Ever opened your microwaved lunch and burned your tongue with the first bite only to find out the center was still cold? Or perhaps you don't have one and would settle with mediocre meals or opt to eat out instead? Gone are the days when we have to compromise one of the best moments of our workday. Now, we can enjoy hot meals right on our desks or even in our cars, for those who are always on the road.
Our favorite electric lunch box is Crock-Pot's Lunch Crock Food Warmer, which heats up your meal to an ideal temperature; all you have to do is plug it into a power source! There's plenty more where that came from, so check out our 10 best list for more ideas. And if you're on the market for other varieties of electric lunch boxes, also glance at our buying guide reviewed by a professional chef for more options.
Jim Quast (JQ) is a lifelong professional restaurant and corporate R&D chef that loves everything food-related and the tools both big and small to make those great food memories. He's a super huge BBQ, grill, and kitchen gadget fanatic. JQ has spent the last 30+ years trying to figure out what works to make your kitchen life easier and fun. If you can use it to slice it, dice it, cook it, smoke it or store it, he's been there checking it out. Food = Life! https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-quast-59769011/
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Table of Contents
Choosing an electric lunch box might be a confusing task for some, given the many specifications and types of lunch boxes out there. Here we have a buying guide to help you pick out the best and most fitting lunch box according to your needs, schedule, mobility, and more.
Perhaps the first thing to consider when picking out a lunchbox is the storage capacity. We recommend you go for a lunch box size based on your appetite and consumption. Some people expend a lot of energy during the day and might therefore eat more. If this is you, go for a big lunch box.
Regular-sized lunch boxes come in a range of capacities from one to 1.5 liters (4.2 to 6.3 cups). They should be able to carry a decently balanced meal. Some lunch boxes go up to 2 liters (8.4 cups) for those who tend to eat a lot in one go.
To save on electricity consumption, you can go for a lunch box that automatically shuts off when done heating or cooking. It's also advised to ensure that the plug is well-designed or waterproof for safety because you will be dealing with liquids and heat.
Keeping to the topic of power specifications, do check how long it takes to heat or prepare your lunch. Most electric lunch boxes take 20 to 40 minutes to operate and bring a meal to the ideal temperature, but it can take up to double the time if you start with very cold food.
Most electric lunch boxes will help you heat up your prepared meal to the perfect temperature for consumption. But did you know that some products can also cook food from a raw state?
For example, you can get a lunch box that cooks rice and steams food from scratch. You add water to the heating base then pile up the compartments with food. These lunch boxes can steam fish, veggies, and more, which is a healthy way of eating, too!
For a regular heating electric lunch box, the user is advised to pour in a bit of water beforehand if the cooked food came straight from the fridge in the morning. This will help soften up the ingredients, thus making them as good as fresh and ready to be enjoyed.
We're always on the lookout for the best features in any product, such as things that make them efficient and easy to use. For electric lunch boxes, it's recommended to consider the material for easy cleaning, the number of compartments, and the overall safety of the product.
Before you buy an electric lunch box, think about the cleanup. To make it easy for yourself, look for a lunch box whose container you can take out and place in a dishwasher. Plastic can be challenging to clean. It attracts oil and greasy and can get permanently stained by red and orange foods like tomato-derived sauces.
Meanwhile, stainless steel is generally easier to wash, rust-resistant, and dishwasher-safe. Aluminum is another material sometimes used in electric lunch boxes.
If you like a lot of side dishes or variety to your meals, look for a lunch box that accommodates dividers. They will allow you to keep your foods such as rice, vegetables, meat, and sauce in separate sections until they're ready to be eaten.
Some lunch boxes also come with separate containers for you to store foods that are not supposed to be heated up like salads, fruits, snacks, or desserts. Another variety to look for is a lunchbox with stackable compartments, which lets you carry your lunch upright.
Most electric heating lunch boxes use lower voltage, meaning more nutrients and moisture can be retained in the food compared to overheating in a microwave. The materials used are also safe, such as 304 stainless steel, which is both a non-toxic and environmentally-friendly option.
If you're looking for plastic, go for lunch boxes with food-grade PP, which is approved for food contact and doesn't present a health hazard to consumers. This information should be readily available in the product description.
Since we're dealing with heat and electricity, make sure it doesn't get too hot to the touch, especially if you're using it for kids or around kids. You can usually find this information in the reviews as users will often highlight if a particular model needs extra caution when handling.
Many electric lunch boxes come with utensils such as a spoon and a fork compactly stored in the lid. So you will never forget to bring your utensils with you.
Also, if you intend to purchase an electric lunch box that can be used in the car, make sure it comes with a car plug or you will have to buy one separately. Some manufacturers also include an insulated bag to make it easy for you to carry your lunch box.
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Lunch Crock Food Warmer
The Trusty Food Warmer for On-the-Go Meals
Food Warmer and Heater
Your Food Warming Tote That Cooks and Heats
Electric Lunch Box
Made With Durable Stainless Steel Material
Portable Food Warmer
Retains Heat Nicely and Cooks Food Evenly
Electric Lunch Box
Portable Design With Handle and Buckles
Electric Lunch Box
Three Compartments and Highly Portable
Electric Lunch Box
Sturdy, Waterproof Construction
Electric Food Heater
Cook All Kinds of Food With This Convenient Steamer
Electric Heating Lunch Box
A Great Option for Lots and Lots of Food
Electric Lunch Box
Lots of Compartments So Food Doesn't Touch
This easy-to-carry lunch box keeps your lunch warm and hearty. You can remove the food container, making it easier to transfer food without having to bring the entire unit. It's dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a breeze and the exterior is cool to the touch and has integrated cord storage.
