Ikea SAMLA box

I tried 3 racks of baby back ribs last week using an Ikea Samla polypropylene box as the container. 150F for 24 hours. I noticed a very strong plastic odour from the water and the ping pong balls I use to cover it after about 12 hours. The odour was also on the outside of the vacuum bags when finished but not on the food.There was also some flakes on the surface which looked like food fat but disintegrated when touched.

No problem the following day when cooking chicken in a stainless steel pot with the same cooker and balls so ruling those out.

My guess is that the box was leaching some sort of chemical into the water so won’t be using it again. Just a heads up for anyone considering this.

Question is what do I go for? I’ve seen the Rubbermaid ones but these look too small for a brisket or full racks of ribs (I know I could cut them but I still think I’d struggle fitting three racks in one box). The Rubbermaid ones are also no longer BPA free from what I read. Am looking at a Cambro Camview box which is BPA free but only rated to 76C/169F; has anyone used these?

If you think you’ll be doing a lot of brisket and similarly long cooks then it is very hard to beat using a cooler/Esky with a hole cut in the lid.


True but still concerned about chemical leach. Another option would be a stainless steel Gastronorm type box maybe.

1 Like

Hey @MichaelF Thanks for the heads up. The cooler idea from @Ember might be worth a shot.

I also use a Cambro from time-to-time, works fine. Most recipes don’t call for anything higher than 76C/169F, so that might not be a concern, unless you’re looking to also sous vide vegetables.

1 Like

I’d look at the type of plastic used in the Ikea box and avoid those of a similar type. There are plenty of plastics that are heat safe.


I’m confused. The Cambro Camview line is just pitchers, not boxes. The Camwear line of boxes is rated to 210 degrees F. The CamSquare line is indeed only rated to 160 degrees although I have used mine up to 165 for a chicken breast I cooked recently. FWIW

1 Like

As @Ember suggested, check out using a cooler. For a specific cooler, search the forums here or talk to any homebrewer. The temperature ranges used for mashing (soaking malt in hot water to convert starches) are the same temperature ranges for most sous-vide cooking. For long cooks like lamb shanks, I prefer a cooler over a metal pot or plastic box for the extra insulation.

If you are still worried about leaching, go with a pot and wrap it in Reflectix (foil coated bubble wrap) see Insulating a pot using Reflectix


Some great suggestions here!

@Ember the Ikea box is polypropylene which should be OK but for whatever reason isn’t :frowning:

@AlyssaWOAH good to hear!

@nestorph from the Cambro site it looks like Camview range has GN boxes as well:

@MaxLaChat @Ember not completely sold on the cooler idea but you have given me food for thought around using a stainless steel gastronorm box insulated with Reflectix!

Thank you all!!

Thanks, Michael. I stand corrected!

1 Like

You might try the Ikea box one more time, the problem might just be the “new”, some fragments left over from manufacturing.

I use the 24 quart rubbermaid and it has worked well for me for more than a year.


Good point. I might try running it for 24 hours with no food bags in it to see what happens.

1 Like

@RichardOL that seemed to work. I washed it out thoroughly and ran it overnight for 12 hours at 150F and no smell. I’ll give it another test run and if it’s still not emitting any odour then I think I’m good.

Thank you!

1 Like

Here in Ikea I was told that none of their boxes can resist high temperature. To be carefull because maybe once it work but the second one you migr find a flud😳. They also mentioned that they are not foid safe!!!
yesterday I bought Cambro which are made of polycsrbonate ehich is for food storage snd hold temperature s from -40C to 99C
They have allllll sizes with lids, I got these
18CW135 CHF 30,35 + IVA
10CWCH135 CHF 13,80 + IVA
10PPCWSC190 CHF 11,30 + IVA

BUT you have to look for a restaurant equipment seller nest buy to avoid shipping expenses of these big boxes!

That’s good to know @Conchita60! Thanks.

Be aware that not all Cambro Polycarbonate boxes are BPA free though which may be a concern.

I guess it’s best to check out the properties of the material used in making the container, as not all containers can work beyond their intended purposes. Food safety is paramount when it comes to cooking.

1 Like

You can find polycarbonate sous vide containers that have lids sized to your brand of circulator on Amazon. The brand name is Lipavi.The large one is12.8W x 21L x 8H.

1 Like

I use Rubbermaid (I have three different size containers) and have had no problems, even with high temperature cooks (190 F). As long as the bag the food is in are BPA free I don’t concern myself so much with the water container - just ensure that no water contaminates the food when opening.


I have been using the following Rubbermaid container and have been very happy with it: http://a.co/fnj6X90

It also has a nice top designed for the Anova: http://a.co/7GL73Zq

1 Like

It was probably from the ping pong balls, particularly if they are new. I strongly advise getting proper sous vide balls for long cooks/higher temps.

1 Like

@LittleMissCurious I have the proper sous vide balls. Just easier to call them ping pongs :slight_smile: