Best Sous Vide Container for Anova or Nomiku Immersion Circulator

Best Sous Vide bath container - Rubbermaid

So you bought a sous vide device. Now you want to find the best container for sous vide so you can cook to your full potential! Manufacturers like Anova say you can use their immersion circulators with any old pot, but cooking sous vide without a quality container introduces a few big problems.

Why you need a real sous vide container

1. Cooking sous vide in a pot is inefficient – You lose a tremendous amount of heat through a metal pot, meaning it takes a long time to heat water to the proper temperature using your sous vide device. Cooking sous vide in a metal a pot will try your patience, raise your electricity bill, and heat your house up.

2. You need to prevent evaporation – If you’re cooking sous vide for more than a few hours, a lot of water will evaporate unless you have a proper lid, which could lead to improper cooking or worse… damaging your sous vide machine. To prevent this fate, you need a quality lid for your water bath that can accommodate your immersion circulator.

3. You can’t see through a pot – If you want to check on your food while it cooks, it’s really hard to look through a metal container unless you’re Superman. A transparent sous vide container allows you to always see what’s going on.

sousvide NY strip beef steak

On the quest to cook the perfect sous vide steak or eggs, many have gone to great lengths to build DIY sous vide coolers. However, these homebrew solutions take a lot of effort to build and can look clunky in the kitchen. I toyed with the idea but my wife banned me from leaving an ugly cooler on our counter.

So after a search for a sous vide cooking container, I found one I’ve used for years now that’s affordable and looks great. It’s a clear polycarbonate water bath container that’s the perfect size for a counter. It also allows you to heat the water bath quickly, and keeps the water at temperature for a long time. Best of all it’s inexpensive and available on Amazon.

Below are links to everything you need. It should only cost you $20-25 for the tub container and lid, and if you have Amazon Prime you can get free 2-day shipping too!

Note: BPA is a chemical that’s linked to cancer. If you want to err on the safe side, you should use BPA-free bags, such as Ziploc Freezer bags. You can also find use BPA-free vacuum sealer bags, but those are much more expensive and do essentially the same thing.

Where to buy the best sous vide container + lid

 Sous Vide Container by Rubbermaid

Rubbermaid 12 quart Commercial Container
This transparent, 10″ x 10″ food-grade tub is perfect for cooking a few steaks or even a whole chicken or two, and it’s small enough that water will heat up in it relatively quickly. Additionally, it’s shallow enough so you can easily fish out sous vide eggs without burning your hand.

Rubbermaid Commercial Lid

This lid fits the Rubbermaid 12 quart container perfectly so it effectively holds in heat and moisture. It’s flexible and durable, yet you can easily cut a hole in it for your sous vide device with a standard pair of scissors.

Thermal bag to insulate the container

This last one is optional but if you use this to insulate your sous vide container, you can heat up water more quickly and save on electricity costs. This solution lets you keep your water bath warm like with a clunky DIY beer cooler solution but without any of the extra engineering work, additional bulk, or the eyesore that looks out of place on your kitchen countertop.

lid for sous vide container
Once you get all of your materials, simply cut a small hole in the lid to accommodate your immersion circulator and start cooking!

Thanks for reading and hope that the best sous vide container I could find works great for you too, whether you have an Anova sous vide machine, Nomiku, Sansaire, PolyScience, Instant Pot, VacMaster or a similar device.

11 thoughts on “Best Sous Vide Container for Anova or Nomiku Immersion Circulator”

    1. Thanks for the links, that cooler hack looks pretty cool! I’m too lazy to build one of those…

      Also, my friend has the Cambro container and likes it, I’m a little paranoid about BPA though so I went with the Rubbermaid one.

  1. Hi, thanks for your post! I ended up using the Rubbermaid pro container for my water bath. I’m curious if you ended up using the insulated bag that you recommended and if so, can you show me some pics or tell me how it’s working out? I’m considering making a custom fit insulated bag.


    1. Hannah insulating bag used on a sous vide water bath

      Hey Daniel,

      It’s going pretty well. It definitely helps keep the heat in. I’ve used just a cheap silver lining that I got for free for a while and that worked pretty well but looked terrible. The bag I link to in the article fits quite snugly and doesn’t look that bad, plus it’s easy to fold and store when I want to put my container away. The immersion circulator’s clip on the back is a little hard to get the bag over, but sometimes I just wrap it around the side and just do a half zip of the bag.

      The picture above shows what it looks like. Not a bad deal for $8.50 for the navy blue model.

      I haven’t done any scientific tests with my bag, but one day I heated the water bath up to 120, and I didn’t empty it out until 10 hours later… the water temperature was still at 90 degrees (room temp was about 75). I’ll probably use the bag for longer cooks, like when I do a 72 hour short rib.

      insulating bag for sous vide container

      1. How high-temp have you gone with this bag? I’m considering getting one, but I will be using a metal pot and don’t want to worry about damaging the bag.

        1. Like most people, I mainly cook meats and eggs sous vide, in the 125-145F range. The bag has been holding up like a champ so far.

          I don’t do veggies as much, but the Rubbermaid tub is rated for up to 212 degrees F, so it can easily handle the 183 degrees F you cook veggies at.

          The thermal bag should do just fine at those temps as well.

  2. Hello Peter,
    Thanks for the wonderful post!
    I just bought the same rubbermaid container and lid…but I’m wondering if you can let us know what tool you used to cut the lid to match the Anova ? Because I see a good fit there with the cut?

    Thank you so much !

    1. Hi J Law,

      I simply used a pair of kitchen shears to cut a hole for my immersion circulator. The plastic of the Rubbermaid lid is relatively easy to cut through as long as you have a strong set of scissors.

      It’s relatively easy to get a good fit too, as the plastic lid for the sous vide container is pretty flexible and can bend a bit to conform to the curves of your device.

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