What is the Best Electric Lunch Box For Car ?

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What is The Best Electric Lunch Box For Car?

An electric lunch box for a car can make all the difference in eating healthy on the go or grabbing junk food from a machine. Many individuals prefer to have a delicious hot meal at lunchtime when they are at work. However, the microwaves are often busy or hard to get if many workers take a break at the same time. Sure, you can forgo all of this and go out for lunch, but this is somewhat expensive and is not a feasible option for every person. Not to mention that many only have up to one hour for lunch, which is often not enough time to go to a sit-down restaurant to have a somewhat home cooked meal.

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The following are the top five electric lunch boxes on the market today. Each lunch box has a variety of pros and cons and are available in different price ranges.

Argus Le Causalyg 12 Volt DC Soft Electric Car Cooler

Argus Le Causalyg 12 Volt DC

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This lunch pail is multi-functional as it keeps foods hot or cold. It chills foods down to 48 degree F while it warms foods up to 120 to 140 degrees F. It has a rather large interior, with the capacity to hold up to 20 cans of soda.  It has a fashionable design weighing under 4 pounds.  It is made from premium food grade EPE pearl cotton and aluminum foil lining. It is BPA free and will maintain a temperature for up to 4 hours without being plugged in. My sister really appreciated this bag last summer when it was close to 100 degrees outside and two of her children had ball tournaments.  She was able to keep all the kids hydrated and had cool snacks, like yogurts and pudding cups available to them.

What We Like –

  • Has a large interior capacity
  • Maintains temperature for up to 4 hours without being plugged in
  • Comes with a 74 inch power cord plug
  • Weighs less than 4 pounds

What We Don’t Like –

  • Has a tendency to blow fuses
  • Did not keep medications or foods as cold as desired
  • Nylon fabric on the outside is easy to wipe clean with a damp cloth
  • Is on the more expensive side of electric lunch bags

Gideon Heated Electric Lunch Box

Gideon Heated Electric Lunch Box

[amazon box="B072QKTGM9" template="vertical"]

This lunch box allows one to heat up foods up to 300 degrees F in a quick manner. This lunch box can be plugged into any cigarette lighter or a 12V power source.  The case stays cool to the touch and closes tightly with a front enclosure that prevents food from spilling while on the go. It is lightweight, weighing only 2.5 pounds.  It is large enough to fit an entire meal, yet compact enough to easily carry.  It comes with a 6 foot power cord and a fold flat carrying handle.  The fully insulated lunch box helps lock in temperatures so foods stay hotter for a longer period of time.

What We Like –

  • Heats up to 300 degrees F
  • Has a non-stick easy to clean aluminum interior
  • Very lightweight- only 2.5 pounds
  • Heat resistance case always stays cool to the touch
  • Has a spacious interior
  • Compact design
  • Leak-proof design

What We Don’t Like –

  • May take a while to heat up
  • Closure has been known to break easily

Hot Logic Mini Personal Portable Oven

Hot Logic Mini Personal Portable Oven

[amazon box="B00EC7XJ28" template="vertical"]

This mini personalized insulated heated lunch box can do a lot more then just carry your meals to your place of work or a picnic you are attending.  This portable oven not only reheats foods and keeps them warm, but it also cooks your meals for you.  This is a perfect appliance for your cubicle at work, in your car, or in the camper.  The mini oven is very easy to use: place your food in a flat bottomed container with a lid, set in the mini personal oven, plug the oven into a 110 outlet,  and walk away.  There are not any temperatures to set or no timers to worry about.  The food will be cooked with perfection.  Food will be cooked evenly and retain vital nutrients.  A personal portable oven like this would be perfect for Super Bowl or Nascar parties to heat up cheese dips or hot appetizers, keeping them warm for the duration of the party.

What We Like –

  • Food is cooked evenly with low slow conduction heat
  • There are no timers or thermostats to set
  • One-year warranty
  • Cooks frozen meals
  • Spacious
  • Any type of container (except Styrofoam) can be used for this oven (plastic, glass, metal)
  • Comes some different colors

What We Don’t Like –

  • Has been known to burn through the containers that are placed in the insulated oven
  • Takes a long time to heat up
  • Inner material does not seem sturdy enough to last

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

Igloo Iceless Thermoelectric Cooler

[amazon box="B008AQK1NC" template="vertical"]

This cooler has two sizes, a 26 quart and a 28 quart. The cooler is very easy to carry, as it hugs your side as the back of the cooler features a curved back. It comes with an 8 foot cord and plugs into any 12 V DC receptacle or cigarette lighter. It has a quiet brushless motor and convection cooling with a fan that circulates cold air. It cools down to 36 degrees F below the outside temperature. My younger sister appreciates this cooler when her family goes camping. They hate buying ice as it simply does not last. They do not have a refrigerator in their pop up camper, but still, like to have foods such as salads when having a campfire meal. This cooler allows them to do so without having foods get waterlogged.

What We Like –

  • saves money on ice
  • do not have to worry about foods getting water in them
  • fan is whisper quiet
  • from a trusted company

What We Don’t Like –

  • Takes too long to cool down drinks that are not previously cold

Insulated Lunch Bag by USA Sales Group

Insulated Lunch Bag by USA Sales Group

[amazon box="B076BLYTQ9" template="vertical"]

This high quality insulated lunch bag uses Eco-friendly materials with a thick insulation layer guaranteeing that foods will stay hot or cold for up to 12 hours. The wear resistant material is durable and can easily be cleaned off with a wet towel.  The inside is covered with PEVA.  The bag features handles and an additional strap so it can be strapped into the car for safe keeping while you travel to your destination.  There is also a 50 inch long removal shoulder strap for easier carrying. This lightweight bag has pockets and a mesh section that is perfect for small items, such as your keys, a notebook, a cell phone, and more.  This insulated bag is perfect for firefighters, EMS personal, nurses and doctors, pilots, or anyone else that works very long hours.

What We Like –

  • Made from Eco-friendly materials
  • Keeps foods hot or cold for up to 12 hours
  • Stitching is very durable
  • Stiff bottom
  • Large, convenient size (10.8 inches by 8.9 inches by 9.7 inches)
  • Great for those that work long hours or will be away from home for many hours

What We Don’t Like –

  • Zipper was not smooth or easy to use

Buying Guide

  • What type of cooking will you be doing: When deciding on a heated lunch box for your car, you will first need to decide what type of cooking you will be doing in it. If you will be cooking meals instead of only reheating them, you will need a different type of lunch box for this. If you are cooking raw foods, you will most likely need a more powerful version as some lunch boxes will not reach the level of power to cook raw foods in this manner.
  • Budget: You will also want to consider what your budget is for your lunch box. Typically, the larger the lunch box is, the more expensive it will be. If you only have a small budget, you will most likely need to purchase a box that is made from lower quality materials.
  • Size of Lunch Box Needed: Another factor to consider before purchasing is how large you desire your lunch box to be. If you are a small eater, or will only be away from home for a few hours, you will be able to get by with a small heated lunch box. If you are a large eater, have more than one person to feed, or will be away from home for several hours, it may be a wise decision to pick a larger model. To go with the size, you will want to think of what foods you will be packing. If you like to have a variety of food to eat at your meals, you will most likely need to fit several containers in your lunch box at once. This is when it is handy to have a larger lunch box model.

Why A Lunch Box Is Essential

A lunch box is essential to have if you want to eat a delicious meal while at work or on the go without going to a restaurant or using a microwave.  These heated lunch boxes are also perfect for truck drivers, campers, travelers, and others that are on the road more often than not.

