How To Make Candles With A Presto Pot

Armatage Candle Company
How To Make Candles With A Presto Pot

Presto Pots are one of the most efficient ways to create new candles or wax melts.

Most candle makers start with the double boiler method, but quickly find they can only crank out a few candles at a time.

The Presto Pot changes all of that.

A Presto Pot – or a deep fryer – is a device adopted by the candle making community from the kitchen.  It’s a direct-heat basin used to melt and blend wax with fragrance oil and color.

Often with a much larger capacity.  Presto Pots allow candle makers to create 6-20+ candles at a time, depending on the size of the candle and Presto Pot.

In this post you’ll learn how to get started with your first batch of candles in a Presto Pot.

Note: These instructions assume you’re already familiar with the following topics:

Let’s dive in!

1. Gather Supplies

As with every candle, you’ll need the following items:

Main Ingredients

  • Wax
  • Wicks
  • Fragrance oil or essential oil
  • Containers, molds or clamshells

Utility Items

  • Wick stickers
  • Thermometer
  • Aluminum pour pot
  • Wick holders / clothespins
  • Stirring device (spatula, butterknife, etc)
  • Scale (grams or ounces… not fluid ounces)

2. Measure Wax & Fragrance

Before measuring anything out, you’ll need to determine your fragrance load and container or mold capacity.

Fragrance load is the percentage of fragrance in your candle.  Typically ranges from 3-10%, but depends on the wax you’re using.

Capacity is the amount of “candle” one of your containers can hold.  If you aren’t making container candles, this refers to the mold you’re pouring into.

One way to measure capacity:

  1. Fill one container with water
  2. Weigh it (grams or ounces… never fluid ounces)
  3. Subtract the raw container weight (if you didn’t remove it already)
  4. Multiply the water weight by 0.86 (to translate it into wax weight).

Put that number in your pocket for the next step.

3. Measure Wax & Fragrance

Measure out the following items:

  • Total Weight = (Container Capacity) x (Number of Containers)
  • Wax = Total Weight ÷ (1 + Fragrance Load)
  • Fragrance Oil = (Total Weight) – (Wax)

Total Weight (Total Capacity)

Total weight (TW) is the weight of the final candle wax blend (wax and fragrance).  You need this to figure out how much of it is wax and how much is fragrance oil.

Color isn’t measured because it’s such a small number it won’t impact the final result.

  • Total Weight = (Container Capacity) x (Number of Containers)

If your capacity is 240 grams (measured earlier), and want to make 5 candles:

  • Total Weight = (240 grams) x (5 candles) = 1,200 grams


Wax is the main material of a candle.

  • Wax = Total Weight ÷ (1 + Fragrance Load)

The Fragrance Load used above should be a decimal.

Continuing from above, if our fragrance load was 7.1%:

  • Wax = 1,200 grams ÷ (1 + 0.071) = 1,120 grams

Fragrance Oil

Calculate fragrance oil with the following equation:

  • Fragrance Oil = (Total Weight) – (Wax)

For our example, that means:

  • Fragrance Oil = (1,200 grams) – (1,120 grams) = 80 grams

4. Add to Presto Pot

Weigh the proper amount of wax needed and place in the Presto Pot.

Turn the Presto Pot on, being careful not to set the temperature too high.  You usually don’t want to exceed 200°F (93°C) with most wax except palm and coconut.

If you’re not sure how much the dial impacts the temperature, start low, monitor, and slowly increase as needed. 

Steps 5-7 can be taken while the wax is melting in the Presto Pot.

5. Prepare containers

Container Candles

  • Stick wicks to the bottom of your containers with wick stickers or glue
  • Secure the wick to the top with clothespins or wick bars
  • Label or record notes as desired


  • Spray molds with non-stick lubricant (mold release spray)
  • Prepare wick pins or pre-wick mold (varies)
  • Label or record notes as desired

6. Weigh fragrance oil

Using a non-porous container, like glass, measure your fragrance oil.  Alternatively, dixie cups can be used a few times before they’re too damaged.

Place to the side.

7. Bring wax to 185°F (85°C)

Monitor your wax temperature with an IR or glass thermometer.  A majority of wax should be at least 185°F before anything else happens.

Palm and coconut usually require higher temperatures.  Beeswax is sometimes lower.

Follow manufacturer recommendations if you aren’t sure how hot to make your wax.

Once the wax is at 185°F, try not to allow it to exceed 200°F and then proceed to the next step.

8. Blend & Transfer

Here’s where things get interesting: you can blend everything in the Presto Pot or you can blend everything in your aluminum pour pot.

Blending refers to mixing the melted wax with fragrance oil and color drops.

If you blend wax in the pour pot, you’re okay introducing a fragrance into the pot or having leftover wax that’s blended with fragrance and color.  You can always clean it out later, but some candle makers prefer to treat the Presto Pot as a pure wax holder, blending the other ingredients after transferring the wax out.

If you transfer out of the Presto Pot and THEN blend, anything left in the Presto Pot is just wax that can be reused for a different destiny.

Both options are fine, but you should know what you’re getting yourself into.

Blending in the Presto Pot

Add your pre-measured fragrance oil to the melted wax and any colors in the Presto Pot, then continuously stir for two minutes.

If the blend temperature drops below where you want it to be while mixing, it’s okay to heat everything up in the Presto Pot before transferring.

After two minutes, transfer the wax into an aluminum pour pot using the spigot, a ladle, or any other (safe) way of transferring your blend out of the Presto Pot.

It’s not recommended to transfer directly to your containers or molds because:

  • Presto Pots don’t offer much dexterity control
  • The spigot often introduces a lot of air into the blend that may disrupt your candle profile
  • Pour pots offer a far greater level of control

Blending in the pour pot

Before adding fragrance oil and color, transfer your melted wax into an aluminum pour pot.

Be warned, the transfer often drops the temperature of the blend by 5-10°F.  Prepare accordingly and monitor.

Place the aluminum pour pot on a hot plate set to Low for greater control over temperature after transferring.

In the pour pot, add your pre-measured fragrance oil to the melted wax and any colors, then continuously stir for two minutes.

9. Pour

The favorite moment of many candle makers (including the author of this blog) – pouring the blend into the containers.

Pour the wax from the pour pot into the candle containers or molds at a medium pace.

A recommended practice is to fill your containers 80% of the way and then go back through and finish.  This helps distribute your wax in case there was any loss and usually prevents an awkward candle at the end that didn’t have enough wax to fill it.

10. Curing & Testing

What happens next really depends on what you’re doing with the craft, but most candles require time to cure.

If you’re exploring new designs, make sure to follow the best practices for testing to find the right wick size for your candle.


If you’re interested in diving deeper into the craft and fundamentals, check out the Soy Wax Candle Making Fundamentals course!

The post How To Make Candles With A Presto Pot appeared first on Armatage Candle Company.

* This article was originally published here

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