Everybody likes to eat and there’s more things to eat and ways to eat them than could ever be discussed. But when you’re taking about frozen foods or keeping foods warm, there aren’t too many options — ovens and microwaves obviously coming to mind. But let’s say you’re looking for a simpler way to cook a frozen meal like a TV dinner or you got something already cooked and now in a casserole dish that you want to keep warm for later or to take with you to work and have for lunch — then the answer is going to be HotLogic and their Family Size Portable Oven or the HotLogic Mini Personal Portable Oven.
Now since both of the above work in the same way, let’s get their differences out of the way: the Family is big enough for a large casserole dish or a Family-sized TV dinner — it’s large in other words. The Mini is smaller, a lot smaller but easily holds a TV dinner or a similarly sized Pyrex container or glass or plastic container. So cardboard or glass or plastic isn’t an issue since the heating doesn’t exceed 112 degrees F. That goes for both.
These portable “conduction ovens” don’t have controls or buttons or any gizmo to twist, turn or press. There’s a power cord that comes out from the back and which plugs into a standard AC outlet (and yes you could use it in a car with a proper adapter — not provided). Let’s do a TV dinner — it’s in a plastic tray insider a cardboard box that you take out of the freezer. You unzip the HotLogic and place the TV dinner tray onto the heating element that lies at the bottom. Zip it back up, plug it in and now it’s just the waiting game. You could leave it there for hours, but if you’re hungry enough, an hour or two should be more than enough. You unzip and take your food out and there you are: no fuss, no cleaning muss and all you have to do is pull. out the plug.
The beauty of HotLogic is that the low-slow conduction heating method (useful for reheating food as well as cooking it) doesn’t over cook, burn or cause the food to dry out. Because bad tasting food is kinda contrary to the whole idea of getting it ready to eat in the first place. Glass, plastic (Tupperware), metal and paper are all fair game and having a rigid bottom to the container and a nicely secured lid is pretty much all you need to be on the lookout for. That you’re saving $$ by using this instead of your gas/electric oven or microwave is just icing on the cake, as it were (since icing on TV dinner or a casserole really doesn’t sound appealing).
Both the Family and the Mini are of course insulated to keep the food warm every when the plug is pulled out, and a convenient built-in carry strap/handle gives you a way to carry it about. Should you choose, the heating element can be removed and so used as a heating plate too.