enter image description here Kindly explain paragraph 3. I can't see link between this device for sous-vide cooking and coolers? What does unmatched versatility mean here?

This is the Chefsteps Joule sous-vide cooker

  • 1
    As a note, this use of "coolers" for hot liquid is not limited to sous vide. As a home brewer, we use coolers (10 gallon water coolers with spigots) to keep our mash tun and hot liquor tanks hot over the 1-hour steeping time. These are extremely popular amongst small batch (~5 gallon) all grain brewers and are regularly sold in kits. The reality is that the coolers are really "insulators" that happen to be commonly used to keep things cold. Though it is worth noting that most won't be able to handle temps near boiling without melting or deforming.
    – Catija
    Dec 3, 2015 at 7:26

1 Answer 1


Coolers (chilly bins) are ideal sous-vide cooking vessels as they are well insulated, and thus conserve energy and avoid temperature varying across the water bath.

Most sous-vide cooking happens at less than 80°C (176°F), so the plastic will stand up fine.

Many commercial clip on sous-vide cookers are only suitable for fish tank style containers (thin walled). These tanks look pretty, but waste a lot of energy, and can struggle to keep the same temperature throughout all the water. An interchangeable clip, or wide reach clip is more useful for coolers or other insulated vessels.

Specifically with the Chefsteps Joule sous-vide cooker: it seems to have a powerful magnet in its foot, so if you place a sheet of coated steel on the bottom of your cooler, you won't even need a clip.

  • "unmatched versatility" here means "you can clip it onto (pretty much) anything."
    – Ming
    Dec 2, 2015 at 5:29
  • For two steaks the temperature accuracy may be fine, but when you load up a whole party things go wrong. With plenty of packages in a vessel, water loves to isolate itself in heat patterns, even with a circulator. The Joule should be better as it has the circulator exit at the bottom of the vessel, not halfway up the side.
    – TFD
    Dec 2, 2015 at 9:25
  • You can use two same sized deep lexan trays to get decent insulation. It's not a matter of temp accuracy really, just how much energy is used to maintain the temp. If you set the thermostat to keep it at 176F it will no matter what unless the cold is stronger than the heat.
    – Escoce
    Dec 2, 2015 at 14:31
  • @Escoce That's addressed by TFD's previous comment, I think - it's not about the accuracy of the thermostat, it's about what happens when the circulation doesn't reach as well everywhere. If it's well-insulated, it'll stay closer to the right temperature.
    – Cascabel
    Dec 4, 2015 at 2:16
  • For what it’s worth, the inlet is on the bottom of the Joule. The slit of the side is where the water comes out of it.
    – Preston
    Feb 7, 2020 at 0:30

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