different colured tiffin lunch boxes

Best Tiffin Food Carrier For Everyday Use

Tiffin food carriers or tiffin boxes as they are more traditionally known, are a safe and efficient way of carrying and transporting hot food stuffs, whether that is a freshly prepared school lunch or an evening meal post a gym workout.

Check out our winner below and then read further about our top 5 tiffin boxes.

WINNER

RUNNER-UP

ONE TO AVOID!

pyramid-3-tier-tiffin
Stainless Steel Insulated Lunch Box
Stainless Steel Bento Lunch Box

Indian Tiffin

Utopia Tableware

Forest Dream

680g
480g
349g
££
££
££

Traditional Tiffin

Insulated Lunch Tiffin

Bento Lunch Box

With tiffin boxes, you primarily have two options:

  • Traditional stainless steel tiffin box
  • Plastic tiffin box with stainless steel inner

Seeing the word ‘plastic’ might initially scare off mums concerned about food touching the maligned material. However, this is not the case. The hot lunch tiffin box is made of food grade plastic with the inner being made of stainless steel. The materials used are non-toxic and carry no taste.

Our awesome guide gives our recommendations of the 5 best tiffin food carriers available on the market. As you’ll see, our favourite ones are the stainless steel tiffin boxes (much like when we preferred stainless steel spice boxes), but some plastic ones are actually better for keeping in the flavours and aromas.

1. Pyramid Tiffin (3 Tier) by Indian Tiffin

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This Pyramid Indian Tiffin has three sections of differing sizes and an extra strong closing mechanism.

The top two compartments are a little on the small side if you want to put bulkier foodstuffs like Nan bread in them. It’s best to cut the bread down to size!

  • Pyramid style stacking system for ease of storage
  • Dishwasher and freezer safe
  • Strong locking mechanism – prevent leakage

The height of the tins are 5.5cm, 6cm and 6.5cm, so there’s plenty of head height. Some criticisms are that the clamps can be a little hard to adjust, so make sure your fingers are dry when using the clamps.

2. Steel Tiffin (3 Tier) by Utopia Tableware

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This strong but stylish tiffin tin is sturdy and traditional. Great for adults and children alike. Furthermore, it is suitable for picnics and gatherings with family and friends.

We’re not massive fans of the fingers shaped carrying handle. It can get a little painful if carrying it on long journeys.

  • Stackable food compartments
  • Features a secure carrying handle
  • Stainless steel construction

3. Thermal Lunch Box (2 Tier) by Decdeal

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This lunch box is compact, solid and sturdy. It has a really nice arched handle for ease of carrying. With two compartments, it has excellent insulation performance.

A recent update means that the food should be kept better. It did have initial complaints that it wasn’t doing a great job, but the heat retention capability has improved according to our customers.

  • Even though it is only 2 compartments, it has a 1080ml capacity
  • Stainless steel, durable and claims to be rust-proof
  • Small hidden cup at the tope between the handles – storage for extra chillies or herbs

4. Stackable (3 Tier) with Bag by Sumuya

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Comes with three large round bowls with each bowl having a capacity of 0.7 litres. Also comes with an adjustable shoulder strap to help with carrying the tiffin box.

Be careful not to overfill as it does tend to leak a little bit of you’re a bit overzealous with your sauces. Don’t fill too much and you’ll be fine.

  • Multipurpose – can be used to store cold food items as well as hot
  • Has durable clips with block buttons on each side of each compartment
  • Comes with a shoulder strap

5. The Square Bento Box by Monbento

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This really cool looking bento box is also a tiffin box in our eyes. It can fit big meals into the compartments and the 100% leak proof guarantee means you can put your soups, curries or gravy in once compartment and breads or fruits in the other and there is no chance of leakage according to the manufacturer. A bold claim!

It is priced at the higher end of the spectrum, but makes a really cool gift for someone that likes to prepare their hot meals at home.

  • Really nice design to fit into your bag or worktop
  • 100% airtight thanks to its internal lid
  • The lunch box is BPA free

Important Features of Tiffin Lunch Boxes

blue thermal lunch boxes

Another feature that you need to look out for is leakage.

