Hot food feels like home away from home. Truckers, given their hectic schedule, have to be away from home for long stretches of time. Food from restaurants or delis may not always be the best option. Getting a microwave is one of the best possible options for a truck driver seeking the warmth of good food at the end of the day. So check out the best microwave for semi truck models below.
Microwaves are widely use electromagnetic radiation to heat food faster. This makes sure that the food is heated more evenly compared to a gas or electric oven. There are a few different types of microwaves as well. For example, a standard microwave can be used in heating food or cooking basic meals. On the other hand, grill microwaves have an extra metal grill added which allows the food to be browned.
Convection microwave is another type which combines the features of a convection oven and a standard microwave. Food can be grilled, baked, or browned this way.
Why Semi Truck Microwaves instead of Regular Microwaves?
The dimensions of a regular microwave do not allow it to be placed inside a truck. Appliances for a truck have to be compact so it can fit in a small space. As a consequence, a compact microwave has to be used in a truck. Along with its compactness, it has to efficient as well.
Is using a microwave safe for a semi-truck?
Safety regulations are incredibly important for a truck to maintain at all times. Keeping this in mind, a microwave is safer than using open cook-tops. However, while buying a truck microwave, a truck driver must keep in mind the voltage requirements of the microwave. Also, it is important to know whether the voltage will be available in the truck itself or through a portable inverter.
What to do if the truck doesn’t have the voltage requirements?
While a truck’s battery is good enough for basic appliances, a truck driver may need more voltage for certain powerful appliances. When a truck fails to supply the voltage requirements, a portable power inverter can come in handy. Certain appliances need AC current, while the truck’s battery can only supply DC current. Through a portable inverter, the available electricity of the truck can be converted to the electricity required to run these appliances.
Without getting too technical, a portable power inverter converts the DC current of the truck’s battery into the AC current that will run the appliances. While most compact power inverters can be plugged into the accessory socket or lighter socket, some larger ones need to be directly connected to the truck’s battery. There are some things to consider before installing a portable power inverter in the truck:
Total power requirements:
The truck driver should first decide on the list of appliances that will be used in the truck. Then add up the total power that will be needed to keep those appliances running. The total power requirement will give a general idea on if an inverter is needed, and if so then how much power is needed at a time. The total power generated by the portable inverter is directly proportional to the size of the inverter.
Where to install the inverter:
The next step is to find the best possible space to install the inverter. If the portable inverter needs to be plugged into the lighter socket, it has to be placed near the socket. Also, keep in mind that a power inverter lets off heat. So, it has to be kept in such a place that the truck driver doesn’t feel too hot and nothing gets affected because of the heat.
Installing a portable inverter on a truck to a lighter socket is not a huge task. The portable inverters that can be plugged into a power socket are generally smaller in size. They can be easily kept under the seat, on the dashboard, or wherever the truck driver finds it most convenient. These plug-in inverters are small in size but can give the truck more usable power.
For truck drivers who need more power than the small portable inverters, a bigger and more powerful portable inverter needs to be bought. A powerful inverter will also be bulky in size and more space has to be cleared to place it securely. If the truck has the option of a secondary battery, the portable inverter can be connected to it, which will allow the use of the inverter even when the truck is idle. Also, it will not put extra pressure on the primary battery. Installing such an inverter will take effort and planning on part of the truck driver. Room has to be made for it inside the truck so that the space for other appliances are not compromised.
Benefits of Having a Microwave in a Semi Truck
1. Truck microwaves take up less space as they are compact in size.
2. They are comparatively cheaper than larger microwaves.
3. They are ideal for cooking or heating-up food for a single person.
4. Even though truck microwaves are smaller in size, they can cook or heat food between 1400 F – 1700 F.
5. Their handles are easy to grip, which makes them convenient to use while traveling.
6. Some of them can be powered by a 12V cigarette socket in the truck.
7. Truck microwaves can cook meals ranging from pizza, sandwiches to leftovers.
8. Generally, truck microwaves are available in a number of designs and colors.
There are a number of factors a truck driver should keep in mind while selecting a microwave:
Ease of use:
While browsing through the available truck microwaves, a trucker should go for a microwave which is easy to use. After a hard day’s work, a trucker will not find it tempting to heat up or cook anything in a microwave that is complicated with many different options. An easy to use microwave with all the instructions clearly visible on the front panel will make life simpler.
