Start the New Year Right

January 12, 2021

Start the New Year Right

By Casey Hayes, RDN

Hey, do you have a desire to cook in your cab to save money and maybe some calories too, but don’t know where to start?

I recently reviewed the RoadPro 12-volt Portable Stove to see how it can help.  

One of the biggest struggles that truckers have is finding healthy food to eat on the road. Diner food can often be full of unhealthy fats, added sugars, excess calories, and preservatives.

You and only you can keep your health at maximum performance for your job, and one of the best alternatives can be cooking in your cab. 

Here are the perks of owning the 12-volt portable stove.

  1. The portable oven locks shut to seal in the heat
  2. Food can be warmed or cooked fully
  3. Small and compact design
  4. Holds one to two servings
  5. Tough exterior

I found two things that would be nice to have on this stove and that is a temperature control and a temperature gauge.

Let’s see how this works!

Here are a few pictures of my RoadPro 12-Volt portable stove or what some refer to as the “Lunch Box”.  (I am using a converter to 12V to accommodate the appliance.) The plug can be tucked nicely into the side of the oven when you are storing it.

The portable stove cleans up best if you use aluminum liners, and it is recommended that you use them not only for clean up but also for extended use.

I wanted to first test the oven on baking some red potatoes.

I took a serving size of 4 ounces of potato (3 potatoes).

I closed the lunch box, plugged it in, and let it run.

20 mins = the potatoes were still tough.

40 mins = the potatoes were pierced easily with a fork, and ready to eat.

So now the next test was cooking raw meat. I wanted to see how it worked and if it would be hot enough to cook it thoroughly.

First, I mixed up a batch of meatloaf. (Which can be done at home on a rest day). I have provided an easy recipe below.

Then I divided the mixture into 4 servings.

I bagged each portion and squeezed the extra air out. Portions can be frozen for approximately six months.

Take a frozen portion with you in the cab or the next time you hit the road.

When the frozen portion thaws out, pack the mixture into an aluminum pan and insert it into the oven. Make sure to plug it in and close it.

Meatloaf in the portable stove for 45 minutes was not yet 160 degrees F.

Meatloaf was in the portable stove for 1 hour; it registered 160 degrees F (or 70 C).

Carefully remove the aluminum pan with a towel and unplug the portable stove. Set meatloaf on a temperature safe place like a towel on a stable surface.

Meatloaf can be topped with mustard, 2 Tablespoons of ketchup, or a low sugar BBQ sauce. I have included a list of other sauces that can be made at home before heading out and can be stored in your truck for a variation of flavors.  



1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground sausage
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 cup instand oatmeal
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion or onion flakes
1/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 T Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup cheddar cheese

Divide into 4 servings. Shape 1 serving into mini loaf pan. Bake in RoadPro 12-Volt Portable Oven for approximately 1 hour, until thermometer reads 160 degrees for 1 minute. Top with 2 Tbsp mustard, ketchup, or BBQ sauce. Below are other toppings to make the meatloaf into various other recipes.

Use 1/4 of recipes on each mini loaf.

Salsbury Sauce: 
1 1/2 cups Cream of Mushroom soup (low sodium)
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

BBQ Sauce:
1/4 cup ketchup
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Italian Sauce:
1 1/2 cups of jar Spaghetti sauce

Stroganoff Sauce:
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
8 oz sour cream

Teriyaki Sauce:
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp powdered ginger
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder

Casey Hayes, RDN is a wife, mother, and sister-in-law to a truck driver. She has worked the last 11 years on the dock of a wholesale warehouse while achieving her degree as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. You can find her at and testing recipes in her 12V appliances or finding better food to eat on the road. Her passion is to help truckers choose healthier food on the road…One Mile at a Time.