Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links so if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a commission.
View All Modernist Cooking Blog Posts Written by Gary Logsdon

SO-VIDA Sleeve Heating and Power Consumption Test

We recently were given a SO-VIDA Sous Vide Container Sleeve to test out and review. As an engineer, I tend to first look at new products from an objective viewpoint. Therefore, I thought it would be worth running some sort of a benchmark to determine the effectiveness of the Sleeve from an insulation perspective.

So vide sleeve corner close

Heating Benchmark Description

In order to best determine the impact of the Sleeve, I decided the benchmark needed to be run for a relatively long period of time and at a high temperature. Moreover, the benchmark needed to be modeled after a typical real-world cooking scenario. I chose a time and temperature of 165°F (74°C) and 24 hours respectively. This would be perfect for cooking a chuck roast to braise-like consistency.

The Heating Benchmark consisted of the following steps:

  • Start with 8.45 quarts (8 L) of water in a 12-Quart Rubbermaid container at room temperature, ~75°F (24 °C)
  • Turn on the Anova circulator with the target temperature set at 165°F (74°C)
  • Record how long it takes for the water bath to reach the target temperature
  • Record how much power it takes to reach the target temperature
  • Record the power consumption up to 1 hour, 2 hours, and after 24 hours
  • Record the temperature variation during the entire 24 hour period
  • Record how much water was lost due to evaporation during the experiment

If you are interested in how we run our tests, you can view the Sous Vide Machine Benchmark for additional details.

The benchmark was run on four different configurations of the Sleeve and container covers:

  • So vida setups resized balls coozie With the Sleeve on and a cover of sous vide balls
  • So vida setups resized lid coozieWith the Sleeve on and a plastic lid cover
  • So vida setups resized ballsWith the Sleeve off and a cover of sous vide balls
  • So vida setups resized lidWith the Sleeve off and a plastic lid cover

Benchmark Results

The results of the four benchmark tests are summarized in the following two tables:

SO-VIDA Sleeve Test with Ball Cover
Test With SO-VIDA Without SO-VIDA % Change
Startup Time in Minutes43:4046:306.1%
Power Consumption to 165°F (kWh)0.550.573.5%
1 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)0.590.636.3%
2 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)0.740.8411.9%
24 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)4.075.1220.5%
SO-VIDA Sleeve Test with Lid Cover
Test With SO-VIDA Without SO-VIDA % Change
Startup Time in Minutes44:0045:202.9%
Power Consumption to 165°F (kWh)0.540.563.6%
1 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)0.580.614.9%
2 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)0.710.7910.1%
24 Hour Power Consumption (kWh)3.434.6626.4%

The water bath does reach the target temperature slightly faster when the Sleeve is on, by about 3% to 6%. It is a savings of a few minutes, which may or not matter to most people.

The amount of power consumed over the 24 hour cook is reduced by an average of about 25% with the Sleeve in place. While this is a large percent, sous vide is generally very low powered and this change translates to about 1 kWh, which generally costs about $0.12.

The Sleeve did not have any impact on the temperature variation during the cook.

The type of cover used in the benchmark had the greatest impact on the amount of water lost to evaporation, with the sous vide balls losing nearly four times as much as the lid. As you might suspect, the presence of the Sleeve did not seem to make a material difference in the water loss.

As I discussed in my full SO-VIDA Sleeve review, while there are performance gains, the biggest benefit of the sleeve is the aesthetic values.


This article is by Gary Logsdon, my resident equipment tester, researcher, business partner, and most importantly, my Dad. He loves diving into the nuts and bolts of different pieces of equipment, researching what works best, and sharing that information with you.