Top 6 Best Sous Vide Containers in 2020

If you’re here, you probably already know some French. Well, at least you know sous vide (“under vacuum”), which refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag and then cooking to perfection under a water bath at a precise temperature. And you know you’re going to need a container to submerge the vacuum bag in to cook the food. 

That’s why you’re here. You want to know which containers are good to cook in with your immersion circulator. Well, no delaying it. 

Sous Vide Container Top Picks

Our top pick for the best sous vide container is the LIPAVI Sous Vide Container. It comes in a variety of sizes and a variety of lids tailored to your sous vide cooker. Customized lids for different immersion circulators are a great touch. You don’t need to worry about towels or saran wrap to fill in holes where water can evaporate through.

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We’re going to get into the details of each of the top 6 sous vide containers that we recommend, along with a buying guide to make sure you know what to look for with containers. 

For example, safety is one of the key things to look out for. You don’t want to choose the wrong one, especially when it comes to the materials that can be hazardous to your health when heated.

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B01IFFTX5O&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USLIPAVI Sous Vide Container

LIPAVI Container

  • Four Sizes: 7, 12, 18, 26 quarts

  • Lid and Rack: Not included

BEST OVERALL

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B000R8JOUC&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USRubbermaid Sous Vide Container

Rubbermaid Container

  • Four Sizes: 8, 12, 18, 22 quarts

  • Lid and Rack: Not included

BEST SPACE SAVER

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B0001MRUKA&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USCambro Sous Vide Container

Cambro Container

  • Three Sizes: 12, 18, 22 quarts

  • Lid and Rack: Not included

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B074N3JC4L&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USEVERIE Sous Vide Container

EVERIE Container

  • Three Sizes: 12, 18, 22 quarts

  • Lid: Includes a collapsible hinge lid

  • Rack: Not included

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07XJRF5TW&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USAnova Culinary Sous Vide Container

Anova Container

  • One size: 16 quarts

  • Lid: Included

  • Rack: Included

BEST LOOKING

q? encoding=UTF8&ASIN=B07RY4SX44&Format= SL250 &ID=AsinImage&MarketPlace=US&ServiceVersion=20070822&WS=1&tag=sousvide110 20&language=en USNRT Sous Vide Container

NRT Container

  • One size: 12 quarts

  • Lid: Included

  • Rack: Included

BEST
BUDGET-FRIENDLY


We know there are many options on the market, and that’s why I evaluated a bunch of different containers based on various factors like volume, safety, durability, bang for your buck value, temperature resistance and range, etc.

Without further ado, let’s get right into why you’re here! 

Top 6 Water Containers to Sous Vide In 

1.  LIPAVI Sous Vide Container – Best Overall

Lipavi Container

The LIPAVI Sous Vide Container is the best one on Amazon now. If you’re not a DIY person or just want to find a container that’s made just for sous vide, this is the one for you. 

Features

  • Dedicated sous vide container
  • Made of polycarbonate – crystal clear and durable
  • 4 different sizes to choose from: 7, 12, 18, 26 quarts
  • Withstand temperatures from -40 degrees to 210 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Created at the optimal height of 8 inches for virtually any circulator
  • Tailored lids for many circulators to keep the water where it should be, inside the container – like this one for the popular Anova Precision

LIPAVI is known for their high-quality containers. They take great care in making sure sous vide enthusiasts have the best containers out there and make sure their food comes out perfectly. They work hard to optimize sous vide cooking through their cooking. 

They’ve taken great pains to create multiple lids for different stick circulators. They have tailored lids for: Anova Precision, Anova One, Nomiku, Sansaire, ChefSteps Joule, PolyScience Creative, Wancle, Garmercy, Gourmia, Instant Pot, and many more!

They have a nice find the right sous vide system feature on their website. It recommends the container size and tailored lid depending on what sous vide immersion circulator you have and how big your family is. 

If you have a family of 4, go with the 12-quart container (LIPAVI C10). If you have 4-6 adults, go with 18 quarts (LIPAVI C15). Anything more, get 26 quarts (LIPAVI C20).

