Discussions (202)

Do You Microwave?

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hannahbearsmom says:

I brought Mr. Bento to work with me for the first time yesterday, I have a microwave at work, so I pack my lunch the evening before and pop it into the fridge. In the morning, I grab a cold Mr. Bento as I head out the door. When I'm ready for lunch, I microwave the things that need to be heated. After 2 days, I've already noticed that my turkey chili has stained the soup bowl. I'm hoping that the bowl hasn't "blistered" from the heat. If the bowl has blistered, I'll be very disappointed as the bowl was in the microwave for less than 2-1/2 minutes.

So, what does everyone else do? Do you reheat in your Mr. Bento bowls? I don't mind a little discoloration, if I can pack my lunch the night before. But, I don't want to melt the bowls, especially with my lunch in them!

Laurie (I'll post a photo of my first lunch soon)
12:54PM, 26 September 2006 PDT (permalink)

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serene_d says:

I microwave too, but I try to avoid heating anything liquid with reddish or orange colors (ie. spaghetti sauce, tomato soup) out of fear of staining. I think it's the nature of the porous plastic, and not blistering, that is causing the discolorations.

Then again, it's just a theory. I may be totally full of it :)
ages ago (permalink)

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.ams says:

I microwave daily. I've never seen any blistering and have given up worrying about stains. Meh: it's a food container! It's gonna get stained eventually.

My one caution is not to microwave the lids, and to be careful if you put the lid back on after microwaving -- I've done this after warming up my food and then repacking Mr. Bento to take him on a picnic. Sometimes post-microwave, the lids can get warped or stuck on.
ages ago (permalink)

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melmcwey says:

I don't microwave the bowls for fear of staining them so i heat everything up on a plate.
ages ago (permalink)

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Jerich01 says:

To avoid the stains wipe down the bowl with a little oil prior to filling... Old cook/tupperware trick...
ages ago (permalink)

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kusine says:

I microwave at work sometimes and I microwave before I go to work sometimes. Totally depends on how I feel, the food, whatever.

I've also gotten over staining the bowl. I just don't care. YMMV.

I've figured out a good way to keep warm stuff warm and cold stuff cold if I decide to warm it before I go to work (I usually make my lunch the night before and fridge it).

First, I don't put the outer container in the fridge, just the bowls.

Second, I try to make sure that I put the stuff that should be warm in the bottom two bowls (sometimes this works out, sometimes it doesn't. It works best if it does).

Third, after I microwave and put the lids back on, I get a piece of aluminium foil that's as long as it is wide (about a foot square) and fold it into quarters (so it's about square). Put the foil on top of the bottom two hot containers and then put the top two on. You should have a nice, relatively tight seal.

At lunch, you should have a nice, half warm, half not lunch!

Note: don't fill the outer container with water or you defeat the whole effort. :-)

Good luck.
ages ago (permalink)

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hannahbearsmom says:

I really don't care about the staining, I'm more concerned about blistering/melting. When I washed the soup bowl last night, I noticed that the uppermost part of the bowl (not the rim, rather the uppermost 1/8-1/4 inch just below the rim) now has a slightly blistered ring. The staining (which I don't care about) is a tad darker and the texture is a little bumpy.

To avoid melting the bowl, I guess I'll have to warm my soup/chili a little less than I normally like it.

Laurie
ages ago (permalink)

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Jerich01 says:

Are you warming with the lid on or the bowl covered? If so that may be the issue - the lids are not microwave-proof; especially the soup lid.
ages ago (permalink)

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hannahbearsmom says:

Nope, lids are off for warming. My guess is that the fat in the chili (low fat, but there's still some in there) gets hotter than the rest of the chili and has "scalded" the bowl.

I like my soups VERY hot, but I'm heating for a shorter period of time now. I don't want to melt the bowl.
ages ago (permalink)

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Biggie* says:

My microwaveable bento boxes all come with warnings about nuking oily or greasy foods -- says this causes blistering of the container as the fat gets much hotter than the rest of the food. So if I'm going to nuke something fatty, I line the container with Press & Seal first. Did this with the thermal lunch jar last week with some brisket -- no problems (and I've ruined a number of tupperware containers already before figuring this out).
ages ago (permalink)

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Caryn_O says:

We microwave ours too, my bf has been using his daily for more than 1 a year and so far it seems fine. However, when I make food that has high tendency to stain e.g. curries, soups, like Iamascus, I'll line the container with plastic wrap 2x, it helps I think.
ages ago (permalink)

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hannahbearsmom says:

I don't want to ruin my containers, but personally I'd rather not heat in soft plastics like press & seal or saran wrap. Soft plastics leach carcinogens into the foods. I guess I'll just heat a little less, stir more to distribute the fat better, or heat in a seperate bowl.
ages ago (permalink)

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ginalamb says:

What about parchment paper? Has anyone tried that?
ages ago (permalink)

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Robyn the slug says:

I microwave in separate dishes and then pour it into the containers. I've not had a problem with blistering, sticking, melting etc.
ages ago (permalink)

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