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 I 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!
Buying Guide of Thermos
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.
Here’s our Selected Top 8 Best Hot Food Thermos Reviews!
1. Zojirushi – 11.8-Ounce Stainless Steel Food Jar
Possessing the appearance of a bullet with a small elephant drawn on it, this Zojirushi stainless steel food jar is a curious-looking food preservation utensil that can do wonders to keep your stews, marinated steaks, and broths as fresh as a daisy.
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.
- Gasket-sealed lid
- The lid leaves room for some ventilation
- Made out of stainless steel and BPA-free plastic
- The stainless steel parts feature a special protective coating
- Can hold 11.8 ounces of liquid
- You need to hand-wash this product
- The paint can start chipping after a while (for the painted versions, the clear-coated one is alright)
2. Thermos – Funtainer, 10-Ounce Food Jar
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.
- Made out of high-quality stainless steel
- Features a wide mouth that is easy to fill
- Keeps cold meals cold for 7 hours
- Keeps warm meals warm for 5 hours
- Comes in many different kid-friendly colors and themes
- You have to hand-wash this one, as well
- Some users claim the food doesn’t stay warm inside for long enough
3. Thermos – Stainless King 16 Ounce Food Jar with Folding Spoon
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.
- Stainless steel interior and exterior design
- No ‘sweating’ on the exterior when you put cold meals inside
- Comes with a special stainless steel collapsible spoon
- Features a wide mouth for easy filling
- Vacuum insulation technology
- Some users have reported poor heat retention
- The protective laminate can start peeling off after a while
4. Thermos – Vacuum Insulated Food Jar
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.)
- Made out of durable stainless steel
- Protective and ergonomic cap and bottom part
- Advanced vacuum insulation technology
- Attractive design
- The food remains hot for only about 3 hours, according to some users
- Requires some extra cleaning (there are two seals that tend to get dirty over time)
5. Thermos – Thermocafe Darwin Stainless Steel Food Flask With Spoon
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.
- Made out of durable stainless steel
- Double-walled design for better heat retention
- Comes with a plastic folding spoon
- The exterior design prevents ‘sweating’ and keeps ‘its cool’ when hot food or beverage is inside
- Elegant design
- A bit heavy
- Might appear too large for some users
6. MIRA Brands – Lunch and Food Jar
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.
- Made out of high-grade stainless steel
- 5-ounce capacity
- Covered with a special powder coat finish for durability and non-slip grip
- Stylish and attractive
- Eco-friendly and BPA-free
- Quite heavy
- The rubber ring inside must be regularly washed (it tends to retain some of the food and liquids)
7. Energify – Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Food Jar
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!
- The cap is made out of BPA-free plastic
- Two different capacities
- Made out of food-grade 304 stainless steel
- Attractive and modern design
- Can be used for a variety of purposes
- Comes with a spoon
- Its efficiency in keeping food warm can drop after a couple of months of use
- A bit heavy
8. Thermos – Foogo Vacuum-Insulated Stainless Steel 10-Ounce Food Jar
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.
- Keeps cool for 7 hours; keeps warmth for 5 hours
- Great for kids
- Made out of stainless steel
- Double-wall insulation technology
- BPA-free plastic parts
- Some food can get trapped in the lid
- Some users have reported lids getting stuck
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!