Mr Bento Routine

nicoteena 3:27am, 23 March 2006
Do you prepare lunch in the morning or the night before?

I generally don't have much time in the morning before work, so I don't pack lunch. For some reason, I am wary of refrigerating Mr B's innards over night. Do a lot of people do this? For those of you who do, have you had trouble with staining or smells?

I don't enjoy eating food that smells like old-something-else...
.ams PRO 12 years ago
I pack the night before, usually. Mr. Bento sleeps in the fridge.
nicoteena Posted 12 years ago. Edited by nicoteena (member) 12 years ago
Do you put the inner containers into the outer container and then into the fridge or do you just put the inner containers in the fridge by themselves?
.ams PRO 12 years ago
I pack it all up -- containers in Mr. Bento, Mr. Bento in his bag, all waiting in the fridge. Makes it easier for me to grab and go in the morning.
laughable home [deleted] 12 years ago
I do it in the morning before work, he really does keep your food hot all day. That way I don't have to deal with the stupid microwaves at work. I just open the bento and pull out my lunch and have a "relaxing lunch" at my desk. Wait... relaxing lunch at work? Isn't there some inherent flaw with that concept?
kusine 12 years ago
If I have just a small amount of leftovers that I know I'll be taking, I'll often just pop them straight into a Mr. Bento bowl the night before. Or if I know I'll be in a hurry the next morning, I'll pack up everything the night before (I've not had a problem with that causing staining or smelliness).

Most of the time, though, I just pack him in the morning. It usually doesn't take me longer than 15 minutes (20 if I'm packing the husband-creature's lunch, too). Of course, it takes longer if it's the end of the week and I need to go to the market, or if I haven't been cooking much. But still, it doesn't take much time.
nicoteena 12 years ago
Does a lot of planning go into making lunch? Sometimes I find myself just preparing a larger dinner so I can have leftovers for Mr B.

I've also seen a lot of cookbooks out for bento boxes. Has anybody tried those?
laughable home [deleted] 12 years ago
I have one of the bento cookbooks... the only thing is it uses alot of Japanese items and I don't think there is a good japanese market anywhere nearby and I don't really know what I could use as equivalents, the food looks really good though.
kusine 12 years ago
Re: Planning
I'm a big "on the weekend" cook for lunch things, like turnovers, dumplings, and the like. Plus, I only cook for two but learned to cook for nine, so I almost always have plenty of leftovers that can be used (I've gotten a lot better lately, though!).

I plan out my lunches less than I plan out my dinners (all on a little chart on the fridge, planned out before I do the weekly shopping), but I still take them into account when I'm purchasing, especially veggies. I like self-contained things that fit well in a bento (wax beans, sugar snap peas, baby carrots, radishes, etc.). Plus, I like lots of colors in my bentos, so I try to go for that, too.
kusine 12 years ago
Re: bento box cookbooks

I've gotten out several at my library, but I wasn't very impressed by them. The pictures are nice, though, and they gave me some ideas. If you're looking for lunch ideas, regular cookbooks might be a better bet - my library has tons of ones especially for lunches, even.
cat.rigby 12 years ago
When I do it I just save leftovesr from dinner. Then I nuke at home and pack it up before I go.
ms.Tea PRO 12 years ago
i tend to pack the Mr. the night before and the day of. the night before if i have some yummy leftovers, and then if i have any empty containers left in the morning i fill those.
sobodda PRO 12 years ago
Mine usually goes in the fridge or is prepared from ingredients in the fridge. No problems with staining yet. I have never microwaved the containers, so this might be why.
traductora 12 years ago
tomorrow is my mr bento's maiden voyage. i'm really hoping it can keep my honeydew chilled and my saag paneer warm. gonna nuke the saag in the morning, though probably in something else due to my aversion to microwaving plastic and drop it all in mr bento. i'm also leaving the mr bento shell out overnight because i'm afraid that if it sits in the fridge it'll get too cold and make the hot things cool down.

any thoughts on this? heat/cold retention hints?
dklegman Posted 12 years ago. Edited by dklegman (member) 12 years ago
I've found that it can stay cool, or stay warm, but not both. The little bowls inside aren't insulated enough between one another, so anything chilled turns warm.

(edit: If anybody figures out how to do this, I'd like to know. :) )

I don't like microwaving plastic either; I do all my bento-bound reheating in a separate bowl. I think sobodda is right about microwaving and staining; I've avoided nuking mine, and haven't had any staining at all.
cat.rigby 12 years ago
I agree -- all cold or all hot. Can't do hot and cold together.

Sometimes when I'm taking things in both Mr and Ms Bento for me and kid, I'll keep the hots in Mr and the cool in Ms.
traductora 12 years ago
oooh. i misunderstood and thought mr bento defied physics by keeping some things hot and others cool, which is why i bought him. drat. i don't mind room-temp food, but i guess that puts a damper on soup unless i can find a microwave on campus. thanks for the info, guys.
nicoteena 12 years ago
lol! For a moment I thought you were being sarcastic. Some people keep their cold things separate, though that just means more things to carry.
traductora 12 years ago
no, not sarcastic, i promise! just trying to work out the ways of the bentosan and genuinely appreciative of help in doing so!
cecilnhou2 12 years ago
Yes, And I was interested in how your maiden voyage went. I have access to both a fridge and a micro but I bought the MR to mainly keep things warm....
Robyn the slug 12 years ago
I can keep my soup warm at the bottom but the cold fruit on top will be room temperature by the time I eat which is fine with me.
I fill the jar with warm water while I heat up the hot stuff (always in the bottom 2 containers). Then the coolest thing goes on the top outside of the insulation (which is in the top of the rice container.)
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