i'll experiment with something lower powered first and see how it goes, but i do need it to fit my larger bowls.  

i was thinking of getting two of these
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001VZ5BP2/ref=ox_sc_sfl_title_34?
putting the lower one face up and the upper one face down.  should fit all but my largest bowls, but there are some intriguing ideas in this thread
http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/40377/homemade-proofing-box
and my husband has a little workshop in our condo, so we could possibly make something that folds or collapses.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

You could use most anything. An ice chest, foam box, even a cardboard box in a crunch. You really wouldn’t need a bottom. A top cover of some sort is all you need. What about a small light bulb in your microwave or oven? The proofer doesn’t need to get hot, just a little warm. 

Just thinking out loud.

Dan

If you bought 2 of the SS pans from Amazon, you’d spend $50. Then a light and maybe a controller? The Brod & Taylor may be starting to look pretty good. It folds down for storage nicely and it has worked flawlessly for me for years.

Check this out. https://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/brod-taylor-reg-folding-proofer-slow-cooker-in-white/1062518574?opbthead=true&ta=typeahead&Keyword=brod-and-taylor

You could use their 20% off coupon and get free shipping. Cost after reduction approximately $124.

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

12.00


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The proofing box that I built using a plastic storage box  measures 24"x17"x13" and uses two 50W ceramic bulbs as a uniformly distributed  heat source.  The 13" height is divided by a wire shelf  (to allow air-flow) and the space above the shelf can accommodate two large mixing bowls with dough to be proofed.  The bulbs are mounted on the floor of the box and are cycled "on-off" using an  temperature controlled switch (many available on ebay at low cost).  The 2x50W bulbs can hold the temperature within the box at more than 30 deg F above room temperature -- more than adequate for  proofing on a cold winter day.

The ceramic bulbs have the advantage of being shorter than incandescent bulbs  (important to me since the height of my box was limited) and providing a bit more heat since no energy is lost to producing light (not really sure if this is correct, or if it really matters).  The ceramic bulbs seem to work fine, although in retrospect I could have done as well with less expensive low-height incandescent bulbs designed for a bathroom vanity mirror, readily available at Lowes or HD.

Total cost of this proofing box was about $25 and a couple of hours work.

DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

I can’t see the images. And I’d really like to take a look.

Dan

pcake's picture
pcake

i, too, would love to see those pics...

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

Here are two photos (assuming that I post this correctly).

Let me know if I can be of further help.

gerryp123's picture
gerryp123

Second photo did not make it -- so here i

t is.
DanAyo's picture
DanAyo

Thanks Gerry. I already own the controller, so setting this up won’t cost me much. I have a Brod & Taylor proofer, but there are many times when it could use a backup.

 

Dan

albacore's picture
albacore

 Well, I made the fold up version in the home-made proofing box thread. I think the trick is that you really need a fan to circulate the air to get a consistent temperature in the box. The fan and heater should be at the bottom of the box - hot air rises. You should also insulate at least the lid to reduce heat loss.

Incidentally, I think my cartridge heater wattage was around 180, controlled by the STC-1000 style on/off controller.

BTW, I would say that every serious bread maker should have a proofing box to be able to dial in different temperatures - I use all temperatures in the 18 - 30C range. Eg if you want to make the Detmolder 3 stage rye levain you need to set 3 different temperatures.

Lance

zoom6zoom's picture
zoom6zoom

I recently realized I could use my Tribest Sedona dehydrator as a proofing chamber. Works great. I use it for my yogurt, also

pcake's picture
pcake

the one i owned was much smaller.  i could definitely see using that for proofing and yogurt.  that's really awesome.  what's the lowest temp it can be set to and can you control the fan speed?

zoom6zoom's picture
zoom6zoom

The temp range is 77°F - 167°F. There are some multi temp modes also. I also use it when drying my sprouted grains.

You can see the entire manual here. which should answer questions better than I.

pcake's picture
pcake

i appreciate the info and the link!