We’ve gone through quite a few lunch boxes where even the lightest of commuter jostling has ensued curries and gravy leaking onto laptops and notebooks. This isn’t normally the best start to a Monday morning in the office.

Check that the lid has a really good fastening design and the lid does actually close properly with no hot air escaping.

A final point is the handle. There is really no need to have a handle design that is too unconventional.

A curved or arched handle which is convenient to carry is a basic design principle that doesn’t require innovation. We’ve seen some grill shaped handles or rectangular handles which just aren’t comfortable!

Which is better - stainless steel lunch box or a plastic one?

purple plastic lunch boxes

Firstly, it’s quite obvious that a product made out of purely stainless steel will last a lot longer than other lunch boxes made out of less durable material.

They won’t stain, are much easier to clean and will not wear out as quickly as other materials.

Stainless steel lunch boxes are also completely free of BPA and other toxins that are sometimes found in plastic based materials.

Let’s not forget that steel is timeless and the clean finish means that it is not susceptible to stylistic preferences over time i.e. it won’t go out of fashion.

tortilla press used to make chapatis

Best Tortilla Press or Chapati Press (2019 Update)

A Tortilla Press is a quick and efficient way to make rotis, puris, chapatis or tortillas.

We were recently asked about these presses in one of our Indian cooking classes, so we purchased a couple to see if they were any good.

This post lays out the results of our experiment.

Why use a press? Well, using a roller pin can start to be stressful on the wrist joints – especially if you have to make loads for some hungry kids!

We give our favourite three before digging in further. Despite the name, tortilla presses can be used to press chapati and other Indian breads as well.

Victoria

Norpro

World Of Flavours

victoria cast iron tortilla press
norpro tortilla press
World Of Flavours Mexican Tortilla Press

Material

Cast Iron

Cast Aluminum

Aluminum

Weight

3.4kg
0.68kg
0.3kg

Rating

Price

£££
££
££

Delivery

1 month

2 weeks

Next Day

While the three above are our favourites, we explore and give our opinion on five tortilla presses that are available to create that perfect roti, chapati, tortilla or any other flatbread of your choice!

Our favourite one is produced by Victoria, which has a very traditional cast ironlook and comes with good reviews from other users.

Very much like when we preferred stainless steel spice boxes, other materials are available but they tend to be lighter and not as durable.

You can make chapatis in three ways:

  • Using a traditional datta press
  • Using a pin roller to roll out the chapati
  • Using a modern press to squash the dough balls into flat bread

The first one takes some skill, so we’ll just leave that one as we’ll assume you’re not an old grandmother from a remote village in India!

How to make Chapatis the traditional way

With a roti press, all you do is make the dough as normal and then roll it into balls as normal.

You then use a traditional pin roller to roll out the dough balls into thin flat bread, using a rolling motion with your wrists to get the desired shape and thickness.

You then use a traditional pin roller to roll out the dough balls into thin flat bread, using a rolling motion with your wrists to get the desired shape and thickness.

Standard pin rollers can be purchased through your local grocery or supermarket.

Once rolled out and thinned, you toss it straight onto a heated skillet and use a kitchen utensil to toss over the chapati every few seconds. Alternatively, if you’re making puris, you can shallow fry them.

How to make Chapatis using a Press

torilla press on the kitchen tableInstead of using a roller pin to flatten the dough ball, you use a press (pictured to the right).

The better ones are made out of cast iron, in our opinion.

Firstly, you use the weight of the device to flatten the dough ball into perfectly symmetrical rotis or chapatis. The flatbread is then ready to be placed on a pre-heated griddle. Easy peasy!

While the items listed in the table earlier are our favourite three presses, we discuss a further two in total below which can act as an alternative if your budget allows.

1. Cast Iron Tortilla Press by Victoria

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The reason this wasn’t originally in our top three was because of the price. Coming in at just under £25, we felt this is too expensive for a simple press.

