"Free flow" of water around food packets

It sounds like food cooks “better” (i.e., more efficiently and evenly) when water circulates freely around (between, over, under) food packets. If I “clip” food packets to the side of a cooking vessel, how can water circulate between the packet and the cooking vessel?

Similar issue but different “position” of the food packet: If I’ve sealed the packet correctly and it sinks to the bottom and doesn’t float, how can water circulate under the food packet? I read the suggestion to put a rack on the bottom of the vessel under food packets so water could circulate under the food, but I haven’t yet found a small round rack to put in my pasta pot.

I haven’t yet ordered the Anova. I’m pretty sure I want one, but I’m retired and can’t afford a pricey food gadget that I won’t use more than once or twice (although I’m certainly a sucker for cooking tools!); so I’m reading a lot and trying to get answers to practical questions before spending my $$.

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I do most of my SV cooking in a 10 or 12 qt stock pot (I don’t remember what size it is and it’s not marked on the bottom), and occasionally in a 20 qt stock pot or even a 48 qt insulated cooler. I don’t have racks and I don’t clip anything to the sides. I’ve never noticed any undercooked areas.

The impeller is pretty strong. I’ve had the fun of watching plenty of bagged items ‘dancing’ in the current created by the circulator.

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@LillyJo - I place cooking chop sticks across the water recipient and use paper clips or clothes pins to hang the folded (and sealed) food pouches from them. The pouches can be distanced from one another pretty much at will. When a pouch is inclined to float, you can clip a large spoon or knife to its bottom part to weigh it down and keep it vertical. No need to buy those expensive sous-vide dedicated racks. Whatever space you want under the pouches depends on the height of your container and the volume of water you use. You can also use 6 mm (1/4") dowels instead of chopsticks if you prefer, or whatever else you have on hand. Another way is to use reshaped metal coat hangers. They can also serve as spacers between pouches which is neat. I’m sure you get the picture, the possibilities are endless. :wink:

Thanks! I’d forgotten about the chopstick (or dowel) trick that I read about last week on this (or another) site. I just confirmed my WiFi network is 2.4 GHz, so I think I’m ready to jump into this SV circus with both feet!

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I’ve been using small coated baking racks - the 6"x8.5" ones that fit a toaster oven. When I only have a small amt to sous vide, I make a ‘tent’ out of 2 of them and secure them with silicone coated ties (I get them from Amazon and they’re called gear ties).

These racks (which they said were ‘coated’, so I assumed Teflon type - duh*) have worked really well. The small size lets me use them in a 12 qt Rubbermaid container and if I need to put in another rack to keep the food away from the sides, it’s easy to do.

*Now for the ‘duh’ part: Last week I noticed the cut ends of the rack wires have begun to rust, darn it all. So, I ordered a spray can of Performix Plasti Dip coating that I’m going to try on the racks to see if it keeps them from rusting – I sure HOPE it does because I really like this method of keeping bags upright and away from the sides of the container. The racks are pretty adjustable.

Hmmm - I just thought of something… maybe I should get real LONG gear ties and just make my own holder?? :slight_smile:

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I use the white plastic “grid” that used for ceiling lights. I can cut it to fit any container and it holds the food under the water while allowing the water to circulate all around.

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These are cheap, adjustable racks you can use to clip foods to - they’re stainless steel and don’t rust:

These are cheap stainless clips you can use to clip food:

If you need ties to couple the rack with food bags, these are solid:

These are cheap containers you can cook in:

They have sizes anywhere from steaks to beef brisket sized (12, 18, 22 qt).

And these are lids which fit the Anova Precision cooker and the Rubbermaid containers which ensure minimal water loss for prolonged cooks and thermal efficiency:

If you’re invested, I’d highly recommend:


Better posts to clip to.

I realize I’ve just spent some extra $ of yours, but the cooks are perfect every time, the appliance is a daily driver, not an additional kitchen gimmick which won’t see much use, and the only extra is an 8-10" fry pan to finish meats in avocado oil which has a smoking hot smoke point of 520 degrees F and healthy omega-3/6 polyunsaturated fat ratio for health. The food is absolutely phenomenal like this, you won’t regret the purchase.

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I use one of the racks from a Sous Vide Supreme cooker in an insulated cool box. The rack has three layers, so it allows me to pack in a fair bit of food while maintaining some spacing between the pouches.

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Clever!!

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Thanks for all the terrific suggestions. I placed my order for the APC (WiFi) today and used a $40 discount code; now I have “extra” money to spend on these suggestions!

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@ANDRE1D - Thanks for the suggestion about 1/4" dowels! With a cheap hand saw, a couple of dowels from my local Home Depot and some medium binder clips from my office, I can now easily fit several gallon-sized Ziplock bags into my 12-quart Rubbermaid container and SV more than I thought possible in this vessel. (I also bought the Stainless Steel Ikea VARIERA 701.548.00 Pot Lid Organizer mentioned by @7h4tguy and others; but I’ll have to save that for when I can seal bags and totally submerge them in the water bath.)

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Just a quick followup here: the Performix Plasti Dip coating (spray applied 4 coats with drying time in between coats) is working beautifully. No rust whatsoever. One interesting thing is that the racks now feel like they’re coated in silicone (just like a gear tie feels). I like 'em. :slight_smile: