So you’ve gotten your first sous vide immersion circulator. Maybe you’ve sprung for the Anova Precision cooker sous vide circulator and found that it’s just too tall for any of the pots you currently have in your house, no matter which pot you stick it in you just can’t get the water to the minimum fill line on your sous vide. To alleviate that critical problem, and to stop stressing about water level, here’s some of the best sous vide containers and the Best Pot for Sous Vide in 2022 so you can fully utilize your new purchase.
First things first: when you finally buy your sous vide, you’ll immediately notice that you’re missing a key component in your setup.
You’ll be missing the Sous Vide Water Bath. To properly utilize your sous vide you’re also going to need a container for sous vide. Sous vide cooking requires two distinct elements.
First, it requires an immersion circulator, whether it be the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker or any other device on the market. This is what gets the show going. The circulator will heat water to a precise temperature and as the name implies, circulate it through out the sous vide container you place it in, ensuring that whatever food your cooking is fully immersed in water that stays at a consistent temperature.
Do I need a sous vide container?
Yes. Of course, you’ll need that sous vide container to hold that water bath that the circulator will heat and move about.
The sous vide cooking process requires that you have water to submerge you food into, after it has been sealed in a bag by a vacuum sealer of course, and the the container is large enough to fit both the sous vide and the food you are cooking.
What is the best sous vide container size?
Too small, and nothing fits. Too big, and well, you might find yourself filling a two hundred quart stock pot just to cook one single steak. Like with all things in the culinary world, there’s a sweet spot.
Before we get to the list, there are a few considerations worth mentioning for sous vide containers.
We already mentioned the first one, the sous vide container or pot needs to be not too big and not too small. It needs to fit both the sous vide cooker and the food you’re cooking. If you’re not too familiar with sous vide cooking this might be hard to gauge, but our list will show you some of the best options out there right now.
What is the best material for my sous vide container?
The other salient consideration, and perhaps the single most important consideration after size, is heat loss. Since sous vides cooking utilizes a type of cooking known as equilibrium cooking, you want to be sure that your sous vide container isn’t bleeding too much heat out into the surrounding environment. If it does, you’re sous vide will work way harder than it needs to and will subtly fluctuate in temperature as it works to keep the temperature constant.
This consideration basically rules out aluminum or copper pots. Both these metals are very good at conducting heat, too good in this case. They will consistently bleed heat out into the surrounding air and for this reason shouldn’t be considered as your primary sous vide containers. You may not notice it at first, but your electricity bill sure will.
This line of thinking led some people to create insulated sous vide containers out of coolers, sort of the ultimate diy sous vide container, but they are not necessary. Coolers are bulky by design and who wants.
This isn’t to say that you can’t use these types of metal sous vide containers. You can. They’re just far from optimal and should be avoided if you have the option.
These other types of metal cookware will not feature on our list.
Instead, we’ll be looking at stainless steel pots, which are considerably better at heat insulation, and even better yet, polycarbonate containers. Polycarbonate containers are by far the superior choice for sous vide cooking, but they come with their own drawbacks for home cooks. We’ll get into that later.
Here are the absolute best sous vide containers that will give you the best possible cooking experience when it comes to sous vide cooking.
This is absolutely and without a doubt one of the best containers for high quality sous vide cooking.
As with the other sous vide containers, it is made out of polycarbonate and features all the benefits that that brings. One of the bonuses here is that this sous vide container is actually BPA free, which might be a huge selling point for you.
Many other brands still have BPA in their polycarbonate containers. While staying in the rated temperature range most likely keeps you safe from the negative effects of BPA, if you’re looking to stay on the safe side and remain proactive, the Everie Sous Vide container is the way to go.
This container is also specifically designed as a sous vide container so it comes with a hinged lid to prevent unnecessary heat loss or evaporation from your water bath. This lid is also awesome because it is specifically designed to fit some of the most popular brands of sous vide.
It also comes with a rack that fits snugly inside the container. These racks are phenomenal because they allow you to fit multiple pieces of food, whatever they may be, inside the water bath in an organized fashion.
