A HotLogic Portable Oven Review: The Best Way to Enjoy Hot Meals Anywhere

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My sweet friend, Brenda, first introduced me to the HotLogic self-heating portable oven. She told me how it provided hot, homemade meals for her family during long road trips. “So much better than fast food, and it saves us a lot of money,” she said.

I didn’t understand how this simple, insulated, zippered bag could be this miracle worker that she claimed until I tried it myself. Read on to learn what I discovered about this ingenious little tool.

image: women placing foil covered casserole dish in HotLogic portable oven

My First Roadtripping with the HotLogic

Our family was facing a marathon, 18-hour car ride from Houston to Phoenix. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to it but figured it was the ideal scenario to put my new HotLogic to the test.

I cooked up a batch of my homemade mac-and-cheese, bought a dozen tamales, and our favorite cheese enchiladas. I put the mac-and-cheese and enchiladas in glass containers like this and refrigerated them until our day of departure. Then, that morning, all three meals went into a cooler.

reheating homemade mac-n-cheese in a HotLogic
Reheating my homemade mac-n-cheese in the HotLogic
using our vehicle’s 12-volt power outlet.

About three hours into our road trip, I put the container of enchiladas in the HotLogic and plugged it into the vehicle’s power outlet. I had purchased the HotLogic with the regular wall plug, but you can choose the HotLogic version with the 12V power outlet found in almost all vehicles.

It was still mid-morning, and I figured we’d be ready to eat our favorite comfort food around lunchtime. Since the meal was already cooked, it only needed to be heated, and about three hours later, it was piping hot. The smell of melted cheese and red chili enchilada sauce inside our moving vehicle was more than tempting. We were ready to eat!

enchiladas and blue hotlogic
Enchiladas hot from my portable oven.

A Tasty Meal on Wheels

I packed paper bowls, napkins, and plastic utensils with the three prepared meals and brought along a large serving spoon. So, as we drove, I dished out large servings of enchiladas, passed them around, and you know what?

Brenda was right! There’s just something about eating a hearty, familiar meal on the road. Clean-up was easy, and a short time later, I popped the tamales into the HotLogic for our dinner.

So now, here I am telling you about the wonders of the HotLogic! I’m a total convert.

The Next Roadtrip Challenge: No Fast Food!

Again, just a couple of months ago, on yet another road trip, we packed the HotLogic again. This time I was determined not to stop at any fast food or sit-down restaurants and challenged myself to be super-creative with my meal planning.

Breakfast Tacos

I scrambled about a dozen eggs and put them in one of my glass containers the day before. Those went into the HotLogic shortly after our 5 a.m. departure so they would be hot and ready for breakfast.

I also baked a package of bacon by laying the slices on a baking sheet and putting it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes. That pre-cooked bacon was wrapped in foil and placed in portable oven next to the eggs.

I packed salsa and tortillas, and we were all set. About 150 miles down the road, we stopped and ate our fresh, hot breakfast tacos. So good!

Eating breakfast tacos served up fresh and hot from the HotLogic in the vehicle’s backhatch. Delish!

Hot dogs

I wanted another super quick meal, so I bought a package of hot dogs and hot dog buns. If I had planned ahead, I would have squirreled away packets of ketchup, mustard, and relish from fast food meals, but this time had to buy the smallest containers possible at the grocery store. The hot dogs went into another glass storage container, and this meal was easy, quick, and quite good.

Cheese enchiladas

For my family, I guess road-trip cheese enchiladas are now a tradition! The day before the trip, I layered our favorite red chili enchilada sauce with corn tortillas, grated Tillamook cheddar cheese, and a small amount of finely chopped onion, and that was another meal ready to heat and eat.

Spaghetti and meatballs

One more super simple meal was this one – cooked spaghetti noodles mixed with marinara sauce and added meatballs. I used frozen Kroger meatballs in this case, but homemade would have been even better.

My homemade chili

A few days before our trip, I made a double batch of chili and stored about half of it in one of my larger size glass containers. It heated up perfectly, as did all the other meals, but it was too liquid-y and some spilled even though the container had a lid. I might try canned chili, which is much thicker, or a different type of container in the future.

The Verdict on the HotLogic Functionality

These six simple, comforting meals were perfect.

