Healthy meals for truck drivers can be done — drivers just have some special circumstances which require special appliances. With no access to traditional cooking appliances like ovens, stoves, or microwaves, truck drivers have to get a bit creative with their healthy truck cooking. But never fear! It can be done with some nifty little gadgets for the truck.
Today, we’re going to talk about five cooking appliances we feel can benefit every trucker out there. With these 5 gadgets, there’s no meal you can’t make somehow! Keep reading for our recommendations, and be sure to share yours in the comments section below.
While not a necessity for healthy eating on the road, a small blender is a nice little bonus appliance that’s a great addition to the truck, provided you have room. Make yourself a healthy breakfast smoothie after your morning workout and before taking off on a load for a delicious energy boost for the day. This Hamilton Beach 51108 Single Serving Blender is our top pick. After blending your smoothie, the top pops off to become a travel glass — perfect for the trucker looking for convenience on the road.
“basszon95” on Amazon says…
“This personal blender does just what it says. It blends. I am on the HMR diet in which I blend and drink 3 or more shakes per day. These are mixed powder and ice cubes and this blender handles it all great. Add fruit, no problem. It is more quiet than my big blender I use at home for larger portions. Best of all it sits on a desk taking up no more space than the cup itself. Perfect!”
4. Sauce Pan
This one is a bit different than what you’d expect. This RoadPro 12-volt Sauce Pan and Popcorn Maker is great for heating canned food items like soups, ravioli, and canned veggies on the road. You can even bring water to a boil and cook pasta or scramble eggs in this puppy.
Michael on Amazon says…
“I use this almost daily for weeks at a time, and I love this product so much! It has saved me so much money because I no longer need to buy fast food. Here is a list of things I like to cook in it. Pasta Roni, Mac N Cheese, Lipton Sides Pasta Packets, Tuna Helper, boxed scallop potatoes, powder mashed potatoes, All kinds of different plain pasta noodles with Jar Sauce, oatmeal, and even fried spam slices in it. This unit can fry things but space is very limited for frying. Also I notice when following cooking directions, I some times have to add up 10 more minutes of cooking time. But for running off of 12 volts I feel that’s acceptable.”
A portable stove isn’t really a well-known gadget outside of the trucking industry, but it sure is a big help on the road! With this RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Stove, truck cooking is a cinch. Ideal for pre-cooked food, this lunchbox stove warms up to 300 degrees. The meal possibilities are endless — stews, beans, rice meals, frozen burritos/hot pockets, and more can all be made in this portable stove. Basically, if it fits, it’ll cook. Just throw a meal in the stove, set it to warm, and drive for a bit. When you stop, you’ll have a hot meal right at your disposal.
“Robert in Woodstock” on Amazon says…
“I bought this stove for my son who is a over-the-road truck driver. He is amazed. He used to take left over meals that we would freeze for him and then nuke them when he got ready to eat. But depending on the weather imagine running back to your truck with a red hot tupperware in your hands, in the rain or snow isn’t easy Think about it. Now he still takes the meals and in the comfort of his truck puts them in his stove and in minutes hot food, no running. Also no clean up because you put in a 3′ by 8′ foil pan in the stove and cook it up then throw it out. Cool huh? Anyway its a good product and he loves it. We give it a thumbs up.”
2. Slow Cooker
One of the truck cooking appliances we will always recommend is a simple slow cooker. This RoadPro RPSL-350 12V 1.5 Quart Slow Cooker is perfect for truck drivers because it’s powered by the cigarette lighter, so a jumbo power inverter isn’t needed to run it. The stretch cord keeps the lid on, so you don’t have to worry about your beef stew flying all over the place when you hit one of the many potholes that have been created this winter. Healthy meals are endless with a slow cooker – truck drivers literally can put just about anything inside, drive for a few hours, and have a warm meal ready when they stop. What’s easier than that?
“Summer Baby” on Amazon says…
“My husband is an OTR truck driver and this little crock pot is a joy to have. Saves LOTS of money over the course of a year with him cooking in his truck. He has used it almost every day over the last 6 months and the heating element finally died. So I ordered another one for him.. 30$ for the slow cooker compared to 16$ a night at a truck stop restaurant — it’s worth the investment. Plus if he gets delayed at a pick up or delivery he doesn’t care ’cause dinner is only a few feet away. The only complaint he has is that on long days it is torture smelling dinner cooking as he drives. =)”
We recommend picking up some Crockpot liners for easier cleanup. Becky Dodd shared a tip with us on Facebook for getting your money’s worth on these: Cut them in half and they’ll still fit the slow cooker and you’ll get more use out of one box!
And last, but certainly not least — a travel fridge. This is our top recommended truck cooking appliance and the one that will definitely save you the most money on the road. There are several different models, but one we recommend is the Koolatron 36 qt. Kool Kaddy Cooler. This cooler plugs into the cigarette lighter, cools to 40 degrees, and is large enough to store a good amount of groceries in on the road.
“Nancy Z” on Amazon says…
“This cooler surpassed our expectations. I have had electric coolers in the past, and this one is much better.
It is very light. Even lighter than regular ice coolers. Very large capacity. We put the intake vent next to the air conditioner in our car making the contents very cold.
One problem we had, that wasnt the cooler’s fault was leaving it plugged in while parked in the sun. The cooler chills the contents by 30F. A parked car in the sun can be upwards of 150F making the contents 130F. We just unplugged the cooler when we parked in the sun and it easily solved this.
Finally, the cooler did not use as much energy as I thought. We could leave it plugged into the car overnight (8hours) and we could still start the car.
We ran the cooler on and off for 6 weeks on our roadtrip. Very durable. Overall, loved it!!”
That about does it for our top 5 truck cooking appliances. One additional thing we can recommend — an extension cord! We all know there’s little space on a truck, and even less when you’re trying to stretch plugs all over the place. This RoadPro RP-203EC 12V 12′ Extension Cord with Cigarette Lighter Plug is a great add-on to your favorite appliance.