Sous vide cooking is taking the home cooking world by storm. With economically priced immersion circulators on the market (also known as precision cookers and pods), you can make exquisite meals for your family and friends in the comfort of your own home. Cambro sous vide containers and lids are a popular addition for any sous vider looking to up their sous vide cooking game.
As with other polycarbonate containers, Cambro sous vide containers are large, safe for holding hot water and the perfect shape for adding sous vide racks (if desired). Here’s our Sous Vide Hub round up of the Cambro sous vide range on offer.
What? I need more stuff to cook sous vide?
No. In fact, you do not NEED any accessories other than your sous vide immersion circulator and a pot OR a sous vide water oven to create succulent sous vide meals.
Your immersion circulator can be used with any kitchen pot as long as the sous vide circulator can attach to the lip of your existing kitchen pot range, or in the case of the Joule immersion circulator, attach via magnet to the base of your pot.
But for those of you who want to take your sous vide cooking to the next level, larger sous vide water baths can be very handy. You can cook a lot more sous vide goodness at the one time.
Cambro containers are great when you are cooking for a crowd
Do you entertain large groups of family and friends? Then your every day kitchen pots and saucepans are unlikely to be larger enough for your sous vide cooking. Larger sous vide containers and lids are a useful option when you are cooking for the masses.
There are a range of reputable containers and lids on the market that can be used for your sous vide cooking. In this article we take a closer look at the Cambro range of containers and lids that work well with them. Cambro has options for those with the Joule by ChefSteps, the Anova immersion circulator range, the PolyScience series of immersion circulators and many more sous vide immersion circulator brands.
Cambro is a reputable brand. It has been around for some time. This speaks volumes when it comes to the quality of their containers and lids that can be used for sous vide cooking.
Sous vide cooking in Cambro containers
The greatest benefits of Cambro containers for sous vide cooking:
- Safe to use with hot water
- Have a greater capacity than kitchen pots and saucepans
- Have a see through design, so you can see your food pouches throughout your cook
- Made with polycarbonate (and BPA free)
Why a polycarbonate container (non BPA) is best
We all know that BPA in plastic containers is a problem. Whilst it is super unlikely that the ingredients in your food pouch will be affected by BPA, it’s best not to take the risk. So choosing Cambro containers made with polycarbonate is best. Polycarbonate containers are strong, which makes them perfect for sous vide cooking.
Cambro sous vide capacity
Cambro containers hold more water and food pouch ingredients than your every day pot or pan. That means you can cook succulent sous vide meals for lots of guests at once.
Polycarbonate containers have been used by commercial chefs for years and using your sous vide immersion circulator with Cambro containers makes it possible for you to cook in the same way at home.
Which sous vide immersion circulators can be used with Cambro containers?
You can use all sous vide immersion circulators with Cambro containers as long as the clip of your immersion circulator is able to fit on the lip of the container itself. The following sous vide immersion circulators have been used successfully with the Cambro sous vide container range:
Technically any immersion circulator can be clipped to a Cambro sous vide container. Just double the width of your clip is compatible with the lip width of the Cambro container you choose.
Related article: Best Sous Vide Container Options – The Low Down
Cambro sous vide container and accessories
As we always say, buying an additional container for your sous vide cooking is not essential. Sous viders around the globe make awesome sous vide meals with the every day pots and saucepans they already own.
But if you regularly cook for larger numbers of family and friends, here are some of the accessories you might want to consider using with your Cambro sous vide container.
Sous vide water balls that fit Cambro containers
The benefits of sous vide water balls
Do you cook sous vide meals in different sized containers, depending on the number of people you are cooking for? If you do, then consider buying some sous vide water balls. These balls sit on top of your water bath during your sous vide cook.
They do a great job of stopping water evaporation and preventing heat loss from your water bath. If you cook in different sized containers, outlaying money for different lid sizes will be expensive. Water balls will cover the top of your water bath no matter the size of containers you use as your water bath.
Why you wouldn’t use sous vide water balls
If you are buying the larger Cambro containers (eg 16 quart, 18 quart etc) it’s expensive to buy enough sous vide water balls to form a solid layer on top of your sous vide water container. Instead it is going to be cheaper for you to cover your water container with a custom lid, foil or cling wrap.
Using sous vide racks with Cambro containers
The benefits of sous vide racks
Sous vide racks keep your food pouches apart in your water bath. For example, if you are cooking steaks, you can slot each food pouch into the sous vide rack with room for water to move between each pouch. Water then flows evenly throughout your water bath and ensures even cooking. Here’s a picture that shows how it works:
Sous vide racks are also helpful to keep your food pouches under the water. This is essential for even sous vide cooking. You won’t have any problems with floating if you use vacuum sealed food pouches but some people prefer to use zip lock bags instead. Some brands may float.
