The 5 Best Electric Lunch Boxes


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Nov 12, 2023

The 5 Best Electric Lunch Boxes

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Keeping prepped food warm when you’re on the go is no easy feat, but electric lunch boxes provide an easy way to enjoy comforting, cozy meals, no matter where the day takes you. The best electric lunch boxes warm contents in as little as 20 minutes, are leakproof, and can be powered by a car socket, wall outlet, or (ideally) both. So if you’re wondering how to keep food warm for lunch, you’re in the right place.

The electric lunch box you choose will generally depend on where you plan to use it and how much capacity you need, but there are a few other features to keep in mind as you’re weighing your options. Here's what to think about as you shop.

If every day is different for you, look for an electric lunch box that comes with two types of plugs: one that can be used in a standard wall outlet and one that works in your car's power socket. This will let you keep your meals warm while in transit, and then allow you to plug into a more permanent power source if you have a final destination. If an electric lunch box only comes with a wall plug, a power converter can be purchased for use in your car, giving it a bit more versatility (just be sure to use it according to instructions to avoid running down your car's battery). You may also want to keep an eye out for an insulated carrying case in the event you don't have access to power for a period of time.

Most electric lunch boxes come with a container insert that doubles as a bowl, offering the convenience of eating directly from the lunch box itself. A stainless steel container insert that won't stain or absorb flavor or odor is your best bet, and it can typically go in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Some lunch boxes come with optional plastic dividers (similar to a bento box), while others come with additional containers for sauces or sides.

You might also come across products dubbed "portable ovens" or "portable food warmers." These function similarly to a heated pizza box sleeve and give you the option of using your own container, whether that's a lidded heat-safe dish or takeout container. In addition to keeping meals hot on the go, they can also come in handy for bringing ready-to-eat dishes to a holiday dinner or potluck at someone else's home.

Electric lunch boxes range in volume from about 0.5 liter to 1.5 liter (or approximately 2 to 6.3 cups), so you’ll have options when it comes to finding one that complements your lifestyle. Depending on how long you’ll be away from home and how much you want to tote around, you might be able to get away with a slightly smaller option. In general, though, it's better to have more space than not enough. Whatever the capacity of your container, it's a good idea to stir your food once or twice as it warms for even temperature distribution.

Whether you’re looking for a portable food warmer for car trips, or would rather not depend on your office cafeteria or microwave, the best electric lunch boxes give you a way to bring your favorite hot meals on the go.

In a hurry? These are the best electric lunch boxes:



Pulling out all the stops, this electric lunch box comes with two power cords for plugging into a standard wall or vehicle outlet, giving those with a busy lifestyle flexibility and convenience. The heated lunch box's stainless steel container is dishwasher-safe and can hold up to 1.5 liter of food (or about 6.3 cups), giving you a lot of capacity. The set also includes a heat-resistant plastic container and lid that can be used to hold a side dish or sauce. A leakproof ring on the underside of the snap-on lid ensures contents won't spill.

The lunch box has an integrated folding handle and utensil container on the lid, and it comes with a fork and spoon. For extra convenience, an insulated carrying case is included — this offers extra spill protection (and peace of mind) and also helps keep food warm during transport if you’d rather not bother with plugging into the car.

A helpful review: "The inside get very hot but the outside is just a bit warm but not too much that you can place it inside the cloth carrier when done. The small plastic container can store the food that you don't want to heat up so you can easily remove it before you plug it in. It takes about 30 minutes to heat the food then stays like that for a while. I love everything about this product"

Container capacity: 1.5 liter | Heat-up time: about 30 minutes, according to reviewers | Power source: wall outlet or car socket | Included accessories: utensils, stainless steel container, plastic container, insulated carrying case, power cords



This food warmer lunch box has many of the same features as the overall best pick, with a slightly more wallet-friendly price tag. The only thing it's missing is an insulated carrying case, which may or may not be a deal breaker. (It's worth noting there is a folding handle built into the lid for easy transport.)

Two cords allow you to power it via a wall or vehicle outlet, and the set includes a dishwasher-safe 1.5-liter stainless steel container and a plastic container insert for side dishes and sauces. The box's secure snap-on lid won't leak, and it has an integrated utensil container for stashing the included fork, spoon, and knife.

A helpful review: "I use this on nights my daughter has dance. It's 30 minutes away from home and we’re there for 1.5 hours, then another 30 minutes home. No time for dinner at home after work, so I had to order out a lot. Decided to get this to heat up leftovers, and it works great. I plug it in when we leave home, and my foods hot as soon as I arrive at the dance class."

