Chef’s on the Road: Best Cooking Equipment, Gadgets and Recipes
Missing those home–cooked meals? Tired of having limited options? Or perhaps you’re looking to improve your eating habits with healthier options? With COVID-19 continuing to spread in most places, limiting your exposure by staying in and cooking for yourself may not be bad idea. And, if you’re running out of ideas to keep yourself entertained due to COVID-19 restrictions, cooking is a productive and fun way to spend your time.
We’re talking REAL meals, not just heating up some pre-made store-bought item like canned soup (although there is nothing wrong with that). With just a few basic cooking items, it’s not as difficult as it may seem to make some delicious and nutritious meals on the road.
Let’s take a look at some cooking gadgets and equipment that are easy to use to help you get started.
Best Gadgets for Cooking on the Road
First, you’ll need an inverter or an APU to provide electric power. Once you have that, you’re ready to cook.
A portable stove or hot plate is by far the most versatile piece of cooking equipment that you can bring with you on the road. From making eggs and sausage in the morning to preparing a pan–seared chicken breast in the evening, your options are essentially unlimited. We recommend going with a double burner stove so that you can cook more efficiently. This compact and reasonably priced electric stove is worth checking out. If you don’t have the electric set up in your cab for it, there are plenty of butane and propane options out there (just be careful). Pro tip: go with non-stick pots and pans, it’ll make your life much easier when it comes time to clean up.
Grilling more your speed? Imagine helping yourself to a nice meal after a long day on the road. Grilling is a relaxing way to wind down the day, especially during the summer months. Weber makes a 14-inch charcoal grill that is the perfect stow–away size for your seasonal cooking needs. Small propane grills are also available but tend to cost more.
We all have those days where we just don’t feel like cooking after work, or we’re just too hungry and don’t want to take extra time to make something. A slower cooker is the perfect option for those looking for a ‘ready’ meal at the end of the day (as long as you’re up for doing cook prep work before you hit the road). Slow cookers are great for making soups, stews, pulled pork and other meals that take all day to cook. This Presto slower cooker is a great on-the-go size for the road. The benefit of using a slower cooker is that it’s easy to make multiple servings of a meal for leftovers. It’s definitely an item worth checking out, and there are plenty of easy recipes out there for it.
A drawback of cooking your own meals on the road is figuring out how to organize and store your kitchen utensils. Putting them in a bag or storage box might work for some, but there’s an easier option – a utensil kit. Instead of buying individual utensils, buying a kit might be easier since it comes with the basics of what you will need. Plus, the utensils pack away in an organizer which makes keeping track of your utensils easier. Here’s one we think works well. If you end up bringing a grill on board with you, remember to pick up a grill brush so you can clean your grate. The utensil kit doesn’t come with one.
For all your slicing, dicing, and chopping needs, a vegetable chopper makes meal prepping much easier. It saves a lot of time, is compact in size and is easy to clean. Plus, it’s great for chopping up fruit. This GORGENIUS vegetable chopper is one we recommend.
How much do you spend a week on coffee or other caffeinated beverages? If you’re a big coffee drinker, why not save some money and make your own? This AeroPress portable coffee maker is simple to use and makes some pretty good coffee.
Great Recipes for Truck Drivers
So, what can you make with your cooking equipment? There are loads of online forums and communities for truck drivers to share their top on the road recipes and cooking tips, like this one on Trucking Truth. Here are a few additional recipes that caught our eye:
For the portable stove
- Beef and Broccoli Ramen Stir Fry
- Pan Seared Salmon with Lemon Garlic Butter Sauce
- Chicken Fettucine Alfredo
For the grill
For the Slow Cooker
Who Says You Can’t be Fit on the Road
Cooking in the cab is a great way to stay healthy, entertain yourself, and learn some new skills along the way. For those looking at cooking as a way to improve overall health, check out this blog that offers up ideas on ways to improve and maintain a healthier lifestyle on the road, or this one that focuses on both physical and mental health in the midst of a pandemic.
Good luck and happy eating!