Crock Pot / Slow Cooker - Smart App / Device Handler replacement?


#1

This post is half and half…1, to see if something like this has already been done and, 2, if not, then will be a fun project for me to do. Seems like it won’t be overly complicated.

So, my girlfriend has talked about how she wants a crock pot for a while now. Me having my smart home obsession, figured I’d pick up a Smart Crock Pot, until I saw that they’re $120+ for the WEMO WiFi connected ones, vs a dumb crock pot that runs for 25-30 bucks.

So I figured, I could just get a dumb one that uses a physical dial, and a SmartThings plug in outlet and then I can modify the Device Handler to add features like, add a timer to start when the draw goes above X, and I’m guessing that when the dial is set at low vs high the current will be in a different range, so I could even set it to display what it’s “temperature” setting is (making assumptions).

Now, I haven’t played around with this stuff crazy in depth, but I have done a bit. One thing I don’t know of yet, is if you can add tiles that perform actions, like, adding a tile that allows you to set a turn off in X hours scheduled action, or a slider to set the number of hours and a button to start the timer.

If not, maybe I’ll just go the Google Home / Alexa route somehow. The Google Home IFTTT integration allows running applets with a number as an input which you can feed into the action as an ingredient. Might be able to get something done with that and maybe CoRE.


(Robin) #2

If I was attempting this I would probably setup a DH with lots of tiles but then get CoRE to run the backend.


(Robin) #3

Current draw will not give you an accurate report on the setting of the temperature dial.

If the food is cold it will draw more power to get it up to temperature.

Once the food reaches the required temperature the heat will cut off until the food cools a bit and it will then turn back on. Maintaining the temp will be a regular toggle between off/on/off/on/off etc…

Bit like one of those annoying electric grills that always phase in and out of red hot (or is that just a UK thing?).


#4

Ohh, yeah that’s a good idea. If I add a slider and a button, CoRE could easily read those attributes and then do the actions and scheduling for me. Almost like it’s a physical switch, but has a virtual button as well.

That’s one thing I wasn’t sure of…I was hoping that the dial actually adjusts the temperature, rather than it just running at full heat all the time and just turn on and off.

I guess I’ll find out, that would only be a convenience feature anyways, not needed.


(Brian Diehl) #5

There is a DTH and Smart App out there for the Wemo Crock Pot. Click on the link below. Community created. It works well. I use it. I haven’t tried to integrate with any other apps (CoRE, Rule Machine since I still use that, or SmartTiles)

You can also use IFTTT and work with Virtual Switches in ST if you want (that way you can get different switches on a Smart Tiles dashboard that will do exactly what you want)
If you look at the post below kevin’s in the linked thread, you’ll see everything IFTTT compatibility consists of for the Crock Pot.

So I would definitely recommend the Smart Crock pot. It has some benefits and features that make it worthwhile, even at the $100 or more price point.
You’ll be limited on what you can do with the plug-only method, but if you are looking for basic function, then this will work perfectly fine. For more granular control, you’ll want the Smart Crock pot.


#6

Looks good, but to be honest, the only benefit I see to using the WeMo Crock-Pot vs doing it myself with a SmartThings plug in outlet is temperature control…Everything else could easily be done with CoRE and a custom Device type, including all the IFTTT features. Not sure if it’s worth the extra cost, plus it would be a fun project and direct integration with SmartThings…I’ve had issues in the past with the Wemo to SmartThings integration.


(Robin) #7

I’ve never understood smart crock pots.

Is the idea that you leave it ready but off when you go to work and then have it turn on 5-6 hours before you get home?


#8

Pretty much yeah. Or if it’s something that needs to go for a very long time, so you want it to start in the middle of the night and then finish by the time you get home from work


(Robin) #9

Does that not result in raw food being left out unrefrigerated for several hours?

Seems like a good way to get sick to me?

I’ve never managed to overcook something in my Crock Pot… Just turn the temp down and let it stew for a bit longer, more tender that way.

Also, the amount of time you spend getting the DH and rules setup will probably equal 100’s of manual switch on’s… and even if you get it working I bet you pick up the phone to check it worked every time.

Now if you can write a DH that chops the meat and veg, throws it in the pot, and serves it to the table with clean silverware I’ll be impressed!! :yum:


#10

You’re asking the wrong person, I do not cook at all whatsoever. lol. She wants the crockpot, I just want to make it smart. The project is fun for me and I’d rather do it this route than spend the money on the already smart one.


(Robin) #11

I get it for the fun bit… That’s always a good reason :slight_smile:

I have admittedly done some fairly pointless things with HA, just because I can.

Just mention the health hazard to her and maybe add ice instead of water.


#12

$120 for a crock pot? I paid about $40 for mine at Sam’s, and it has an excellent timer on it that switches to Warm after the cooking cycle is done. I love automating things, but don’t overthink this. At the most, plug it into a smart plug so that it can be turned off Just In Case.

And, I agree with Robin, use ice instead of water to keep it cool if you’re planning to turn it on remotely.


(Brian Diehl) #13

The issue with a digital crock pot is that it doesn’t automatically select a cooking temp/time when turned on (at least mine didn’t… it would default on with no temp or time selected).

This means he can’t turn it on 2 hours into the work day so it will cook and then move to warm once completed.
He could always just go with a digital one like this, start it when he leaves for work on a low cycle and have it move to warm when complete, rendering any smarts unnecessary.

I like being able to check on my Crock pot remotely. That’s why I splurged and upgraded (I got it on sale, so didn’t pay full price).


#14

Yeah, that’s why I was planning on getting a basic analog one. Just set the dial to what you want and then you can control it using it’s power. But I guess there are some food health issues that I never considered. I know I could go and get the nice one that is already smart and have the app and everything. But I saw it as a fun mini project to work on that would involve writing a custom device handler.


#15

Depends what you’re cooking. Plenty of beans and rice slow cooker recipes where the ingredients never require refrigeration until after the cooking is complete. The cookbooks for these devices will explain any necessary safety precautions for a particular recipe. :sunglasses:


#16

I have the WeMo Crock Pot - yes it was a splurge item. I am gone 12 hours in the day between commuting to and from work. I set it to go on about an hour after I leave the house (geofence through IFTTT) and then it turns off after the cooking time. Then on my way home I have it geofenced to when I get off the train to warm up so that after my drive from the train to the house the food is warmed. I get text notifications when all the events are trigged so I don’t forget :D. I personally love it even it’s not directly connected to my Smarrtthings hub.

If I am using water - I use ice and if I am using broth I use a batch I froze.


#17

Just curious if you could share your IFTTT geofence triggers for your Crock-Pot. Thanks!