I love my slow cookers…and have finally gotten around to the project that prompted me to purchase what is arguably the cutest slow cooker ever: homemade beeswax candles. Why not enjoy the glow and delicate honey fragrance of an all-natural (and in this case, it actually means all natural, as in no unwelcome additives like artificial fragrances or colors in it) handcrafted beeswax candle during the darker months of the year?
Using my tiny slow cooker (it’s a Crock Pot® brand slow cooker, as are all of my slow cookers – and only because I’ve used them for years and find them very reliable) to make candles is a true pleasure: no fuss, no muss. Using a slow cooker water bath replaces using a stovetop double boiler, and there are no waxy bowls to clean out afterward. Sounds good, right?
Basically, I just poured the beeswax pastilles into the empty glass container – a recycled candleholder – and added a little coconut oil. The filled glass then went into the crock and boiling water was (very carefully) poured around the outside of the glass (from a glass measuring cup to ensure that none of the water splashed into the candle itself) until it came up about halfway on the candle.
The lid was then placed over the crock and the slow cooker was turned to high. Melting time!
After about an hour or so, the wax had melted completely, but the glass holder was only about 2/3 full, so I added more pastilles. A lot more pastilles. I would estimate that I added about another 1/2 cup to the already melted wax. Then, I put the lid back on and let it continue to melt.
After about 45 minutes, the newly-added wax had melted completely. I stirred it to ensure that there weren’t any residual chunks of wax left, then carefully removed the jar from the crock. I wore my rubber kitchen gloves (the kind you use for dishwashing) and it provided enough protection from the very-hot glass jar. The candle “rested” for 10 minutes, then I set about the task of sinking the wick.
Placing the wick turned out to be a lot of fun (not really). I had purchased beeswax-coated hemp fiber wick, and had a pen ready to affix the wick to; unfortunately, the pen didn’t work because of how the clip was placed, so I had to go to Plan B (always have a Plan B): use a wooden chopstick and masking tape. It worked perfectly!
After about an hour, the candle was solid, and I trimmed the wick to 1″ above the wax.
It looked like a “real” candle…but the real test was would it burn like a real candle? It burned perfectly, and when blown out, there was very little smoke and smell from the (lead-free) wick.
Would I make candles using this method again? Definitely. While I could have added many drops of essential oil to the melted wax to create a specific scent, I enjoy the simple, clean, beeswax fragrance. Thank you, bees!