Skip to main content

Greetings fellow CookShackers.   I know the SM066 has a hold feature BUT it is only for six hours, and I know that I can set the temp to 145 or 150 and walk away as well. I have been searching far and wide on the internet for holding oven ideas without dropping 4500 bucks on a real holding oven.

My plan is to hold briskets at 150 degrees for at least 24 hours prior to serving.  I am doing brisket over the Memorial Day weekend.

In the spirit of American exceptionalism, I discovered a Canadian beat me to the punch on this.  Not only did he turn a cooler into a holding oven, but he also turned an old chest freezer into one as well.  Here is the link:

He did not give any specifics.  He just drilled a hole and shoved in the Sous Vide.

Here is my take on this.

Parts:  JB Weld, Marine adhesive, two – (2) inch repair couplings, one – 1.5-inch pvc cleanout with plug (optional), four – 12-inch threaded rods, 16 flat washers, 16 nuts, 2 cooling racks that fit your cooler, and 2.75-inch hole saw.

I drilled a hole in the cooler at an angle so the Sous Vide heater would somewhat vertical.  JB Weld the two repair couplings together and insert them into the hole.  Use the marine adhesive to seal the hole and glue the couplings into place.

The rods, washers, and nuts are for holding the rack up and keeping it together.

I am not providing any measurements for hole location or rack set up as it is cooler dependent.  The cleanout plug can be insert into the coupling if you want to use the cooler as a cooler.

It's not pretty but see the pics below.  It was more difficult than I though to drill a vertical hole in the side of a cooler.

capcouplinginsideoutsiderack insideracksous vide inside with racksous vide insidesous vide outsidesous vide


Images (10)
  • cap
  • coupling
  • inside
  • outside
  • rack inside
  • rack
  • sous vide inside with rack
  • sous vide inside
  • sous vide outside
  • sous vide
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

My angle needs to be about 1/2 inch more to lower the Sous Vide under water at the minimum mark.  Where I screwed the pooch is placing the hole too close to the bottom.  I am going to use my maritime Loctite and a piece of plastic to seal the hole and start over.

I have a 26 qt Polycarbonate Food Pan 20"L x 13"W x 8"D.  I'm testing it know to see what the internal air temperature is with the water temperature at 150 degrees.  It's not insulated it has an insulation sleeve that fits around the container.

The racks I purchased for the cooler fit perfectly.  I'll have enough space to elevate the rack and keep the brisket out of the water.

After 30 minutes, the water temperature is 150 degrees and the air temperature 134 degrees and rising.

I'll post more later.

Yes.  Here is my cooking method for this:

Initial smoker temp: 225 - smoke the brisket until about 165-170
Increase temp to 275 - cook until the temp reaches 185-190

Rest brisket to 155 and wrap with butcher paper place into an aluminum pan and seal off with foil and place into the holding cooler for another 16 hours minimum at 150 degrees.

The brisket won't cook anymore but the long hold should keep rendering and the brisket should be done after 16 more hours.


I am abandoning the cooler.   I could not get the angle at the right spot without having to marine seal my sous vide heater permanently in place.

However, hope is not lost.  I am starting to building my own holding chamber that will be able to hold my cooks at 150 degrees for an infinite amount of time.  Honestly, no more than 24 hours.

I am only into this thing for about $19.00 worth of 2 x 2's.  I have most of the material laying around to use.  I will have to by insulation, some gaskets, hinges, lock to secure the lid and rear door, and casters. 

I searched the internet and found some chinese food warmers ($500.00) and a mini Alto sham ($1,500.00) but no container larger than a standard sous vide vessel. 

It is a work in progress and hope to have it completed by the end of July (my job that pays the bills gets in the way sometimes).

I am not a builder (at all).  I cut piece by piece because I am designing as I build.

Here are some pics:

front viewrear viewside view


Images (3)
  • front view
  • rear view
  • side view

I have a small update on this.  It is progressing.  Life gets in the way.  Work has been busy.

I have fitted the inside with the walls.  These are from some old left over siding.  I have to purchase some spray foam, a gasket for the lid, and a gasket for the sous vide door.  I am going to line the inside with HVAC tape.  I don't want it to look like crap but it just hold meat in.  I don't know what I am going to put on the outside.20231013112730145608755349035930420231013112745234121327313001984720231013112755176566910123661063020231013112804572354030961218141


Images (4)
  • 202310131127301456087553490359304
  • 202310131127452341213273130019847
  • 202310131127551765669101236610630
  • 20231013112804572354030961218141

I made an electric 15 gal mash tun for brewing that could hold temps indefinitely.  It was heated with a 120v water heater element and controlled with a cheap pid and control relays. Something like that would work for your needs.  Search online brewing forums for more information about electric homebrew systems.  The hardest part was building the control box for my system that had 3 controllers, latching circuits and safety shut offs, etc.

Greeting all and belated Happy New Year.  I have some updated pics for this post.  Life and work just got real busy and I have not had time to work on this project, post on the site, or smoke anything.

I still have to drill the hole for the sous vide heater and make the tunnel door and lid.  My sous vide container will slide into the bottom and the sous vide heater will sit on top of the bottom ledge that sticks out.  I foamed the cavities and lined the interior with HVAC tape.  I have two rails for racks as well.  I'll paint this thing in the spring.

I had most of the material lying around except for the HVAC tape, foam, 2 x 2 (Frame), gaskets, and hinges. 

My plan for this is to hold briskets between 150 and 155 degrees for 24 hours before serving.

frontlid frameside 1side 2sous vide tunneltop view down


Images (6)
  • front
  • lid frame
  • side 1
  • side 2
  • sous vide tunnel
  • top view down

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.