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.
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.