Cooking/Warming Lunch on the road - "Hot Logic Mini"

whitenoise

Adventurer
On a recent Youtube video by Ronny Dahl, I learned of this awesome gadget called a Travel Buddy Oven. It's basically a 12V oven with a timer that's made in Australia. Like most good things from Australia it's also ungodly expensive. Here in the US, the old-style lunchbox food warmers are available cheaply. A more recent product is this: https://hotlogicmini.com/ I guess they've been available for a few years now but it looks like it solves all the problems of the Roadpro style ones - they warm to only 165 ish degrees so food doesnt get burned if left for long periods of time, a variety of containers can be used, and they are available in "family" sizes as well.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Anyone used these types of things? The main reason to use something like this would be to save time during the day where we have to hammer out the miles. Simply prep lunch in the morning, and throw it into the oven while driving. Even if it draws 10-12 amps that wouldn't be an issue as your alternator would be doing all the work.
 

chet6.7

Explorer
I like that Travel Buddy as well,I looked a couple of times but I did not find a US distributor.
I bought the Road Pro but have not had a chance to use it.
Have you tried wrapping a meal in heavy foil and putting it in the engine compartment? I have not tried it,but it is supposed to work.
If you get the Hot Logic pleas post a review.
 

whitenoise

Adventurer
I like that Travel Buddy as well,I looked a couple of times but I did not find a US distributor.

Have you tried wrapping a meal in heavy foil and putting it in the engine compartment?
This place seems to have it for $178: https://www.bluebottlemarine.com/products/12-volt-marine-oven.html

Not a good value at this price, in my opinion.

I haven't tried the manifold cooker approach since most of my meals don't hold together without a container.

If I end up getting the Hot Logic I will post my results.





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joe51

New member
Whitenoise,

Does that thing say how many watts it uses?

FWIW I done a lot of engine cooking over the years. We were too poor to buy food out when I was a kid so that's how we always ate when we traveled. You can locate food items so that those that need more cooking are over hotter parts of the engine and those that need less are in a cooler area. I think the idea has been around much longer but I have a book on "stationwagon camping" that was printed by Ford in 1956 that describes the whole process.
 

whitenoise

Adventurer
Rated 45 watts @ 110v, so should be well under 5 amps even with a small inverter.

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Kerensky97

Xterra101
I got this RoadPro 12v heated lunchbox after people were talking about it on another thread a while ago.
A 20min rehearing job takes more like 45mins, and the 12V cig-lighter cable itself gets pretty warm to the touch but it's cheap and it does the job. On those cold trips it's nice to have a hot burrito or tamale for lunch. Definitely worth it considering how cheap it is.

https://amzn.to/2MQKRhR

Edit: I think the link jgaz put up was on the old thread too.
 

whitenoise

Adventurer
Pleased to report that the Hot Logic worked great for cooking as well as warming meals on the road. I am now a big fan of this product! Made all kinds of rice, chicken, tortillas backpacking meals and more with this thing. The great thing about it is, its "free" meaning the only thing you're spending is a negligible amount of wear on your battery and alternator. For a 15 day trip for 2 people, we only used a SINGLE 8oz canister of isobutane with my MSR stove. We ate out only a handful of times so that's a lot of meals!

We settled into a routine of prepping lunch in the 6 cup pyrex at the same time as breakfast, and in some cases, dinner at the same time as lunch. Then just before heading off, we'd plug in the Hot Logic, zip it closed, and drive for 2-3-4 hours. The instant we stopped, there would be a hot meal waiting for us. We even cooked lunch for 4 adults at one point in the 6 cup pyrex container! The only issue I had was a small amount of spilling from the plastic lid, but that cleaned up quite well.

Chicken came out great, almost exactly like sous vide since you're cooking in a nearly sealed container at very low heat for a long time. Nothing gets burned or overcooked. Tortillas get warmed to the right temperature. This will be our go-to cooker on all trips going forward!
 

J!m

Active member
Whitenoise,

Does that thing say how many watts it uses?

FWIW I done a lot of engine cooking over the years. We were too poor to buy food out when I was a kid so that's how we always ate when we traveled. You can locate food items so that those that need more cooking are over hotter parts of the engine and those that need less are in a cooler area. I think the idea has been around much longer but I have a book on "stationwagon camping" that was printed by Ford in 1956 that describes the whole process.
Let's get a copy of this book!

I remember one trip, local trails (now closed) in CT where someone tried this- they had a very nice pork loin in foil with rosemary under their hood. Well... come lunch time, it was predominantly raw with the outside "shell" cooked.

Meanwhile I was firing up my WalMart propane grill and they asked me to finish cooking it for them. Which I did in a few minutes. So I guess if you plan to cook under the hood, you should have a reliable meat thermometer that reads in the cab so you know when the food is done (or not!).
 

SameGuy

Observer
I use the 110v version of the Hot Logic Mini at work. Being able to warm up a meal when we are out on a train has been great. When we have 120v I'd say it can warm up a meal in about 90 min, often we only have 74v dc and it can take up to 3 hours to get things warmed up enough. One trick we use is to wrap the whole thing up in a sweatshirt or coat, keeping all the heat it produces in. While I haven't used the 12 volt model, I would assume it is roughly as capable, likely less powerful so just requires a little more planning.
 

BritKLR

Explorer
Sometimes you just want something different. Our Tiger has a propane oven, stovetop, microwave and hot water, but after a couple weeks on the road you get a little punchy with leftovers......enter 190 degree slow cooked manifold ribs slow cooked on a Chevy 5.7......mmmmmm tasty and just plain fun. Cheers.IMG_2201.JPGIMG_2212.JPGIMG_2225.JPG
 

whitenoise

Adventurer
I use the 110v version of the Hot Logic Mini at work. Being able to warm up a meal when we are out on a train has been great. When we have 120v I'd say it can warm up a meal in about 90 min, often we only have 74v dc and it can take up to 3 hours to get things warmed up enough. One trick we use is to wrap the whole thing up in a sweatshirt or coat, keeping all the heat it produces in. While I haven't used the 12 volt model, I would assume it is roughly as capable, likely less powerful so just requires a little more planning.
FYI I've been using the 110v version as well with a cheap n stinky 100w inverter. Works great, a bit less efficient with the inverter but I was able to warm up freeze dried or dehydrated meal for 2 in just over an hour. Using only 10% of my 100Ah AGM battery.... That's great in my book!

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