First Thing For Cooking

By: Terry,

Ask Your Truck Drivers Money Saving Questions HereI am just fresh out of truck driving school and waiting to get a trainer. What is the first thing you would get for cooking?

Response from Vicki:

Hi, Terry,

Congratulations for deciding to become a truck driver and for having completed truck driving school. You are wise for realizing early on that one way to save more of your hard-earned money is to cook in your truck. We write about this a lot on our website through the Food and Recipes and Meal Preparation sections of our site.

Before I actually address the first thing for cooking we would use in a truck, I need to supply a bit of background info. Please make sure that the trucking company for which you will be driving permits you to have cooking equipment in your truck. Also, find out if there are any limitations on what you can use in your truck. This is important.

One large national carrier for whom Mike drove restricted their drivers to cooking devices that could pull no more electricity than what could be delivered via a 12-volt outlet (cigarette lighter style) in their trucks. There are quite a number of 12-volt products on the market, but we’ve never found one that we personally think is high quality.

Another electrical option inside one’s truck for drivers of non-APU-equipped trucks is using an inverter with a regular AC-powered appliance that doesn’t pull more power than the outlet and inverter can provide.

If you go to work for a company that permits you to have a battery-connected inverter (pulling up to, say, 1500 watts), the world of electrical appliances opens up to you.

While there are dangers associated with its use, some drivers like to use a microwave oven. We personally prefer to use either a hot pot or electric skillet for most of our in-truck cooking.

Assuming we didn’t mind giving up boiled eggs and our company permitted it, the first thing for cooking we would get would be a 1500-watt battery-connected inverter and an electric skillet that pulls up to that amount of power.

You can still boil pasta and heat up things like stew and soups in the flatter appliance. But you can also easily cook things like hamburgers and pancakes in it. It’s pretty versatile. (Note: boiled eggs need to be submerged in boiling water and the depth of an electric skillet may not allow for this.)

We go into more detail about hot pots and electric skillets on those pages and our trucker accessories page.

If you’re limited to a plug-in inverter, you might like to use a low-wattage crock pot (or slow cooker). Using that appliance, you can warm up lots of things while you drive and have a hot meal waiting for you when you park. (Be sure to brace it if you use it in transit.)

By the way, since you’re waiting to get a trainer, we recommend have a heart-to-heart with your trainer about cooking in the trainer’s truck before you try it. He/she may not let you! You may have to wait until after training and you’re in your own truck to do that. (Of course, if your trainer doesn’t cook in his/her truck, he/she is missing a great opportunity to save money. And we recommend that he/she look at the info on this site.) You may also want to refer to the mutual expectations information we have provided for driver trainees and driver trainers.

We trust that this has been helpful to you.

When you get on the road, would you please let us know what your “first thing for cooking” turned out to be and how it works for you? Thanks in advance.

We wish you safe travels and lots of money saving opportunities on the road.

Best regards,
Vicki Simons