LIPAVI also makes a rack that fits perfectly for each container size. Racks will come in handy if you’re constantly trying to figure out how to place the bags to evenly cook the food. Racks are also useful if your bags are constantly floating all over the place. Click to see the rack on Amazon

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Convenient sizes
  • Dishwasher safe
  • High-temperature resistance

Cons

  • Lid and racks are purchased separately, but that’s ok because the lid is tailored to fit your circulator. 

2. Rubbermaid Sous Vide Container – Best Space Saver

rubbermade container

If you like having things modular and easy to organize, get the Rubbermaid square container. Rubbermaid is known for their square containers that are easy to keep organized and mean to be stacked together and on top of each other. 

Features

  • Water measuring levels on the container for accurate water levels
  • Made of polycarbonate – crystal clear and durable
  • 4 different sizes to choose from: 8, 12, 18, 22 quarts
  • Withstand temperatures from -40 degrees to 212 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Smooth surface for easy cleaning; dishwasher safe
  • Handles on the side for easy transport 

The space-saving Rubbermaid commercial container includes a durable integrated handle so that it can quickly move from one place to another. Because it’s made of transparent polycarbonate, you can see what’s inside from the outside. 

They have smaller sized containers at 2, 4, and 6 quarts, but that should only be used for food prep. You can’t sous vide in anything that small. 

The square shape allows all corners to be easily cleaned. 

It can easily use in all sauce machines. It is USDA food contact certified and maintains HACCP guidelines. Therefore, it is the best container.

Pros

  • Compact storage
  • Built-in handles
  • Perfect for sous vide cooking
  • Made of industrial-grade materials

Cons

3. Cambro Sous Vide Container

Cambro Container

The Cambro is also a square-shaped sous vide container and just like Rubbermaid, they’re also known for food storage containers. That’s why they also make 2, 4, and 6-quart containers. 

Features

  • Water measuring levels on the container for accurate water levels
  • Made of polycarbonate – crystal clear and durable
  • 3 different sizes to choose from: 12, 18, 22 quarts
  • Withstand temperatures from -40 degrees to 210 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Smooth surface for easy cleaning; dishwasher safe
  • Handles on the side for easy transport 

Cambro make a high-quality container and why they’re also good for the high heats of sous vide cooking. It has a textured bottom to reduce scratches in the container.

Pros

  • Easy to use and clean
  • Durable and heat resistant
  • Space-saving square shape
  • Easy to use and clean

Cons

4. EVERIE  Sous Vide Container

Everie Sous Vide Container

EVERIE doesn’t just make lids for other brands, they have their own containers! The best thing about this is they bundle their lid with the container. All the previous containers required you to purchase lids separately. 

Features

  • Comes with their collapsible hinge lids
  • Dedicated sous vide container
  • Made of polycarbonate – crystal clear and durable
  • 2 different sizes to choose from: 7 and 12 quarts

EVERIE makes different containers and lids for different circulators, so you’ll want to make sure you’re selecting the right one for your circulator. Here are the more popular ones: 

Pros

  • Proper height
  • Perfect Shape
  • Heat-resistant
  • Perfect size and durability

Cons

  • Doesn’t feel as well-made as a Lipavi container that’s similarly styled

5. Anova Sous Vide Container – Best Looking

Anova Container

Anova makes amazing sous vide products, especially their Anova Precision Cookers. Their containers are similarly high-quality and made to fit more than their own Anova cookers. I do like the way Anova’s designed their container, so I’ve dubbed it the Best Looking of all the containers.

Features

  • Dedicated sous vide container
  • Curved body shaped encourages water circulation
  • Made of polycarbonate – crystal clear and durable
  • One size: 16 quarts
  • Has a raised base to help protect your countertops from the heat
  • Withstand temperatures from -40 degrees to 210 degrees Fahrenheit

The Anova lid has a flexible silicone collar that will adjust based on the size of your circulator. That’ll allow for a larger number of circulators to fit with this container, but also help make a tighter fit to prevent heat and water leakage. 

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Dishwasher safety
  • Trusted brand
  • 100-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Only comes in one size, 16 quarts, so might be too much for just 1-2 people at home. If they made more than the one size, I would’ve listed this higher up.

