At the recent Mid-America Truck show in Louisville Ky, I had the opportunity to talk and get to know several drivers. Topics were wide ranging, as one might expect when you get a group of drivers together. Yet two topics that seem to be coming up more and more often is how to eat healthier and how to cook on the truck. Many drivers are cooking whether microwaving dinner, or using some type of grill on the catwalk (the walkway behind the cab of the truck and before the trailer), others have a variety of appliances, such as crock, pots, griddles, and rice cookers.
I was asked what appliances do I have on the truck. Compared to many I do carry a larger variety than many other drivers. I keep a coffee maker for the rare occasion I want more than one cup as well as a small hot pot for heating water. I have a microwave (which is primarily used for reheating) an electric skillet, a crock pot, a George Foreman Grill, and my recent addition a blender. Many drivers looked at me in surprise and asked how I used them. I have an inverter (for the appliances I have 1500 watts is the minimum I would recommend, higher is better if possible) which allows me to use them. One question which surprised me was how do I cook in the cold weather when it was minus 35 out this last winter. I responded in the truck. He looked at me in surprise. He had never thought of using appliances such as George Foreman to cook on the truck. My truck has a convenient desk built in that while small works well for both preparing and cooking my meals. This space and the appliances allow me to cook anything from basics such as Mac and Cheese, to burgers, fried egg sandwiches, roasts and the more complex like beef stroganoff.
Back in the days when I had access to a full kitchen with lots of pots and pans and gadgets. I was notorious for using most of them to cook a meal. Now that my space and tools are highly limited. I still find myself fixing “gourmet” meals. The difference is I have to stop and think things through before I begin cooking, as far as timing and prep-goes. I also find myself trying to figure out ways to combine or simplify recipes.
In short cooking on the truck can be as simple or as complex as you want it. From simple reheating to full gourmet meals. It is not the space or even the tools that matter it is your desire, and creativity. Future articles will cover things like what tools are the most essential, and the pros and cons of different types of appliances. As well as various recipes that I have come up with and tested for both taste and how well they work on the truck or a small space.