Container capacity: 1.5 liter | Heat-up time: 20 to 40 minutes | Power source: wall outlet or car socket | Included accessories: utensils, stainless steel container, plastic container, power cords



Less of a lunch box and more of a heating sleeve, the HotLogic food warmer has over 22,000 reviews on Amazon and a stellar 4.7-star overall rating. It comes with a standard wall power cord, and the interior features a heated base and reflective material that will keep food warm for up to 12 hours without drying it out. The zipping lid opens wide for easy loading and removal of your meals, and it's compatible with a variety of flat-bottomed, lidded containers up to 1.5 quart, including those made from heat-safe plastic, glass, metal, cardboard, and foil. Without heat, the Hot Logic can be used as a soft lunch box, and it comes in your choice of nine colors.

The handle on top of the heated lunch box makes it easy to tote around, but it doesn't come with eating utensils, and it only plugs into a wall outlet. If you want to heat it in the car, you’ll need to purchase a power converter.

A helpful review: "I LOVE this product and recommend it to everyone I know. It is so versatile in what it will cook or (re)heat and that it's so lightweight and portable, not to mention you can use the adapter and plug it into your car's cigarette lighter, makes it a dream. From warming/crisping pizza or quesadillas, properly heating up frozen or refrigerated prepared foods, to plugging in and having a piping hot dish of something you've brought from home, the HotLogic is a winner! I have only wonderful things to say about this product, and I'm sure you will, too."

Capacity: holds containers up to 1.5 quart (about 0.95 liter) | Heat-up time: 20 to 30 minutes, according to reviewers | Power source: wall outlet | Included accessories: power cord



Boasting 13,000 reviews and a sky-high 4.7-star overall rating, this electric lunch box from Crockpot is a winner. Available in upmarket colors like blush and faded blue, it includes a 20-ounce stainless steel container (or about 0.6 quart), which is less than half the size of the other options, so ideal if you’re looking for something compact. It comes with two lids — a twist-on outer lid with a handle and a tight-sealing inner storage lid — to keep items safely contained, even if you’re bringing soup, stew, or a pasta dish on the go.

The detachable wall power cord allows you to warm your food, unplug, and then carry the insulated base and bowl to your dining destination. In addition to keeping meals warm, the Crockpot can also be used to keep hot dips melty and scoopable, making this a good pick for bringing along to parties. Both the stainless steel container and sealing lid are dishwasher-safe for easy care.

The only drawbacks: You’ll have to buy a power converter if you want to plug it into your car, and there are no eating utensils included.

A helpful review: "I would give this 10 stars if I could. My coworker at a new job had one and I decided to buy one and try it. It's super-simple to use: just put the food, then 1 hour before lunch, plug it in. [...] It's also very easy to clean. Just pop the metal bowl out to wash it along with both lids. This items can save you $10-20 per day by bringing leftovers instead of eating out. Pays for itself in 1-2 days."

Capacity: 20 ounces or 0.6 quart | Heat-up time: about 30 minutes, according to reviewers | Power source: wall outlet | Included accessories: power cord



This food warmer lunch box features a 1.5-liter stainless steel container with two sections, making it easy to separate your meal, so flavors don't mingle, or to portion out food if you’re taking both lunch and dinner to go. The lunch box has a snap-on leakproof lid and comes with an insulated carrying case to keep food warm when the unit isn't plugged in. This pick is compatible with both wall outlets and car sockets for total versatility. An enclosed container on the handled lid is large enough to hold the included fork and knife, and you’ll also get a small towel for cleaning up any accidental spills. The inner container is dishwasher-safe for easy cleanup when you get home.

A helpful review: "I have travels two days each week and have to drive on the road for a long time. After buying this electric lunch box, I can prepare my own favorite healthy meals and choose car use cable to plug in the lunch box in my car when I am in travel. This electric lunch box has a removable stainless steel food container and can be safely dish washed. I really like the two grid design which can separate different foods."

Capacity: 1.5 liter | Heat-up time: 30 to 40 minutes | Power source: wall outlet and car socket | Included accessories: sectioned stainless steel container, utensils, insulated carrying case, power cords, towel

Vanessa Spilios has been writing about cookware and kitchen appliances for Bustle since 2019. She previously worked in culinary product development and marketing at SharkNinja and consulted for Cuisinart Grilling, and she has extensive experience testing and evaluating housewares. Vanessa has reviewed products and created content for publishers including Bustle, The Kitchn, Apartment Therapy, Forbes Vetted, and America's Test Kitchen. She received her culinary training at Boston University, and enjoys developing original recipes, which she incorporates into private cooking classes for kids and families.

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