Bento lunch boxes are popular because of all the benefits they offer. A bento box makes it easy to pack a healthy, beautiful meal in the morning and keep it fresh until lunch time.
What Is a Bento Box?
A Bento box is a multi-compartmentalized lunch box that originated in Japan. Each Bento box compartment holds a single serving of a food choice. The ingenious design of a Bento box keeps each compartment sealed so nothing leaks or spills into another compartment. If you have a box with rigid sides, it protects your food from getting smashed.
Better than a brown bag or a traditional lunch box, a Bento box lets you avoid plastic baggies, aluminum foil, and makeshift bulky containers. Not only does a Bento box keep your food fresh, the compartments can be tossed in your dishwasher at the end of the day, and they are ready to reuse.
The only challenge you have is deciding which of the many wonderful types of Bento boxes will work best for you. The most important decision is what type of box you want: one made of traditional materials or one made of stainless steel.
Difference between A Traditional Bento Box And A Stainless-Steel Box
Traditional Bento boxes are made of natural materials such as wood, bamboo, or wicker. Traditional Bento boxes are often beautifully crafted and can be quite expensive due to their artisanal value. One advantage to a wood Bento box is that it can absorb excess moisture from rice and actually improve the flavor of it.
Wood Bento boxes come in different finishes, such as lacquered or coated, or unfinished wood. Unfinished wood is prone to staining, while a wood box that has a protective finish on it will not.
Bamboo is most often used for traditional basket-type boxes that are designed to carry onigiri rice balls and sandwiches. Bamboo boxes are available with inner plastic containers for other foods.
Solid bamboo boxes are very expensive. If you select a traditional bamboo Bento box, you can take the experience up another level by buying dried and fresh bamboo leaves to use as disposable food wrappers and dividers.
Although these Bento boxes are beautiful to look at, they are not microwave or dishwasher safe; therefore, regular cleaning and care may be a hassle. Also, a well-made traditional Bento box can be quite expensive and is probably not suitable for daily use or rough handling.
You can find lovely Bento boxes made of stainless steel. A stainless-steel Bento box is quite durable and less susceptible to damage if subjected to more rigorous handling. A stainless-steel box makes sense for your kids to use for school, if you have a rough commute, or you need to take your lunch in the rugged outdoors.
The care of a stainless-steel box is easier than the care for a traditional box. Most stainless-steel boxes are dishwasher safe. However, some stainless-steel boxes are prone to fingerprints and will need cleaning to keep it beautiful.
One drawback of a stainless-steel box is that it is not microwave-safe. That said, however, a box with thick stainless-steel sides can be heated up on a hot plate or stove top (though it will become quite hot to handle).
Also, you can find stainless steel boxes that have microwave-safe plastic internal compartments. If you plan to pack liquids or moist food, be sure to find a stainless-steel box that has a leak-proof seal.
Those will cost more than one without the seal. Beware of cheap stainless-steel boxes because their surfaces may be easily damaged or discolored with regular use.
Other Popular Bento Box Materials
Among the most popular Bento box materials is plastic. Plastic is lightweight, durable, and often dishwasher and microwave safe. (A reputable manufacturer will provide information about the types of plastics used and whether it is dishwasher and microwave safe).
You can find plastic Bento boxes with containers made of plastic and others made of silicone, especially bento cups and dividers. Plastic Bento boxes are available in a wide variety of colors and shapes that will appeal to kids and adults alike.
Another popular Bento box material is aluminum. It is lighter weight than stainless steel, though an aluminum box but may dent more easily than stainless steel. Aluminum Bento boxes are usually dishwasher safe but not microwave safe.
If you want an aluminum leak-proof box, make sure to choose one with a plastic leak-proof seal. Take care when selecting an uncoated aluminum box because an uncoated box may be corroded by acidic foods.
Contact Kangovou For Help With Selecting A Bento Box Or Accessories
At Kangovou, you will find a wide range of high-quality Bento boxes. Whatever you choose, you know you will be buying a Bento box that will suit your needs and last a long time. Our Kangovou specialists can help you decide on design, material, size, and color. Contact us for more information.