It is important to check the food while it gets cooked or heated inside a microwave. A transparent window for viewing and sufficient interior light makes it easier and convenient to check the food. A trucker can ask the sales person at the store to plug on the microwave to check the interior light. However, if buying online, all the images given should be carefully checked before ordering a model. Poor viewing will not provide a smooth cooking or heating experience.
Convenient to Clean:
A semi-truck microwave should be easy to clean. While selecting the microwave model, a trucker should keep in mind that the microwave doesn’t have too many gaps or crevices where grease or food may get trapped. It is always advisable to cover the food while it gets heated or cooked inside a microwave. Also, dials and buttons may make the outside it a bit difficult to clean. A semi truck microwave should help make life as simple as possible. Control pads or touch screens make a microwave easier to use. A trucker should also decide between a stainless steel or plastic body microwave. While a stainless-steel microwave looks chic, it is difficult to maintain. On the other hand, a microwave with a plastic body just needs a quick wipe down.
While considering the available options of a truck microwave, a trucker must first measure the dimensions for where the microwave will be placed. Having the prior measurements of the truck’s interior will make it easier to select how small or how large the truck microwave should be. Buying a truck microwave first and then deciding where to put it is not advisable.
Piggybacking on the dimensions above, it has to be kept in mind that a truck microwave will be inside a moving vehicle and so, should be fit snugly inside the truck so that it does not budge easily. It should be able to wear hitting of brakes or sharp turns without any internal or external damage. For this reason, the microwave should be just a little bit smaller than the space that it will be placed in.
A trucker can pre-set the time required to cook or heat a particular dish from prior knowledge or from the food’s instruction. This saves a lot of hassle as that allows a trucker to do other chores while the food is getting prepared. Also, some microwaves have the feature where the vapor emitted by the food is sensed by sensors to let the person know that the food has been prepared.
Considering all these things above, 5 very popular truck microwaves are listed below so that truckers are saved the hassle of going through the various models available in the market:
Best microwave for semi truck
Whirlpool Countertop Microwave WMC20005YW
This microwave is good for those trucks with space crunches as its sleek body and rounded back makes it possible to fit in a truck’s limited space quite easily. Its dimensions make it stand apart from the other models available in the market. Having an internal space of 0.5 cubic feet makes it convenient to heat up the food in a full-sized dinner plate on its large glass turntable. Its external dimensions of 13.8×15.4×14.1 inches demands a small space inside a truck. It is 32.6 lbs in weight. Being a 10-power-level microwave, it requires 750 watts of power. Touch control panels, integrated handles and consoles make it quite easy to clean and maintain.
– Maximizes available space by fitting into the corners
– 0.5 cubic feet internal capacity
– Cooking power of 750 watt
– Blue LED display
– 10 power-level variable cooking control
– Tap-Touch control
– Quick touch button for instant popcorn
– Door control lock prevents any unintended interruption while cooking
– Sensitive buttons ensure a seamless cooking experience
– Reheating can be done extremely well
– The 30 seconds button adds more cooking time without any hassle
– Bright internal light
– Does the work silently
Not so great:
– The beep at the end of the cooking is quite loud and can seem that much louder in a still truck.
Panasonic Stainless Steel Countertop Microwave NN-SD372S
Being a 950 watts microwave, it takes less time than other microwaves to cook or heat up food. Having an internal space of 0.8 cubic feet, it can hold the truckers entire dinner plate or a large dish. The microwave is backed up with inverter technology which provides consistent power support. Its dimensions are 15.8×19.4×11 inches which makes it a small yet power-packed microwave.
Its automatic sensor adjusts the time and power to the different types of food being prepared. Its delay start, child safety lock, preset menu items and quick-minute timer add to its other features. Requiring 120 V power source, it also has a Keep Warm feature which allows foods like gravies and soups to keep warm until eating time.
