Best Placement of Unit in Tub / Insulation

I tried several placements of the unit in a Cambro 4.75 gallon rectangular tub. Does anyone have any thought as to the best location to place the unit around the tub? I plan to cut a hole in an acrylic lid and was trying to do it right on the first shot. Center of the short side of the rectangle? Center on the long side? Corner? Does not matter?

While I am in question mode, any thoughts on whether applying some sort of insulation to the outside of the tub would make a worthwhile difference in energy usage? I’m not concerned about an hour for a few eggs or something being reheated, but 72 hour short ribs seems like it could add up and make it worthwhile to fab some sort of insulating jacket for the tub. Thoughts appreciated.

I put mine right in the centre of the short side. Didn’t worry about a lid, just used cling wrap which stopped most of the evaporation, even at 70 degrees C and a 48hr cook. Didn’t do any power testing to see if insulation saved on power consumption. Maybe next time.

The Energy usage is not significant. Even if the 1KW unit were to be on for the entire duration of the 48Hr Cook, it would be like $7.20 at $0.15/Kw/Hr. The unit is most likely going to be on a fraction of that (1/4~1/3 of the time at most).

That said, an insulated vessel has other advantages:

During the warmer months, it adds less heat to the room. This is why I set up my Sous Vide rig in a covered patio in the summer.

During the cooler months, I could still set up my rig outside in a covered patio to make room in the kitchen and the unit would still be able to keep up with the losses.

It would make large cooks possible with a small (800W) unit. A 48 quart cooler (12 gallon) can be used to cook an entire chuck roll and as long as the startup is goosed with hot water, the unit should have no problems keeping up.

I took a 20 quart Rubbermaid cooler and cut a hole in the lid. The Anova slides in right up to the flange, no collar needed. I heated the water to 135 and turned it off. 4 hours later it had only dropped 10 degrees. I am currently doing a 72 hour short rib cook and expect it to hardly be running.

I have an old cooler-Igloo, 12 X 24, inside it I put a 8 x 15 box. Attached the Anova to side of inner box. Covered the whole thing at the top with ( for now) bubble wrap. Currently cooking beef shortribs to well done( braize) at 167 x 36 hrs ( ??). The bubble wrap is around 8-10 inches from the water surface, and the temp teached at the bottom surface of bubble wrap is 135F. Any problems/hazards anyone sees in this approach ?

I just set up my new ANOVA ONE, in a 5 gal, 12" X 18" X 9", polycarbonate tub, with a rough cutout in the lid, in the center of the (12") end. It worked like a charm, on my first project - yogurt, at 130F, for 8 hours. I could see, that the water circulated well all over the tub, and the temperature was rock steady. I think putting the heater in a corner would inhibit water circulation. I think the $10.68, for the lid was money well spent. it worked much better than plastic wrap would have, and it was easier to use. It will also be easier to cover with insulation.

I stood the tub on a thick stack of newspapers, for insulation and counter top protection, but I think I will go to Home Depot tomorrow and buy a piece of one inch rigid insulation. This should give better protection and insulation, when cooking at much higher temperatures, don’t you think? I will also see what kind of flexible insulation I can find, to wrap and cover the tub with. I have read about something called Reflectix. Does anybody have any suggestions?

I also thought of looking for an insulated foam plastic cooler large enough to set my tub in. I could fill in the voids around the tub with some kind of pour in insulation, packing peanuts or something similar.

What do you think?