What Container Can I Use For Sous Vide?

What Container Can I Use For Sous Vide?

You are probably asking your self, what container can i use for sous vide? When starting on your sous vide journey it can be a bit overwhelming. There are so much equipment available on the market which is targeted towards sous vide. One thing is the machinery, another the vacuum bags (where an alternative can be to use a Ziploc bag) and lastly the container needed for the sous vide setup.

When looking through the different stores and shops for sous vide equipment you will find loads of sous vide specific containers available. The sous vide specific containers definitely have their purpose, however if you are on a budget you have many other options available to start with.

What Container Can I Use For Sous Vide?

Can I Sous Vide In A Plastic Container?

Can I Sous Vide In A Plastic Container?

Yes you will be able to sous vide in a plastic storage container. There are however a couple of things to consider, when selecting a container for sous vide usage.

In general you should ensure you use containers which are food safe. Even though the food should not be in direct contact with the water in the plastic container, there is a small chance that your bag will allow a small amount of water in. This happens if in case the seal is not 100 percent tight. So, better safe than sorry. Use a food grade container, this way you have one less thing to worry about in your life.

For more in depth information on food safe containers have a look at what Eileen Haraminac from Michigan State University says:

A food grade container is one that will not transfer non-food chemicals into the food, and contains no chemicals which would be hazardous to human health.

Eileen Haraminac, Michigan State University Extension

Furthermore you should ensure that the plastic container is safe to heat up. You do not want your container to start melting as the temperature rises as you sous vide. Obviously the temperatures will not rise above waters boiling level, and often not even close to it, but you should anyways ensure that the plastic container can handle the heat you will expose it to.

Can I Use One Of My Existing Pots For Sous Vide?

Can I use one of my existing pots for Sous Vide?

Yes! Pots work great for sous vide. One thing you will need to consider though is that if you use a sous vide stick it has to fit in the pot. Depending on the sous vide stick model you have, you may not be able to adjust the clipper functionality. If you can not adjust the height of the clipper, you will need to ensure that you use a pot tall enough for you to clip on your sous vide stick.

Another thing to consider when using your existing pots for sous vide, is that it can contain enough water required by the sous vide stick. Usually the sous vide stick will have a minimum marker on it. This marker indicates the minimum amount of water you will need in order for the machine to work properly. The good thing about this, is that most of those sticks will not work if the water level is too low, so you will not end up in a situation where you think you are sous vide cooking, but the water is not heated properly.

Are There Any Container I Should Avoid For Sous Vide Cooking?

Do not use your bathtub, toilet or dirty containers in general. Period. Seriously. I know this should be self explanatory, however you never know, so I thought I would make that very clear!

What Is The Best Size Container For Sous Vide?

The size of sous vide container you need is driven by what you plan to sous vide. Let us imagine that you plan to sous vide a single piece of meat, some vegetables like asparagus or something similar sized. Then the sous vide container size simply needs to be able to contain this.

On the other site of the spectrum, you may consider wanting to sous vide a large cut of meat or a whole chicken. If that is the case, then you will need a larger container. Often a large plastic container will be better suited for this as they come in a almost any shape and form you can imagine.

A good thing to keep in mind is that the larger the container size, the longer it will take for your sous vide machine or stick to heat up the water. On the other site, you should always ensure that there is enough room in your container. You do not want to squeeze and cramp down your meat or vegetables into the container. So make sure to select the right size container that matches the size of what you want to sous vide.

I prefer to use a plastic container. They are easy to find and often a lid is included (which is great for keeping the temperature steady) or your can buy a matching lid together with the container.

Final thing to remember. The most important part when you sous vide, is that the item is fully covered by water. If you can cover your item with water and leave a bit of room for your sous vide stick, then you should be good to go.

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