Life as a truck driver on the road can leave a lot to be desired when you are trying to think of foods to eat while driving long-distance. Regular visits to cafe’s in truck driver rest stops are not ideal for healthy eating habits, now and then it is ok but ideally you need food that is going to fuel your concentration on the road.
Catering in a cab is all down to having the right tools for the job, from spirit burners to electric ovens, no longer are you restricted to campfires or cold baked beans.
Best choice cooking appliances for in your cab
Many companies will not allow you to have gas canisters in your cab which rules out all opportunities to use gas cookers. A spirit burner however is a fuel-efficient cost-effective alternative option if you are still keen on cooking over an open flame. It is a sturdy, lightweight, reusable stove that takes pure alcohol (or Methylated Spirit). The alcohol is poured into the centre reservoir. The vapours escape from a ring of small holes and when lit, (the vapours, not the fuel) it creates a nice even fire.
Many spirit burners have a wind proof shroud and pan rack so you can cook up a storm just like you would at home. This link will take you to the Swedish website where there is a whole host of information but you can buy Trangia products from many UK distributors too such as Millets and Amazon.
24v ovens, some long-distance drivers swear by them and others say they are slow, take up too much room in the cab and drain the battery. Love them or loathe them they may be a viable option if you don’t want to cook on an open flame.
An in cab electric oven such as this one will let you roast or grill small meals and with a handy timer you won’t forget and overcook your dinner.
This is a great option for short haul drivers who are able to get home regularly. A thermal cooker works without fuel, that is no electricity, no spirits, no gas, nada. Just the heat of the food itself. The only thing is, you need access to heat right at the beginning. Let me explain… Say for example you would like to eat a hearty warming soup for dinner. You put all of your ingredients in the inner thermal container and heat it up on your stove top. Once it has reached a nice rolling boil you remove it from the heat, place it in the outer sheath and secure the lid. You can now take this anywhere, such as into the cab with you and it will continue to cook the food all day purely from the initial heat of the ingredients. It will not overcook, it will not burn, it will simply simmer away until you are ready to chow down. Genius. To find out more about thermal cookers click here.
Even if you are not cooking in your cab, your truck must be equipped with at least one portable fire extinguisher with a minimum capacity of 2kg dry powder. This must be suitable for fighting a fire in the engine or the cab.
If you are cooking in your cab (by any means) it is a good idea to have not only this required extinguisher but also another smaller portable extinguisher such as this one on the opposite side or at rear of the cab.
Eating food items that have been left at room (or cab) temperature for too long puts you at risk of food poisoning. Items you would usually keep in the fridge at home need to be kept cool in your cab too. Some items such as potatoes, onions, garlic, bread and eggs have quite a long room temperature life and so can stay safe for longer but still use your eyes and your nose to check that food is good to eat. If in doubt, throw it out.
Easy to cook foods to eat whilst driving long-distance
Sometimes, a little inspiration is all it takes to get you into your cooking groove, so here are three go to recipes to get you started.
Quick cook breakfast
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 onion
- 1/2 green pepper
- 3-4 Mushrooms
- 1 Bacon rasher or 1 sausage or chopped chorizo for a longer life option
- Grated cheese
- Dice the onion, green pepper, mushrooms and the bacon/sausage/chorizo.
- Cook the meat and then add the vegetables.
- Beat the eggs and add to the pan with the grated cheese.
- Allow the eggs to cook through so they set.
- Serve and enjoy.
This is also great in a tortilla wrap!
- Bacon (chorizo for a longer life option)
- 2 eggs
- Milk or water
- Fry the bacon in a pan until it’s crunchy.
- Take it out of the pan and crumble it.
- Thinly slice the potatoes and spice them with salt and pepper.
- Cook them until they’re soft.
- Add the crumbled bacon back into the potatoes.
- Whisk up the eggs with a little milk or water, add it to the potatoes and cook until done.
Scrumptious Warming Vegetable Stew
- Baby carrots
- Swede or parsnips
- Celery stalks
- 3 vegetable stock cubes
- Vegetable or onion gravy granules
- Chop up the vegetables and throw them all in the pot.
- Fill it with water until it’s about a half inch over the ingredients.
- Add some gravy mix and your stock cubes.
- Mix it all up well, bring it to a boil and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
- Spice it with salt and pepper.
- You can add meat if you prefer, stewing steak or chicken would work best just be sure to check that the chicken is completely cooked through before eating.
No cook foods to eat whilst driving long-distance
Sometimes in your life as a truck driver on the road you won’t feel like cooking but that’s ok, there are plenty of no cook foods to eat whilst driving long-distance, here are two tasty options such as:
Smoked and dried meats are a great flavoursome choice and the last a good while too. Cut up some salami, smoked sausage, chorizo, prosciutto, or any other meat you like. Serve it with some olives, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, cucumber, cheese, bread or crackers and you have yourself a tasty healthy meal.
Quiche and Crudites
Homemade or shop bought, quiche is an excellent healthy option and it tastes great hot or cold. Serve with some raw veggies such as peppers, celery, carrots, cucumber and tomatoes. There is a whole post dedicated to foods to improve your concentration on the road here.
It features 20 fatigue fighting, energy boosting foods and drinks that are all relatively portable, don’t take any major preparation and will not spoil too quickly - making them perfect foods to eat whilst driving long-distance.
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