What is the Best Size Container for Sous Vide (Five Choices)

Finding the best sous vide containers depends on a few factors. Still, it’s good to get some advice on the subject, especially if you are new to sous vide. 

Below, we will review a range of sous vide containers that cover various appropriate sizes. If you want to find out about the best measures for sous vide containers, keep reading. 

The Five Best Sous Vide Containers at Multiple Sizes

VÄESKE Insulated Sous Vide Container with Rack and Sleeve

The Vaeske Insulated Sous Vide Container is the best overall for a couple of reasons.

First, it comes with an included rack and insulated sleeves. That means you don’t need to buy other sous vide bags as an initial investment. It also has an included rack to keep your bag from dipping into the water. 

The second reason this is a suitable option comes from its size. It is eight inches deep, which is perfect for most cookers, even the Anova Nano. At 12 quarts, this is good on the smaller size of polycarbonate containers.

It is a polycarbonate container; it also is made of longer-lasting material. This, combined with the sealed lid to prevent evaporation, makes it suitable for most needs. 

ProsCons
It comes with insulating sleeves and a rack.Its accessories reflect in the price.
It is perfect for smaller families.It isn’t suitable for larger families.
It is made using high-quality polycarbonate.
Best Size Container for Sous Vide Reviews

Anova Culinary ANTC01 Sous Vide Cooking Container 16 Liters

The next available size up is the Anova Culinary ANTC01. It’s ideal for all Anova sous vide machines. It also has a sleek design with a built-in rack with easy removal.

Being suited for most Anova water circulation machines gives you less reason to buy it with other brands. So don’t buy it unless you already have an Anova cooker.

If you do have an Anova sous vide cooker, it’s great. However, early models of this ran into the issue of having lower-quality plastic. 

Still, Anova is one of the best solid sous vide cooking accessories providers, making it an easy choice. 

ProsCons
It contains 16 liters of water, making it a happy middle.These plastic containers are not long-lasting.
Suited for Anova, one of the most popular sous vide brands.It doesn’t fit non-Anova immersion circulators.
The rack is beautifully integrated with the unit.
Best Size Container for Sous Vide Reviews

LIPAVI Sous Vide Container (C15) 18 Quarts

Lipavi is a lesser-known brand in the sous vide market. However, their C15 food container is excellent given a couple of factors.

First, the material used is made using transparent polycarbonate. As we already discussed, a polycarbonate container has a longer shelf life. It being transparent means you can keep an eye on your food. 

The second reason this container is incredible comes from the built-in rack. While the frame is tight for larger chunks of food, it is still a solid feature. This still means you’ll need to buy a series of vacuum-sealed bags and divide your meat between them.

With the rack doubling as a divider, it enables your food to be evenly cooked. However, the clamp is a bit tricky, making this a bit less user-friendly. 

ProsCons
An ideal container size at 15 liters.The clamp is a bit tricky to work with.
It is made of see-through polycarbonate.Not suited to larger sous vide machines.
The racks also function as solid dividers.
Best Size Container for Sous Vide Reviews

Anova Precision Cooker Container 12L

 At 12 liters, this water bath container is a bit smaller than some. Given that it’s only suited for Anova, it is still easy to pick out the preferred immersion circulator. 

With that in mind, the smaller container enables a fast cooking time. Smaller containers allow quick heating but fewer opportunities for larger families to enjoy a large meal. 

Much like the other Anova product, the rack is beautifully integrated into the lid. However, the rack is a bit harder to reach after the cooking cycle is done. 

In addition, Anova prices this product with the understanding it is a recognizable brand. So expect to pay more for something with confirmed use. 

ProsCons
Smaller size means quick heat-up time.The smaller size makes this less suitable for larger families.
It is a 12-liter container suitable for most small families.The rack is somewhat inconvenient after you finish cooking.
Water levels are ideal for all Anova products.
Best Size Container for Sous Vide Reviews

VÄESKE Large Sous Vide Container 

At 26 quarts big, this sous vide container is easily the most convenient container for large families. With a larger container, you have to understand that the preheating time will be much greater. Expect to wait about 10 to 15 minutes.

The racks behind the Vaeske 26 quart container are large and wide. That means easy cooking of larger steaks or chicken breasts. 

Heat loss is a minor issue with this model, as the larger space makes more room for mistakes. You’ll likely need to address this weakness by buying some sous vide cooking balls (they kind of look like ping pong balls). 

Thankfully, the larger size and see-through plastic make it great for food cooking at higher temperatures. Just don’t expect it to win any space-saving prizes.

ProsCons
Great for the most prominent families.A bit big and cumbersome to move.
It is made of high-quality see-through polycarbonate.It takes a long time to heat up.
It is excellent for numerous gallons of water.
Best Size Container for Sous Vide Reviews

What Should I Look for in Good Sous Containers?

A Guide To What Size is Right for Your Family

If you wonder how many quarts of water translate to a perfect size for your family, we will dig into it below. 

Generally speaking, sous vide containers vary from 12 to 26 quarts. Sometimes, you’ll see them projected in liters. However, liters and quotes are relatively close. 

