Monbento MB Square Bento Box
What can you make in an air fryer? Plenty.
Bento-style lunchboxes are compartmentalized containers inspired by the Japanese bento, a single‑serving, portable, boxed meal that, according to some sources, dates back to the 12th century. In Japan, traditional bento boxes commonly contained rice, pickled vegetables, and fish or meat, but today they often include a wide variety of foods—sometimes shaped and arranged to resemble cartoon characters, flowers, animals, or other objects.
But no matter the composition of your meal, a multicompartment, fairly compact container can be convenient. To find out which bento-style lunchbox is best, we selected six widely available models ranging in size, priced from $14.99 to $40.99. Four had individual containers that stacked vertically; three of these were held together with an elastic band, while one had latches. The other two models were essentially large containers with dividers inside and either a simple lift-off lid or latches that snapped shut. We included lunchboxes made of both metal and plastic, and because we wanted a product that anyone could use, we excluded those designed specifically for kids.
Monbento MB Square Betno Box
WINNER - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Our winner had the largest capacity in the lineup, with two 4-ounce containers that could be used together or separately—the latter option allowing us to pack different foods or prep two meals at once. Both containers were more than 2 inches deep, so it was easy to stir in and eat from them without spilling. The airtight lids sometimes required a bit of strength to remove, but we didn't mind because it was the only container that never leaked. This plastic model retained a barely noticeable sardine smell after one wash, but that faded after a second wash. This model is available in a variety of colors.
REVIEWED IN MAY 2019
We maintain strict objectivity in all testing.*
EASE OF USE ★★ 1/2
KEY: GOOD ★★★ FAIR ★★ POOR ★
Capacity: 8 Cups
Dimensions: 5.5 × 5.5 × 5.5 in
Material: Food Grade PP & Silicone
Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Microwave Safe: Yes
Freezer Safe: Yes
Food Grade & BPA-Free
Set Composition: 1 lid, 2 containers, 1 food cup, 2 intermediary lids, 2 caps + seals, 2 seals, and 2 elastic bands.
Item Number: ATKMB
Item Weight: 1.18 pounds
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Generous 8-cup capacity
Roughly 2-inch-deep container walls
Versatile configuration with compartments that can be used together or individually
Durable and easy to clean
* OBJECTIVITY FIRST, LAST, AND ALWAYS.
America’s Test Kitchen does not accept advertising and conducts equipment tests without the knowledge of product manufacturers. Exclusive equipment offers are sourced only after the test results have been published in our magazines and on our websites.
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