The $16 Find That’ll Make Sure You’ll Actually Want to Eat the Lunch You Packed

updated Oct 30, 2019
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Now that we’re securely into fall, you know what that means, right? Soup season! And while there’s nothing better than tucking into a piping-hot bowl of homemade soup, it’s also an easy make-ahead lunch to tote to work — as long as you can figure out the best way to keep it warm. Because seriously, is there anything worse than a cold bowl of soup?

Well, we found an easy and affordable solution to keep this comfort food warm: Thermos’ 16-ounce food jar, with nearly 5,250 4.5-star ratings. This wide-mouth insulated food jar costs less than $16 depending on the color you end up picking (many of the colors are currently on sale!), not to mention that it’s a one-time investment in hot meals that you can enjoy for years to come.

The petite silver jar, which sells for $16 and includes its own ergonomically designed foldable spoon, is made using a technology that virtually eliminates temperature change within the container by creating an airless space between the two stainless steel walls. We won’t bore you with science speak, but what it means is that you get to reap the benefits of digging into a hot meal without getting metal burns.

In order for the jar to work its magic, you first need to preheat or pre-chill the jar. Fill it with hot or cold water, screw on the lid, and let it chill on your counter for five to 10 minutes before emptying the liquid and filling it with your hot (or cold) meal. The jar does the rest.

“Didn’t realize until I went on my break 7 hours later that I had forgotten the jar in my car — in subzero temperatures,” confessed one happy customer. “My expectation was for lukewarm, possibly even cold soup. No, the soup was still blisteringly HOT!”

The jar’s wide mouth gives you easy access to your food and makes cleaning easy. Another bonus? The lid, which includes a foldable spoon and a slot for holding a paper napkin, forms a tight seal so that you’ll never have to worry about nasty spills. “I used the container 2-3 months ago and I forgot to wash it,” says a reviewer. “I opened it this morning and there was some old vegetable juice in it but it did not smell foul. It smelled ok. Not even bacteria’s managed to get inside.”

Wow! And eww!

So go ahead and make those big batches of soup and grab a jar to get you through the season. But please, don’t forget to wash it when you’re done.