what size container should I buy

HI to all! I´m new here as I have only just bought my Anova wifi and I haven’t used it yet so I need all the help I can get! I have 2 questions: 1- what would be an easy first thing to try with the anova? 2- I’m planning on using it (later on once I learn more) for family lunches where we are around 15 - 17 people. what size container should I buy? Thanks for your help!

Valerie, i recommend you start with something you enjoy, simple, and of the typical size you most often cook. A steak or two, or a few pieces of chicken for example. Your first cook is not the occasion to make a roast beef dinner for your entire family.

All the help you will need in understanding your new cooking technique is revealed at Dr. Duglas Baldwin’s site. Start there before you cook anything.

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide

You might want to have two containers. You probably already have a stock pot that will be just fine for most of your sous vide cooking. Something larger, up to 20 quart capacity will allow you to cook large items, spare ribs and roasts for example, and larger quantities for those family lunches.

I have two more suggestions for you.
First, keep a detailed record of every cook starting with your first. I recommend recording the menu item, its thickness not weight, the temperature, and length of time you cooked it. You will find it helpful to also record the outcome and any recommendations to improve on your results. Doing that will enable you to precisely replicate all your successes and improve on your almost successes.

Second, the SV cooking technique is significantly different from comventional cooking. You will need to break with most of your past cooking practices because they don’t apply in low temperature water bath cooking.

Do well.

Thank you for your information and encouragement! I shall follow your suggestions!

I also struggled a bit coming up with the right water bath container. Biggest issue is that a stock pot or a large Rubbermaid container had too much heat loss so I could not get the water over 165 degrees. Purchased the Everie 12 quart water bath with insulating sleeve and neoprene lid on Amazon and can now get the water to 197 degrees.

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Valerie, guess it’s late, but here are my two coins.
What’s the biggest clod you SV? I’d take that measurement and add an inch or to to the dimensions. That should cover you for the larger cooks.

When I first had to cook SV for family dinner, I started with whatever I had in the kitchen at the moment, mainly stockpots and such. But it was problematic - just as Jrshoup mentioned, too much heat loss. Like, it’s possible, but not so much fun. Then I invested in 12qt and 20qt Cambro’s.
And finally for the Christmas gathering and an up coming dinner party, I treated myself to 26qt Lipavi (it was a part of my husband’s gift).

I think the gastronorm pans and lids are great and good value for the size of them.

You can pick them up from catering supply stores / amazon etc.

You can get many different sizes, I have 3 different ones for different size cooks… just make sure the are deep enough.

The polycarbonate lids are easy to cut holes In for the cooker to poke out of.