The three typical container sizes you see are 12, 16, and larger. Here are how they break down:

  • Twelve quarts are best for families of two or three.
  • Sixteen quarts are best for families of three or four.
  • Twenty (or more) quarts are better for families of five or more. 

In this case, we assume you are cooking for nobody else. Of course, if you have guests over with the regularity of family, this changes a bit. 

It also changes a bit depending on how much your family eats. If you’ve got a family of people who eat quite a bit, you might want to get a giant tub. Better safe than sorry. 

If you are picky about measurements, one liter is 1.06 (approximately) quarts. Google has a built-in units converter if you want to check it out.

Do I Need a Sous Vide Rack? 

Upon further inspection, you’ll notice that all of the sous vide containers on this list include lids and racks. While covers reduce the amount of escaping the heat, newbies to sous vide might wonder otherwise.

Racks enable the cook to put multiple pieces of food inside of the sous vide containers. If sous vide bags touch, you run into one of two things happening:

  • The bags will melt together (seen during higher temperatures)
  • The bags that touch will not be adequately cooked.

This comes from the need for circulating water, which ensures that the hot water is constantly moving. If hot water is unable to move over the sealed bag, it doesn’t cook. 

What is Polycarbonate Material?

Polycarbonate, otherwise known as PC plastics, are an impact-resistant transparent plastic product commonly used in plastic lenses for eyewear, medical devices, and bullet-proof glass.

The glass-like tendency of polycarbonate material is what makes it more sturdy than your standard everyday plastic. However, it needs to be combined with other materials to be handy. 

How Do I Know My Sous Vide Container Supports a Sous Vide Machine?

Your average sous vide container has a hole on the end with a diameter of 2.5”. This diameter is standard among the top brands of sous vide immersion circulators. 

Even if your sous vide container has an abnormally large diameter, clamps on the side of most machines address this limitation. If your sous vide container is any smaller, you might consider alternative options. 

What is BPA Free Plastic?

BPA, or bisphenol A, is an industrial chemical popular for plastic made in the 1950s. BPA is safe in smaller doses, but many higher-cost plastic containers still use it as a buzzword. 

All of the sous vide containers on this list are BPA-free. They need to be free of bisphenol A because of the high exposure to heat that these containers experience. 

If you have any containers that have BPA in them, avoid heat. You can also cut down on canned foods or use alternatives to plastic. 

Are Sous Vide Containers Suitable for Food Storage?

If you are willing to cover the large hole on one side of the container, you can easily use them for food storage purposes. A twelve-quart container can fit a smaller turkey (ten pounds) with some creative positioning. 

If you can, transfer any food you plan on storing to an alternative storage container. While you can use these plastic food storage containers, they are better suited to sous vide cooking.

What is the Best Material for Sous Vide Racks? 

Stainless steel is best suited for use with sous vide racks. This is because stainless steel is typically naturally rust-resistant.

With your racks constantly being exposed to moisture, this steel material is essential for ensuring your food isn’t exposed to unwanted materials. All of the containers on this list are aware of this, so they all are made of stainless steel.

How Do I Ensure My Lid Prevents Evaporation?

A big problem that cheaper sous vide containers run into is heat loss. When water evaporates into steam, it causes your water level alarm to go off. 

To prevent this from happening, be sure that your lid is correctly positioned. A good seal is a sign that your water won’t evaporate at the same speed.

For further water evaporation prevention, consider investing in sous vide balls. The balls will prevent evaporation from occurring, enabling you to leave your sous vide machines alone for more extended periods.  

 Best Sous Vide Vacuum Sealer Brands

We went through three different popular sous vide brands today. Here’s how they like to represent themselves:

All of these companies are considered major players in the sous vide industry. Any of them produce high-quality products that are suitable for your needs. 

Sous Vide Container FAQs

Can Sous Vide Bags Touch The Container?

Both the sous vide bags and machines should not be touching the bottom of the container. Bags that touch the bottom of the container will have an uncooked portion.

Also, machines that touch the bottom of the container may cause damage. The metal portion (bottom of our sous vide cooker) heats up to high temperatures that should not be exposed to any form of plastic. 

Can You Start and Stop Sous Vide Cooking?

Yes, but you’ll want to do your best to complete cooking. This is because your food is typically near the temperature danger zone due to the low and slow cooking style that sous vide demands. 

Are Sous Vide Containers Dishwasher Safe?

Because all sous vide containers are built to handle high temperatures, they are dishwasher safe. All sous vide containers are easy to clean because of this.

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Final Thoughts 

After a quick overview of all of our options, it is easy to see why the The Vaeske Insulated Sous Vide Container is the best overall. It is a happy medium of sizes and has the proper depth, being eight inches deep. As a result, it’s suitable for the broadest array of immersion circulators.

Of course, if you own an Anova Precision Water Circulator, you’ll likely prefer to stick with the same brand. There’s also a wide range of size choices to pick from, so always be sure you choose based on your family’s needs. If your family is like my family, you’ll likely need the big one.

If any of these sous vide containers sound awesome for your household, please consider clicking our affiliate links. With those, we make commissions that can enable us to create excellent content. Thanks for reading! 

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