The HotLogic heats up to 165 degrees Fahrenheit and then holds that temperature evenly for hours. No moisture is lost because you’ll use containers with lids, and food doesn’t overcook.

I used the HotLogic to heat up pre-cooked food, but it can be used just as easily to cook raw meat and chicken as well as most entrees. The HotLogic website advises users to avoid trying to cook raw potatoes, uncooked pasta, and uncooked rice.

Who is the HotLogic for?

My sister takes leftovers to work and heats them up in her HotLogic. I’ve heard from flight attendants that they get tired of airplane meals and bring their Mini HotLogics on flights. Truck drivers swear by their HotLogics, and there’s even a busy HotLogic Facebook group where you can see dozens and dozens of different types of meals.

College kids, weary of dining hall food, office workers, and anyone trying to eat healthier or stay on a diet – the HotLogic is your new best friend.

Use the HotLogic with Preparedness in Mind

During the summer, when you’d love not to use your oven or hover over a hot stove, just start a HotLogic meal in the morning, and it’s ready when you and your family want a meal. Finally, it’s perfect for entertaining and potlucks – hot, cheesy dips, cocktail meatballs, “covered dish” potlucks- the perfect small appliance.

In case of a power outage or an emergency evacuation, grab that HotLogic and a few freeze-dried meals like these from Thrive Life, and you’ll be set! You can plug that little cooker anywhere, and if you have something like a Goal Zero or Jackery inverter, you can cook a meal no matter where you happen to be.

If you’re living in your car, it could lift your spirits with the occasional hot meal.

thrivelife southwestern style chicken cooked in portable oven
Thrive Life Southwestern Style Chicken cooked in my portable oven.

I cooked a Thrive Life meal, Southwestern Style Chicken, in my HotLogic, and it took a little over two hours to cook.

Place the ingredients into the glass container with the lid, zip up the HotLogic and plug it in. So simple!

But how does it clean up?

Clean-up is easy, and since the HotLogic comes in two sizes, you can get the one that’s right for you and that you’ll use most often. I have one Mini HotLogic and one Max/Family size that holds a 9×13 pan. They’re both handy and versatile.

Final Thoughts on this Amazing Portable Oven

Have I sold you on HotLogic? It was dishing out that first meal of macaroni-and-cheese while we were driving and realizing we didn’t have to have McDonald’s or Taco Bell that opened my eyes. And we saved time by not having to stop for restaurant meals. It’s also occurred to me it might be a useful appliance in the event of a shelter-in-place campus emergency. What do you think?

No matter how you decide to use your HotLogic, you’ll fall in love with it, too!

Do you have a story about using your HotLogic? Share it in the comments!

7 thoughts on “A HotLogic Portable Oven Review: The Best Way to Enjoy Hot Meals Anywhere”

  1. We have a large family (6 kids still at home) and drive from Wisconsin to Arizona at least once a year. A few years ago we discovered the HotLogic (I think I just googled ‘car oven’) and it has been a game changer! We usually eat our meals while driving to save time – it’s a LONG drive – and this little gadget allows us to have more than just sandwiches. Our favorite HotLogic meals are “walking tacos” and Buffalo chicken sliders. Like you, I precook the food and put it in the cooler so we are just warming it up. Saves us a lot of time and money!

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’m glad you agree with me!! It’s hard to put into words just how much better it is to eat a homemade meal on the road instead of fast food.

    1. The Survival Mom

      I’m not sure. Lentils are very small and require less cooking time than larger beans, but you would have to give it a try. I looked online and didn’t see anything specific for the HotLogic and lentils.

  2. I bought two mini HotLogic ovens – one for my husband and one for me as I eat carb-less. Our first trip with them was to a motocross weekend where we slept in the car with the seats down. We had hot, fresh breakfast scrambles and then hot dogs with sides for lunch. Dinner was spaghetti (on butternut squash for me). My husband was raving to all of the campers around us.

  3. I was given a Hot Logic as a gift. I loved it so much that I have one to my sister. She is crazy about hers too. I’ve found a couple more at garage sales. I give those as gifts!!
    I use mine warm food. You can cook in them too. I bought a converter to use while driving. There is a group on Facebook that is great as well! Hot Logic Mini – Plant Based Vegan.
    I can’t say enough about how much I LOVE mine!

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