I use a heater like this in my Instructable on making perfect steaks. I hook it to my themostat control project to maintain the temp.

Out of the box these heaters have a limit of about 90 degrees F. That's good for live fish, but I wanted to be able to hold water in a cooler at up to 150 degrees F. A computer controller immersion heater is $200+. A thermal probe and an aquarium heater are $60 or less.

This Instructable will show you how I did it.

1. Always use your head. House current, water and glass are involved. Lots of ways to get hurt.
2. Always keep stuff unplugged when you are working on it.
3. Read the warnings on the heater before you void the warranty.
4. Never dunk a hot heater into water. The glass will shatter.
5. Always use a GFCI outlet.

Step 1: Gather Materials

You won't need much.

1. An aquarium heater.*  Mine is 30 watt and works easily in 10 gallons+ of water.
2. A few towels to hold the tube or maybe soak up the blood if you get too rough.
3. A pair of needle nose pliers.

A soldering Iron and solder.

*Get a new one! If you can see coils of wire inside, it's the old style. I would not mess with that kind.
<p>30w is getting you to sous vide temps? I was planning on needing 100w minimum, possibly 200w to cook ~10lbs of chicken in a 5gal cooler </p>
The answer is &quot;Eventually&quot;. In a decently insulated vessel 30w can shift the temperature surprisingly fast. That said, with this setup I usually heat the water by other means before adding it to the cooler. You can fill it with cold water and then bring it up to 140-150F easily with a pot of boiling water from the stove. I have also just filled it with 110F water from the hot water in the sink and let the heater bring it up over the course of an hour or so.<br><br>If you want to heat the water quickly, you need a much bigger heater. I have cooked 20+lbs of meat in a large cooler with nothing but this heater and it was off more than it was on. It puts out plenty of energy really. If your vessel is not well insulated you might be losing heat faster than this would replace it but you would have to have really bad insulation and put it in a cold place. Even just wrapping some towels around a pot should work fine.

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