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Thread: Sous vide cooler ideas

  1. #1
    chobint's Avatar
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    Sous vide cooler ideas

    I finally put together a proper sous vide container. The cambro option seems perfectly adequate, but I wanted something insulated and cheap. It turns out the 2.75 inch hole is a bit too big for the late model Anovas but it works out because I had a 70mm canning gasket hanging around the kitchen.

    The cooler is a Coleman personal 18. I believe this exact one is out of production (thrift store). I like the locking lid and the fact that the hole is the exact size of the cupholder. Despite my initial dissapointment of overdrilling the hole, I really like how vapor tight the gasket makes it. If I could just figure out what to do about water condensing inside of the lid, I would be ecstatic. It seems that will be a problem with any cooler build. If anybody has any ideas on that, I'm all ears.






  2. #2
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    You want to know what to do about the lid? Tap it every so often... other than that, nothing. Its just science... and the condensation is better than it evaporating off and getting lower... there will be a critical mass of condensation at which point it won't get any worse.... just fill up enougj to compensate for this loss.


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    Engorged Member El Pescador's Avatar
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    Home depot. Spray foam.
    "So you want to be a vegetarian? Hitler was a vegetarian and look at how he turned out."

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    chobint's Avatar
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    If spray foam is closed cell I suppose I could give it a try. Mold growing inside the hollow lid was the main concern.

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    Nice job! I think you'll find the cooler especially useful for long cooks, like if you're doing short ribs over several days. For cooks of a few hours or less I use cambros, but love the efficiency of the cooler for anything longer.

    The tightly sealed hole is a nice touch but is really overkill. Even with a gap around the circulator, you'll be reducing evaporation surface area so much that the whole setup barely uses more power than a night light.

    Is the condensation problem that water spills all over the place when you open the lid? One thing that can help is taking the hinges off. Then you can just tilt it and drain the water into the cooler.

    One other way to deal with condensation is to add pointed protrusions to the bottom of the lid. You could make them with epoxy or something similar. This is how condensation is handled in some dutch ovens. But it seems like more bother than it's worth.

  6. #6
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    I use a cooler for long cooks and for some things that won't fit into the 12x18x9 Cambro. I just let the top dry when I'm done. No worries. If you were concerned about mold I would spray the lid with diluted bleach.

    I think the hole saw for the bluetooth Anova is 2 1/2", the V1 is 2 3/4". Even with 72 hr cooks, evap is not a problem.
    Older and wider..

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    I may have to look into one of these

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    One thing I'd do differently if I were starting over and modding a cooler—I'd get one of the higher end coolers that has an insulated lid (most coolers have insulation in the body, but the lid is just empty double-wall plastic). I've been told that this makes a minimal difference; that reducing evaporation is much more important than having insulating foam. But still, why not have insulation on top if you've got a choice.

    I tried to insulate mine with spray foam. It worked ... eventually. But was an ordeal, and a mess, and a highly toxic experience. If you're convinced this would be a good idea, please pm me first so I can talk you out of it.

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    I made on with the 24 can stackable coolers, works great

    http://www.coleman.com/24-can-party-...000000433.html

  10. #10
    chobint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulraphael View Post
    One thing I'd do differently if I were starting over and modding a cooler—I'd get one of the higher end coolers that has an insulated lid (most coolers have insulation in the body, but the lid is just empty double-wall plastic). I've been told that this makes a minimal difference; that reducing evaporation is much more important than having insulating foam. But still, why not have insulation on top if you've got a choice.

    I tried to insulate mine with spray foam. It worked ... eventually. But was an ordeal, and a mess, and a highly toxic experience. If you're convinced this would be a good idea, please pm me first so I can talk you out of it.
    I was seriously considering some sort of filler, but I think I just derped my way into a simpler solution. The bottom of the lid slopes to obvious low points that can be drilled so the water drains out instead of collecting. The sous vide unit still seals against the top so it's all still vapor tite. Now I don't have to awkwardly shake water out of a weird shaped hollow object


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