I just got my first SV circulator--a refurbished Anova 800W for $89--and I felt I needed have insulated, evap-resistant bathtubs for it.
I decided to make two. The first was to just use my medium-sized Coleman PolyLite 40Q cooler. This is my Go-To grocery cooler, so I didn't want to sacrifice it just for SV, so I cut a plexiglass scrap into a cover that sits down inside on the cooler's interior rim, and then hole-sawed the corner of the clear plexi to accept the Anova. Someone specc'd the hole at 2.5" diameter, but I found that's a bit too large. 2-3/8" or 2-7/16" diameter would probably have been better. I solved the issue by adding a toilet flush gasket that seals the hole and stabilizes the Anova.
The second was a smaller 9Q Igloo picnic cooler I never used, is only $15 new , and therefore didn't mind sacrificing. This I hole-sawed directly through the cooler's removable lid. Because the lid was hollow, I sealed the thing up with squirt foam and silicone caulk. The gasket seals this one, too, just moving from one cooler to the other with the Anova.
So far, after a few uses, I can say that the setups hold heat extremely well, and don't lose much water by evaporation. The 40Q only dropped a few degrees after being banished to the back porch overnight in 40F weather. It would not have taken much time or juice to get it back on-temp. I'll break out the Kill-A-Watt later, and compare energy use.
Cost was $6 for the IKEA rack, and $3.49 for the gasket. I had everything else. I couldn't see springing $100 for a large Cambro, cover, ping-pong balls, etc.
So what do others use?
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