So I researched, then dragged him out to Bass Pro Shops to see what was available. We both concluded that we wanted a sturdier insulated box in stainless steel (inside and out) with simple replaceable mechanicals. But of course, we didn't want to spend the kind of money that seemed to cost. Hence the DIY. What we have so far is this:
Box - A stainless steel commercial 'cook & hold' oven, same model as this one. It's in great structural and cosmetic shape, but the electrical bits were shot.
Heating elements - A stainless 110V commercial two-burner hot plate similar to this one. One burner is 1250 watts, the other 1800 watts, which should be ample, I think, given the oven's insulation. We figure the electric coils would be easy to replace down the road.
Hubby is mounting the hot plate inside the box, and re-wiring the temperature-adjustment knobs, on/off switches and indicator lights to a new faceplate (replacing the ugly orange one) We're not anticipating any problems with that part.
But what we'd really like to do is add a thermostat to control the heat.
I've heard it's possible. I've read where people have done it.
But NOWHERE can I find HOW to do it!
The only online directions I can find basically say to insert the temperature probe, then wire in the new thermostat the same way the old thermostat was wired! And we can't do that, since the old thermostats and heating elements presumably didn't work and were 220V anyway.
So my real questions are these:
1) I see lots of simple-looking oven thermostats on ebay. (Is that what we need?)
and 2) HOW can we wire in a thermostat to control one set of the hotplate's coils?