  • A lunch box can help individuals save money. Instead of eating out at restaurants that are expensive, a lunch pail can carry and heat foods that are much less expensive. There is no need to waste food now from meals that are prepared at home.  They can be taken anywhere with you now to heat up when you get hungry.
  • A healthier meal can be prepared when using a lunch box. The individual using the lunch box will have complete control over what is added to any recipe. While many restaurants have sodium and other unhealthy ingredients added to their entrées, filling your lunch pail with homemade foods will allow the individual to have a healthier meal.
  • Heated lunch boxes are a great way to share a meal with those you love when you are on a picnic. You can take the dish that you are known for, keeping it at a temperature that keeps it from spoiling.
  • Insulated lunch boxes are very convenient. They are easy to use and more often then not are on the lightweight side.
  • Using insulated lunch boxes is a huge time saver in more ways then one.  If you are uncertain what you will have for lunch, you can toss pretty much anything that can be heated up into your lunch pail.  Empty a can of soup in the lunch box,  reheat your leftover spaghetti, cook a chicken breast.  The possibilities are endless when it comes to cooking with one of these portable electric cookers.
  • Most importantly, hot meals can be enjoyed. You can take your favorite meal with you on the go, savoring it for lunch.  Gone are the days when a brown bag lunch only allowed you to eat a cold lunch meat sandwich or foods that did not require refrigeration or a microwave to heat up. Cold lunches are OK once in a while, but you will perform better when you have eaten a delicious hot meal. You will most likely look forward to a hot lunch, much more so then a cold packed lunch.  An electric lunch box for a car will allow you to heat your foods in a timely fashion while maintaining a moisture content so the food does not dry out.  The food will remain as tasty as it was the first time it was made without loosing any of the nutritional value.

Types Of Materials Used For Electric Lunch Boxes

There are many different types of materials that are used for lunch boxes.  These include:

  • Neoprene- Neoprene is very flexible. It will resist oil and grease and is great at standing up to weathering conditions.  It can handle a wide range of temperatures from -58 degrees  F to 248 degrees F.
  • Fabric- Fabric may or may not be easy to clean depending on what type of fabric is used. Fabric is great for those that want a very lightweight box to carry around.
  • Plastic- Plastic is very easy to clean. Many will have luck cleaning their lunch boxes with a damp cloth and a very mild cleanser.  Plastic stands up to weathering and is very durable.

Lunch boxes can be hard or soft.  A hard box will be shaped with plastic or metal to allow them to keep their shape.  These will protect foods better as it will not be easy to smash them once they are in the box.  Soft boxes are often bendable, which is great when you have containers that are odd shaped.

Regardless of the type of material you have decided is the best for your lunch box, you will want to make sure that all materials  are BPA free and food safe.  Most will prefer a lunch box that is easy to clean as well, since foods and beverages can easily spill.

Tips for Using Your Electric Lunch Box

You can cook many different foods in your lunch box.  Frozen foods are a breeze to make.  If you like frozen burritos, frozen entrées, or other meals found in your grocer’s freezer section, you can toss them into your lunch box.  If foods are frozen you will most likely need more time heating them all the way through.  Each make and model is different, so it is best to consult the owner’s manual for this.

You can also benefit from using an electric lunch box if you have children and are on the go.  Simply plug the adapter into your car and heat up your child’s jarred baby food.  You may also wish to heat up wet wipes on a low setting so your child is easier to clean up if they have a tendency to make a huge mess when eating on the go!

You will also need to clean your lunch box on a regular basis to prevent mold and mildew from forming.  Always check the manufacturer’s suggestions on how to clean a lunch box, as some only require a damp rag while others can be dishwasher safe.  If stains bother you, you will want to find a box that is made with stain resistant material.   This may not be a bad idea for anyone as it is inevitable that food will at one point or another spill in your lunch box.

Final Thought

An electric lunch box is essential in today’s busy lifestyle. They make meal time convenient when an individual is at work or on the go.  They help keep the cost down as there is no longer a need to eat a hot meal at a restaurant or work cafeteria anymore. Busy individuals will be able to keep a healthy diet while being economical at the same time.  A hot lunch can now be served  anywhere using a heated lunch box.

Author Bio

Lance Winslow

Lance is a retired Franchisor, Business Consultant, Philanthropist and I run a Think Tank, as well as do a lot of Traveling, Writing, Cycling, Flying, Volunteering & enjoy life to the fullest. He is the founder of Carwashguys.com. He has vast experience in the automotive field. Sharing his knowledge to help us all is another significant contribution of him to the community.