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Label Printers


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#1 Chris Hennes

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 06:50 PM

I have one of those little label printers that you can pick up at the office stores for like $10 now:

1 of 3 - Dymo.jpg

I really like it. There is something appealing to me about nice neat stacks of tupperware with little printed labels on them:

2 of 3 - Chiles.jpg

Plus, I tend to have lots of bottles of weird stuff in the fridge:

3 of 3 - Syrups.jpg

The one issue I have had is that the labels I use are not waterproof. So when I need something more resilient, I have to cover them with packing tape. They also fade pretty badly in the sun, as I discovered when i used them to label my tomato plants at the beginning of the summer. Now I have no idea which plant is which!

Does anyone else use one of these, or is everyone else just using a sharpie and some masking tape? Which printer do you use? Got any tips or tricks?

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#2 Joe Blowe

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Posted 10 July 2010 - 07:50 PM

There may be waterproof label cartridges available for your current label maker; if not, they're available for the Brother P-Touch models.

And there's always waterproof labels for home laser printers, like these [click].
So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

#3 dougal

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 02:28 AM

I have one of those little label printers that you can pick up at the office stores ...

The one issue I have had is that the labels I use are not waterproof. ... They also fade pretty badly in the sun ...



Chris, I believe that any thermal printer is going to have issues with exposure of its output to heat and/or uv - like direct sunlight!
Most inkjet inks will also fade badly in sunlight.
You wouldn't have those issues (to anything like the same extent) with laser-printed labels.



Since a laser printer wants to print a page at a time, you need some nice software that will allow you to just print, ad hoc, a specific chosen individual label from the sheet, or a few different (or identical) ones on each pass of a sheet of labels through the printer (using the manual feed). Next time that sheet goes through, you take care to use some of the remaining labels ...
My old Mac and HP laser are very happy with a bit of freeware called pearLabelizer.
http://www.pearworks...screenshot.html
It doesn't HAVE to be used for printing name & address labels ... !



Just make certain that the labels you use are intended for use in a laser printer. Otherwise you could very soon be needing expensive printer repairs.

Maybe worth noting that general-purpose address-type laser-labels (which are the inexpensive and readily-available ones) are actually deliberately designed (with good reason) NOT to be easily-removable. In fact they are usually a bit of a pain to remove from plastic containers.
For kitchen use, you would probably find it well worthwhile to source (and pay the extra for) some peelable laser labels.

And some weatherproof ones. And some fluorescent ones. And some with freezer-proof adhesive. And ... :cool:
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#4 Snadra

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 05:07 AM

Since a laser printer wants to print a page at a time, you need some nice software that will allow you to just print, ad hoc, a specific chosen individual label from the sheet, or a few different (or identical) ones on each pass of a sheet of labels through the printer (using the manual feed). Next time that sheet goes through, you take care to use some of the remaining labels ...


Printing to one label in a sheet of labels is easy to do in MSWord, however, I have always been told that you risk causing damage to your laser printer if you put through a sheet with some labels removed.

#5 andiesenji

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 09:03 AM

I've been using Brother P-Touch labelers for several years - I think I am on my third as I keep upgrading.

The labels are waterproof but are easily removed when necessary and do not leave any sticky residue.

I am rather compulsive about labeling things - I have the flexible ones for wires and cables so I know what plug goes to what device when there are several plugged into a multiple outlet.

This is the one I now use.

Edited by andiesenji, 11 July 2010 - 09:05 AM.

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#6 Chris Hennes

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 10:40 AM

My objection to the laser printer thing is that my laser printer is across the house from the kitchen. So even when I have the laptop on the counter with me, I have to go pick up the labels in the other room. I'm lazy, what can I say? I like the immediacy of having this little label gizmo with me in the kitchen all the time, it encourages me to actually USE it.

As to the fading issue: dougal, my hope was that some chemical engineer had up with some technology to "set" the paper and prevent it from being "re-written" by the sun. Alas, this does not seem to be the case, I guess. The fading is not so much a problem in the kitchen, but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you hope to label things outdoors!

