Truck stops don’t offer the healthiest food options for drivers for two main reasons.
At truck stops truckers' food choices range between a sea of hotdogs, pizza, and nachos.
Usually, truck drivers are short time. Because of that, often, they grab a quick option full of sodium and fat and throw it into their stomach so that it can make them feel full.
Eating on the road regularly can be expensive.
This situation brings up the question of why you do trucking in the end. Do you haul loads for long days to eat at restaurants? Or, do you haul loads to send home your paychecks?
That means that you can not only cook healthier meals for yourself in your semi-truck but you can save money by doing so.
Below, I'll give you tips on how to cook in a semi-truck. I'll share the must-have cooking appliances and easy-to-prepare foods in a semi-truck.
Step 1. Prepare the necessary ingredients for future meals
Successful cooking on the road requires ahead of time planning.
Truck drivers have to plan, ahead of time, all the necessary ingredients that they'll need to cook the meals that they plan to eat while being on the road.
After you have an idea of what you will want to eat on the road, then, while you are at home, you can pick them up at the grocery store.
See below what you can easily cook while being on the road.
Keep it simple.
- Bacon or sausage
- Pizza (microwavable)
- Mac and cheese
- Grilled cheese
- Stew or pot roast
- Burgers or hotdogs
- Steak or chicken
- BBQ pork
Place each serving into a sealable plastic bag.
Step 2. Cook it using cooking tools
While you sip your coffee in the morning, think of what you'll want to cook that day. After figuring out the meal, think of what ingredients and appliance you'll need to prepare it.
For example, move the meat from the freezer to the fridge to let it thaw so that it's ready to cook later in the day.
If you cook with a slow cooker or a portable stove, you can toss your ingredients in a pot and forget about it until it’s ready.
If that is the case, make sure that you have your stove or slow cooker in a secure spot so that it can’t spill or go flying while you drive.
You'll also need a good quality cutting board to chop the ingredients.
After the ingredients are unfrozen, washed, and chopped, they are ready to be cooked. In that case, just dump them in your cooking appliance and flipp them before you are ready to have a great meal.
Other handy cooking tools that you should have in a semi-truck are a can opener, spatula, knife, tongs stirring spoons, etc.
If you plan to cook inside a semi-truck, you cannot go without the below cooking tools:
- Small slow cooker
- Electric skillet
- Portable stove
- Small air fryer
- Coffee pot
- Disinfecting wipes
- Disposable plates
- Cooking utensils (spatula, tongs, spoon, etc.)
- TV tray
- Cutting board
- Cooking spray
- Paper towels
- Storage bags
- Waffle maker
- Toaster oven
- Versatile electric George Foreman Grill
- Aluminum foil
Step 3. Keep your utensils clean
When you cook for yourself while on the road, it's crucial to keep your cooking and eating tools clean because, while delivering a load, you don't want to suffer a bad case of food poisoning.
To do that have a disinfectant in the form of a spray bottle or wipes inside the truck. Or, you can use disposable plates and cutlery that can be bought in bulk and store them inside the truck.
Also, keep your food or ingredients for the planned meals in food storage containers and keep them in the refrigerator or freezer.
Do you have enough space in the truck for cooking utensils storage?
Successful cooking in a semi-truck depends on how much available storage space you have there.
It depends on how much refrigerator and freezer space you have for food requiring refrigeration. Also, it depends on how much space in the semi-truck where you can store food storage containers.
Why it is important to be aware of this?
Because it is important to know how much food you can store inside your semi-truck without leaving food that doesn't fit inside to alternate.
Otherwise, meal preparation at home may be a better option than cooking on the road because the food prepared at home takes up smaller storage space in the tractor-trailer cab.
Home prepared meals VS cooking in the semi-truck
The truth is that If you only spend a week or less out on the road, meal prepping may work for you. But, if you spend several weeks in a row on the road, the meal-prepping option may not work for you. That option may not work because a semi-truck may not have enough room to store more than a week of prepped meals. Any prepped food that goes over what the semi-truck fits, may spoil before the trucker has the chance to eat it. As a result, you may need to buy meals on the road anyway.
You need power to cook in a semi-truck
If you want to cook on the road, make sure that the semi-truck has the required power for cooking in the semi-truck.
In that case, an inverter and an auxiliary power unit (APU) work together so that you can easily operate all your appliances while driving a semi-truck.
An APU provides truckers with the option to use the bigger cooking appliances without having their truck to be on.
So, by cutting back on idle time and fuel expenses, truck drivers save money.
Note: The appliances that you do use should be of lower wattage so that they don’t use too much power at once.
Once this is taken care of, you can start preparing your ingredients for your next meal on the road.