Top 10 Best Japanese Soup and Food Jars to Buy Online 2019 - Tried and True!

Our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites (such as Amazon, Rakuten, and kakaku.com) for the best soup and food jars. We picked out the 10 most popular products and tested them for the following:

1. Heat Retention
2. Cold Retention
3. Washability (Is it easy to clean?)
4. Weight
5. Tightness (Is it spill-proof?)

This is how we hand-picked the most exceptional Japanese soup and food jars.
  • Last updated: 10-30-2019
  • 166 views
Table of Contents

Top 10 Best Japanese Soup and Food Jars to Buy Online

We filled them with hot water and let them sit out. We shook them and checked for leaks. We disassembled and washed them. Then, based on their performance, we ranked the top 10 best Japanese soup jars available online.
※ Japanese prices for the products are given; they’ve merely been converted into USD for easy viewing.
1. Thermos Vacuum Insulation Soup Jar (JBM-501) 1

1. Thermos Vacuum Insulation Soup Jar (JBM-501)

$20.42

Japaneseサーモス真空断熱スープジャー (JBM-501)
Heat Retention1st (70.1℃)
Cold Retention1st (11.9℃)
# of Parts4
Weight341.54 g
Capacity500 ml
2. Thermos Vacuum Insulation Soup Jar (JBQ-400) 1

2. Thermos Vacuum Insulation Soup Jar (JBQ-400)

$19.84

Japaneseサーモス真空断熱スープジャー (JBQ-400)
Heat Retention 2nd (64.3℃)
Cold Retention4th (13.4℃)
# of Parts5
Weight292.2 g
Capacity400 ml
Japanese和平フレイズフォルテック ハンディランチポット (FLR-6861)
Heat Retention4th (62.8℃)
Cold Retention2nd (12.1℃)
# of Parts4
Weight248.17 g
Capacity400 ml
Japaneseアスベルランタス スープボトル (HLB-SR500)
Heat Retention4th (62.8℃)
Cold Retention3rd (12.7℃)
# of Parts4
Weight323.61 g
Capacity 500 ml
5. Skater Thermal Insulated Delicapot (LJFC3) 1

5. Skater Thermal Insulated Delicapot (LJFC3)

$15.34

Japaneseスケーター保温・保冷デリカポット スヌーピー (LJFC3)
Heat Retention6th (62.6℃)
Cold Retention5th (14.0℃)
# of Parts4
Weight236.12 g
Capacity300 ml
6. mosh! Vacuum Insulation Food Pot (DMFP300) 1

6. mosh! Vacuum Insulation Food Pot (DMFP300)

$12.74

Japaneseドウシシャmosh! 真空断熱フードポット (DMFP300)
Heat Retention3rd (63.0℃)
Cold Retention7th (14.3℃)
# of Parts4
Weight237.43 g
Capacity 300 ml
Japaneseパール金属キープス スープジャー (HB-272)
Heat Retention7th (61.6℃)
Cold Retention6th (14.2℃)
# of Parts5
Weight331.7 g
Capacity400 ml
8. Tiger Thermal Insulated Soup Jar (MCL-B030) 1

8. Tiger Thermal Insulated Soup Jar (MCL-B030)

$17.02

Japaneseタイガー真空断熱スープジャー (MCL-B030)
Heat Retention8th (58.3℃)
Cold Retention8th (14.5℃)
# of Parts6th
Weight257.48 g
Capacity300 ml
9. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Food Jar (SW-GD26) 1

9. Zojirushi Stainless Steel Food Jar (SW-GD26)

$17.81

Japanese象印ステンレスフードジャー (SW-GD26)
Heat Retention9th (54.3℃)
Cold Retention9th (15.1℃)
# of Parts7
Weight290 g
Capacity260 ml
Japaneseシービージャパンmidi フードジャー
Heat Retention
Cold Retention
# of Parts3
Weight
Capacity350 ml

How We Tested Our Products

We determined that the best soup jar had to be able to keep food both hot and cold. It also had to be easy to clean, light-weight, and spill-proof. This is how we tested for those factors.

Test ①: Heat Retention

Test ①: Heat Retention
We poured boiling water into the jars and capped each when the water cooled down to 95℃ (203℉). We then left the jars in a room, which we kept at 25℃ (77℉). At the end of six hours, we uncapped the jars and measured the temperature of their contents.

