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.
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
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.
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.