Discussions (202)

A couple weeks in; thoughts

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dklegman says:

Here's some of my thoughts on Mr. Bento after my second full week of use:

1. I usually pack the Mr. B. and then refrigerate it overnight. It doesn't seem to keep food hot as well as it keeps food cold, but properly packed it does either decently. Anyone else think it's better cold? Anything temperature-sensitive is going in the bottom two bowls; the others don't keep temperature well.

2. The bag's strap can sometimes be a little difficult for me to adjust; its parts are small and sometimes a little tricky to work. I'll probably go to an army surplus store and get a different shoulder strap. Style-minded people might adapt a guitar strap or make their own.

3. Speaking of army surplus stores, a camper-style knife/fork/spoon set is a good match with a Mr. B. I got one and keep it in the little loop where the chopstick case goes.

4. Because the instructions say it's not suitable for dairy, I was initially very wary about putting any dairy products in the Mr. B., but cheese seems OK in there as long as I refrigerate it in the packed Mr. Bento.

5. The topmost bowl in mine gets trail mix, dried fruit or similar snacks. It's very handy for this purpose, and the remaining three bowls are nicely sized for a lunch.

6. The bag's side pockets are good for napkins and packets, but not much else.

7. It's nice to have reusable containers for everything. Everything comes out of the can in the same condition it got put in.

8. I have not yet had spills from the soup bowl. The steam valve does its job well, even if the packed Mr. B. gets jostled or briefly put on its side.

I'm not buying fast food daily like I used to, so it's already paid for itself. I'm eating better food and paying more attention to lunch. The Mr. B. is tough enough to survive mildly bouncing in my jeep.

It's a good, un-mess-withable daily lunch bucket with some light-duty temperature holding ability, which is what I was originally looking for. I'm generally quite happy with it.
Originally posted at 10:10PM, 28 January 2006 PDT (permalink)
dklegman edited this topic ages ago.

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.ams says:

I got my Mr. Bento around the same time as you. My only complaint so far is that I really wish the thermos/jar itself had a handle or strap. I usually microwave some of my foods at work, and carrying Mr. Bento without his bag is not convenient.
ages ago (permalink)

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dklegman says:

There's a different one Zojirushi makes that has the strap directly on the jar. I thought about getting it, but decided that the bag was more versatile, and I saw a ton more customer feedback on the Mr. Bento version. This was what tipped me toward the Mr. Bento.

I like being able to toss utensils in the bag, and the bag does keep the Mr B from getting scuffed up.

I wouldn't want to carry it around without a bag. I don't think that'd go well for me. ;-)
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
dklegman edited this topic ages ago.

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_whitty_ says:

One thing I am really grateful for Mr. Bento getting me to bring my lunch everyday. I have only missed one day so far.

The only problem so far is a stinky soup bowl, but I think I just need to take out the rubber seal and the steam plug and it will be okay.
ages ago (permalink)

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dklegman says:

whitty, that should indeed do it. I brought spicy coconut ginger soup (with chili peppers in it!) with me a couple times and that took care of both.
ages ago (permalink)

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dklegman says:

Doht!

I typed too soon: I've realized that the seals themselves (particularly the soup bowl's lid ring) are amazing odor traps for some herb smells.

The soup bowl was persistently smelly today, even after taking the lid apart and hand-washing everything as part of the daily Mr. B. routine. Immersing the smelly parts in boiling water for a bit, then air drying seems to help this a bit. I was worried that the seals might discolor or warp under the heat, but they seem OK after a couple minutes in a boil.

Anybody have a favorite household remedy for smelly tupperware or similar that might be useful for this? Vinegar or baking soda, maybe?

Also, the shoulder strap on mine now has cracked plastic hardware; the buckle doesn't hold up well under daily use. I'm really not liking the strap it comes with, and as indicated above, I have a replacement in mind.
ages ago (permalink)

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ms.Tea says:

i recently recieved an email from the Zojirushi company, in regards to instructions in english.
In those instructions it mentions the smelly soup bowl phenomena. that the gasket and valve need to be removed and washed everytime you use it.

instructions
this is a pdf , so you'll need Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
ms.Tea edited this topic ages ago.

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dklegman says:

"...the gasket and valve need to be removed and washed everytime you use it."

That's what I've been doing since I started using my Mr. B; the first time I had lingering odors was after some potato salad went in there. The gasket still held some odors after being separately washed and airing out for a few hours.

I guess it depends on the food in the bowl.

A subsequent dunk in some vinegar and another air dry seems to have knocked out nearly all of the odor.

I got one with the English instructions, but that PDF will be a big help to people who didn't get them with their Mr. Bs. :-)
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
dklegman edited this topic ages ago.

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_whitty_ says:

Yeah, I washed the gasket and valve but still have stinkiness, so I guess I will have to turn to the tried and true vinegar. It is a very faint smell, but it is truly vial.
ages ago (permalink)

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nicoteena says:

Hi, I'm new to this forum. I bought my Mr. B recently so I haven't had the problem with a smelly soup bowl yet, but I saw an episode of Mythbusters that concluded that vodka is a good odor remedy...
Originally posted ages ago. (permalink)
nicoteena edited this topic ages ago.

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ms.Tea says:

totally unrelated to mr. Bento but Mythbusters rocks.
ages ago (permalink)

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sobodda says:

Yeah, I've heard you can even use vodka & water in a spray bottle as a Febreze substitute (but I guess the thriftiness of this will depend on your taste in vodka).

My only complaint so far is that I wish the soup bowl could be bigger, because I often eat soup as the main 'course'. I might try putting some in the large miscellaneous bowl since I keep it upright at all times.

It would be cool and lucrative if the company started selling mix and match containers!
ages ago (permalink)

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nicoteena says:

I was thinking the same thing, sobodda!
ages ago (permalink)

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