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Easy Slow Cooker Playdough Without Cream of Tartar

We were shocked at how easily we could make homemade playdough in our slow cooker. Set it and forget it. It was honestly one of the easiest things we have done recently! 

red, green, yellow homemade playdough made in slower cooker on white marble with shiplap background.

When I was younger, I remember trying to make homemade playdough on the stovetop and totally burning the flour. Let’s say it did not smell great.

Don’t worry—this do-it-yourself playdough is so easy that even my 8-year-old self would be happy. When I realized you can make homemade playdough in your slow cooker, I knew I had found the best playdough idea for me (and you, too).

What is cream of tartar?

Cream of Tartar is an acidic powder that is created by fermented grapes. Some people think it is like baking soda or baking powder, but it is not. It is generally used in cooking, especially when beating egg whites. If you are big into baking or cooking, you may want to check out this article about the purpose of cream of tartar.

hand picking up homemade playdough from Crock pot

Why do a lot of homemade playdough recipes use cream of tartar?

Just like cream of tartar can help a baker make meringue, it helps homemade playdough keep its stiffness and not collapse. However, the good news is that other acidic ingredients can be used as substitutes for cream of tartar. Cream of tartar may also act as a preservative in homemade playdough. 

Some craft bloggers say that their homemade playdough lasts longer using cream of tartar. However, it is worth a trip to the store if you don’t have it on hand.

Cream Of Tartar Substitutes

You can substitute lemon juice or vinegar for cream of tartar in homemade playdough recipes.

supplies needed to make homemade playdough, slow cooker, flour, salt, cornstarch, vinegar, food coloring and vegetable oil.

Supplies you’ll need

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  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1/2 cup of Salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons White Vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • 3 Tablespoons Corn Starch
  • Food Coloring (optional)

Tip For Mixing Colors

  • Place a ball of playdough in a bag with a few drops of coloring.
  • Let the air out of the bag and close it.
  • Let your kiddos play and smush the color into the homemade playdough without getting a complete food coloring mess on their hands.

How To Make Slow Cooker Playdough

Step 1: Add dry ingredients to the slower cooker.

Step 2: Add wet ingredients (vinegar, oil, and water). Completely mix them together.

Step 3: Cook on high for around an hour stirring every 20 minutes.

collage of white ingredients cooking in a slower cooker.

Step 4: Take your playdough out of the slower cooker.

Be careful since the playdough will be hot. My adult hands were able to mold it together pretty quickly. Don’t let your children reach into the crockpot.

homemade playdough in crock pot

Optional: Add Colors

Use food coloring to create different “balls” of colors. 

adding food coloring to balls of homemade playdough

Play and have fun with your DIY playdough, then store it in airtight containers when not in use. 

homemade playdough in green, red and yellow with playdough tools

Playdough Recipe With Lemon Juice

While we think the vinegar substitute works the best, you can also replace the easy homemade playdough recipe with lemon juice. 

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch

Repeat the how-to instructions above (or from the printable card below).

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Tips

  • You can save old store-bought playdough containers to store new playdough in, or you can purchase small airtight containers. In a pinch, a good Ziploc bag should do the trick.
  • If doing multiple colors, place small amounts of playdough in baggies for a mess-free way to add coloring.
  • It is simpler to make one color. If doing one color, add food coloring with wet ingredients.
  • Check your playdough every 20 minutes to make sure you don’t burn it.

This slow cooker play dough recipe does not use cream of tartar, and it was a hit with our preschooler. Have fun making it with your family!

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Easy Slow Cooker Playdough

Learn how to make homemade playdough in your Crock Pot without using cream of tartar.
Print Tutorial
piles of homemade playdough
Prep:5 minutes
Creating:1 hour
Additional Time:15 minutes
Total Time:1 hour 20 minutes

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker
  • Measuring Spoons or Cups

Supplies

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 3 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • Food Coloring Gel Food Coloring or Regular

Instructions

  • Add dry ingredients to the slower cooker.
  • Add wet ingredients (vinegar, oil and water).
  • Completely mix together.
  • Cook on high for around an hour stirring every 20 minutes.
  • Take out the Crock Pot. Be careful as the playdough will be hot. However, my adult hands were able to mold it together pretty quickly. Don’t let your children just reach in to the crock pot.
  • Optional: Use food coloring to create different “balls” of colors.
    Store in airtight containers.

Video

Notes

  • Save old store-bought playdough containers to store new playdough in or you can also purchase small air-tight containers to use. In a pinch, a good Ziploc bag should do the trick for a little.
  • Use a baggie for easy coloring
  • It is simpler to just make one color. Add food coloring with wet ingredients.
  • Make sure you don’t burn the playdough (check it every 20 minutes while in the slow cooker)
Author: Erin
Cost: Less than $5

8 Comments

  1. I’ve learned so much about cream of tartar today! I didn’t know it was an acid or that acid was a key ingredient and now I’m a bit tempted to experiment with other acids. Very interesting article.

    1. Hi Lyssa. My kiddos had a complete blast with this homemade playdough recipe. I honestly couldn’t get over how great it turned out.

    1. Hi Meghan. I am glad you like this simple and easy slow cooker playdough recipe. Thanks for visiting our site.

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