Whether it’s stews on the cold winter nights or soups when seeking that summer body, you can’t go far wrong with getting a hot food thermos throughout the year. Ideal for keeping your dinner fresh and tasty, without the need to spend money on your lunch break or suffer with stale sandwiches, the best food thermos is a lifetime investment.
Suffice to say that buying the right thermos food container is about more than whether it fits in your lunch box. Below, we tell you everything you need to know about buying a thermos for food and answer those all-important FAQ’s. Not to mention that we’ll be giving you our Top Picks when it comes to the best food thermos on the market, today.
Best Food Thermos
The ever-popular thermos food jar has hit an all-time high with this option from the vacuum insulated food container giant Thermos. This particular food thermos has been designed to fit well with larger chunks of food, which are common in stews and similar. In other words, there’s an extra-large mouthpiece for both filling and eating from, as well as the accessory folding spoon.
This Thermos for food uses a dual cap, to ensure that there are no leaks, and the double-walled insulation also ensures there is no build-up of condensation – so you’re sure to never find your valuables soaked after the commute. All-in-all this is a great choice for anyone looking to bring their dinner in to work with them.
Excellent temperature retention
- Model SYNCHKG069503
- Weight 12 ounces
Ideal for packing up your cold or hot dinners and snacks and taking with you, wherever you may decide to spend your lunch, this insulated food container is a great choice for kids and adults alike. It hosts a modern design yet is able to keep cold food cool for up to 9 hours and hot food warm for up to 5 hours – the ideal time for getting your dinner in.
Made from BPA-materials, this is a highly durable option with a decent capacity to fit almost any lunch you might fancy. It’s also dishwasher-safe, helping you to keep your new food thermos clean and getting it ready for the next day, without the rigmarole of leaving your thermos to soak all night.
Durable yet lightweight
- Weight0.16 ounces
Available in a huge range of designs to suit the little personalities of your little people, this food jar thermos is available at a great price. Ideal for fitting into a lunchbox, this thermos food jar for kids has a wide mouth so you can fit both hot and cold food in without issue.
Handwashing this option is recommended, so you can keep your decals in place for longer. However, this is still easy to clean and has been made using food-grade stainless-steel, so you can be sure your new food flask is rust-resistant and safe for contact with all types of foodstuffs.
Great for kids
Stainless steel interior and exterior
- Weight 7.8 ounces
Brightly colored and eye-catching in it’s simplicity, this food thermos flask is a great choice if you’re looking for something simple, yet does the job and does it well. It comfortably fits into small lunch boxes yet is big enough to hold a full serving for your dinner.
Made with 18/10 stainless steel, this option is durable yet lightweight, too. It is also able to keep your hot food warm for up to 5 hours, and cold food cool for 10. Overall, this food thermos from MIRA is great value for money and an excellent choice if you’re looking for a quick, cheap and cheerful food insulation flask.
Excellent temperature retention
- BrandMIRA BRANDS
- Weight 14.4 ounces
This wide mouth thermos comes with more than just an easy-to-access opening. Hosting a range of features, this stainless steel food flask comes at a slightly higher price than others, but is able to provide plenty of additional benefits in turn.
The compact design is able to hold a decent amount of your dinner, while the ergonomic lid uses dimples along the rim in order to make it easier to create a tough seal that isn’t impossible to open, after. With exceptionally high ratings from customers, this is an option that will see you through many a lunch break, without any leaks or other concerns.
Easy to clean
- Model SW-EAE50XA
- Weight 11.4 ounces
This Stanley food thermos comes with more than a name that you can trust. It actually hosts one of the most impressive temperature retention times available of any of the options available on the market, today. This food thermos can keep food warm or cool for up to 15 hours – definitely not something to be sniffed at in this weather.
The durable materials help keep this option rugged and resistant to the standard bangs and bumps you’ll get during a busy day. Meanwhile, the double lid helps to resist any leaks by adding two layers of protection, as well as providing you with a bowl from which to eat, should you require it.
- Weight7 ounces
With a wide range of different features, this option from Energify adds a whole host of modern additions that everyone will love. Whether you’re looking for getting your fill during lunch or need to take your food thermos on a weekend adventure, out and about – this is a food thermos that comes with everything you need for a filling meal while out and about.
To start, there’s the flexible handle, which can even be attached to you during your walks, closely followed by the foldable spoon which is included. Then there’s the air pressure release buttons – ensuring your food is kept at the right temperature for longer, but also makes it much easier to get your cap off before dinnertime. All of these accessories (and more) make this one of the best food thermos options on the market.
Made with food-grade materials
Comes with accessories
Leak-proof and airtight
- Weight 1.25 pounds
If you love the durability and high quality materials used in a stainless steel food container but want the added benefits that come with more modern designs, this is the choice for you. Triple-insulated, thanks to the addition of the silicone wrap (removable, for easier cleaning), this extra layer also provides a great pop of color for when you’re feeling a little lively.
The minor fallback here is that this food thermos is one of the smaller choices available, although this does make it suitable for easy storage and allows you to carry this in your bag through the day. It also has a leakproof design, so you never have to worry about your dinner leaking onto your work.
Compact, cup size
- Weight 12.2 ounces
A great choice for a wide range of uses – beyond its standard capabilities as a food thermos and spoon combination – this choice looks great as a storage container and is small enough to bring with you, wherever you may go. It uses a three-layer system to provide with the best heat retention available, using only food-grade materials and is also, therefore, highly durable.
This food thermos also has a great look to it, with a simple, modern design and ergonomic lid that reduces the risk of cracks and breakages, should it fall. Overall, this is a great choice if you’re looking for a classic, high-quality design at a great price.
