Sous vide cooking doesn’t need to be done on the stove in a pot. You can cook anywhere there’s space with the best sous vide container.
There are so many sous vide containers on the market, how do you know which is the best one for you? We’ve reviewed dozens of sous vide containers to find the best of the best. We ranked based on several considerations, including material, durability, brand, sizing options, price, Amazon ratings, and more.
You’re sure to find the right sous vide container for your needs.
Best Sous Vide Containers
|Image||Sous Vide Containers||Rating|
|1. LIPAVI Sous Vide Container||99%|
|2. Rubbermaid Commercial Food Storage / Sous Vide Container||96%|
|3. All-Clad Brushed Stainless Steel 5-Ply Stockpot||92%|
|4. Cambro CamWear Square Container||88%|
|5. Coleman 16 Quart Portable Cooler||84%|
The LIPAVI sous vide container is excellent for cooking everyday meals. This clear bath made of high temperature tolerant clear polycarbonate is strong. The high-quality material allows for cooking temperatures between -40 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is dishwasher safe. So, clean up is a breeze.
I have several sizes, and I love the fact that I can choose the one that fits whatever meal I am cooking. If I am preparing a meal for two, I use the smaller container because it does not take too much real estate in the kitchen, leaving me plenty of room for prepping.
The largest size, which is 26 quarts and 21×12.8 inches, is excellent for cooking ribs, brisket, roast, and other larger meats.
If I am cooking several things at the same time, I find it is easier to keep them straight and submerged if I use a rack with a larger size. This container easily fits a traditional sous vide rack, though.
No matter what size you select, each bath is 8″ tall, so it is compatible with most sous vide immersion circulators. This is honestly the best sous vide container because it has options to fit any cook, space, or project.Check Price on Amazon
The 12 quart Rubbermaid commercial sous vide container is a great option. It is 7.75 inches high, 10.5 inches wide, and 11.3 inches long. The square shape makes it suitable for keeping food organized and submerged.
Handles on either side make it easy to move, especially after you have filled it with water. The sturdy shatterproof polycarbonate construction is capable of withstanding temperatures -40 to 212 degrees Fahrenheit. I like that the container heats up pretty quickly, but the exterior of the box does not get extremely hot.
I always like cooking in a clear container because it makes it easier to see how your food is progressing as it prepares. The only downside to this setup is there are not lid options to fit with your immersion circulator if you do not mind the open container as you cook though this is not an issue.
There are also markings on the side to show you how much water you have in the container. The measurements help you to fill the container to the correct level, which is essential when preparing sous vide. You do not want to put too much water in the container only to have it spill out when you add your meal.Check Price on Amazon
Using a pot to cook sous vide is a matter of personal preference. However, there are some reasons a pot might be the right option for you. A pot might be the right choice if you are using an immersion circulator, like the Breville Joule, because it has a magnet that allows it to stand upright in the pot.
I like using this brushed stainless 5-ply pot because it is large enough to submerge most meals fully, and it is made of quality materials. The thick stainless steel walls allow for an even temperature throughout the entire bath, which is excellent for consistent cooking.
A stockpot like this one looks great on the counter. However, it is big and at times, challenging to handle, especially when you fill it with water. Another drawback is not being able to use the lid. If you are having issues with evaporation, I suggest using foil to cover the pot.
When using anything you can not see through, you are not able to see how well your food is cooking unless you pull the items out of the bath. Plus, there are no measurements on the side to show you how much water you are adding to the pot. So, I suggest you test it out before heating it to make sure the water does not spill out after it is hot.
Of all of the pots I have tried, though, this is the best pot for sous vide. I also like that you can use this on your stove top to cook other meals. So, even if you find this is not the best sous vide cooking container for you, you will still have a great addition to your kitchen.Check Price on Amazon
If you are using a circulator with a clip, which most have, you will find this container is convenient. It does not have a thick lid around the top so that you can clip your device to the sides or even the corner.
Having the ability to set the bath up in different ways makes it easy to fit your meals efficiently. Plus, the square shape is great for keeping things submerged too. This container is large enough to cook most meals. Having flexibility with where you place the circulator allows you to accommodate more substantial items more easily.
A downside to this option is the lack of a compatible lid option that accommodates your circulator. However, overall, this is a pretty good budget pick.Check Price on Amazon
Honestly, I do not think using a cooler is the best container for sous vide. However, there are some reasons this might be the right container for you. Coolers offer great insulation. You can also find them in multiple sizes.
