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Testing the ChefSteps Joule Big Clamp

By Lauren Savoie Published

You can use the sous vide cooking method in almost any container in your kitchen, from a small bowl to a big cooler—if you have the right clamp.

In sous vide cooking, food is sealed and immersed in a water bath set to a specific temperature. We love this cooking method because it’s almost completely hands-off and it’s incredibly precise. Plus, setting up a sous vide rig is pretty simple: You fill your cooking vessel with water, attach your immersion circulator to the vessel, and you’re ready to go.

Our favorite immersion circulator is the Joule (about $200), a compact circulator with thoughtful features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and a magnetic base. However, one of our few complaints about the design is that the included clamp is narrow and can be effectively attached only to vessels with walls less than 1 inch thick. To address this issue, ChefSteps (the manufacturer of the Joule immersion circulator) sells the Joule Big Clamp (just under $25), an attachment that replaces the Joule’s standard clamp, allowing you to affix the circulator to containers up to 2.65 inches thick. We wanted to know if this accessory would make our top-rated immersion circulator even more versatile, so we decided to test it out.

While the Big Clamp was a little wobbly on containers with thin walls (left), it attached perfectly to vessels with very thick walls, such as our favorite cooler (right).

Setup took only seconds: It was effortless to replace the Joule’s included clamp with the Big Clamp. Also, we loved how the Big Clamp attached quickly and snugly to both the 2.5-inch-thick walls of our favorite cooler by Yeti and the 1.6-inch-thick walls of our Best Buy cooler by Rubbermaid. While the Joule’s included clamp works well on almost any pot, pan, or storage container, the Big Clamp lives up to its intended purpose: It allows you to attach the immersion circulator to a large vessel, which is handy when cooking for a crowd or preparing a very large cut of meat. 

 

Equipment Review ChefSteps Joule Big Clamp

You can use the sous vide cooking method in almost any container in your kitchen, from a small bowl to a big cooler—if you have the right clamp.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.