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#7 Anna N

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 01:04 PM

I have one similiar to Andie's (a few models down I think) but I love it. I buy the laminated labels which survive even the dishwasher but still come off clean when required. I now have my eye on one of the small hand-helds but am waiting for a decent sale on them. I bought mine after watching Kerry Beal use hers and thought what a great machine it was. One big regret from my years of garage sales is the small one I turned down because it would only print a date label - so many, many times that is all I need. And it was priced just right - $1! Never seen another one.
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#8 Wholemeal Crank

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 01:55 PM

I just invested in some laser labels for mailing labels, and used a few for the kitchen, and after only a week they seem great. But I have no idea of their long term removability, so have only used a handful in places where I'm not going to remove them.

I mostly use sharpies directly on my glass jars and bottles, because sharpie is surprisingly easy to remove with a good scrubbie and a bit of water. It's water proof but once you break it up a little by scratching or scrubbing, the water seems to get under it so it comes off the rest of the way quite easily.

But the sharpie labels are a bit unnattractive, hard to read over dark jar contents, and the scrubbing off, while not hard, is not entirely trivial.

I buy the laminated labels which survive even the dishwasher but still come off clean when required.


What labels are you using--brand/item number?

#9 Anna N

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 12:12 AM

. . .

What labels are you using--brand/item number?


Brother, TZ Laminated White (various widths).
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#10 dougal

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Posted 12 July 2010 - 03:36 AM

... I have always been told that you risk causing damage to your laser printer if you put through a sheet with some labels removed.



With proper laser labels, no creases in the backing sheet and no loose/ragged edges or corners of the remaining labels ... I believe the risk to be absolutely minimal - I've had no trouble, but since it would be me paying for any damage, I'm careful and so don't consider I'm running any sort of significant risk.

To reduce any risk even further, one could select the straightest paper path (like you'd use for card).
As it is, I only ever use the manual feed for labels (therefore straight in) but don't bother with the straight-out-at-the-back exit route.
"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

#11 Miranda

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 07:44 PM

But the sharpie labels are ..., hard to read over dark jar contents, and the scrubbing off, while not hard, is not entirely trivial.


I use those white ink correction pens on darker bottles, or a pentel paint pen, purple at the moment. And I try and resist the temptation to add elaborate designs!

#12 Lapin d'Argent

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 03:14 PM



But the sharpie labels are ..., hard to read over dark jar contents, and the scrubbing off, while not hard, is not entirely trivial.


I use those white ink correction pens on darker bottles, or a pentel paint pen, purple at the moment. And I try and resist the temptation to add elaborate designs!

Oh, come on...life is short! And there are always more jars somewhere...

I think Sharpy ink can be removed with acetone; if you try it and it doesn't work, PM me and I'll check around at the studio. We use it a lot for metalworking. Also chopsticks. It's nice when addictions use overlapping tools. :biggrin:

#13 Lapin d'Argent

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 04:20 PM

Like Andie and Anna, I've been using one of the Brother P-Touch labelers for years. The TZ laminated tapes are quite durable. For surviving a whole season of sun rain in the garden, Brother also makes Extra Strength tape -- you won't be able to peel it off, but it shouldn't be affected by anything else, either.

If I were in the market for a new labeler right now, I'd go out and get me this model. It's rechargeable, via a handy little dock that can sit on your bookcase, you can plug it into your laptop via a USB cable and conveniently type 40 bazillion labels all at once, or you can cart it around with you and just make your labels wherever you want.

It's a bit pricier, but I think the convenience features are well worth it, because convenience is what these little guys are all about.

Like I said, if I have an excuse...

#14 blue_dolphin

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Posted 19 July 2010 - 05:36 PM

...I think Sharpy ink can be removed with acetone; if you try it and it doesn't work, PM me and I'll check around at the studio. We use it a lot for metalworking. Also chopsticks. It's nice when addictions use overlapping tools. :biggrin:


Agreed. In my experience, acetone/nail polish remover will easily remove Sharpie ink from glass. It may also dissolve some plastics so rubbing alcohol may be a better first pass on plastic containers.

#15 andiesenji

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:20 AM

Like Andie and Anna, I've been using one of the Brother P-Touch labelers for years. The TZ laminated tapes are quite durable. For surviving a whole season of sun rain in the garden, Brother also makes Extra Strength tape -- you won't be able to peel it off, but it shouldn't be affected by anything else, either.

