Cooking Tips for Truck Drivers
Figuring out what you want to eat is a hassle, even now when we have literally thousands of recipes available online. But, fear not, we’ve got you covered.
Anyone who has been doing long hauls for a while can tell you that finding places that don’t serve fast food isn’t the easiest thing in the world. You are much better off making your own food on the go, and we’re here to help!
Here are some tips and meal ideas to help you avoid greasy burgers and pizza on your next long haul.
Tips for Cooking on the Road
Before you set off on your latest haul, it’s a good idea to prep and plan everything, so we made a list of some essential tips to help you with your on the road cooking.
- Stock up on ziplock bags (the freezer ones are much more durable than regular ones); they not only keep your food fresh but take up less space in your fridge.
- Don’t skimp on antibacterial wet wipes, they are lifesavers on the road.
- Do not bring a bunch of plates and silverware on the road with you. No need to make your cabin any more cramped than it has to be.
Side note: Skip the plastic silverware. Washing one knife, fork, and the spoon doesn’t take much time, and it’s better for the environment.
- When planning your next trip, make sure to schedule some stops near grocery stores, so that you can have fresh food on the road and not have to carry everything from home.
- Bring spices! You don’t need much, so they won’t take up too much space and they’ll make your meal infinitely better.
- Keep your appliances and pans secured at all times! You don’t want to have to deal with a flying slow cooker and the mess it’s inevitably going to make all over your cabin.
- Always double check if all the appliances are turned off before leaving your truck! You do not need to deal with a fire in your truck.
Modern trucks are often well equipped – they can have mini fridges and microwaves, as well as generators that can power several small appliances such as slow cookers, lunchbox ovens, and grills.
Lunchbox stove – This might be considered to be an essential appliance for professional truck drivers to have with them on the road. It heats up to 300 degrees, so you can use it to heat up leftovers and canned food, and even prepare frozen food, like those single serve, frozen dinners.
Slow cooker – Great for on the road cooking because you can drive while your food is being cooked, and it allows you to make a bunch of different meals. A very versatile appliance.
You can buy one that’s made specifically for on the road use which has a cord for the lid so that you know your food is safe from spillage, no matter what condition the road is in.
Electric skillet – This little handy appliance allows you to make basically anything you would usually make in a skillet at home. You can buy a smaller skillet (it makes more sense if you’re cooking only for yourself, plus it’s more affordable and it saves space) with a lid to keep your food nice and safe while it’s cooking.
Mini freezer/fridge combo – An excellent investment, though it doesn’t exactly come cheap (you can expect it to cost around $200). It may cost a pretty penny, but it can save you a tonne of money, in the long run, considering that you’ll be able to store food for longer periods of time.
12-V cooler – Some truck drivers say that a truck isn’t complete without a 12-V cooler. You can plug it in the lighter plug, and enjoy a cool drink any time of the day.
One of the best breakfast options, at home or on the road, are oats. They are loaded with fibers which help digestion, and they have tonnes of essential vitamins and minerals. Oats also have a significant amount of carbs, but since they are slowly digested they don’t mess with your blood sugar, and they keep you feeling full for a longer time.
You can mix oats with milk or, even better, yogurt, and you can add basically anything from fresh or dried fruit to dark chocolate and various nuts.
Slow cookers are perfect for OTR dinners! You can make pot roasts with veggies, pulled pork, some old school paprikash, and so on. If you’re craving some carbs, you can even use the slow cooker to make spaghetti and meatballs, and if you really want to indulge yourself you can make some delicious BBQ ribs.
We absolutely get how easy it is to just grab a bag of chips at a truck stop, but if you’re trying to cut down on junk food on the road, we recommend you try unsalted mixed nuts for a bit of crunchiness, or some whole-grain crackers with cheese.
Fruit and veggies, especially paired with peanut butter and hummus respectively, are also a good choice for a snack, as are low-fat yogurt, beef jerky, and popcorn.