Longer sous vide cook times (let’s say you’re cooking a dish which requires a full 24 hours or longer) inevitably result in evaporation, which can, in turn, see reduced water levels in your container; not something you want to happen when cooking your dish.
Of course, it’s also worth remembering that evaporation of water also means an increased energy usage.
Thankfully; preventing evaporation is as simple as insulating your container; trapping heat and moisture in and ensuring that water levels don’t drop.
There are, however, a number of different ways you can do this, ranging from simple ‘hacks’ through to ready-made solutions which you can purchase from ourselves.
As a first tip, however, be sure to cook, whenever possible, in a plastic container rather than a metal one, as plastic is a much better insulator.
You can browse our range of sous vide containers here if you’re looking for the perfect solution.
The DIY Hacks
If you’re needing a solution straight away and can’t wait to place an order, thankfully there’s a number of DIY hacks which you can try out to insulate your container.
The first of these is to use ping pong balls.
Whilst it sounds strangely simple to be able to insulate in this way, the ping pong balls act as a great insulator and do the job nicely. They can also be reused time and time again and can be stored in the container itself between cooks. You’re also able to readily pick them up cost effectively.
The second simple DIY hack is to use cling film. It’s not the easiest of solutions, however if it’s all you have to hand, it’ll do the job.
If you are using this method, be sure to wrap a number of layers to ensure it’s fitted firmly. Typically 3 layers should see you just fine, however you’ll be able to tell when wrapping whether any more is needed.
Wrap the container first before cutting a hole for your circulator.
The main downside of using cling film is simply that it’s not reusable and that steam ends up being forced out of a single hole by the circulator, unlike when using ping pong balls. You’ll also struggle to adding to and retrieving from the container much harder when using cling film.
If you’re looking for an off the shelf solution, the good news is that we’ve got a couple of products on offer which you can order online and which will do an amazing job at reducing evaporation.
The first of these is our ‘Floating Sous Vide Balls Blanket,’ essentially an easy way to purchase the right amount of suitably sized balls for your container. The product contains 250 20mm polypropylene balls and can reduce heat loss by up to 80% and evaporation by up to 90%.
A simple solution priced at just £29.99 inc VAT.
The other solution which we offer is custom cut lids; either for our own plastic containers or stainless steel lids for Gastronorm containers.
Simply choose the size of container you’re using, select your brand of sous vide device and we’ll do the rest for you. It really is a simple and straightforward solution and the great news is that all of our plastic containers come complete with custom cut lids.
If you’re still using a cool box or other container; perhaps it’s time to invest in one from our range, starting at just £14.99 including VAT?
At the end of the day, evaporation isn’t what you want when doing long sous vide cooks, however it’s simple to solve the problem and, as you’ve seen, there’s a good few options available for you to try out.
Happy sous vide cooking!