Great value for money
- Brand Fijoo
- Model CM-107
- Weight 1.25 pounds
Our last Top Pick is perfect for large meals and family picnics, thanks to it’s enormous 26oz capacity. The extra-large mouth size makes it easier to pour from, as well as being able to fill with any food of your choice.
The double lids help to ensure a leakproof design, while the built-in air button helps to increase the longevity of your hot food. With enough room for up to 4 meals, this is a choice that is perfect for days out with the family or simply for bringing enough soup to last you all day.
Extra-large mouth size
Very large capacity
- Weight 1.15 pounds
Best Food Thermos Buying Guide & FAQ
Things to Look for in a Food Thermos
- Capacity and Size
The capacity of your thermos food flask will depend on what you intend to use it for. If you’re looking for something big enough to bring on family trips out, then it’s fair to say you’ll need a much bigger soup thermos than the standard size. Of course, if you’re only looking to carry a basic dinner with you to work, you can absolutely get away with a smaller capacity, as it would just be for holding dinner for one.
Naturally, this will also mean that the size of your thermos will change, depending on your needs too. If you need something small for your kids lunchbox, then check out the dimensions given, to ensure it will comfortably fit with their other items. Similarly, larger choices should still be easily stored when not in use and carried with you, easily.
As with all items which are in constant contact with your food, the materials your flask will be made from can make a huge difference. High quality options such as food-grade stainless steel are a must when it comes to purchasing your new food container. This also helps you to remain naturally BPA-free, which can be a huge benefit – especially if your new thermos food flask if for younger children.
- Temperature Retention
A soup thermos would not be much use if it didn’t keep your cold food cool and hot food warm. Thus, taking into account the longevity of your temperature is a must when buying a new food container. Cheaper options that use cheaper materials with less design features are less likely to hold the temperature for very long. Meanwhile, flasks that are double-walled and/or are made with good quality materials are more likely to improve temperature retention.
- Features and Accessories
Like most things, it’s the features and accessories that come with your insulated food container that make the biggest difference. You could have the best food thermos in the world for temperature retention, but it wouldn’t be much good without being leakproof alongside it. That’s why it’s important to consider the added features such as a silicone gasket head or dual lids when making your next purchase.
Similarly, added accessories such as servings bowls or folding spoons can make a world of difference if you’re out camping and are tight for both space and carrying capacity. Finally, you should also consider the added benefit of warranties and guarantees – these can make a big difference if you like to live an active lifestyle and may find yourself being a little too rough with your thermos jar.
Tips for Using Thermos for Food
One of the biggest and most well-known tips for using your thermos for food is to pre-heat or cool your food insulation container before using it. So, if you are looking to keep your food warm, add boiling water to your empty thermos, first. Let this sit for 15 minutes, before emptying the water away and adding your food. If you need to keep your food cold, place it in the freezer, or use ice for 15 minutes, to help keep your food colder, for longer.
Always keep your hot and cold food separated, where possible – a good alternative if your lunchbox doesn’t have separate compartments is to use a piece of cloth and place this between your hot and cold food. You can also use the rice trick, mentioned below, combined with your thermos flask to help maintain the temperature of your food for even longer.
Food Thermos Care and Maintenance
As with all things, you should always be careful when it comes to taking care of your new purchase. Always read the instructions and follow the manufacturers guidelines.
- Only ever use your thermos on the top rack of the dishwasher – and only when the guidelines mention that the food insulation container is suitable for use in a dishwasher.
- Do not use your thermos food jar if it has been dropped, as the inside of some purchases can be very fragile, with the drop causing the inner walls to shatter.
- Never use a microwave to warm up your flask, for any reason.
- Never fill your flask to the brim and leave a little space for when you reopen your flask.
- Keep the lid (and extra lid, if available) tightly closed, to ensure no leaks.
How Does a Thermos Work?
A thermos works by insulating your food and ensuring that the temperature does not escape through cracks in materials or simply through the conductivity of the material itself. Instead, it creates a vacuum between two walls, in order to give your food the longest lasting temperature available.
Some thermos flasks are better at this than others, and there can be a huge range of difference in the longevity of your food temperature depending on which type you buy, what materials they use and any additional features they may have.
Best Food Thermos FAQ:
Q: Will spaghetti stay hot in a thermos?
A: Yes, but there are some things which can affect how quickly your spaghetti will cool, including what has been mentioned above. Be aware that any food will only stay hot if it is surrounded by liquids. For this reason, your spaghetti could be kept in boiling water and be a little overcooked by dinnertime, or you can use a lot of sauce and maintain your temperature this way.
Q: How to keep food warm without a thermos?
A: If you don’t have a thermos for any reason, a good alternative is to use a thermal bag for cold or warm food storage. These come with additional linings which help to maintain the correct temperature for your food.
If, however, you also don’t have a cold food storage bag, a good alternative is to heat up rice in a clean sock or pair of tights and pack this with your food. This will help to keep your food warmer, for longer – although it won’t have the same level of heat retention as you would get with an insulated food container.
Q: How long does a thermos keep food hot?
A: Each thermos will have a slightly different time, depending on many of the factors given above. Most options will be able to keep your food warm for between 4 and 10 hours, depending on the quality and other variables. Your thermos will also be able to keep your food cool – and cold food can usually stay cool for much longer, including up to 15 hours with some options.
Our Top Pick
The Stainless King Food Jar from Thermos is ideal for any user looking to bring their dinner into work or school with them and comes up as the best food thermos on the market. This is, in part, thanks to the added design features that the manufacturer has come up with, to ensure there are no leaks or condensation build-up throughout the day. However, it’s also down to having an excellent variety of features that everyone can easily use.
As well as having a wider mouth than some competitors, this thermos for food comes with a double lid and is made from durable stainless steel, for added durability. It also has the added benefit of coming with a foldable spoon, so you don’t have to get yourself messy while eating your lunch.