Related article: Top Sous vide racks
Using lids for your Cambro sous vide container
Using a lid on your Cambro container stops water evaporation from your water bath and helps to maintain a consistent water temperature. Basically you are making sure your sous vide immersion circulator doesn’t need to work too hard to compensate for water loss or any temperature decreases given you are insulating the container with the lid.
Lids that are specifically designed for Cambro containers fit snugly and securely. You can buy sous vide lids that come with custom cut outs for your specific sous vide immersion circulator.
Some sous viders buy lids and cut a hole for their specific sous vide immersion circulator. We don’t recommend cutting your own immersion circulator hole in your Cambro lid. Sous viders who have attempted to do this have found the Cambro lids particularly robust and difficult to create the perfect hole for their immersion circulator.
Other brands have jumped on board the sous vide cooking train. They have created lids specifically for various sous vide immersion circulator brands. That’s great news for you. EVERIE has created a range of silicone lids that fit the Cambro 12 quart container. This includes models with both corner and side mounts for Anova immersion circulators, including the Anova Nano as well as models for the Wancle immersion circulator.
Reasons not to use lids on Cambro sous vide containers
If you use different size Cambro containers for your sous vide cooking, you are best not to use lids as a covering for each water bath. Unless you have very deep pockets, different lids for different container sizes will cost you a fortune.
Where can I buy Cambro sous vide containers and lids?
Cambro sous vide containers and lids are available on Amazon, Walmart, Costco and eBay.
Cambro sous vide product sales and specials
Given Cambro sous vide containers and lids are sold on major online websites, you are bound to find the size you need on sale. If you are not in a hurry to buy, keep an eye out for sales so you can grab yourself a bargain.
Cambro sous vide lid and insulation hacks
here are some alternatives to consider if you don’t want to buy a lid for your Cambro sous vide container:
- Use cling wrap or foil over the top of your Cambro sous vide container water bath, if you don’t want to buy custom lids or use sous vide water balls.
- Wrap your Cambro container in old towels to keep your water bath temperature even across your sous vide cook. Remember – your ingredients cook for a LONG time.
Hints and tips from sous viders who have used the Cambro sous vide range
Tip 1. Make sure you buy an immersion circulator that can efficiently heat your water bath and maintain water temperature over a long period of time.
Sous vide immersion circulators with higher wattages work best for larger Cambro sous vide containers. You will notice that they warm your water bath to your chosen temperature more quickly.
Tip 2. Some Cambro sous vide containers have handles. These can get in the way when you are trying to clip your sous vide immersion circulator to the side of the container. On the bright side, these handles make it super easy to carry you water container around.
Make sure your specific immersion circulator clip will fit the lip of the Cambro sous vide container you choose. Check others’ reviews or ask the manufacturer if in doubt about the lip size of the container or the width of lid your clip can handle.
Tip 3. Definitely choose the Cambro containers that are clear (not opaque) so you can keep an eye on your cook
My Cambro sous vide container is too large for my benchtop? Where should I put it?
Sous viders are a resourceful bunch. Many people put their sous vide water bath containers on their kitchen floor (careful not to scratch your floorboards by placing something under your container), in laundry tubs and on their garage floors.
Obviously you need a power point for your sous vide immersion circulator to work. Consider using an extension cord if required.
Which Cambro sous vide container size is best for me?
There are lots of different Cambro sous vide container and lid sizes available. Not every family creates their sous vide masterpieces in the same way. But here’s a rough guide for you to consider:
The 8 quart holds 2 gallons and its probably best for 2 people.
The 12 and 16 quart Cambro sous vide containers are popular for a family of 4+. But of course this will depend on how much food you generally eat.
The larger 18 and 22 quart Cambro containers are great for those who entertain on a large scale. As a rule of thumb you will be able to create food for 6+ people with these larger containers. Cooking for the masses has never been easier than with these larger Cambro sous vide containers.
There is also a Cambro custom tank with a lid for the PolyScience Chef Series 18 liters with a recommended fill capacity of 15 liters.
Conclusion – Cambro sous vide containers and lids rock
Yep. We think that the Cambro range of containers is an excellent choice for creating your sous vide water bath. And the lids are a great option too.
The set and forget nature of sous vide cooking combined with the restaurant quality food you produce every time, makes sous vide a “go to” cooking technique for anyone who loves to feed a crowd.
Combining the quality of the Cambro polycarbonate containers, with the sizes available and the snug fitting lids available, the Cambro range should be a serious contender for your sous vide cooking escapades. Serving up some sous vide goodness to your family or a crowd of friends has never been easier.
Further Reading and Resources
Over to you. Have you used any containers in the Cambro range for your sous vide cooking? How would you rate your experience with them? We would love to hear your feedback in the Comments section below.
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The opinions and tips contained in this article have been independently sourced. Should you purchase any of the products via affiliate links provided, you will not pay any more for the product itself – but doing so, helps us keep this website going.