If you are using a cooler for sous vide, you need one that is not too deep. The inside of this cooler is just right. Also, it holds a decent amount of water and food.
The handle makes it easy to move the cooler even when you fill it with water. It is also good because you do not have to worry about the exterior getting too hot while your food cooks.
On the downside, it is not easy to see what you are cooking as it cooks. You also may have trouble clamping your circulator to the side. So, I suggest if you check to see if your circulators clamp is wide enough before purchasing a cooler for sous vide.Check Price on Amazon
Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best Sous Vide Container
Sous vide is one of the most rewarding cooking experiences, especially for people who struggle with other methods. You can cook almost anything, and your food comes out great every time. So, I highly suggest it.
One of the fun aspects of sous vide is creating your setup. There are so many accessories you can use, or you can go the simple route. There are torches, immersion circulators, clips, magnets, container sleeves, and many other gadgets you can use. But, one of the most critical things before you begin is finding the best sous vide container.
Choosing the Correct Size
When selecting the best sous vide tub, it is vital to choose a size that works for you. I like to use a larger size container for cooking larger meats rather than cutting them and packing them in separate bags.
You might find a larger size container takes too much room in your kitchen, though. If you have limited counter space, a 26-quart bath takes a lot of your prep room. Additionally, larger sizes are more challenging to move, store, and insulate.
You also need to check with your circulator to see how many gallons of water it can effectively heat. Most are capable of heating around 25 quarts of water, but you want to make sure.
I find fitting multiple items in a pot a bit difficult because it is round. So, think about this if you like to cook several things at the same time.
Using a Vessel with a Clamp Circulator
When using a circulator that clamps your options for the best sous vide container may differ. You want a container that has a smaller lip around the top. I find using a cooler to be a bit difficult with a clamping circulator.
Using a Magnetic Circulator
The Joule circulator is extremely popular. So, if you have one of these devices, you probably want to know the best way to use it with any container. I have a few suggestions to help.
First, you can order a clip to use with the device. You can also place a heavy-duty metal baking sheet under most tubs. I also suggest gluing a magnet to the bottom of your polycarbonate container.
Keeping Your Food Submerged
There are several ways you can keep your food submerged. However, you may have to change your method depending on the sous vide container you are using.
If you are using a lid, you may not need anything else to keep meals from floating. It also depends on what you are cooking, though. Vegetables are more buoyant than meats.
One way to keep your food from moving around is to use clips. Using clips is easiest if you are using a polycarbonate option. The clips open pretty wide to accommodate different types of sous vide baths, but on a cooler, for example, they may slip off.
Sous vide magnets are fantastic for several reasons. You can use them to keep items from floating, but you can also use them to keep a magnetic circulator in place.
I like them because they allow me to use a container with a lid. Additionally, unlike some other accessories, the magnets do not take up a lot of kitchen space.
Weights are also useful for keeping food submerged, and they are easy to use no matter what type of bath you utilize. I find the weights are a bit of extra work.
You either have to stick them in the bag and vacuum seal them with your food, which means you have to clean them. Or, you have to attach the weights to the outside of your food bags with clips or cling wrap. Either way, it creates extra work.
Sous vide racks are popular for keeping food in place. I like to use one when I am cooking several things. Or, when I have several smaller bags in my bath.
If you want to cook meat and a few sides at the same time, you will probably want to use one too. There are a ton of options to fit different containers, but you should make sure the one you want to use will fit properly.
Insulating Your Container
Keep in mind, your sous vide bath will work better if it is insulated. Your circulator does not have to work as hard to maintain the temperature when you cover your water bath.
So, if you are using an option without a lid, consider wrapping the top of the container tightly with plastic wrap or foil. Then, wrap the bath in a towel to keep the heat inside.
Of course, if you are using a cooler, this is not an issue because coolers are already insulated. However, you will probably want to cover the top of the cooler to eliminate heat from escaping since you can not use the lid.
Another option I like for insulating is sous vide insulator sleeves. They are relatively common in a variety of sizes. However, if you want to use a sleeve, you probably want to make sure your option fits in one.
Cleaning Your Sous Vide Container
You need to clean anything you use for cooking. Your container is no different. So, I like to use a container that is easy to clean.
You should select something that easily fits in your sink or even better, something that is dishwasher safe. All of these options are dishwasher safe, except the cooler. However, it is small enough to fit in an average size sink.
With so many options, you should easily be able to find the best sous vide bath for you. With one of these options, I am sure you will enjoy cooking sous vide as much as I do.