However, after feedback and comments from users, we feel that it definitely is worth the money! We do know it’s popular in the USA and it does have a ‘Made in Colombia’ engraving which gives it authenticity.

It does look good and has a heavy feel to it. The size is also decent at 8 inches, meaning it’ll do reasonably sized chapatis too.

  • Heavy, solid build at 3.04kg
  • Authentic item – originally made in Colombia
  • Comes pre-seasoned – ready to use.

CONS: Some have complained that the hinge is quite loose and doesn’t tighten as much as it should. Others have complained that it is too heavy to use, but what do you expect for an item that weighs in at 3.04kg!

Measuring 6 inches wide, this is small to medium press. If you are wanting to create larger size flatbread, then it’s better to purchase the Mexican Press by Bayless.

We would recommend this for people who are beginners when it comes to making flatbread as it’s very light and easy to use. This benefit can also act against the item if you apply too much pressure.

  • Made of aluminium
  • At 579 grams, it’s quite light
  • Comes with clear instructions

CONS: Despite this being a decent and lightweight press, it is a bit on the small side, so be warned. Also, some have complained that bits of the aluminium coating comes off after initial use, so it’s best to check if it’s a defective item before using it.

3. Tortilla Press by World of Flavours

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This is a larger chapati press at 10 inches in diameter. The press has an evenly distrubuted feel to it and has a fairly heavy solid plate for pressing into shape. The item measures measures at 20cm x 25cm (8” x 10”)

This one is the lighter of the three presses we’ve talked about and it is for this reason, it sits in our top three.

  • Super lightweight at only 299 grams
  • Not dishwasher safe. Hand wash only
  • Comes with a tortilla recipe guide

CONS: Some have complained that the base of the press bends if you press too hard, but you have to remember that this is a light item. If you do use a lot of force, it’s better to go for a heaver cast iron press.

4. The Mexican Kitchen by Rick Bayless

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This cast iron tortilla press is a pre-seasoned, medium size press (at just under 8 inches) and comes in a traditional cast iron black colour.

This one was our favourite but it tends to be out of stock a lot of the times. As long as you follow the instructions which tell you to rotate the handle as you press it, you should get a decent sized chapati or roti.

  • It comes pre-seasoned meaning it’s ready to use.
  • It is dishwasher safe
  • 2.72 Kg – means it’s a little bit heavy, but this isn’t a bad thing

CONS: The press uses a screw and nut pin, which is easy to assemble in our opinion, but there have been some complaints saying it falls out. Some also say that you need to apply extra pressure, but we believe the rotating action takes a little getting used to.

OK, this isn’t the best one available on the market, but it is one of the cheapest ones.

So if you’re enot really wanting to make a massive go of it, then this is a good option to uses once in a while. Priced at less than £10, it could also make a nice gift for someone interested in making tortillas or chapatis.

It is also a bit on the small side, measuring 6 inches in diameter.

  • Cheapest tortilla press available
  • Aluminium coating
  • Reasonably light at 626 grams

CONS: It is shiny, but does feel cheap and… it is cheap! Be careful not to put too much pressure on the handle as it risks bending the base.

 

Important Features of Chapati Presses

two tortilla presses side by side

A lot of the complaints tend to arise due to sizing issues.

It’s imperative that your order the chapati press at the right size.

For example, the two on the left are at 8 inches and 6.5 inches respectively.

Whilst the one at 8 inches is fine for larger chapatis, rotis and parathas, the one on the right at 6.5 inches is more suitable for puris and samosa pastry.

Very much like when we were discussing tiffin lunch boxes, an important feature is the handle. If you are someone who has a heavy and strong grip, then go for a cast iron chapati press. If you’ve got a softer touch and want a lighter item, then opt for an aluminium built one.

Which is better – cast iron or aluminium?

We’ve just touched on it in the last paragraph, but for us, we much prefer the cast iron tortilla or chapati press. It’s built better, will last a long time and looks the part!

Whichever one you choose, let us know by leaving comments or feedback below.