by Christopher Jones
A lukewarm beverage on a scorching hot day can be properly irritating for the person unfortunate enough to be forced to drink it.
Imagine going out on a camping trip and bringing a bottle of water or lemonade only to find out that it turned into a warmish slush from hell! Tough stuff, indeed, but it can get even worse, believe it or not!
As you know, there are some beverages and liquid meals ( such as soups, stews, and broths ) that don't really fare well when exposed to heat. Leave a vegetable soup out in the open for a couple of hours and it will form unsightly bubbles on its surface, rancid smell of acidic food, and texture of industrial glue.
Nasty stuff, indeed.
Luckily enough, this doesn't mean that there is no way to bypass these annoying AND potentially health hazardous issues. Thanks to a brilliant invention called thermos, you can now carry hot and cold beverages wherever you like without worrying they'll be spoiled when exposed to extreme temperatures.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you can keep a beverage safe from the outside factors infinitely. Even the best thermos will eventually stop providing thermal isolation to the beverage inside. However, if you'd like to keep your liquid foods, juices, and beer cool and warm (depending on what sort of matter is in question), a thermos can triple or quadruple the amount of time you'll have it ready at your disposal!
In this article, we'll talk about the top 8 thermoses for food and soup currently available on the market. All of these are tough and reliable, so whichever model you choose, you won't make a mistake, really. To help you make your choice more easily, we've also prepared a brief buying guide where you can see the most important features you need to look for in a thermos.
Right then, without further ado, here's the deal!
Even though you can still find some old thermoses of yore, which are made out of cheap metal and some BPA-rich plastic parts, most of the modern-day thermoses are actually made out of some sort of stainless steel.
To ensure the thermos you're buying is sturdy and capable of surviving adverse conditions, get a model that's made out of food-grade stainless steel if possible. This sort of metal has been specifically treated for food storage and preservation, so there's will be no better material than this one!
When it comes to various accessories such as carrying bands, caps, and protective pieces - these are often made out of either plastic or rubber. If it is, indeed, plastic, make sure that it's BPA-free.
Depending on what purpose you aim to use your thermos for, its volume is going to play an important role in its efficiency and usefulness. This is why these thermos manufacturers make their products in different sizes, to begin with.
If you're only planning to keep cold beer or water in your thermos, a smaller, 10-ounce model can work just great for you. It will be easy to carry and pre-chill, so it can be a perfect option for people who are constantly on the go.
On the other hand, if you plan to pack your or your kids' lunches in it, obtaining a larger thermos makes more sense, of course. Some of the larger models can hold from 15 to 22 ounces (there are probably some models that can hold even more), which is pretty much enough for a full meal to fit inside!
Since the cap is the only opening on a thermos, and these utensils are used for preserving the temperature of the food inside, it's important to pay attention to the design of the cap itself.
Generally speaking, there are three main types of thermos caps - valve caps, glass caps, and screw caps or lids. While all of these will do a pretty good job of retaining the temperature inside, there's another thing to keep in mind here - leaks.
Out of these three, the glass ones are the most likely to leak if there's liquid inside the thermos. So, if you plan on putting beverages, soups, or stews inside your thermos, a screw cap may be the best solution. The valve ones are also good, but they're also more complex meaning that if something goes wrong, it can start leaking. Also, food particles can get stuck into their little crevices, which can be annoying to wash.
Thermoses, as a rule, are relatively inexpensive.
Even the most cutting-edge models won't really impoverish your home budget, and the good thing is - once you buy a high-quality one, you're good for years!
As far as the factors determining the price of these temperature-retaining utensils, the most important are the material used, the size, and then the manufacturing brand in question.
Other than that, certain features such as specialized valve caps and additional collapsible spoons, for example, can also add a couple of bucks to the overall price tag.
The capacity of this jar, as its name suggests itself, is 11.8 ounces. Of course, it's always a good idea to leave a little bit of room at the top to prevent spillage and overflowing. Most of this utensil is made out of stainless steel, but there are some plastic parts, as well. Those parts are all BPA-free, so you needn't really worry about the potential harmful implications of this chemical.
The lid itself is made out of plastic and features small vents for air circulation. This does mean some leaks can occur, but these are brought to the minimum thanks to the clever design on the part of the manufacturers.
If you have kids and plan to pack their lunches to take to school or on an excursion somewhere outdoors, this cheeky-looking model from Thermos can be an excellent choice for you. Or for your kids, rather.
To preserve foods and beverages inside, this utensil uses vacuum insulation technology, which ensures optimal temperature retention over a long period of time. Both interior and exterior of this thermos are made out of high-quality stainless steel, so you can rest assured it will survive any sort of fall, scratch, or punch your kids may deliver to it, so to speak.