If I were in the market for a new labeler right now, I'd go out and get me this model. It's rechargeable, via a handy little dock that can sit on your bookcase, you can plug it into your laptop via a USB cable and conveniently type 40 bazillion labels all at once, or you can cart it around with you and just make your labels wherever you want.

It's a bit pricier, but I think the convenience features are well worth it, because convenience is what these little guys are all about.

Like I said, if I have an excuse...



It is a nifty little label printer but it won't take 1 inch tapes and I use a lot of that size because I can get 4-7 lines of type on a fairly short label.
I keep all the labels with longer text that I use frequently, in the memory so I don't have to retype them each time. I do have to purge the memory of some old labels that I no longer use.

Edited by andiesenji, 20 July 2010 - 07:21 AM.

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett
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#16 HungryC

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 07:28 AM

Agreed. In my experience, acetone/nail polish remover will easily remove Sharpie ink from glass. It may also dissolve some plastics so rubbing alcohol may be a better first pass on plastic containers.

Wow, I feel like such a Luddite. No fancy machines for me, nor any acetone in the kitchen. I use a good ol' China marker (aka grease pencil), which will write on glass, plastic, china, enamel, etc. It rubs off easily on most surfaces with a bit of friction (like using your thumb). Best of all, the pencil is paper-wrapped, so no plastic consumables to worry about or dispose of. RE: garden labelling, the grease pencil will write on index cards & not fade in the sun. Cardstock survives a few months outdoors in the rain (about as long as a growing season), and you can chuck it into the compost heap, along with the plants, when the season is finished.

#17 Lapin d'Argent

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Posted 20 July 2010 - 02:52 PM


Agreed. In my experience, acetone/nail polish remover will easily remove Sharpie ink from glass. It may also dissolve some plastics so rubbing alcohol may be a better first pass on plastic containers.

Wow, I feel like such a Luddite. No fancy machines for me, nor any acetone in the kitchen. I use a good ol' China marker (aka grease pencil), which will write on glass, plastic, china, enamel, etc. It rubs off easily on most surfaces with a bit of friction (like using your thumb). Best of all, the pencil is paper-wrapped, so no plastic consumables to worry about or dispose of. RE: garden labelling, the grease pencil will write on index cards & not fade in the sun. Cardstock survives a few months outdoors in the rain (about as long as a growing season), and you can chuck it into the compost heap, along with the plants, when the season is finished.

Well, sure -- if you can read your own handwriting. :biggrin:

Truth be told, my label maker lives in my studio these days, and we use masking tape and a Sharpie on things in the kitchen. I've given up on the garden...

#18 LindaK

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 07:09 AM

Is there anything new in the world of label makers? There are so many options at so many price points, I'm stuck. Are there specific features that you love that I should be looking for? Anything to avoid?


 


#19 lindag

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

I use this one http://www.amazon.co...brother labeler
I have upgraded a time or two as well.
I've used the labels on my outdoor thermometer sending units and they never fade or peel even in direct sun. And the temps here can be severely cold in winter (-20°) and very hot (105°) in summer.
While the unit is a bit pricey, it holds a charge for a VERY long time. I've had it two years and only charged it once because it seemed like the thing to do. I also like its compact size so it can reside in a kitchen drawer.
I am a bit anal about labeling and use it extensively in my home office and my kitchen for pantry items - as well as anything else I find.
I had a cheapie P-Touch a few years ago which ran on batteries only and found that it exhausted batteries very quickly. Gave up on that one.

#20 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 04:35 PM

Is there anything new in the world of label makers? There are so many options at so many price points, I'm stuck. Are there specific features that you love that I should be looking for? Anything to avoid?

How about using labels for SousVide bags in the freezer? My freezer is a "disaster" - I have it jam packed with frozen sousvide bagged pre-cooked items, as well the regular freezer denizens. My freezer is becoming so difficult to work with that I'm considering a making a small MS Access database program to track my inventory. I was thinking that when I cook items, I could log the info in the database, such as: Bag #, temp, time, seasonings, as well as classifications such as: Poultry, Beef, Pork, and sub-categories such as Ribs, Shoulder. I would also have the date the item was cooked. This would allow me to say something like....hmmmm...whats for dinner tonight? Pull up my program and look up my inventory to "put a meal together"....Ah...proteins....pork tenderloin...I see I also have some carrots, and some asparagus soup. Perfect! I could then also better track my time and temperature combinations to achieve the results that I like best. Also, I would then go and mark as "Used" the items that have been consumed. I tend to do "batch cooking" so that I can store items in my freezer. When entering new items into the database during a batch cooking session, I'm envisioning being able to print a label out to a small device such as a P-Touch so that I could affix that label to the bag. It would include the attributes such as date cooked, etc. that I've listed above. Does anyone recommend a device that could be attached to the computer as a printer, and then that label survive the freezer? Currently I simply use a Sharpie - but to be honest, I have terrible handwriting and tend to be a bit haphazard when I'm labeling 23 bags of Tasso ham (for example)... :unsure:. I believe the database would solve that part, and being able to print out a label that is consistent across bags would seem to help. Cheers....Todd in Chicago

