Yes, I used a 120 volt 1500 watt element, which is rather small by water heater standards, but I have other appliances on the same circuit so I didn't go more powerful. As it turns out, 1500 watts is quite sufficient for the purpose. One degree per minute is easy to control, particularly when scalding the curd. The element I used was Model 15896 from Home Depot, $9.67. I think my plastic bin holds a couple of gallons surrounding the steam table pan, which comfortably holds five gallons. If I fill the bin with hot water from the tap, it heats the cold milk quite quickly. When I made the butterkase a week ago Monday, the five gallon bucket of milk I used was pretty much still frozen, and it thawed it within an hour. I'll eventually hook this up to a Johnson controller or a PID for holding a constant temperature for longer periods of time, for making mother cultures, yogurt, and quark.