Just pre-ordered an Anova Precision cooker... please build me a cooking vessel

After several years of cooking with a $50 home built Sous Vide unit (Rex C-100, Coffee Maker pump and a hot plate - works great but the setup is a bit unwieldy), I pre-ordered the Anova Precision for a little more convenience. Can’t wait!

That said, instead of using a commercially available cooler to make an insulated cooking vessel which requires butchering the top and calls into question whether the plastics in the cooler can safely withstand cooking temperatures… is there any chance Anova could offer a purpose built insulated vessel for this? I understand it would have to be big and stocking + shipping might be an issue but I’d be willing to fund such a project.

With the anova you won’t need an insulated vessel. Get a lexan or cambro container. Or a large pot even. Hope that helps.

I’d imagine if you were hoping to use less electricity, you could stack 2 clear cambro containers, and the air between them would help insulate. Otherwise, you could fill it with spray foam. This has been on my mind as well.

If you ran this unit at it’s maximum 800 watts for 4hrs you would consume 3.2 Kwhs of electricity. At 15 cents/Kwh you would spend 48 cents. Not much electricity to save.
Use a kitchen pot until you figure out what you want.

No… saving electricity is not the motivation.

A well insulated vessel will allow for much bigger cooks with a low powered unit. A 48 quart cooler for example is 12 gallons. The Anova Precision is spec’d at 4~5 gallons. If I goose the startup (instant read thermometer, hot tap water and a boiling kettle), with an insulated vessel, the Precision has to just work to replenish the heat loss (outside the vessel and to the food being cooked). I could cook massive amounts of food for a big party. Of course the vessel should come in multiple sizes.

Evaporation would not be an issue for extended cooks. I could leave an entire chuck roll or beef short ribs unattended before going away for the weekend.

Noise… The entire contraption would operate nearly silent.

Aesthetics… It’d be nice to have something that looks snappy sitting on the counter.

This is why I have three sous vide machines (Nomiku, Anova 1 and soon the new Anova)

If anything, I’d love to see some DIY plans on how to make such a device, as well as instructions on how to use it properly with the Anova. I’ve got two coming from the Surf & Turf pledge, and I’d love to have the ability to cook something really big, like our Thanksgiving turkey, via sous vide!

I plan to use a clear, polycarbonate Cambro container. the polycarbonate is safe at boiling temperatures, and.plastic is more insular than a metal pot. I suppose you could stand a metal pot on a cork trivet and wrap it in towels, to insulate it. I will do that, if my Cambro container is too small for what I’m cooking.
I want containers that I can use for other purposes, as well as sous vide.

@M_HAND‌ get the 12189CW Cambro container and the lid for it. The capacity is just right for the Precision Cooker’s capability (close to the maximum).

How about a large Styrofoam ice chest? I found one at my local market for 6 bucks. Not sure if the styrofoam has any problem with long term cooking

@cmontero‌ I would be wary of the styrofoam ice chest, only because over time the clamp may dig into the styrofoam and break it down. Plastic ice chests work just fine ! Cheers !

@Cmontero: have you used it yet. Any problems so far. I was thinking of doing the same thing. Is the stryofoam stable at the temperatures that you have used?. I was thinking, that i might use some stiif sheets on the outside and inside of the ice chest to keep the clamp from digging into the styrofoam. Any thoughts? What I am currently doing is usingan older igloo cooler that i had laying around ( 12X 24 ish) have put a smaller box inside the igloo ( 8x 16 / ) clamped the ANOVA to the inside box with top of ANova sticking out. Then i have put some bubble wrap loosely to partially cover the top. Cooking shrt ribs right now- will update as to how things turned out.

When my ANOVA One arrived, I got the 12" X 18" X 9" Cambro type, 5 gal container and the lid for it (Thanks, @mspeleoto), and it works like a charm. Now I need to find the right insulation product to wrap it in. My 7 1/2 qt, square Cambro container was, I think, too small for proper temperature regulation. A 10 qt aluminum stock pot worked fine, though. I might use that, for small, short cooking dishes.

I have an insulation solution:

I went to Home Depot last night and bought a 24" X 24" X 1" thick piece of rigid foam (pink, R5.7) insulation, for $5.48. This morning I was able to cut a 10" X 16" base, for the 5 gal.plastic tub and a 13.5" square, to put under my big, steel pots. Now I have adequate thermal protection for my kitchen counter tops. Goodbye, pile of old newspapers!

I also made a 10" circle, to cover my 10 qt. pot, cutting a 1/2" rabbit into the edge and a cutout for the ANOVO. It fits snugly and will provide great insulation and evaporation control. I need to buy another piece, to make a 13" cover for my 22 qt pot. I inquired about Reflectix, wraparound insulation, but they were out of stock. They promised to email me, when it came in, though. I’ll just use bath towels, for now.

The foam is soft and easy to cut with hand tools, but it crumbles easily, making a mess out of my workroom. I wish I could say,“The Maid is coming tomorrow.”, but, alas, I will just have to get the vacuum cleaner out, myself!

I bought my unit on Cyber Monday and it came around New Years…

I’ve used it twice so far (once for amazingly moist chicken thighs, and on the weekend for a perfect Medium Rare NY Steak)…I just used the clamp and put it on one of my pots. I want to try some 72 hour ribs next but my wife was concerned about electricity usage…from some research it didn’t seem like too much but thought it would be better to do in an insulated cooler.

Anyway - I bought an Igloo Ice cooler from Target on clearance the other day and had a friend drill a hole in it for me - I’ll be using this as my cooking vessel going forward.

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@rsaini… how did you cut the hole to exact dimensions?

Dewalt hole saw (http://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-Master-Hole-Saw-Kit-14-Piece-D180005-V/203261579) - we used the 2.5 inch saw I believe

@vic  I have been cooking with the styrofoam chest and it works pretty well, it is fantastic at keeping constant temperature and prevent evaporation. The only problem is that for long cooks (1 day+) the water starts leaking through the tiny spaces between the styrofoam particles. I never thought about this by styrofoam actually is not waterproof!  I have used it to cook chuck for 24 hours which is my preferred time and have ended up with a small puddle of water under the ice chest.  I am now looking for the ideal camping plastic cooler to make a vessel for 72 hrs short ribs.

24 hour chuck… wow, is there a post for the recipe?

Edit: Never mind I just looked it up. Popped right to the top.