We’re definitely not pro chefs around here, so any time we can check out a cooking trend that can possibly save us some time, well, we’re all in! This time around we’re sticking with the kitchen on the go trend and reviewing some personal portable ovens to see if it’s worth it…or if you’re about to make your car blowup.
Hot off our review of the latest portable blenders trend, we were still in the mindset to learn all about the wonderful world of cooking on the go. At first we were pretty intimidated, but we quickly discovered that a portable oven isn’t as scary as we first thought.
To set expectations, are you going to cook a pot roast in one of these? No. And, is it going to be the best meal you’ve ever had? Probably not. But it is going to make so many peoples lives easier if you’re a mom/dad running your kids to a million practices a day after school and need them to eat something, truckers on the road for 10 months out of the year, flight attendants, and even just everyday folks who are planning a family gathering, attending a pot luck, or anything in between.
The beauty of these is that they’re super portable and many come with the 12-Volt car adapter so you can really cook on the go. The best way to think about these is sort of…almost…kinda…like a slow cooker. They can actually cook frozen meats, fresh meats (cooked or uncooked), frozen dinners from the freezer, heat up leftovers, etc. The only catch? It’s going to take longer than, of course, your standard kitchen oven.
Probably the coolest part, for us, is that once cooked it can keep your food at the perfect temperature for up to 12-hours. So, you can plug it in when you get to work, for example, and cook what you’d like, or plan ahead – make it at home – and then conveniently carry it into the office and know it’ll stay warm until you’re ready to eat it. Or just plug it in and make it at your desk. Fun!
One of the biggest players in this space right now is HotLogic. Independent reviewers and raters (besides us) have given them an overall rating of 9.3 out of 10 – which is really amazing. They’re kind of the Cadillac of the personal portable oven world so, overall, you really can’t go wrong with them. We’ll let you know, below, where you can find them online and at a great price.
While most focus on the benefits of folks who work on the road (or railways) or busy parents, we think this is actually pretty genius for all those holiday get-togethers, summer BBQs, and neighborhood potlucks that are, once again, popping up on all of our calendars. It’s an easy to way (1) transport what you’ve made and (2) keep it at the perfect temperature until everyone is ready to eat. And you don’t have to worry about microwaving things to heat up them up (and dry them out) or spilling everything in your car when you hit your 5th pothole of your drive.
Ok, so you know we tell the truth around here – even when it hurts. So, on a personal level (for us specifically) we’re going to say screw it! We work from home and don’t really run into issues where we need to make our meals on the go. But, it would come in handy for us during the holidays. However, if you fall into one of the categories where (due to your job/life) you need some healthier meals on the go, then this is definitely worth a shot. So, in that case we say, do it!
If you’re looking to give this a go, check out our picks for some of the best portable ovens (so far) in 2024.
HotLogic Portable Oven
Amazon Ratings: +9,200
For Chefs on the Go
Like we mentioned above, HotLogic, really is the best of the best. It can cook meals, reheat meals, and it all does it so easily without you really having to do anything. With this one you don’t have to worry about overcooking it or, if you’re heating up frozen food, those annoying frozen centers. It’ll even keep your food warm for up to 12 hours. They also have options in a bunch of different cool colors and patters and even options that can hook up in your car/truck. Learn more here!
HSTD Personal Mini Oven
Amazon Ratings: +1,900
$24.99 (17% Off!)
For Fast Cooking + Reheating
A great option if you’re looking to cook things pretty much as fast as you can. While each meal you make/re-heat can be different, overall you can reheat leftovers in 30 – 40 minutes (less than many other brands) and cook raw food in as little as 2-hours. Again, times may vary but this is a good ballpark estimate. They, too, have options specific for your car, truck, RV, and other modes of transportation so you can really cook on the go. Learn more here!
The A&J Portable Oven / Lunch Box
Amazon Ratings: +130
For Truckers, Drivers + Car Cooking
Here’s the perfect pick for the truck drivers you there who are always on the road and are kind of over having to have fast food all the time. This one can get your meals done in about 2 to 3 hours – depending on what you’re cooking. And it can be plugged in to your car cigarette lighter plug so, basically, cooking on the go has never been easier. Learn more here!
The Skywin Personal Lunch Warmer
Amazon Ratings: +1,000
For the Office Workers
Don’t let the name fool you, it’s for more than just warming up your lunch! You can totally cook your meals in it too. But, this is our pick for all the office workers out there who are tired (and grossed out) by having to use that nasty microwave in your break-room every day. If you’re just reheating you can get it done (without drying it out or overcooking) in as little as 1 hour. Plug it in at your desk and move on with your day! Learn more here!
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