I just bought a Presto HeatDish at the recommendation of a coworker and man oh man do I love this thing. I live in a 3-story townhouse where our biggest TV is down in the basement, which as you can guess is not as warm as the other floors in our house. Enter, the wonderful world of portable heaters.
One habit we developed when we lived in Wisconsin, and have brought with us to Maryland after moving here coming up on a couple years ago, is not running the heat too high in the winter, and turning it lower when we sleep, to save on energy costs. Also, my wife loves putting too much bedding on the bed in winter, and she goes to sleep earlier than I do. After she goes to sleep, I hang in the basement with a hoodie up over my bald head, and a space heater.
We had this cheap crappy little space heater with a fan that was fine, but not really, because the fan is much louder than desirable when watching TV. It wasn’t really all that hot but cranked to full blast it was acceptably decent at keeping me warm, even occasionally toasty, while I hung on the couch. At least the cat likes it.
I randomly mentioned to a coworker that I was in the market for a new space heater, and she said, you gotta get the HeatDish! It’s awesome! I was like, dafuq is a HeatDish, but I googled it and discovered that it’s this Presto HeatDish, and it has no fan. Which I realized might actually be perfect for my basement.
So, what the hell is a Presto Heat Dish? It’s a space heater that looks kinda like a circular fan, but there’s no fan. The heating element is in the middle, and the back is a parabolic reflector that beams the heat towards you.
This is not a very good solution for heating up a whole room. But who needs to heat up a whole room while hanging out on the couch if you can instead beam radiant heat right in your goddamn face?
Before I committed to buying the HeatDish, I looked into other fanless heating solutions for the basement. One other interesting idea that I hadn’t seen before is these modern electric oil-filled radiators, like this. If you want to heat up a whole room, this seems like a neat idea.
But for my use, this seemed like it’d be less ideal, because these are good for providing a nice slow room-warming heat. Which is great for a drafty room you want to keep warm all the time, but for me hanging in the basement for an hour or two after my wife goes to sleep, roasting myself with the HeatDish is quicker and probably uses less electricity than heating a whole room.
There are some crappier-looking parabolic heaters like the HeatDish available on Amazon, but they seemed kinda jankity compared to the HeatDish. I also love my Presto electric griddle, and the Presto company is headquartered in none other than Eau Claire, Wisconsin. All of which made me feel like it was the right move instead of those jankity other options that I’m purposefully not linking to here.
So, I grabbed a HeatDish from my local Costco, where it’s $70, vs. $90 and change through 3rd party sellers on Amazon, Walmart & eBay who I assume are buying HeatDishes at Costco and marking them up for resale on those other marketplaces. I felt pretty confident in my choice before I went to Costco, but when I got there, they had a demo model on the shelf which I briefly stood in front of and it was intense.
The HeatDish is capable of beaming heat at you that’s way more powerful than you could ever possibly want or need. Medium-low on the dial is more than enough, like it’s noticeably fucking toasty. Which feels kinda good to someone like me, because I’m weird and enjoy being sometimes uncomfortably hot.
But you have to be careful with the HeatDish. The other night I had been hanging out in front of it for a couple hours when I went to the bathroom and noticed in the mirror that I looked a bit red in the face. At first I thought the HeatDish might be sunburning me, but I realized I was just overheated. I had to drink a glass of water and turn the HeatDish down below that medium-low setting for a while.
A couple days after I got the HeatDish, I picked up some late-night post-gym falafel at the Halal Guys that has still not fixed its front window that had been destroyed by an errant Buick. I was waiting while they fried up my falafel balls, and noticed that I felt really warm, in a familiar way. Then I realized the table where I was waiting was directly next to the gyro vertical rotisseries behind the counter, which also work on the concept of reflecting/directing radiant heat.
I don’t know if the HeatDish can cook a meat cone, but either way, that directed heat is some strong shit.
Now, one thing to keep in mind is the HeatDish is not completely silent. The heating coils are rather powerful, so as the thermostat cycles the coils on and off there’s a metallic buzzing/whirring kinda noise as the coils warm up again. The first time I turned it on I was a little puzzled by this sound, but it’s normal. It’s a little noticeable if you’re using it in an otherwise-silent room, but if you’ve got the TV on at a moderate volume level you pretty much only hear an occasional click on or off accompanied by the orange light from the coils, and not the whirring.
So, for anyone else in the market for an item such as the HeatDish, I give it a rating of 6 falafel balls on a scale of 5, because it’s total fucking overkill, in a good way.