The capacity is 10 ounces, and once it's all filled up, this container can keep a cold meal cold for up to 7 hours, while a warm meal can retain its temperature up to 5 hours. No matter what you put into it, however, the temperature of the exterior will remain the same.
As our entry number 3, we've got another model from the Thermos company. Similarly to the product above, this model also features all stainless steel build, the main difference being that this product also comes with a stainless steel collapsible spoon.
The interior has been designed to retain both cold and warm temperatures of the liquids inside, so whatever it is that you've decided to stick inside it, you can be sure it's temperature will hold for hours on end. To be precise, cold meals will remain cold for up to 9 hours, while the warm ones won't lose their warmth for up to 7 hours.
As far as the exterior is concerned, it should be noted that this model features a build that prevents the 'sweating' effect when you put cold meals inside and also remains cool if you put something scorching hot in it.
Here we have another model from Thermos that's quite similar to the entry number 2. And 3, if we're honest. Equipped with a stainless steel build that can survive a nuclear blast and a capacity of 10 ounces, this model can become your sturdy outdoorsy temperature-retaining food container! ( If you decide to purchase it, of course. )
On the outside, this thermos features a standard stainless steel build and then a sort of protective cap on top and on its bottom. These serve to, as we said, further protect this thermos against impact (in case you're camping, for example) but also to offer you an ergonomic grip and ensure easy opening of the lid.
When the temperature retention is in question, similarly to the standard line of Thermos-made, well, thermoses, this model also can keep the cold foods cold for some 7 hours, while the hot foods will only make it up to the 5-hour mark. (Still pretty good.)
Featuring a cheeky name of Thermocafe and an even 'curiouser' design, which makes it looks like an overgrown coffee jar with a cap on it, for good measure, this Food flask with a spoon can be an excellent choice for a person in need of a thermos both for beverages and foods. (Or liquid foods.)
Following through with their trend of using the double-walled stainless steel insulation technology, the folks at Thermos decided to equip this model with such a temperature-retaining configuration, as well. The design itself further incorporates a rather wide mouth, so you won't be needing a funnel to fill it up with whatever it is you so desire. Also, pouring stuff from it, or indeed, eating directly from this flask is also a piece of cake.
If you fancy getting yourself a food jar that sort of looks like Amazon's Alexa, just without the ability to speak, and with much less general knowledge, this thermos from MIRA Brands can be just what you've been looking for.
Made out of high-grade 18/8 stainless steel, this thermos possesses excellent temperature retention properties. Also, there's no annoying flavor transfer to worry about, and since stainless steel doesn't rust, you can rest assured that no matter how exposed this unit is to liquids, it will never show signs of oxidation.
To ensure that the outer layer of this thermos is even more protected against bumps, falls, or some other disaster, the folks at MIRA have decided to provide a special powder coating that prevents damage to the outer walls. Also, it allows convenient, non-slip grip for the user.
Modern looks, advanced double wall insulation design, that little rubber thing you hold to carry it around - this thermos has got it all, folks! It comes from a company with a rather interesting name of Energify, which presumably has the goal of highlighting the main purpose of their products. Well, that's fair enough.
This particular model comes in two different sizes. The smaller one can hold up to 15.2 ounces while the bigger one holds 22 ounces of food or liquid. (Or both.) The body of this sleek-looking thermos is made out high-quality stainless steel marked 'food-grade 304′, and its cap, which is made out of plastic, does not have any BPA in it, so it's a well-rounded, eco-friendly product that won't affect your health in any negative way.
Thanks to its attractive design and the generous capacity, this thermos from Energify can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Whether it's sending kids to school with one of these in their backpacks, going camping with your friends, or packing your lunch, one thing is sure - when your friends and colleagues see you with one of these, they'll become green with envy!
Finishing off this list, we've got another product from the famous Thermos company. This model is a smaller, 10-ounce variant that features more or less the same build as the models you've seen above that come from this same company.
The build, materials in use, and the insulation principle are also all roughly the same. The contents of this thermos will keep warm for up to 5 hours and their cool for up to 7 hours. Of course, it's always a good idea to preheat or precool the thermos itself before actually filling it with food or water. This can lengthen the temperature retention time for a little bit.
As the manufacturers themselves claim, this product was designed with kids in mind. Its stainless steel build will ensure its near indestructibility and its exterior is resistant to the 'sweating' effect of the instances when you put cold things inside. Also, the outside of this thermos will remain relatively cool even if you put hot food and beverages in it.
Of course, thermoses can't hold everything. For example, you wouldn't put a steak in your thermos, but you can use it for pasta, soup, and a variety of other great foods.
