Tuesday, April 08, 2014

All Stainless Steel Food Container?

One of my goals in life is to learn to bring lunch to work on a consistent basis... Yes, it would be that momentous of a feat for me because I've tried numerous times in the past and given up each time. That hasn't stopped me from wanting to try again though. The latest carrot on the stick was getting a nice stainless steel container and getting rid of the plastic Tupperware.

Why get rid of plastic containers?
The reasons are many and probably personal. For me, it was about minimizing plastic making contact with my food and to have something less destructible. A year or two ago, I picked up some all-plastic food containers that have started to wear out (e.g. scuffing on the inside, cracks) -- who am I kidding, they're about done. Glass containers were also tried, but they were heavy and usually had a plastic lid. Did I mention that glass likes to break when dropped?

Moving to stainless steel
Having moved to a nearly all stainless steel water bottle, I thought I'd try out a nearly all stainless steel food container. A number of options were available, both insulated and non-insulated. During my research, quite a few insulated Thermos containers piqued my interest. They had fairly long advertised keep-warm times and generally good reviews online. However, I wasn't able to find one with an interior that was all stainless steel (i.e. both lid and body).

Klean Kanteen 16 oz. Food Container
Plan B was to use a tall stainless steel insulated water bottle. It kind of made sense. Then I started thinking about the second, third, fourth, etc. time I would use it. Deep bottle? Relatively narrow opening? Nightmare to clean? A shorter, lower capacity bottle may have worked. Maybe.

Back to Klean Kanteen
I was eventually led back to Klean Kanteen, the manufacturer of the insulated water bottle I've been using frequently. They had both insulated and non-insulated food containers made mostly of stainless steel both inside and out in 8 oz. and 16 oz. sizes -- not exactly that big.

Klean Kanteen Food Canister with Stainless Lid
Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated Food Canister with Stainless Lid

The product photos I found online showed a non-steel thread on the cap. It did not appear to be in a position to make a significant amount of contact with the contents of the container though. Other food containers I found mostly had all plastic lids. These would have been able to make full contact with whatever was inside the container from shaking, flipping, or overfilling.

It came down to a choice between insulated and non-insulated in the end since the 8 oz. container seemed too small -- that left the 16 oz. There was a price difference at my local store of about $10 between the insulated and non-insulated versions -- about CAD$ 25 and CAD$ 35. With an advertised keep-warm time of 3 hours for hot items (official website) for the insulated version, I was tempted. However, given my flakiness on bringing lunch, I thought I'd go for the cheaper option and "upgrade" in the future. Note that the Thermos Stainless King 16-Ounce Food Jar has an advertised keep-warm time of 7 hours for roughly the same price as the Klean Kanteen.

Uncapped Food Container

Klean Kanteen Single Wall Food Canister
The thing arrived about a week ago but hasn't seen much use yet. It's a good looking container for about CAD$ 25. It's relatively short height should allow for easy of cleaning with bare hands.

As you can see in the picture below, the cap of the container I have does indeed have a non-steel thread. It doesn't look like it would touch anything inside of the container though. The seal at the edges might, but it appears insignificant compared to the all plastic lids I've seen. My guess is that the seal at the rim is unavoidable to make the container "leak-proof" and "airtight" (product page). Not sure about the non-steel threads on the lid though. We'll see how well it works over time.

Interior of Cap

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