6. NRT Sous Vide Container – Best Budget-Friendly

Joule Container

For those who are looking for a container at a low price, the NRT sous vide container set is for you. You get everything you need here, except for your stick circulator of course. 

Features

  • Complete Sous Vide Kit – 12 qt container with lid and a stainless steel rack
  • Fits all circulators that are up to 2.5” in diameter (Anova, Nano, Joule, etc.)
  • Like transparent containers
  • 100% Worry-Free Guarantee if you’re not happy

Pros

  • Complete kit at low price

Cons

  • Doesn’t feel as well-made nor high-quality, but it comes at a low price and is enough to get the job done

Ultimate Sous Vide Containers Buyer’s Guide 

Do I Need a Special Container For Sous Vide?

Technically, no, you don’t. But I’m going to take a wild guess here – you like food that’s cooked well, maybe even perfect. In that case, Yes, you should get a container that’s made for sous vide. If you’re going to spend all that time and money sous vide cooking, you don’t want to skip this important sous vide tool. 

I know some of you might be thinking about your pots and coolers that can hold water. Why can’t you just use something that you already have? Let’s take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of them: 

  • Plastic Coolers
    • Advantages: They’re well-insulated, so heat will stay inside. Coolers are easy to find and come in large sizes. Rectangular shapes allow for easy placements of vacuum bags. 
    • Disadvantages: Bulky and thick. Not as portable. Need to carve a hole in the thick lid if you plan to use the lid to keep evaporation in. There’s a health risk of the interior cooler lining coming off due to the heat. Remember, coolers are normally used to keep things cold. Coolers aren’t transparent, so you can’t see the food.
  • Pots
    • Advantages: You have one already if you do any cooking at home. No concern with heat. 
    • Disadvantages: Unless you have large pots, only suited for 1-2 person meals. Circular nature makes cooking multiple bags more of a pain. Metal material will transfer heat outside, meaning your circulator will be working harder. You’ll need to DIY some type of lid to keep the heat inside. 
    • Special Note: if you do use a pot, don’t put the hot pot on a stone countertop for a long period of time or you risk the stone will crack due to the heat. Put the pot on a wooden cutting board first or choose another counter that’s not stone. 

I will say that using those really large coolers as sous vide containers has its advantages when you’re looking to cook for large groups of people. That’s when you’d want to make your own cooler container. I wouldn’t make a cooler my daily sous vide container though. I like to have a more controlled environment and that comes with these specially designed sous vide containers and lids. 

Best Reasons to Buy a Sous Vide Container

  1. Safe materials – Polycarbonate and BPA-Free (more below). 
  2. Rectangular for easy vacuum bag placement. 
  3. Specialized lids made to effectively and efficiently keep heat and water in the container. Includes different cuts in the lid to accommodate a variety of sous vide circulator. 
  4. Transparent, so you can keep an eye on the food.  
  5. Lightweight and portable.
  6. Easy to clean.
  7. Pots are free for pasta, soup, chili, etc. 
  8. Coolers are free to keep your drinks cold.

Sous Vide Container Material – Polycarbonate 

You’ve seen polycarbonate containers before, you just may not have known it. Polycarbonate is the same material that many food storage containers, drink bottles, and other related products are made of. If you’ve had the chance to go into the kitchen of a restaurant, you’ll have seen them holding all their food. 

Sous vide containers are made of polycarbonate, a popular thermoplastic that can withstand high temperatures and is lightweight, but still strong. These containers are transparent and come in a variety of sizes, mostly in a rectangular shape that allows for easy organization. 

Advantages

  • Because the container is transparent, it’s easy to keep an eye on how food cooked.
  • Polycarbonate material has much better heat in the bath than metal in the pot. Therefore, your immersion circulator requires less power.
  • These containers are relatively light in size.

Disadvantages

  • Polycarbonate containers from better suppliers are very rugged.
  • The highest temperature that can be used for cooking is around 160 degrees. If you need higher temps for some reason, you can use a metal, induction-ready pot.

Are Sous Vide Containers Safe?

Most forms of polycarbonate contain BPA Bisphenol-A (aka BPA), a synthetic compound precursor that’s used when making plastic. BPA has been recognized as potentially being hazardous to your health. 

