Portable ovens often try to solve problems much better handled by a grill or microwave, making them seem somewhat gimmicky. The Hot Logic Mini sidesteps this issue by serving as both an oven and a thermal bag.
The inside of the bag features a conventional hot plate, which heats the interior via convection. This ensures even cooking temperatures, while the heat-reflective aluminum lining insulates to keep the bag hot for several hours. The hot plate can also be removed, turning the device into a standard thermal bag for transporting food over long distances. Here’s the Amazon product description:
“HotLogic removes any and all time constraints to your meal times. Once it's done, it's ready – right then, or 12 hours from then. The amount of time you wait to eat it won't make your meal overcooked, or mushy, or with crispy edges.”
This might seem like a great option for campers who want something more gourmet than hot dogs, but the fact that the device requires an outlet will restrict its use to particularly well-maintained campsites. Still, in the right circumstances it could serve as a viable alternative to cumbersome propane cookers and fickle solar ovens. One can imagine its value on a long road trip, too: Just plug it into a car adapter and enjoy the freedom to cook on the road.
Actually, on second thought, that sounds pretty dangerous.
Ultimately, we imagine this thing would work best in the workplace. Let’s say you take issue with the company microwave: With one of these, you could plug in your lunch when you get to work, let it sit for a few hours, then enjoy a hot meal in the early afternoon—no need to nuke. And the best part? It's available for less than $50.