– Uses Patented inverter technology
– Compact design
– Sensor ensures smart cooking
– Turbo defrost
– Keep warm feature for soups and gravies
– Smart cooking features
– Inverter technology ensures longer freshness of the food
– Keep warm feature ensures that the trucker will have a warm meal even after quite a long time
– May have some longevity issues. Some reviewers have noted that the microwave stops working after a shorter period of time than they hoped.
RoadPro 12V Portable Stove
For truckers who do not want to run their electrical appliances with an inverter, this 12V truck microwave can work well. This isn’t a traditional microwave, but it gets the job done. It is a portable stove that looks like a large lunch box where food can be heated inside using their aluminum disposable pans. It has a heating capacity of 300 degrees which enable truckers to cook some basic meals.
This Roadpro is convenient to use as it not only demands less power but it also is easy to clean. A trucker just needs disposable aluminum pans of 8×3.7×2.5 inches for heating food in the microwave.
It must be kept in mind that the Roadpro can also burn the food if it is not switched off on time, since it does not have any timers. However, its low price point and other benefits make it a good option for truckers looking for a 12V truck microwave.
– It can be plugged into 12 Volts lighter socket
– Being box-shaped, it can fit most frozen meal boxes or aluminum foil wrapped food for a single person
– It can heat up most types of pre-cooked meals
– It also has a 15A fused power cord option to be plugged to the truck’s battery
– Its air-tight lid allows the use of less water while cooking
– Heats up frozen food quite well
– Uses only 12 Amps of power
– Its power cord of 5 feet allows flexible placing in the truck
– Evenly cooks or heats up a pre-cooked meal
– If using lighter socket, then this can only be used while the truck is either running or idling
– As there are no timers that can be pre-set, truckers have to keep an eye on the food
HotLogic Mini Personal Portable oven
This is not exactly a microwave, but rather an insulated hot bag of aluminum lining with a hot plate inside. Re-heating or cooking food takes little effort with this as the trucker does not have to worry about power supply. It consumes 45 Watts of power. Having the truck running or in idle is not a requisite as it takes power from the truck’s battery. The hot plate evenly distributes the heat once the bag is zipped and that makes heating or cooking meals easy. In about 2 hours food can be cooked or a frozen meal can be heated.
It can support containers with the dimensions of 8.75×6.75×2.5 inches. Also, it frees the trucker from the hassle of using only microwave-safe containers. Containers made of metal, glass, cardboard, plastic and aluminum foil can be used. Before plugging it in, it has to be ensured that the container inside the bag is sealed off with a lid.
Also, this hot bag microwave frees the trucker from constant monitoring. Work can be done while the bag is plugged in. There’s no real worry of over-cooking or over-heating.
– Requires 45 Watts of power to operate
– 120 V
– The hot plate inside evenly distributes the heat
– Frozen meals can be heated up in a couple of hours
– The trucker doesn’t have to worry about burning or over-cooking
– The food is kept warm inside the bag as long as it is kept zipped
– Containers which are flat-bottomed and made of a wide range of materials like plastic, glass, aluminum foil or cardboard are compatible with this microwave
– Portable and convenient to use
– The trucker is not required to monitor the food constantly
– It is lightweight and easy to clean as well
– Some reviewers complained that it takes too long to heat up the food
– Since this is a bag, it has low weight which makes it more likely to move around while driving
Danby Designer Countertop Microwave
This microwave is compact, lightweight and convenient to use. Using 700 Watts of power, it cooks and heats up food fast. Among the 10 power levels of cooking available in this microwave, the trucker can do a variety of things like, steaming, baking or cooking. It has 6 one-touch cooking options that make things easy. Occupying a space of 0.7 cubic feet, it demands little space.
– 14×17.3×10.1 inches in dimension
– It operates without much noise
– 10 power levels promote convenience
– Requires 700 Watts of power
– It has the support of 18 months warranty on parts and labor
– Lightweight and compact in design
– 6 one-touch controls that make daily use the more convenient
– 2-stage cooking facility
– Has 2 defrost settings
– The exterior is rust-proof
– The microwave’s glass door can get cracked if not careful
These 5 microwaves are good options for truckers who spend long hours on the road. From hot beverages to fresh meals, a microwave takes care of many things. Depending on what is most important to the truck driver, one of these can be picked along with many others online.