If you have an old rice cooker, grab your soldering iron: now's your chance to try the cooking sous vide, a cooking method we love. With a little effort an an Arduino, that rice cooker can become a powerful water oven, capable of precisely controlling its own temperature.
The folks at Adafruit Industries drew our attention to this post on the Adafruit Learning System portal. The end result in this project is a waterproof, food safe system that can detect minor changes in the temperature of your cooking water and then prompt the rice cooker to heat the container and maintain your desired temperature for the hours often required for sous vide cooking. Since the Arduino controller here has a display and keypad, you can actually use it to control the temperature and intervene manually if you wish, but with the right tuning (and the walkthrough below helps you configure the controller too) you may not need to.
You'll need a few components to build this project, most notably the Arduino control board that will serve as the brains of the system. This project uses an Arduino Uno R3, an RGB LCD display, a waterproof temperature sensor, food-grade heat shrink tubing, and a few other components, all of which are available at the link below from Adafruit directly.
Hit the link below for the full parts list, and the complete walkthrough from start to finish. If you're willing to give it a shot, it looks like it would make a great weekend project.
Sous-vide Controller Powered by Arduino - The SousViduino! [Adafruit Learning System]