I have the 12 quart Cambro into which I drilled a hole in the top corner with a 2 3/8 inch hole saw. That worked OK but to get at anything in the container required lifting the lid and the Anova out of the container. So I decided to extend the hole out through the edge so I could lift and take the lid off without disturbing the Anova. I used a box cutter knife and after a half hour or so of cutting shaving and several changes of blades the lid is now removable without disturbing the Anova. The Cambro’s lid is not as rigid as the container and so not as likely to crack, and though it’s not easy to cut it can be done.
I tend to pivot my lid around the Anova sitting in the corner of my box. It usually allows me enough access to the contents of the cooking box. But for anything that requires adjustment of my cooking rack, yes there is need to remove the lid entirely. I figure I’ll get another container at some stage, and probably cut the lid in half, but for now the cheap storage box that I use for small cooks will suffice. The large cooler that I use has plenty of access by just pivoting the lid.
Yes, rectangular containers open up well with just pivoting the lid, but with square ones like the 12 quart Cambro that’s not the case. I think if I had to do it over again I would only purchase rectangular containers.
There’s two big reasons for having a hole very close to the diameter of the bottom of the APC:
- Keeps evaporation at an absolute minimum. (especially for longer cooks - very ideal!)
- Protects your APC from the steam escaping the bath. The Precision Cooker is very prone to overheating if it encounters steam. On the back of the head of the unit, you’ll see those vents are to allow the electronics to let heat escape (but often steam can go in there). A little further down on the same side are the exhaust vents for the heating element. (if you have the APC in a corner / isolated space, this heat could easily travel up and overheat the head of the unit) - doing your cooks in a well ventilated area with nothing immediately above your bath is ideal.
While making it easier to remove the lid, I hope you haven’t created a problem for yourself with the escaping steam!
Thanks for the comments, Fischersd. I do worry a bit about that and did read about several people who had problems with steam getting into those vents for one reason or another. On the other hand some people seem to cut out a notch without a problem and some containers (Lipavi) come with the tops notched in this way. I’ll just have to be careful and for longer cooks use rectangular coolers with just the 2 3/8 inch hole.
I placed my heater in the middle of the short side of the 5 gal rectangular cambro tub, and I cut a “U” shaped hole. the top slides on and off easy!
I don’t know why you would have put it in the middle…you’ve really impacted what sous vide racking you can put in the container by doing that.