What on earth is a sous vide lid? It’s a lid that you put on top of your water bath when you are sous vide cooking. And a lid is a very worthwhile investment if sous vide cooking is in your life for good (not many people can stop sous viding once they start – just saying). Before we talk about the benefits of a sous vide lid, let’s quickly recap what sous vide cooking is.
Sous vide cooking involves cooking vacuum sealed food in a water bath at low heat over a long period of time. This process produces succulent, restaurant quality food each and every time you cook. To learn more about sous vide cooking, head to our FAQ and Resources page.
Sous vide cooking requires a constant water temperature to cook your food slowly and evenly. To ensure a constant temperature, you need to insulate your water bath and ensure there is minimal water evaporation. If you are cooking sous vide with an all-in-one sous vide water oven, such as the SousVide Supreme Water Oven, the unit comes with an in-built sous vide lid.
When you are cooking with a sous vide immersion circulator clipped to a pot, you cannot use a lid. Some people cover their pots with plastic wrap, foil or even towels. But there are more options. You can create a blanket of sorts on your water bath with sous vide water balls. They help to insulate your water bath and minimize water evaporation. Here is what it looks like when water balls are put on top of your cooking pot:
Water container and sous vide lid combinations
Another very popular set up for sous vide cooking is to use a plastic container as your water vessel. This is because plastic containers allow plenty of room for your immersion circulator and your sous vide food pouches. Your capacity to cook food is increased. This means you can cook larger sized pieces of meat and a greater quantity of food than you can with a kitchen pot. To combat the problem of water evaporation and to ensure insulation, sous viders often use cling wrap, foil and towels to cover the container water baths just as the do for their pots. However, sometimes steam is able to make it’s way out of the water bath. And there is nothing more frustrating than steam shorting out your sous vide immersion circulator. A lid solves this problem.
The good news is that containers have become very popular for sous vide cooking. So popular in fact, that there are now sous vide lids available for use with specific sous vide immersion circulators. These lids have cut outs in them designed to fit specific immersion circulators. In turn, they then fit perfectly on top of a range of containers.
Here is what some of those combinations look like together:
Anova sous vide immersion circulator with the Wyzerpro container and the corresponding Wyzerpro lid
Anova sous vide immersion circulator with the EVERIE collapsible lid and corresponding Rubbermaid container:
We could show you pictures of sous vide container and lid combinations all day long. But we think you get the idea.
Here are some sous vide lid and container options available. These are not the only options you have. But they are very popular combinations with sous viders.
Anova immersion circulator – sous vide lid options
Joule by ChefSteps immersion circulator – sous vide lid options
EVERIE collapsible hinged sous vide container lid for Joule and fits the 12, 18, 22 quart Rubbermaid)
Sansaire immersion circulator – sous vide lid options
Gourmia immersion circulator – sous vide lid options
PolyScience immersion circulator – sous vide lid options
Please note: Triple check all of your codes before ordering on Amazon. All codes should “match up”. For example if you are going to buy the C20 water container, you need to also purchase the C20 lid. In saying that many of the lids suit a RANGE of the containers. Eg to C20L LIPAVI sous vide lid goes with the C20, C10 containers
DIY lovers – Make your own custom sous vide lid
It is very convenient to buy containers and lids together to get the perfect set up for your sous vide cooking. But if you don’t want to fork out for that set up, consider a DIY set up. Making your own customised lid for your immersion circulator is completely doable. Just make sure that the container and lid you buy are made of a food quality, BPA free plastic that can sustain hot temperatures.
Here are some resources that might help you with this DIY project:
Even Anova Culinary themselves have a detailed post with a step by step guide to building a sous vide cooler
A quick tip for testing your sous vide lid and container
Test out your new set up before you start your first cook. If you haven’t managed to make the fit of the hole in your lid super tight around your immersion circulator, you may notice a gap between the clamp and the notch or hole you have cut. It is important to find a way to fill this gap. If you don’t, you may find that steam condensation makes it’s way back up the vent which can short out your immersion circulator!
What if I don’t want to buy a lid – what else can I use?
You do not have to use a custom, polycarbonate lid for your sous vide water bath if you don’t want to or cannot afford it. The key to a great sous vide cook is limiting evaporation and maintaining a constant water temperature in your water bath. Both aluminium foil and plastic wrap will do that job for you also. Some sous viders report that this approach is not as effective as a proper lid, but it is certainly a viable solution to consider.
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