Do you like traveling? As for me, I adore it. Actually, my daughter is still very young. So, I try to spend at least several hours a day outdoors with her. Therefore, we are to know how to keep food hot while traveling.
Fresh, healthy food is a must, as well as open air. Would you buy fast-food for your kids? Of course not. Even going to South Beach or Bayfront Park, I’m taking along some food. Some juice, water, and snacks, including vegetables and greens are essential. Going to more distant places, for example, to the Everglades, I would have some hot soup at hand. How to carry liquid food? In the best thermos for soup, of course.
Table of Contents
- Why Keep Food Warm?
- What is the Best Temperature to Keep Food Warm?
- Basic Recommendations
- How to Keep Soup Warm All Day?
Why Keep Food Warm?
Do you think that eating food hot is a minor thing? Are traveling, sightseeing, being in motion more important? Not at all. It helps:
- regulating food intake;
- improving digestion;
- generating energy;
- reducing the risk of contamination.
Are you thinking about losing weight? You’ll be surprised. Hot meals help with it. They regulate fat and body weight. How comes? The meals regulate your body temperature. Metabolic efficiency is increasing. Therefore, appetite is suppressed.
Don’t you believe it? According to the NIDDK Institute, even your nerves and hormones take part in the digestion process. They help control it. Additionally, you get a perfect after-feeling. Warming foods are beneficial for the immune system.
Lunch Boxes that Keep Food Hot and Cold
Sometimes, you need your lunch to be cool. At least, a part of it should not be too hot. I am not sure if you’d like to bring ice-cream along with you. It would be a mission! But why doesn’t your child have some fresh milk at school? Maybe, you’d like to cook buss chilled Gazpacho soup. It’s quick to make and refreshing in summer.
Perhaps your little kid would need something healthier to eat in school. Pero like salads, tortillas, yogurts and cheeses, fruits and vegetables are essential. It’s not too easy to get access to a refrigerator. It might be difficult both in school and in your office.
Traveling Food Needs
Every day, your lunch is not super bulk and nutritious. A medium-sized food jar would be enough. During a trip, you’ll need a large lunch box. It should come with:
- proper insulation;
- padded carry handle;
- several compartments;
- multiple separate containers;
- leak-proof, water-resistant materials.
You might need to use the box as a cooler. Put some gel and ice packs inside, and it keeps your food cold all day long. This way, it’s possible even to carry meat and poultry to your barbecue spot. Several hours of driving and warm Miami weather won’t spoil it.
So, your lunch box could be solid or flexible. Two layers of stainless steel provide the best possible insulation. It’s perfect for thermoses and food jars. Besides, large boxes and bags might be different. Flexible ones consist of PE or polyurethane foam. This material lightweight, having low thermal conductivity and resistance.
Additionally, there should be a layer of aluminum foil inside. As well as stainless steel, it reflects light. Keeping your food or ready homemade dishes in a dark place would be necessary. Felt cloth might be available outside. Stackable lunch box in felt carry is beneficial. It keeps your buss food warm or cool several hours longer.
Ya tu sabes, it’s better to use two separate lunch boxes for cold and hot food. Temperature difference in adjacent tiers of thermos is damaging. You’ll need both lunch boxes every day, in your office, kid’s school, and during your camping trip. So, it’s a good investment.
What is the Best Temperature to Keep Food Warm?
Quite naturally, the risk of contamination is to be eliminated. Unfortunately, it’s not so easy to do in a warm climate. Most bacteria die during cooking. 140°F and above is the recommended temperature to kill the micro-organisms. Eating your favorite dishes at once after cooking is the healthiest. In the fridge, at a temperature below 40°F, the bacteria grow much slower.
Safe Dishes Temperature Chart
|Temperature, °F||Contamination Risk|
|140 and above||low|
|32 and below||minimal|
At the temperature of below 40°F bacteria growth is slowed. It’s virtually stopped at the freezing point (32° F). The temperature range from 40 to 140 degrees is potentially dangerous. Therefore, the best thermos for hot food is required. It is to keep the dishes’ temperature above 140 degrees.
