Sous vide cooking is a cooking style that involves placing food in airtight or vacuum-sealed bags and gradually cooking it, fully submerged, in warm, controlled temperature water. Sous vide cooking requires you to buy several specialty pieces of equipment. While some sous vide cookers can attach onto the side of a pot to regulate its temperature, some people prefer to buy specialty sous vide containers. These containers are almost always made out of some kind of plastic, many with measuring lines on the sides. They can double as food storage containers as well, whether for the food you cooked in them or other foods, and some may even be used to brine or marinate meats. Here are a few sous vide containers we recommend.
What to Consider in a Sous Vide Container
Here are a few things to think about before buying a sous vide container:
- Size: Be sure to check a container’s capacity before you buy, as not all sous vide containers are created equal in this regard. They can vary considerably by the number of liters or quarts they can hold. A 12-quart capacity is a fairly standard-sized model, ideal for a family of four, though there are plenty of smaller and larger sizes available. If you’re cooking for just yourself or yourself and a significant other, you can get away with a model that’s under 12 quarts. If you cook for a whole family or guests quite often, you’ll want to go bigger than 12 quarts. You’ll also want to consider how much storage and counter space you have in your kitchen to ensure you’ll have room to fit your new container.
- Features: You will want to keep an eye on several different features when purchasing a new sous vide container. High-temperature resistance is an important one, as you obviously don’t want to buy a plastic container that will melt during cooking. Some products even have a temperature range in their listings, which is extra handy if you want to use them as a food storage container as well as for cooking. While a dishwasher-safe container isn’t a strict necessity, it will certainly make cleaning up much easier. As mentioned, some have a measuring gradation on one or both sides, useful for measuring your water level during cooking. Some might even have built-in handles for easy transportation. You may also want to consider the container’s shape, as a curved or rounded container encourages better water circulation than square or rectangular models. However, rectangular or square models allow for easier food bag placement and are more convenient to store when not in use. Consider which of these factors is more important to you.
- Accessories: Some sous vide containers may come bundled with several types of handy accessories to make cooking and storing food more convenient for you. Some have their own lids, which may be collapsible and/or hinged. Others may have a corner mount to hold your sous vide cooker, though be sure that your model is compatible with these before buying. Others have removable and/or adjustable racks or dividers that keep the bagged food in place to prevent it from floating around as it cooks. Some models come with sleeves that insulate the container, reducing cooking time and thus saving electricity. There are even sous vide containers that come with vacuum-sealed food bags or a cookbook to help you get started.
Top Choice: Anova Precision Cooker Container
This precision cooking container is designed and made especially for sous vide cooking. The patented Hemiflow style features curved and smoothed edges that allow the water to circulate with greater efficiency during cooking and heat up quicker. It also comes with a rack that holds your bagged food in place, ensuring it remains submerged throughout the entire process. The handles on the rack give you better and easier access to the food while it cooks. The rack is removable if you prefer not to use it in your sous vide cooking. The slightly raised base ensures the container isn’t in direct contact with hot surfaces or the table and counters, eliminating the need for a trivet. Unlike some similar containers, this model has its own silicone lid with a built-in slot for your sous vide cooker to prevent water from evaporating during cooking, perfect for really long cook times. There’s a rubber seal around the hole for the cooker to keep the heat and water trapped inside. It’s available with a 12- or 16-liter capability.
Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L
A large sous vide precision container that comes with a submersion rack and silicone lid.
Most Compatible: EVERIE Sous Vide Container with Universal Silicone Lid
This 12-quart container is designed to be compatible with a whole array of sous vide cooker brands and models, thanks to the cutout at the corner of the lid, so the odds are good it will fit perfectly with whichever cooker you own. Since the cooker is mounted at the corner, it won’t disrupt the water flow within the container during the cooking process. The container is made of NSF-approved polycarbonate plastic, safe for cooking. The lid is made of soft, bendy silicone, also food safe, which can be collapsed for easy refilling or emptying. Also included in the bundle are a stainless steel rack and a neoprene sleeve. The rack keeps the vacuum-sealed food bags in place with seven dividers. The dividers are held in place to the base with special firm clamps, and five of the seven can be removed if desired. The black neoprene sleeve keeps the container insulated to prevent heat loss and is also removable. If you prefer, you can buy this container without the sleeve or with just the lid.
EVERIE Sous Vide Container with Universal Silicone Lid and Sous Vide Rack and Container Sleeve Compatible with Anova All Models,Breville Joule, Instant Pot Sous Vide Cooker ( KIT-TY-GJ)
A 12-quart container with a highly compatible cooker cutout corner, neoprene sleeve, and stainless steel rack.
Most Size Options: Rubbermaid Commercial Products Storage Container For Sous Vide
Depending on your family’s size or whomever you cook for on a regular basis, you may need a larger or smaller than average sous vide container. The amount of food you need to make for just yourself will be very different than for a family of four, after all. This container comes in six different sizes: 2-, 6-, 8-, 12-, 18-, and 22-quart options. The square-shaped plastic body is commercial grade and durable, resistant to breaking, and smooth to make it easier to clean. The material is also FDA-approved, dishwasher safe, and can withstand temperatures as low as -40 degrees and as high as 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Quart and liter measurement gradations are marked along both sides to make it easier for you to measure your desired portions. While designed for sous vide cooking, this container can also double as a dry food storage container or for marinating or brining meat.
Rubbermaid Commercial Products, Plastic Space Saving Square Food Storage Container for Kitchen/Sous Vide/Food Prep, 12 Quart, Clear
A square-shaped plastic sous vide container that comes in six different size options to best suit your needs.
Best for Beginners: HOMENOTE Sous Vide Container with Lid & Rack and Sleeve
If you’re someone who has never tried sous vide cooking before, but you want to give it a try, this sous vide container bundle is an ideal choice. It has a full set of accessories to help you get started on your sous vide cooking journey, including a complimentary cookbook full of recipes to offer guidance on cooking times and temperatures. This bundle includes a 12-quart container, a matching lid with a pre-cut middle hole for the sous vide cooker, a removable rack, a container sleeve, and the aforementioned cookbook. The container and lid are made of heat-resistant, lightweight, BPA-free plastic. Both are transparent so that you can keep an eye on your food as it cooks. The lid also helps prevent the cooking water from evaporating, and it maintains a consistent water temperature. The premium neoprene sleeve is also heat resistant and insulates the container to keep heat from escaping, which lessens your cooking time and saves electricity. The wavy rack is made of stainless steel so that it won’t rust despite being constantly submerged in water. It keeps the bags from floating around and allows for better water circulation. The lid is compatible with Anova and Chefsteps sous vide cookers, so if you own a different brand, be sure to ensure that the lid’s pre-cut hole will work with your cooker.
HOMENOTE Sous Vide Container 12 Quart with Lid & Rack and Sleeve - BPA Free Complete Sous Vide Accessories Kit with Cookbook For Anova and Most Sous Vide Cookers
A sous vide container with a full bundle of cooking accessories, including a cookbook that offers guidance for beginners.