Anova Sous Vide cooler

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Epic Pitmaster
Original poster
OTBS Member
Oct 4, 2012
Bend Oregon
I have numerous Cambro food grade containers. None of them are insulated. In an attempt to conserve some energy while Sous Vide cooking I wanted a dedicated insulated container.

I had two of these coolers so I sacrificed one. 25 quart Coleman party stacker.

I read in several places that having a tight fit wasn't good for the machine so I went with a 2 1/2" hole. This leaves about an 1/8" all around the Sous vide unit. I also drilled several smaller holes to vent.

I also added another hole so I can easily add water if needed without having to turn off and remove the unit. I'm using a rubber stopper to plug that. The hole is 1".

Pretty simple to make. Adjust holes per your unit.






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So, I bought an 18qt clear plastic cambro with a lid yesterday. When my wife came home, my excuse was: "Don't worry how much I paid, the cambro will pay for itself in energy savings by not using our soup pot."

Will the same excuse work when I say "the cooler will pay for itself in energy savings over the cambro"!? Lol

I do like the rubber stopper idea. It would be nice to have a larger container for larger cuts of meat or if you're making a large amount for guests. Portability of the SV pod is a huge bonus.
During the 37 hour, 131 degree cook I did on the chuck I lost minimal water to evaporation. I didn't add any. The unit sat at the proper temp for the entire time. I should mention that we keep our house colder than most, 55-60.
Last edited:
Made a mod. Was to lazy to drive to HD store for a proper plug.

This will do..





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How does your unit handle that volume of water? Mine is only the 800W model. It takes a while to get to temps but holds well once it gets there with 3 & 4 gallon containers.
How does your unit handle that volume of water? Mine is only the 800W model. It takes a while to get to temps but holds well once it gets there with 3 & 4 gallon containers.
This is what I was going to ask, from what I have read the 800W Anova model takes a long time to heat up water.

  found on this sous vide comparison page. That's only for 6 quarts of water, how much is being used in this Coleman?
I start with hot tap water. Ours comes out of the tap at 120f. Takes about 5 minutes to get up to 135-140. Takes about 20 minutes to get up to the 180-183.

First time I used it I used cold tap water and a 10qt container. Water was 40f took around 30 minutes to get up to 133.
I start with hot tap water as well. Doesn't matter if I'm using the cooler mod, or a pot. Just makes sense to start with hot water.

The anova is 800 watts so sure an 1100 watt sous vide cooker will heat up water faster but I guess I fail to see how that matters? The real job of any sous vide is to keep temp of the water bath consistent. The anova does that well. I'm sure they all do.

I'm starting with tap water over 135 degrees when I fill my 6 quart stock pot. I sous vide all my steaks at 130 so the water actually has to cool down when I fill a pot on full blast hot.

The cooler mod is 25 quarts so with cold water it would take a while to heat up. I've only used my cooler mod once but after filling the whole thing with water and getting the bags of cold meat in it, the top on, and the sous vide in I was still at 124. Didn't take long to get to the 140 temp I needed in the insulated cooler.
DirtSailor....what was the reason for needing to move the unit to the end, instead of the original placement?


The meat I was cooking was wider. Filled the cooler side to side and was almost as long. So needed the unit on the end. Most of the time the roasts I do are skinny and long so the side works better.
Oh gotcha.  Well now you can switch them back and forth depending on what works best for the cut of meat.  Good idea!

Exactly. My plug works darn good too. I was going to get a pipe plug like the plumbers use but this works just as good, and it was freeish!
Freeish is always the best in my book.  I need to get one of those can coolers like that.  I haven't seen them anywhere locally to buy. Online they are 25 bucks or so if I remember correctly.
Have had this set up for 4 years now. Just 1 hole at the end helps accommodate more big roasts at the same time. Place a SS cooling rack on the bottom for better circulation. Have cooked as many as 4 rib roasts at once on multiple occasions with excellent results.
A lot of folks don't know that dishwashers require at least 130 degree water or it turns on the heater inside, I run mine to 130-135 so a load of water is pretty hot and it don't take long to get up to any temp. No small kids in the house taking baths and during the cold months the hot water lasts longer in the shower. its surprising how the intake water will effect the hot water usage during cold months, folks think somethings wrong with the water heater when it just takes more hot water to do the same thing as during the summer. its not unusual to see low 40's around here
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I've done a brisket in the same cooler mod. I have it if needed again, just too big for the two of us. Need a smaller insulated version, love the heat retention. The ANOVA doesn't seem to flinch when starting with hot water first. We start with hot water at work as well. is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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