Now that the possibility of better lunches has been presented to you, let's discuss how to actually carry your lunch in a thermos.
It's clear that you can't put whatever you want into a thermos, so let's talk about all of the things that you can put into a thermos. For starters, thermoses will keep anything warm that is liquid or semiliquid. For example, thermoses are great for soups, chilis, and beans. Pasta and casseroles can also go into thermoses as long as there is a substantial amount of sauce included in it. Just remember that there needs to be a little liquid to stay warm and you'll do just fine!
Before you add your food to the thermos, add some boiling water to your thermos and allow it to sit for a couple of minutes. While you're doing that, heat up the food that you're wanting to put inside of it until it's warm to the touch. To ensure that the food is heated evenly, it's recommended that you heat it up on the stove rather than a microwave.
It's absolutely essential that you thoroughly clean your thermos before each use to avoid bacteria from building inside of your food. As stated before, heat up your food just before you leave for work to avoid it having to sit in the thermos longer than necessary. Keep in mind, if the food drops below 140 degrees for longer than two hours you can run the risk of harmful bacteria growing on your food.
It's not safe to re-heat thermos leftovers, so if you don't eat all of your lunch, make sure to throw the rest of it away at the end up the day. Using boiling water, rinse out the inside of your thermos thoroughly and then wash it clean with just a bit of soap and water. Make sure that the inside of the thermos is completely dry before putting the lid back on it.
xHow Do You Keep Food Hot in a Thermos?
THERMOS Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Food Jar with Spoon, 16 Ounce, Matte Steel - Walmart Link
Thermos FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar, Blue/Yellow (B3000BL002) - Walmart Link
THERMOS FUNTAINER 10 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Kids Food Jar, Violet - Walmart Link
MIRA Lunch, Food Jar - Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos with Portable - Walmart Link
Hydro Flask 12 oz. Insulated Food Jar - Stainless Steel with Leak Proof Cap - Walmart Link
Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated Food Jar 18 oz - Stainless Steel, Naturally - Walmart Link
Hydrapeak 18oz Insulated Food Jar, Kids Thermos for Hot Food | Leak Proof Stainless Steel - Walmart Link
DaCool Insulated Lunch Container Hot Food Jar 16 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Bento Lunch - Walmart Link
Energify Vacuum Insulated Food Jar Made of Premium BPA-Free Stainless Steel. 17oz Thermos - Walmart Link
High Sierra 14 oz Thermos for Hot Food, Wall Insulation, 18/8 Stainless Steel, Keeps Warm - Walmart Link
Soup Thermos Food Jar Alxeme Vacuum Insulated Lunch Container Wide Mouth Bento Box with - Walmart Link
THERMOS Stainless King Vacuum-Insulated Food Jar with Spoon, 16 Ounce, Matte Steel - eBay Link
Thermos FOOGO Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar, Blue/Yellow (B3000BL002) - eBay Link
THERMOS FUNTAINER 10 Ounce Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Kids Food Jar, Violet - eBay Link
MIRA Lunch, Food Jar - Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Lunch Thermos with Portable - eBay Link
Hydro Flask 12 oz. Insulated Food Jar - Stainless Steel with Leak Proof Cap - eBay Link
Stanley Classic Legendary Vacuum Insulated Food Jar 18 oz - Stainless Steel, Naturally - eBay Link
Hydrapeak 18oz Insulated Food Jar, Kids Thermos for Hot Food | Leak Proof Stainless Steel - eBay Link
DaCool Insulated Lunch Container Hot Food Jar 16 oz Stainless Steel Vacuum Bento Lunch - eBay Link
Energify Vacuum Insulated Food Jar Made of Premium BPA-Free Stainless Steel. 17oz Thermos - eBay Link
High Sierra 14 oz Thermos for Hot Food, Wall Insulation, 18/8 Stainless Steel, Keeps Warm - eBay Link
Soup Thermos Food Jar Alxeme Vacuum Insulated Lunch Container Wide Mouth Bento Box with - eBay Link
All in all, a sturdy, well-made thermos can make your every meal away from home feel and taste exactly like the one you eat at your dinner table. Indeed, whether it's camping outdoors and you need a cold beer, or you're off to work and need a hefty and warm lunch during the pause, taking your own thermos with you can really be a lifesaver!
About Christopher Jones
Chris is a true globetrotter. He has been to many destinations and tried different types of food from all over the world, yet he still loves finding new places and tasting their specialties. Chris has always had an entrepreneurial spirit and so he decided to go back to school at age 24 for his MBA at University of San Francisco so that he could have a better understanding of business strategy in order to start his own company. His favorite motto is “how can one live well, travel well, and work well without having good food every time?”