#21 bhsimon

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Posted 25 November 2012 - 11:28 PM


Is there anything new in the world of label makers? There are so many options at so many price points, I'm stuck. Are there specific features that you love that I should be looking for? Anything to avoid?

How about using labels for SousVide bags in the freezer? My freezer is a "disaster" - I have it jam packed with frozen sousvide bagged pre-cooked items, as well the regular freezer denizens. My freezer is becoming so difficult to work with that I'm considering a making a small MS Access database program to track my inventory. I was thinking that when I cook items, I could log the info in the database, such as: Bag #, temp, time, seasonings, as well as classifications such as: Poultry, Beef, Pork, and sub-categories such as Ribs, Shoulder. I would also have the date the item was cooked. This would allow me to say something like....hmmmm...whats for dinner tonight? Pull up my program and look up my inventory to "put a meal together"....Ah...proteins....pork tenderloin...I see I also have some carrots, and some asparagus soup. Perfect! I could then also better track my time and temperature combinations to achieve the results that I like best. Also, I would then go and mark as "Used" the items that have been consumed. I tend to do "batch cooking" so that I can store items in my freezer. When entering new items into the database during a batch cooking session, I'm envisioning being able to print a label out to a small device such as a P-Touch so that I could affix that label to the bag. It would include the attributes such as date cooked, etc. that I've listed above. Does anyone recommend a device that could be attached to the computer as a printer, and then that label survive the freezer? Currently I simply use a Sharpie - but to be honest, I have terrible handwriting and tend to be a bit haphazard when I'm labeling 23 bags of Tasso ham (for example)... :unsure:. I believe the database would solve that part, and being able to print out a label that is consistent across bags would seem to help. Cheers....Todd in Chicago


I love your idea, Todd in Chicago.

For cross-platform and mobile compatibility, I might take your idea and code in PHP and MySQL. I would be happy to share that code with you, if you'd like it.

From your post, I envisaged a database structure with automatically-generated (indexed) item number, date, meat type, meat cut, temp, time, notes. Linked tables for meat type and meat cuts, so these could be entered separately and linked to multiple items.

It would be easy to generate a CSS stylesheet which turned a record into a label. You could, also, just label the pouch with the item number and look up the database for more information if you are in a hurry.

I'm about to test the Brother PT-2730 using laminated labels to see how it works in my kitchen, specifically for sous vide pouches in the freezer.

#22 OliverB

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Posted 26 November 2012 - 04:07 PM

I either use a ptouch too, or I put a piece of regular scotch tape on and write with a sharpie on that. Easy to peel off :-)
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#23 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 27 November 2012 - 03:46 PM



Is there anything new in the world of label makers? There are so many options at so many price points, I'm stuck. Are there specific features that you love that I should be looking for? Anything to avoid?

How about using labels for SousVide bags in the freezer? My freezer is a "disaster" - I have it jam packed with frozen sousvide bagged pre-cooked items, as well the regular freezer denizens. My freezer is becoming so difficult to work with that I'm considering a making a small MS Access database program to track my inventory. I was thinking that when I cook items, I could log the info in the database, such as: Bag #, temp, time, seasonings, as well as classifications such as: Poultry, Beef, Pork, and sub-categories such as Ribs, Shoulder. I would also have the date the item was cooked. This would allow me to say something like....hmmmm...whats for dinner tonight? Pull up my program and look up my inventory to "put a meal together"....Ah...proteins....pork tenderloin...I see I also have some carrots, and some asparagus soup. Perfect! I could then also better track my time and temperature combinations to achieve the results that I like best. Also, I would then go and mark as "Used" the items that have been consumed. I tend to do "batch cooking" so that I can store items in my freezer. When entering new items into the database during a batch cooking session, I'm envisioning being able to print a label out to a small device such as a P-Touch so that I could affix that label to the bag. It would include the attributes such as date cooked, etc. that I've listed above. Does anyone recommend a device that could be attached to the computer as a printer, and then that label survive the freezer? Currently I simply use a Sharpie - but to be honest, I have terrible handwriting and tend to be a bit haphazard when I'm labeling 23 bags of Tasso ham (for example)... :unsure:. I believe the database would solve that part, and being able to print out a label that is consistent across bags would seem to help. Cheers....Todd in Chicago


