I’m a fan of vacuum thermos jars and have always stuck with larger (1 quart or more) Stanley brand jars. This particular Thermos brand food jar is simply a smaller option that seemed like a better idea for our bug out bags or short term emergency because it takes up less space and is lighter-weight. At 16 ounces (one-half a quart) it is really a one meal per person (at least per adult) food jar.
According to the Amazon product page: “The stainless king food jar has thermax double wall vacuum insulation for maximum temperature retention, hot or cold. The unbreakable stainless steel interior and exterior keeps the food jar cool to the touch with hot liquids and sweat proof with cold liquids. Wide mouth is easy to fill, serve from and clean: lid doubles as a compact and insulated serving bowl. Full-size telescoping stainless steel spoon included.”
When looking for a food jar such as this one, double-walled vacuum insulation is the way to go. This design can keep foods hot (or cold) for several hours. In fact, one of the best reasons to have a few of these thermos jars is for the fact that you can heat up food to a boil and then transfer it directly to the thermos to finish cooking over the course of a few hours or even overnight. This fact alone is the single most important reason to have these vacuum jars around. Just think about how much fuel you can save if all you have to do is heat up the food and NOT finish cooking it! This is the beauty of thermal-heat retention cooking at its best.
Though most thermos jars that are meant for food are wide-mouth jars, just ensure that they are wide-mouth as it makes eating from and cleaning out quite a bit easier. There are also “classic” vacuum jars that are not wide-mouth and are not necessarily meant for food, just liquids. Since this unit has an all stainless steel interior, it’s easy to clean, won’t rust, smell funny, etc.
Of course, the food jar is designed so that you won’t burn yourself when holding the jar (due to the vacuum insulation) which is obviously a good idea. This food jar also includes a fold-able spoon that fits conveniently atop the screw on lid, which is a nice plus. And, last, you could use the snap on lid as a small bowl if you like but I just tend to eat from the thermos itself.
To test this one, I decided to heat up two servings of oatmeal (just to a boil) and then let it finish cooking for a few hours in the thermos. As it’s smaller than I’m used to, I found that two servings didn’t quite fit but I got most of it inside and screwed on the lid with no problem. I should point out you need to be a little careful with foods that expand a great deal (rice and dehydrated foods come to mind) so be sure to leave a little head-space for meals that expect to expand while cooking. The best thing to do is to simply experiment a few times and you’ll get the hang of it.
That said, this Thermos brand food jar is something that I expect to last for many years on end is a perfect addition to your short term emergency preps or bug out bags.