Bento boxes are Japanese lunch boxes that carry a single balanced diet meal. It is partitioned so you can carry your rice, proteins, vegetables, fruits, cutlery, chopsticks, and drinks all in one lunch box without mixing them up. Bento boxes can be made of materials like cypress wood, aluminum, or plastic.
But can you microwave bento boxes?
Yes, you can microwave Bento boxes; however, it depends on the material used to make the box. Some bento boxes made of microwavable material can be microwaved while others cannot. Also, for those that are microwavable, their lids may not be safe; therefore, the lids should be discarded when placing the box in the microwave.
Suppose you are not sure whether the bento box you own is microwavable or not. It is advisable to look for a safe microwave symbol. If the symbol is unavailable, it is better to declare that the box is not microwave safe. Placing containers that do not microwave safe in the microwave can be dangerous to you and your microwave.
This article explains the possibility of microwaving bento boxes. Discussed topics are How to Microwave Food in a Bento Box, Why Microwaving Bento Boxes is Necessary, and Are Insulated Bento Boxes Better than the Usual Bento Boxes, among others. Answers to frequently asked questions conclude the article.
How to Microwave Food in a Bento Box
If you packed your lunch in a bento box, you would need to warm it in the microwave before you eat. Below are some helpful tips that will make microwaving easy for you.
- Some water
- A microwavable lead or a paper towel
- A microwavable bento box
- Food thermometer( optional)
1. Ensure the Bento Box is Microwave Safe
The first step is to ensure you did not pack your lunch in a bento box that is not safe to be microwaved. Remember, a bento box that is not safe to be microwaved can either ignite or melt due to the heat in the microwave. Suppose you realize your bento box cannot be microwaved; transfer your meal to a microwave-safe bowl or plate.
2. Remove Raw Vegetables From The Meal
Raw vegetables like salad and pickles are better off eaten raw. Microwaving them will negatively alter their taste. Place them aside, and replace them when you are done microwaving.
3. Add a Few Drops of Water to Your Meal
The water will ensure that heat is evenly distributed throughout your meal. It will also prevent excess loss from moisture.
4. Make use of a Microwave-safe Lid
A bento box’s lid is not microwaved. It is therefore essential to replace it with one that can handle microwave heat. The heat will trap the moisture in the food inside the box to prevent the food from losing moisture and becoming too dry.
5. Microwave Your Meal
Set the time and microwave depending on the type of meal you had packed. Suppose you had packed some meat, ensure to microwaves to the appropriate internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Why Microwaving Bento Boxes is Necessary
Bento boxes are perfect lunch boxes that allow you to carry several types of meals in one lunch box without the fear of mixing them up. However, their most significant limitation is being unable to keep your meal warm for too long. Normal bento boxes will keep your meal warm for about an hour.
We all know the importance of eating warm food. The food is sweeter and tastes more favorable at appropriate temperatures, so you will always have to microwave your bento box to enjoy warm meals.
With a microwave, you can easily warm up your food within minutes. However, it is essential to keep in mind that several bento boxes have been made of different materials. Therefore, before placing your bento box in the microwave. Ensure the bento box is made of material that can be microwaved.
Also, most bento boxes have a microwavable bottom but not a lid. Before you microwave the box, remove its lid. If you must cover your food, consider using another microwave-safe lid or a paper towel.
Are Insulated Bento Boxes Better than the Usual Bento Boxes?
Insulated bento boxes are designed to keep your food warmer for longer. When regular bento boxes keep your food warm for at least an hour, insulated bento boxes will keep it for at least four hours.
Insulated bento boxes are perfect for employees or students who might not have microwave access later in the day. When choosing an insulated bento box in the market, ensure it is made of material that can handle the heat for too long. You wouldn’t want to get a bento box that will melt plastic materials into your food due to too much heat from your hot food.
Insulated bento boxes are also designed with multiple compartments that you can use to pack different types of foods. They are also believed to be lighter in weight. Also, before using an insulated bento box, read the usage instructions very well.
What to Consider When Purchasing a Bento Box
Suppose you intend to get a bento box for yourself; there are things one should look for when choosing one.
The Size of the Bento Box
It is obvious you want a bento box compatible with the quantity of food you want to carry. Let it not be too big or too small for you. Suppose you want one for your child; smaller sizes will do just fine. The smaller sizes with several compartments will allow you to pack several nutritional treats for them.
The Material Used to Make the Bento Box
As observed earlier, bento boxes could be made from cypress wood, aluminum, or plastic. If you want a bento box that can be microwaved, you will go for a material that is microwave friendly. Therefore ensure it has a safe microwave symbol before taking it out of the store.
The Durability of the Bento Box
Durability usually comes in handy when looking for a bento box for your child. You want to ensure the bento box can handle being slammed, dropped, beaten, and all the other crazy things our young ones could do. For you, durability may not be something to consider, but getting a bento box that can withstand a drop from your hands is good.
Using a beautiful bento box will definitely make you enjoy your meal more. If you want to buy one for your daughter, a beautiful pink one might make her lunchtime hours unforgettable.
Faqs on Can You Microwave Bento Boxes
1. Do you heat up bento boxes?
Yes, you need to heat up bento boxes to warm the food inside. Bento boxes are not capable of keeping your meal hot for too long. Therefore you must consider warming up your meal after packing it in your bento box.
2. Can you microwave lunch box?
Yes, you can microwave a lunch box. However, the lunch box needs to be microwave safe first; look for a microwave-safe symbol on your lunch box before placing it in your microwave.
3. How do you reheat a bento microwave?
First, look for a microwave-safe symbol on the bento, remove the lid, and use a microwavable bowl or a paper towel to cover the meal in the bento and microwave for no longer than 2 minutes.
4. How do you keep bento food warm?
To keep your food warm in a bento box, you could consider warming the food before placing it in the bento. You could also wrap the food in plastic and foil paper before placing it in the bento. If you use a steel bento box, boil some water and immerse the bottom of the box in the water to keep the food inside warm.
5. How do you warm up a bento box?
You could warm up your bento box in a microwave or hot water. Ensure the bento box is microwave safe, place it in the microwave, and warm it for a few seconds. You could also use hot water to warm up your bento box, especially if the box is not microwave safe. Boil the water and immerse the bento box in it for a while.
6. What is so special about bento boxes?
The most special thing about the bento box is its ability to carry several types of foods at once. For instance, you can carry your rice, proteins, vegetables, fruits, cutlery, chopsticks, and drinks all in one lunch box without mixing them up
7. Can you put hot food in bento box?
Yes, you can put hot food in a bento box. However, the duration for the food to stay hot will depend on the type of bento box you have. A regular bento box will keep your food warm for at least one hour, while an insulated bento box will keep your food hot for at least four hours.
8. Can bento boxes keep food warm?
Yes, a bento box will keep your food warm. How long the food will stay warm depends on the material used to make the bento box. For instance, regular bento boxes will keep food warm for an hour, while an insulated bento box will keep it for four hours.
Only bento boxes that are made of microwavable material can be microwaved. However, that does not mean the rest cannot keep food warm. You could opt for an insulated bento box that can keep your food warm for at least four hours or a microwavable bento box that you can always pop in your microwave whenever you are ready to eat.