I recently learned about the HotLogic Mini from another blogger who posted about it on their Instagram feed, and I have to say this thing is the new best friend of every human with a restrictive or modified diet! This fabulous little device allowed me to participate in a weekend away with 30 people in a cabin, without getting sick as I had on the same trip two years ago (when I had tried to do it sharing the communal kitchen. They also kept grains in a designated, ventilated area which helped keep me safe too). If you’re doing any sort of travel that will still give you access to a power outlet (they have adaptors for international travel and car adapters too), this thing is the bees knees! It could also be a wonderful solution for those working in offices or on the road. Let me tell you a bit more about how this thing works…
Essentially, it is an insulated lunch bag with a heating pad designed to warm your food and hold it at a safe temperature, using electrical power. The Mini fits a 6 cup pyrex container as you can see in my pictures, or any other rectangular container of a similar size, making it ideal to warm a meal for one or maybe two people. HotLogic advertises it as safe to use with aluminum, glass, plastic, or cardboard food containers. They also make larger sizes, like the Family Sized one that holds a 9”x13” casserole dish, which might be more ideal for bringing a gluten free lasagna, enchiladas, apple crisp, or portions for a family. I see that size being especially handy for larger family gatherings where you need to bring your own safe meal, or a dish to share that you want to be sure doesn’t get cross contaminated. It even has a handy pocket to stash your serving spoon in!
If you’re warming up refrigerated leftovers, it will probably take roughly 30-45 minutes. On my trip, I was warming up meals that were still partially frozen so I put them in at least an hour before I wanted to eat them. For fully frozen, I would suggest 1.5 to 2 hours. The other cool thing I discovered is that it also held the heat in quite well when I used it to warm a meal just before we hit the road (we even went on a short hike before I pulled it out for lunch!). My only complaint is that the zipper is a little sticky if the lid settles inward, and I was pleased to discover that they are already planning to replace it with a better zipper in future versions.
Things worth noting: the container you are warming the food in does become quite warm, so it would be wise to either unplug and take the whole unit to the table and eat out of it, or to bring oven mitts and a trivet (or a clean tea towel you can use) so you don’t burn yourself. Also, it never gets hot enough to bring things to a boil, but does get them nice and hot and holds them at that temperature until you’re ready to eat. Nothing ever gets burnt or dried out because the food is essentially warmed with its own steam, making it a nice alternative to microwaving. HotLogic advertises that you can use it to cook meals from scratch as well. I haven’t tried this myself, but the recipes they have shared on their website, and in the user guide that comes with it, look good, and like that could be a fun future recipe development project.
Overall, I’m really impressed, and so grateful to have a creative way to warm up a meal when I’m away from home, without risking cross contamination, needing to travel with half of my kitchen, or inconveniencing my hosts! I highly recommend a HotLogic Mini or Family for anyone needing to eat a gluten/grain free diet away from home.