A few reviewers struggled to get the lid to lock. On another note, many loved that they could eat straight from the unit. It's easy to use, with food heating up to perfect temperatures, and cleanup was a breeze, reviewers said.
Instead of a lunch box, try this heating, portable oven for your lunches. It can hold your food's temperature for up to 12 hours and you can use it with many types of lunch boxes, including glass and plastic.
A few reviewers commented that the product took a long time to heat up a meal, while others said the material was quite thin and got ripped easily. Other than that, many reviewers loved that it even cooked raw food. They were also happy that the insulated tote didn't dry out food!
No more dry and crunchy meals after leaving food in the microwave for too long! Just add a bit of water to your precooked lunch, plug the box in, wait, and enjoy a steaming hot and moist meal. It also comes with a car plug so you can use it in a vehicle.
A few reviewers complained that their food took a while to heat up. Meanwhile, the majority said this lunch box was great for both car and office uses. They also loved the convenience of cleaning the product thanks to the stainless steel material.
Carry it around like a shoulder bag, hold it like a tote, or attach it to a backpack for a hands-free experience; this versatile food warmer bag can take your meals from a raw or precooked state to the perfect temperature. It also has a thick aluminum lining for excellent heat retention. Yet, some users noted that their food warmed slowly.
Nonetheless, many reviewers loved that the lunch box cooked foods evenly. Some even tried types of food with different cooking times and discovered them to be cooked perfectly. Reviewers mentioned that the heating plate didn't get hot to the touch and could safely heat up plastic containers.
This lunch box can be plugged into a 110V outlet or a vehicle with a 12V power source. From the handle and buckles to the steam outlet and extra spoon, this lunch box is all about portability. It has a removable extra compartment so you can keep your foods separated if you want to.
A few users complained that the lunch box took too long to heat up a meal, while some noted that the lid wasn't spill-proof. So make sure to keep the product upright. On the other hand, many said the lunch box was durable and warmed food evenly and thoroughly. As for the power options, both worked as expected, they added.
This portable lunch bag has a handle for easy carrying. It comes with a stainless steel tray with three compartments to keep foods separated. The tray is removable and dishwasher-safe, so cleanup is a breeze! The lunch box comes with an insulated lunch bag to keep food warm for a long time.
Although some users complained the lid didn't align correctly, many loved the durable stainless steel construction. Those who were always on the go found this lunch box to be a lifesaver. They were excited to have a hot meal for lunch or dinner regardless of location. Reviewers also appreciated that this lunch box came with utensils.
This electric lunch box is waterproof and has a convenient compartment for storing a spoon and a fork. It also has an indicator light and comes with an adapter for the car or truck. Plus, it comes with a small fruit box, spoon, and fork for your convenience.
A few reviewers complained that the handle and side claps are easy to break. Nevertheless, the majority complimented that the lunch box heated up foods quickly and kept their foods hot for a while. Another plus point for buyers is the big size that held a good amount of food.
This lunch box cooks food through steam. Put uncooked rice in the bottom compartment, your main dish in the top layer, add water, and in less than an hour, you get a freshly-cooked meal at the comfort of your desk. Since it requires a precise amount of water to get the desired results, check the manufacturer's cooking suggestions.
A few reviewers noted a plastic smell during the first few uses. However, it eventually disappeared. Many reviewers used this lunch box with all sorts of food, from curry and veggies to soups with no issues. They said it quietly did its job, and clean-up was easy.
This lunch box can be used at a wall outlet or in a vehicle. It comes with food-grade materials that are safe and easy to clean. You also get an extra compartment to divide your meals if needed. There is a convenient slot for utensils as well. You get all the perks from this lunch box that serves your meal at the ideal temperature.
Some reviewers said the lid didn't have a tight seal. So try to keep it upright and in a secure position when heating in a moving vehicle to avoid spillage. Still, many reviewers were pleased with the lunch box, praising the quick heating time. Many liked that the big capacity allowed them to have heartier servings.
This lunch box is for those who like having a variety of foods in their meals. It has three compartments for that nice-looking bento finish. And because electric lunch boxes are all about convenience, you can use this anywhere as long as you have a 110V or 12V/24V power source.
A few users commented that the lid didn't line up correctly, causing liquids and sauces to leak out. Some others warned that the lunch box got really hot as it heated up. Still, most buyers loved that the lunch box heated up in less than an hour and had many compartments for different kinds of food. They said it was easy to clean, too.
Who doesn't like containers? They're awesome at organizing and keeping things neat and tidy, and make our lives so much easier. Check out our articles for some great recommendations!
No. 1: Crock-Pot | Lunch Crock Food Warmer
No. 2: Hot Logic | Food Warmer and Heater
No. 3: Eocolz | Electric Lunch Box
No. 4: Rottogoon | Portable Food Warmer
No. 5: Corotc | Electric Lunch Box
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