Crock Pot as a space heater, am I nuts?

That’s how you start stone soup.

this is brilliant.

I did add some cinnamon to mine with just the rocks but the water would be even better.

I tried it for a few nights and it works great, it does have a long warm up time compared to a space heater but when you are sleeping the last thing most people want is a cycling fan randomly going on and off. the water part would work fine in an unbroken one, in mine there are 2 little holes to drain spills out the bottom so that wouldn’t work but spraying the rocks would work great.

it did cross my mind that the pot might run hotter without liquid in it but I didn’t consider the thermostat aspect, I will have to run it on high for a bit then temp it. I know that if you leave them on high long enough you can get a low boil going so it might get a bit warm in there without liquid after all.

FWIW, crock-pots use a rheostat, not a thermostat. The low-high-warm switch sets how much electricity is trickled to the heating element, but there’s no feedback loop based on how warm the crock gets. Indeed, the absence of a thermostat is probably the greatest weakness of the appliance for its intended purpose, as eventually everything boils (which is not a good thing).

Nothing uses a rheostat (variable resistor) nowadays, because they are horribly inefficient; for example, at 50% power, it will dissipate as much power as the load (and even more at lower settings), plus it would have to be very large. I recently took a (rather old) crock pot apart and the control (continuous adjustment, not low/high) adjusted the position of a bimetalic switch, so that is basically a thermostat (if a very crude one, since there was no connection at all with the pot, relying solely on heat radiated/conducted from it). Others may use a dual heating element or a diode to block half the AC for low/high settings. Newer ones are probably starting to use electronic controls, like everything else.

Nit picking Here…
I’m assuming that when you say ‘nothing uses a rheostat’ you are specifically meaning certain classes of (consumer level?) cookware.
I can assure you pots are commonly used in other various applications from hobbyists on a budget to industrial HVAC systems and more.

the smallest cheapest crock pots may not use a thermal shut off, larger or more expensive ones might and do have that.

I pray you find vandals scaling your walls. You’ll know what to do.

No, don’t put any moisture in it! There’s warnings stamped in the bottom stressing just that. You’d be much better off with a firebrick in it vs rocks. You can find them at a typical big box hardware store for about a buck or - naturally - a brickyard. Unlike rocks, they can take up to 2000 degrees without cracking. A rock can crack violently enough to spill out onto your floor. Firebrick will hold the heat well too.

filling it with sand would be better heat transfer from the heating elements compared to rocks.

I like that idea, I have no access to sand that I can think of though, hell sand + rocks would work, the sand would fill in the gaps just fine. have to plug the holes in the bottom though.

I didn’t leave it alone and was there to watch it. I did other cooking at the same time. Also putting a pan of water in the oven also helped raise the humidity and that helped too.