Washable food jar?
January 12, 2007 10:01 AM   Subscribe

We have this food jar, and we hate it. The lid must be pried apart for cleaning, and it isn't easy to do. We want a soup-safe, insulated food jar we can just pop in the dishwasher for cleaning, but this seems to be an impossible dream. Any recommendations?
posted by frykitty to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
There is this Nissan jar on Amazon. It received bad reviews as a coffee mug but seems suitable as a food jar. I haven't used it. Picture of it here. Might be worth at try at $14.50 from Amazon.
posted by exogenous at 10:10 AM on January 12, 2007

It's been my experience that with things like these thermoses, the bottom part can be popped in the dishwasher, but due to the heat of the hot water, the o-rings that seal them shut are too fragile for the dishwasher and must be handcleaned, or else they'll start leaking.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:18 AM on January 12, 2007

Zojirushi Mr. Bento.
posted by chrisroberts at 10:20 AM on January 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

I have this one and I use it for my son's school lunch and put it in the dishwasher. Not sure what the problem is. The dishwasher gets both parts very clean and nothing has broken on it in there. I just put them both on the top rack.
posted by Thrillhouse at 10:49 AM on January 12, 2007

Mr. Bento looks cool but not exactly what frykitty wants. From one of the customer reviews:

"You're not supposed to put the pieces in the dishwasher, nor put any food directly into the outer container."
posted by vetiver at 11:47 AM on January 12, 2007

It's not about the o-ring, it's about the vacuum chamber.

If by "insulated", you mean "is insulated via a vacuum chamber", you're not going to find any jar/bottle that "permits" this, because the heat of modern dishwashers is eventually (how soon? why? I'm not sure) going to cause that chamber to breach.

However, people do tend to buy devices like this and wash them in dishwashers on the "low heat" or "no heat" settings in dishwashers, with various results. Also, it seems that some people, like Thrillhouse, get away with washing them in the dishwasher regularly. YMMV.
posted by jcwagner at 12:34 PM on January 12, 2007

Thrillhouse: shake the top some time. Maybe yours stayed intact, but ours got water inside instantly.
posted by frykitty at 12:40 PM on January 12, 2007

I agree with you wholeheartedly, frykitty. Why Nissan, with the technology it has pioneered and patented, I believe, of producing steel vacuum bottles entirely within an evacuated chamber so that the need for an evacuation tube is eliminated, has not exerted itself to produce a threaded, vacuum insulated stainless steel lid designed to screw into a threaded, vacuum insulated, wide mouth jar, so that it can be sealed with a simple, removable, flat silicone ring, is anyone's guess-- lack of competiton, perhaps.

Such a design would be far more efficient and beautiful, and I would happily pay two or three times more for it than they are asking for the one you link, which as you point out, is almost impossible to sanitize or even clean effectively.

What you say about vacuum chambers is true of the old style steel vacuum bottles, jcwagner; if you were to take apart an old Stanley or Thermos, for example, you would find a copper evacuation tube (to which a vacuum pump was attached in production) soldered to the bottom of the vacuum bottle, but that tube would not be soldered shut. The ones I have looked at are pinched shut and the whole area is thickly covered by wax. I'm sure it would take only a few runs through the dishwasher to melt the wax and breach the vacuum.

If you were to disassemble the Nissan frykitty linked, on the other hand, which can easily and reversibly be done by holding it under boiling water for a minute or so with a wooden spoon, and then, wearing a heavy pair of dishwashing gloves, simply wrenching off the plastic parts, you would find an all stainless, smooth, integral vacuum bottle able to stand any number of trips through a dishwasher (unless they've changed their process since the last time I did this a couple of years ago).
posted by jamjam at 1:37 PM on January 12, 2007

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