Few work environments allow us to enjoy food of a similar quality to what we’d eat at home. Even if you have some particularly delicious leftovers packed, zapping them in the microwave is definitely going to reduce their quality, usually yielding parched, uneven meals. No wonder so many of us gaze into our sad little lunchboxes, toss them aside, and order takeout instead.

Heatbox, a new self-heating rechargeable lunchbox

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A new product called the Heatbox aims to appeal to people who want the health and savings of a home-cooked meal on the go without bringing a microwave into the equation. Even people who work out in the field, far away from office kitchens and power outlets, can enjoy hot meals within minutes.

The Heatbox is a self-heating rechargeable lunchbox that uses steam to reheat food within eight minutes, no matter where you might be. More compact than the average lunch cooler, it features an outer container and a removable inner food container. You just pour a little water into the “moat” between the two, press a button, and wait eight to twelve minutes for it to warm up. You get up to three uses per charge, and as a bonus, you can also use it to charge your phone.

A diagram outlining all the components that go into the self-heating Heatbox

The minds behind the Heatbox add that “unlike the alternatives, Heatbox truly makes you independent when it comes to eating. No more hassle, limitations, or expensive/unhealthy takeout. Finally take control of what you eat, where you eat, and when you eat.”

Man uses his smartphone to heat up the food inside his Heatbox

The ability to heat up your meal anytime, anywhere is definitely appealing, and its use extends far beyond work lunches. You could take it on picnics, road trips, and hikes, or even bring it to sporting events. Of course, the design also lends itself to being used in less-than-desirable places, like on public transit and inside other confined areas. It also makes us wonder whether or not it would just encourage the same co-workers who normally microwave offensive-smelling lunches to do so at their desks instead.

For now, it seems like you’ll still want to stick it in the fridge at work or keep it in a larger insulated bag if you need to keep certain ingredients from spoiling. An accompanying app gives you a little control over the temperature, allowing you to add extra time if you like your food hotter than average.

Enjoy hot meals straight from your Heatbox

If you’re eyeing that wooden lid wondering whether the whole thing would just empty its contents into your bag on your commute, don’t worry: the company says it’s spill-proof, and includes an optional “cooling sleeve” to provide extra protection just in case. On Kickstarter, where the Heatbox is currently crowdfunding, a video shows the double-sealing mechanism put to “the most scary test known to lunchboxes… SOUP!”

The project has already well surpassed its initial funding goal, but rewards are still available for pledges of 129 or more (about $143 USD), so act quickly!