For most of us, eating out while traveling is part of the experience. But there are some who, for one reason or another, find it difficult to not be in control of what they eat. Food allergies and intolerance, religious restrictions or just wanting to eat quality food are some of the reasons travelers seek alternatives to dining out.
This is especially difficult for the one bag traveler who doesn’t want to take a lot of extra equipment. I am one of those people.
I was looking for a way to be able to cook my own food yet keep to one bag. Then I saw the Hot Logic Mini,, contacted the manufacturer, and was offered one for review.
The Hot Logic Mini is a cross between a regular oven and slow cooker. About the size of a hard cover book, it measures 10″ x 8″ x 3.5″ and weighs about 1 1/2 pounds.
It’s simple to use…put your food into a flat-bottomed container–plastic, glass, metal, aluminum or cardboard–add a lid, zip the bag shut and plug it in. No dials or controls.
Since the heating element only goes to about 200 degrees, there is little worry about overcooking.
Of course, I gave it a try.
First up was a boneless, skinless chicken breast. After about 45 minutes it was done and very juicy.
A couple of days later I cooked another one but forget to set the timer. About an hour and 20 minutes later, I checked and the chicken breast was still moist.
Then I tried a chicken leg quarter with skin and bones. After an hour, it was nowhere near cooked. After two hours it was still iffy and I decided to cook something else. (It would be days later while going through the Hot Logic Mini website that I read it is necessary to add liquids when cooking bone-in foods. More on this later.)
Up next was a frozen dinner. Eggplant Parmesan to be exact. I took it out of the box and put it in the Hot Logic Mini. After 90 minutes, the meal was still frozen. I put it back in the box and put box and all into the oven. A half hour later the meal was cooked completely through. The taste was much better than reheating in a microwave.
(Sorry I don’t have more photos of food but each time I used the oven I forgot about the photos and started eating. I didn’t think you wanted to look at half eaten food.)
The Hot Logic Mini doesn’t come with any instructions but their website has lots of information. My only gripe is they lump the recipes and cooking tips into their blog rather than separate the two. I think keeping recipes and cooking tips in its own area would be easier for the consumer to find information.
While I haven’t tried it, I’ve read that many people buy an inverter so they can plug the Hot Logic Mini into their car.
I liked the oven. It’s not something I’d use every day but I am considering taking it with me on my domestic travels. (The oven is only rated for 110v so if you want to use it in most places outside North America, you’ll need a converter.)
There are other uses for this oven, such as taking it to work for a hot lunch, but I’m sticking mainly to its use while traveling.
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