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Water Baths and Immersion Circulators


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Nut Chef

I had a meal where I did flank steak for 25 in a campground. (I am the camp chef for a fly fishing club) I cooked the steaks for 12 hours in 2 batches and cooled them in an ice bath. They went to the site in a regular camp cooler with ice. On the night of the event I warmed them up with a Sansaire unit in the cooler for 45 minutes to the correct temperature and sliced and served them. It was a hoot. I got input that is wasd some of the best steaks they had had!


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In my opinion, there is one overarching piece of advice for anybody trying to decide between the various units: don't overanalyze it, and just buy one.  I personally have the Anova, and I'm very happy with it, but I'm confident that I would have been happy with any of them.  The marginal difference between having an immersion circulator and not having an immersion circulator, is vastly greater than the marginal difference between any two units.  Just buy one, any one, and you will be very happy you did.

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Yes.  But.  These are electronic units and they will all suffer some level of infant mortality.  How the respective companies deals with this is part of the equation for me.


Anova has put out enough units to establish a very good track record with cust service.  A unit fails, they'll give you a Fedex return authorization and as soon as your failed unit hits the system they will ship a new one.  Have not heard anything about Sansaire or Nomiko.  Have heard that Polyscience is a bit overwhelmed trying to provide cust service and is going to be retailing its personnal unit through Bienville.


Agree with above that it's better to reach into a box and pull out any available unit than to not have one at all.  But make mine an Anova.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Re using coolers as containers, I have two coolers one medium size and one small (24 beer and the other a 6 pack). To prepare them, I discarded their lids as they were only pop on pop off types, no hinges. I purchased a small sheet of 1 1/2 inch "Styrofoam SM" (ridgid styrofoam, closed cell, not the white stuff that crumbles). I cut lids to fit, then cut a hole to insert my circulator (Anova) When I want to use the coolers as coolers I just pop the original lids back on. Works a treat!



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  • 7 months later...

Congratulations! GBP 100 for an immersion circulator is a real bargain, and I agree that a ±0.3°C temperature swing (or even a ±1°C swing) will probably affect your end-product much less than the quality of the raw material. Temperature swings in the surrounding medium are attenuated within the food, see here and here.

Nevertheless it is recommended to check your bath temperature with a calibrated thermometer for food safety considerations, see the sous vide page in wikiGullet and the article Importance of temperature control on pasteurizing times.

If you are looking for the sous vide page of the wikiGullet, you will see a blank page (wikiGullet is no longer being maintained), but you can view it in the internet wayback machine

or in the sous vide Wikia.

Peter F. Gruber aka Pedro

eG Ethics Signatory

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