It can interfere with human hormones and scientists have linked BPA to diseases such as cancer and diabetes when food and liquids come in touch with BPA. When the realization of that potential came to the surface, the plastics industry began using other precursors for food and drink products that will touch food directly. 

BPA isn’t too much of a concern for sous vide because your food is vacuum-sealed in a bag. The chemical will never touch your food. If the container isn’t cracked, there’s less concern of BPA seeping out too. 

When you’re looking for your vacuum bags or ziplock bags, do make sure those bags are BPA-Free like this set of sous vide bags. You’re sealing your food inside that bag while cooking, so make sure you watch for BPA-FREE.

Safety is important when it comes to cooking because you always run the risk of fire and or harmful materials. In addition to container materials, you’re going to also need to keep in mind your sous vide machine and minimum water depth requirement.

Sous Vide Container

What Size Sous Vide Container to Buy?

Don’t just go buy the largest sous vide container you can find, unless you have a bunch of space and you’re thinking of the container being part of your home’s interior design. Nor should you buy too small a container or you won’t have enough food to eat for everyone.

Container size depends on how much you plan to cook at once due to family size and/or guests. General calculation guidelines from my experience = 3-4 quarts per adult.

  • Less than 12 quarts: 2 adults.
  • 12 quarts: 2-3 adults; Family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids). 
  • 18 quarts: 4-6 adults
  • 26 quarts: 10 adults

For most people, 12 quarts should cover the majority of your meals. If you have space at home, I’d recommend the 18 quarts to give you more flexibility. Who knows when you’re going to have guests over. When you start sous vide cooking, uninvited guests will start appearing…

How Much Water is Needed for Sous Vide Cooking?

Sous vide cooking needs a minimum water depth of least 2.5 inches of water. Other than food not cooking, it’s dangerous if you have less than the minimum depth. Heated water will evaporate, so that’s where you have to keep an eye on the water in the container and why it’s good to use transparent, polycarbonate containers. 

Container lids help with evaporation and keeping water inside the container. Specialized lids with cutouts for various sous vide circulators sizes are great. You can also use different DIY solutions like saran wrap and towels.

Even though you’re thinking the minimum 2.5 inches of water is simple, you’re also going to want to make sure you have enough water for the bags to freely move in the water. That’ll allow space for the water to get in between the bags and evenly cook your food. You don’t want to pack the food too tightly.

Most sous vide circulators can effectively heat up to 20 quarts (5 gallons) of water. Check your specific sous vide machine and how much water it says they can effectively heat. So when you’re looking at container size, keep in mind your specific circulator.

Ping Pong Balls for Sous Vide Containers

Yes, it’s true, you can use ping pong balls in sous vide cooking. How do ping pong balls help in sous vide?

Ping pong sous vide balls act as a lid in sous vide. They help to keep the heat and water inside the containers, in essence replacing a specialized lid, saran wrap, towels, and anything else you can think of using as a container lid. They’ve become popular because they offer the most flexibility for those who use multiple containers and/or circulators.  

No matter the size and shape of your container, the ping pong balls can adapt to offer complete surface coverage to trap the heat and reduce evaporation. There’s no need to search for a matching lid. The balls are easy to clean and can be easily stored in your container when not cooking. 

Where to Buy a Sous Vide Container

Amazon is usually the easiest when it comes to purchasing sous vide equipment. But I’ve found it hard to find equipment sometimes because products sell out quickly. It can potentially take some time before Amazon FBA will get replenished, so you can also try to go direct to the manufacturer’s website and other sites too. 

My go-to places for buying sous vide equipment and accessories: 

  • Amazon
  • Directly from Manufacturer’s site
  • Target / Walmart
  • Other lesser-known sites that might pop up in Google

Wherever you buy from, be sure to check that you’re buying authentic products and you still get the manufacturer’s warranty. 

Conclusion

There you have it. The best sous vide containers out there, along with a comprehensive buying guide. 

That should cover everything you’d need or want to know about sous vide containers. If there’s anything I’m missing or you have questions about, feel free to contact me. 

Do poke around the site for more info on my other posts, like the Best Sous Vide Cookers.