Thus, it’s recommended to consume food fresh and warm. It can remain in the danger zone only for a while:
-from 140 to 70° – 2 hours;
-from 70 to 40° – 4 hours.
Therefore, the food is to be cooled fast. Warm it just before serving. What about your fridge? It is to be cooler than 40°F. I think it’s ok.
Additionally, the containers are to be as small as possible. It lets us minimize the temperature reducing time. However, it doesn’t concern the insulated food containers for hot food. If they don’t let the temperature drop below 170-150°F, no problems. Do you need 6 or 12 hours? I think that it depends on your trip schedule. By the way, the ideal temperature in the oven is also between 140 and 165 degrees. It lets you keep the dishes warm before serving.
How to Keep Food Warm Without Electricity?
Quite naturally, at home, I keep the food in the fridge. Not for long. 1-2 days only. It is to be fresh. Before serving the dishes, I warm them up. A regular or microwave oven is ok. However, outdoors, we can get hungry. Warm and healthy food is necessary.
So, how to keep food warm outside? First of all, this is, of course, the best food thermos. And also you can use various cooking appliances. For example:
- chafing dish;
- warm plates;
- aluminum foil.
Slow cookers and ovens are really good. They help you to cook healthy dishes. However, the devices are used at home. Appliances like stream cookers require electricity, as well.
How to Keep Food Warm Without a Thermos?
So, what can we do during a trip? The food can be warmed up, using:
- boiling water;
- hot food travel containers.
Will you have enough time for BBQ? Is there a good place in a park or on the beach? Well, it’s quite possible. If so, it would be fun!
How to Keep Food Warm in Car?
If you travel with a trailer or a truck, you can have a lot of water. How to boil it? That’s a question! A kind of fuel would be necessary, anyway.
Or, have you got a cigarette lighter in your car? It would help you to boil some water in a kettle. Meanwhile, this device is to be suitable. The thermal insulation is still required. So, you can make a hot water bath. Don’t forget to take several pots or pans along. Be careful! Avoid scalds!
How to Keep Food Hot on the Go?
You can also make an insulated bag for hot food by yourself. The necessary stuff may include:
- aluminum foil;
Generally, the task is to isolate the food from the environment. Quite naturally, you can use a thick-walled crock. A good, heavy lid is necessary. A glass container can be used, as well. It keeps heat pretty good.
But, the best ways to keep food warm while traveling is by using an insulated flask. A top-quality, vacuum container. It will simply be the best flask to keep the food hot. Otherwise, wrap the pot by foil, then by towels. It can be good even for a large amount of food. I mean, large boxes or pots are ok. With the foil, they can keep warmth for several hours.
What about soup? What if it spills on the go? A really good lid is a must!
How to Keep Soup Warm All Day?
You would need a vacuum flask or a thermos. Is any kind of heat-retaining container suitable? It is to be:
- not too large;
- made of stainless steel;
- equipped with a properly sealed lid;
Best soup jars are not as tall as the insulated bottles. Additionally, they are to keep heat for 7-10 hours, at least. 24 hours may be specified. Do you believe it? I don’t. It may be valid for cold drinks.
So, how to keep soup warm for work? Just pour it into the insulated container. Check the temperature. Screw the lid tightly. Now, you can wrap the flask into a towel or napkin. However, I think, it’s not necessary.
How to Keep Food Warm for School Lunch?
My daughter is going to school this year. I guess, she spends only several hours there, at first. Meanwhile, I am already thinking about making the best lunches for herJ. I guess it should include some seasonal fruits. Additionally, she would need some soup, a salad, and a dessert. What about perishable food? She would need some meat or fish. Quite naturally, I’ll cook her favorite dishes.
However, how to pack all of it into an insulated lunch box? I’ll make the portions small. Little things, like a fork, a spoon, a napkin, are essential. So, a small thermos can be inside the box.
Video Advice: How to Keep Food Warm in a Thermos
General Verdict and Recommendations
So, now you know how to keep food hot for hours. With reliable thermoses or food containers, it’s not a problem. Anyway, even during a long journey, you would stay somewhere. Put the food into the fridge. Cook some fresh dishes. Then pack them properly and have a good trip!