Test ②: Cold Retention

Test ②: Cold Retention
We poured cold water into the jars and capped each when the water warmed to 8℃ (46.4℉). We then left the jars in a room, which we kept at 25℃ (77℉). At the end of six hours, we uncapped the jars and measured the temperature of their contents.
We’d like to note that even the products that finished last kept temperatures well below 20℃ (68℉), which is when most bacteria start to proliferate. In that sense, you could say that all the products we tested offered adequate cold retention.

Test ③: Washability (Is it easy to clean?)

Test ③: Washability (Is it easy to clean?)
We disassembled all the jars and looked at whether we could wash each part thoroughly with a regular kitchen sponge. We also made sure all products were easy to reassemble.

Test ④: Weight

Test ④: Weight
We weighed each jar–dry and empty–on a scale. Lighter products received higher scores.

Test ⑤: Tightness (Is it spill-proof?)

Test ⑤: Tightness (Is it spill-proof?)
We filled each jar with a fixed amount of water. We capped them, flipped them on their sides, and shook each 100 times by hand.
A note: none of the products we tested spilled even a drop of water. The brands do recommend replacing the gasket every year, though. As long as you keep your food jar well-maintained, there shouldn’t be an issue.

Tips on How to Choose a Japanese Soup/Food Jar – Buying Guide

Here are three big things to look out for.

① Your Soup Should be Around 60℃ (140℉) after Six Hours

① Your Soup Should be Around 60℃ (140℉) after Six Hours
It’s said that soups are most delicious when they’re had about 25℃ above body temperature. So let’s say that you make yourself soup at 6 in the morning and your lunch is at around 12 noon. That means that you want a food jar that will keep your soup at around 60℃ (140℉) over the course of six hours.
Another thing to consider–bacteria thrive at temperatures between 20℃ and 50℃ (68℉ – 122℉). So, for simple food safety reasons, aim to get a soup jar that keeps warm foods at temperatures above 50℃ and cold foods at temperatures below 20℃.

② You Should be Able to Wash Every Nook and Cranny of the Jar

② You Should be Able to Wash Every Nook and Cranny of the Jar
Food and soup jars will have extra parts, like gaskets, that make the containers spill-proof. Of course, different products will have a different number and different types of parts, but you want a jar with a shape that 1) makes it hard for food and bacteria to get stuck and 2) is easy to wash.
To figure out how convenient a food jar is, the best thing you can do is take it in your hand and inspect it for nooks and crannies; if you can’t, however, then you’ll have to read reviews. Generally speaking, the more parts you can break a container into, the easier it’ll be to keep it clean. But more parts also means more to disassemble, wash, and then reassemble.
Most jars will have stainless steel interiors; some also feature ceramic coating, which helps food and grease slide off and prevents discoloration. These might offer less insulation than simple stainless steel, but they’re helpful if you eat foods that stain easily, like curry.

③ You Should be Able to Fit Everything You Want into the Jar

③ You Should be Able to Fit Everything You Want into the Jar
Finally, think about how much you want the jar to hold. Needs differ from person to person, but here are some rough guidelines if you want them.

  • Less than 300 ml: For kids or a small soup on the side

  • 310 – 400 ml: For adults with smaller appetites or a larger side dish

  • Greater than 410 ml: For adults who like to eat. Can hold main dishes like stew or porridge

Most soup jars on the market fall somewhere in between 250 and 500 ml. Unless you eat the same type of thing every day, you may want to get several sizes and mix and match.
A couple other things that often get overlooked: 1) whether the soup jar will fit your bag or lunchbox and 2) whether it’ll feel heavy when carried (especially on a shoulder).

Preheat and Precool your Food Jar for Even Better Results

Preheat and Precool your Food Jar for Even Better Results
If you “preheat” a jar, it’ll help keep the contents warm for longer. Before packing your lunch, pour just a bit of boiling water into the soup jar and wait for a minute. It’s a short extra step with noticeable results. And when you pack cold food, desserts, or drinks, be sure to “precool” the container with some ice cubes.
We also recommend pairing your soup jar with an insulated pouch. Finally, make sure whatever you put into the jar is either fresh off the burner and piping hot or fresh out of the fridge and freezing cold.

Summary

We rounded up members from our editing department, purchased the 10 most popular Japanese food and soup jars, and tested them all.
There actually wasn’t too much of a difference between soup jars around the same price and size. We did see that big, expensive names like Thermos performed better, and small jars were less insulating. Finding the right soup/food jar is all about sorting out your priorities and figuring out how much steaming hot soup is worth to you.
Original by Eisuke Kurashima; Translation by Jasmine Li

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