How to Improve Your Campervan Cooking With One Amazing Gadget

Inside: Learn about an inexpensive small appliance, the Hot Logic Mini that will make campervan cooking easier, healthier, and tastier. Five recipes are included. 

Let me guess. You want to cook healthy and delicious meals in your van, RV, or car that:

  • take almost no effort
  • leave minimal cleanup
  • adapt to dietary restrictions
  • work for 1 or 2 people
  • and taste fantastic

Did I get that right? If so, you are a lot like me.

Campervan cooking - eating the results
Love my Campervan meals

I spent decades cooking for my family. Every night. Night after night. I know how to cook.

And I love our family dinners.

But when I am by myself? I am over it. So over it.

Do want easy, healthy meals on the go?

These days, when I’m out and about, exploring in my van and dinner time rolls around, the last thing I want to do is cook an elaborate meal. Or even cook a not-elaborate meal.  

I don’t want to lug out appliances or start charcoal or light a campfire. Most of all, I don’t want to clean up pots and pans, especially if I am dry camping and need to conserve water.

And many vanlifers out there may not even have onboard plumbing and a sink.  

But you still need to eat.

Or you may only have a 12-volt outlet. 

But you still need to eat.

You may be stealth camping, so can’t use BBQ grills or propane stoves.  

But you still need to eat.

You just want campervan cooking ideas that result in simple, healthy, and delicious meals

So do I.

Imagine my delight when I happened upon a gadget that can do everything described above. It’s inexpensive (about $40.00), small, lightweight, works with 110/120- or 12-volt power, and can cook a huge variety of meals.  

Where has this fantastic gadget been all my life?

Ready to find out what it is?

Drum roll, please…

It’s the Hot Logic Mini, also called a personal portable oven or an electronic lunchbox.

I call it AMAZING.  

The Hot Logic is the size of a lunch box, constructed of canvas with a reflective, thermal liner and an internal hot plate. While it’s marketed to heat leftovers or cook frozen meals, you can also cook from scratch in it.  For real, this gadget has elevated my campervan cooking to a new level.

As a bonus, I have less clean up to boot.

Just the facts

  • The Hot Logic Mini costs $39.95 (best price I’ve found)
  • It’s the size of a lunch box.
  • There is a carrying handle on top, and a pocket in the rear to stow the cord
  • It comes in a variety of colors, including my favorite, purple.
  • You can use metal, foil, paper, ceramic or glass containers/wraps to contain your food.
  • The Hot Logic Mini will hold up to a 36 oz container, enough for one, two, or even three servings of most dishes.
  • There are several other brands of “electric lunchboxes”, all comparably priced. From my research, Hot Logic is the leader of the pack in ratings and number of 5-star reviews. Also – it comes in purple, so I had to buy it. If you have experience with any of the other brands, please tell us about it in the comments.

It keeps your food safe

The hot plate inside the Hot Logic Mini maintains an even 165 degrees F temperature. I’ve measured the temperature of foods inside the covered glass container I cook in and it has reached up to about 175-180. This is well above the 140 degrees required for food safety, but not so high that foods burn or dry out.

In contrast, traditional slow cookers heat to about 190 degrees F on low, a little higher than the Hot Logic Mini. That means things take a bit longer to cook in the Hot Logic, but not much. Fish and meats are typically cooked to temperatures between 130 (fish) and 160 (well-done meat).

The only food items that don’t fare well in the Hot Logic are those that need 190 degrees F or higher to cook properly, such as very starchy foods like potatoes, some root vegetables, and most rice varieties (still working on this).

I use these containers in my Hot Logic Mini

I use 36 ounce covered glass containers for my Hot Logic Mini campervan cooking, because the containers can be tightly sealed and, after cooking, you can eat straight from the container.

This set of five is perfect for prepping several meals at once to store in your refrigerator and cook later.

It’s not just for campervan cooking

If only I’d had this little gadget back when I was a soccer mom. I would have saved a fortune on fast food – and eaten a lot healthier.

Anytime you need a meal for one or two people the Hot Logic is perfect. With it you can:

  • Take a hot lunch to work
  • Cook a separate meal for a family member with dietary restrictions
  • Keep dinner hot for a family member coming home late
  • Pretend that your child is preparing healthy food in their dorm room
  • Prepare fuss-free delicious meals if you live alone

Do I sound like a state fair barker? Yeah, I suppose I do. But my enthusiasm is genuine. Just ask my family, because I’ve made them taste every single recipe, all while listening to me extol the Hot Logic’s virtues.