I love your idea, Todd in Chicago.

For cross-platform and mobile compatibility, I might take your idea and code in PHP and MySQL. I would be happy to share that code with you, if you'd like it.

From your post, I envisaged a database structure with automatically-generated (indexed) item number, date, meat type, meat cut, temp, time, notes. Linked tables for meat type and meat cuts, so these could be entered separately and linked to multiple items.

It would be easy to generate a CSS stylesheet which turned a record into a label. You could, also, just label the pouch with the item number and look up the database for more information if you are in a hurry.

I'm about to test the Brother PT-2730 using laminated labels to see how it works in my kitchen, specifically for sous vide pouches in the freezer.

BHSimon I don't have any real programming ability (hence using MS Access), but if you'd want a collaborator on the open source project, I'd love to be able to provide some input. Let me know or DM me.Cheers....Todd in Chicago

#24 Todd in Chicago

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Posted 19 January 2013 - 11:04 AM




Is there anything new in the world of label makers? There are so many options at so many price points, I'm stuck. Are there specific features that you love that I should be looking for? Anything to avoid?

How about using labels for SousVide bags in the freezer? My freezer is a "disaster" - I have it jam packed with frozen sousvide bagged pre-cooked items, as well the regular freezer denizens. My freezer is becoming so difficult to work with that I'm considering a making a small MS Access database program to track my inventory. I was thinking that when I cook items, I could log the info in the database, such as: Bag #, temp, time, seasonings, as well as classifications such as: Poultry, Beef, Pork, and sub-categories such as Ribs, Shoulder. I would also have the date the item was cooked. This would allow me to say something like....hmmmm...whats for dinner tonight? Pull up my program and look up my inventory to "put a meal together"....Ah...proteins....pork tenderloin...I see I also have some carrots, and some asparagus soup. Perfect! I could then also better track my time and temperature combinations to achieve the results that I like best. Also, I would then go and mark as "Used" the items that have been consumed. I tend to do "batch cooking" so that I can store items in my freezer. When entering new items into the database during a batch cooking session, I'm envisioning being able to print a label out to a small device such as a P-Touch so that I could affix that label to the bag. It would include the attributes such as date cooked, etc. that I've listed above. Does anyone recommend a device that could be attached to the computer as a printer, and then that label survive the freezer? Currently I simply use a Sharpie - but to be honest, I have terrible handwriting and tend to be a bit haphazard when I'm labeling 23 bags of Tasso ham (for example)... :unsure:. I believe the database would solve that part, and being able to print out a label that is consistent across bags would seem to help. Cheers....Todd in Chicago


I love your idea, Todd in Chicago.

For cross-platform and mobile compatibility, I might take your idea and code in PHP and MySQL. I would be happy to share that code with you, if you'd like it.

From your post, I envisaged a database structure with automatically-generated (indexed) item number, date, meat type, meat cut, temp, time, notes. Linked tables for meat type and meat cuts, so these could be entered separately and linked to multiple items.

It would be easy to generate a CSS stylesheet which turned a record into a label. You could, also, just label the pouch with the item number and look up the database for more information if you are in a hurry.

I'm about to test the Brother PT-2730 using laminated labels to see how it works in my kitchen, specifically for sous vide pouches in the freezer.

BHSimon I don't have any real programming ability (hence using MS Access), but if you'd want a collaborator on the open source project, I'd love to be able to provide some input. Let me know or DM me.Cheers....Todd in Chicago

For anyone interested in this topic, see this post in the sous vide topic: http://forums.egulle...69#entry1905769 Cheers...Todd In Chicago