These racks also make sure that the bags don’t move around inside the water bath. This can sometimes be a problem when the bags get sucked into the circulator openings, hampering its performance. With this rack, you never have to worry about that.
The 12 quart of this sous vide container is the smallest size, and also the most frequently bought size. With the rack, you’ll most likely find it fit to handle whatever you can throw at it as a home cook, whatever the size of meal you’re working to prepare.
This is the only dedicated sous vide container on this list, and in that regard, the best at its job.
This means that it does have that one singular drawback, though.
It’s designed for sous vide and that’s what it does. Like the other polycarbonate sous vide containers it can’t really be used in any other cooking applications.
With the hinged lid and rack, it also might not find much use as a storage container. If that was never your concern, then great. But if you’re looking for a sous vide container that you can still use for other applications, no matter how well it does its intended job, this might not be for you.
This Sous Vide container also comes in a bit more expensive than the other options. This is partly due to it’s inclusion of a lid and rack, but it’s a tradeoff worth considering, in any case.
Polycarbonate is also a fantastic insulator, which means that you won’t be putting much stress on your sous vide due to heat loss. This makes it absolutely perfect for sous vide cooking.
The Cambro 4.75 gallon box also has a wide lip, which allows for a secure place to anchor your sous vide machine.
The only draw back is that it will basically become your dedicated sous vide container, and not much else. Yes, you can use it as a food storage container, as many restaurants do, but since it is quite large you may not find a ton of use (or space) for it in your pantry or fridge.
Also, since polycarbonate is only rated for temperatures up to 210° F it’s not at all suited for other cooking applications. Don’t try and stick it in your oven or on a stovetop. It may not be rated for very high temperatures, but that also hardly matters when it comes to sous vide cooking.
Since the whole point of sous vide cooking is to hold food at lower temperatures until they are completely evenly cooked through, the heat rating that maxes out at 210 degrees Fahrenheit is hardly an issue. 210° F is only two degrees shy of boiling, 212° F, and its hard to imagine one wanting to boil a steak or salmon.
This container is still absolutely perfect for bringing steaks to a perfect medium rare at 135°F time and time again with no risk of warping, melting, or other damage.
Besides that, this sous vide container doesn’t come with either a lid or a rack, so keep that in mind. Though as far as lids go, these are fairly easy to fashion out of aluminum foil or parchment paper in the form of a cartouche, if you so desire.
Can you sous vide in a pot of water?
Yes, you can definitely use a large pot for sous vide. You might even have one around the house already. Just remember the bath needs to be deep enough for the hot water to circulate around everything that you’re cooking. And you can use this pot to cook other stuff in, like boiling a batch of wort (pronounced wert) for your home brew beers.
Since it’s a regular old stock pot…it’s just a plain old regular stock pot. It does everything that every other stock pot does, with no special extras and no particular drawbacks. If you don’t feel like sous vide cooking, no problem! Make chicken soup.
Anything you do with any other type of pot, you can do with this one. It’s dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and already familiar to almost all cooks.
It fulfills a multitude of roles in the kitchen without a problem. From old school sauces to stews and all the way to modern sous vide cooking, it’ll get the job done.
This isn’t a premier sous vide container, and doesn’t pretend to be. But it gets the job done and is a worthy addition to your cookware line up especially if you like to avoid cookware designed to only satisfy a singular purpose.
The Lipavi sous vide container also features a small lip that makes securely attaching a circulator a piece of cake.
If you opt for a larger container, you’ll find that it is quite easy to fit multiple sous vide bags at the same time which makes this sous vide container are great choice if you’re interesting in large batch cooking.
This container is a bit thinner than the Cambro, however, though you will probably not notice that difference cooking at home. Polycarbonate is so strong and such a great insulator that you probably won’t notice a big difference over other thicker sous vide containers. In practice this really only means that you might find some stress fractures harder to repair, but even those fractures are quite unlikely with polycarbonate.
Also like the Cambro, this also works great as a food storage container. The larger sizes are quite large, though, so make sure to pick the size that’s right for you.
And like the Cambro, it doesn’t have a lid specifically designed to fit a sous vide, so you’ll need to make your own out of aluminum foil or whatever else you have available.