And my family did taste every single meal I made, and I promise they gave a strong thumbs-up to every recipe I share here.  

I promise Hot Logic is not sponsoring me to say this. For real, I just came upon it while cruising around the internet looking for non-microwave ways to reheat leftovers.  

And then I wondered if I could actually cook from scratch in it too? And discovered I could.

That brought me here.

Just imagine…

You have a long driving day. Arriving at your campsite, you just want to kick your feet up and enjoy the view. And now you can! Your dinner has been cooking away while you drove. All you have to do is eat and enjoy.

A plate isn’t even needed. Just eat your meal straight from the glass cooking container – that, plus a fork is all you have to wash up. Sweet.

Or, imagine returning from a long hike. You’re exhausted, hungry- maybe even verging on hangry. You absolutely do not want to cook. That bag of chips looks very tempting.  

But you don’t need to resort to junk food.


Because your meal has been cooking while you were hiking. Presto! There it is, in all its hot, healthy deliciousness just waiting for you. Ready to satisfy your tired, energy-starved body.  Campervan cooking perfection.

5 Hot Logic Mini recipes for you to try

To help you decide if this is the gadget for you, you’ll find 5 of my favorite Hot Logic Mini recipes below, giving you an idea of the variety of meals it can cook.  

If you already have a mini-slow-cooker, you can make these recipes in it too. Just keep an eye on the food while it cooks, and modify the cooking time as needed.

Bonus: Get these, plus 3 extra Hot Logic Mini recipes (Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Almost-Enchiladas, and Harissa Chicken) in a free, downloadable, printable handout when you sign up for email updates from my life on the road.

1. Beef Fajitas

Road trip fajitas - campervan cooking recipe

No recipe is easier. Just slice up the ingredients and seal them up in your Hot Logic Mini and when you are ready, they will be too. This recipe is adaptable to gluten-free, keto and Whole 30 diets. Swap out the beef for chicken for variety.

2. Thai Green Curry Chicken

Thai green curry chicken with rice noodles

Some days I just crave Thai food. But when I’m out boondocking in the wilderness somewhere, I’m certainly not getting Thai takeout. To satisfy my cravings, I came up with a recipe that has Thai flavors but can be made in my Hot Logic Mini. If you’re vegetarian, swap tofu for the chicken.

3. Chili Glazed Salmon

Chili glazed salmon with asparagus - campervan cooking finished meal

My family has loved this recipe for years, so I adapted it to the Hot Logic Mini and one serving. Wow. Just WOW. It turned out so tasty and moist. This recipe transformed my campervan cooking.

4. Ziti With Meatballs

bowl of ziti with meatballs

This is probably the heartiest recipe in the collection. It’s great when you’re hungry and craving Italian. Plus, it couldn’t be easier. Three ingredients, in addition to water. No pots and pans to clean up. Just a delicious bowl of comfort.

5. Broccoli and Cheese Frittata

Broccoli and cheese frittata - campervan cooking

I couldn’t believe it when I tested this recipe. I was ready for it to be a monumental fail, and it turned into the opposite. What a success. Perfectly cooked. I wasn’t sure if I should call it a frittata or a crustless quiche. I’ll just call it delicious.

Looking for a Thanksgiving or holiday dinner main course you can make in your Hot Logic Mini? Try one of these two recipes.

I’ve created more than a dozen recipes now for the Hot Logic Mini, and every single one turns out delicious. In fact, if I were to choose only one appliance for my van, this would be it. I love it so much, I just bought a second one so I can warm up rice, tortillas or whatever to go along with my main dish. It has the benefits of a slow-cooker, is scaled for one, is easy to clean, and is lightweight and easy to store.

It’s perfect for road warriors like us.

Be sure to watch for more van-friendly cooking tips and recipes. I’m working on them because I know we all want to eat healthy on the road with no fuss, and no muss.

To paraphrase one of my favorite authors, with the Hot Logic Mini and these recipes,

You can cook meals in a van

or in a car, YES, you can!

You can cook meals here or there

You can cook meals anywhere!

Bonus: Get these, plus 3 extra Hot Logic Mini recipes (Creamy Macaroni and Cheese, Black Bean and Sweet Potato Almost-Enchiladas, and Harissa Chicken) in a free, downloadable, printable handout when you sign up for email updates from my life on the road.