If you love to travel, or if you live out of your car or van either short-term or permanently, you probably want to eat food in your vehicle. But cold food gets boring when you have it too much. What if you could heat up, or even cook food when you are out on the road? Is there such a thing as a portable oven or food heater for your vehicle?
The power source you need to look for is a 12V converter. This converter will plug directly into your vehicle's cigarette lighter, or if your car doesn't have a lighter, it probably has a 12V plug in the center console or dash. The great news is, there are a number of these cooking devices on the market now. We've put together some of the best for you to peruse here.
Before you continue reading, let us say we hope you find the links here useful. If you purchase something through a link on this page, we may get a commission, so thank you!
1. Koolatron 12V LunchBox Stove
This is such a cool little gizmo. It plugs into your 12V outlet in your car and will warm food up to 300 degrees. It's great for heating pizzas, warming baby bottles, cooking soups or stews, or any frozen foods. Users suggest getting some reusable aluminum pans to heat things in as the interior can be hard to wash. It also heats best by adding a little bit of water first; the steam helps it to heat up more quickly.
2. Roadpro Portable Skillet With Lid
Like a hot plate of dorm room days, this plug-in electric pot with lid is perfect for your van or car. It comes with a 12V power source plug. Though people say it takes a while for boiling water, it's ideal for heating canned goods or leftovers. It's lightweight and easy to rinse out. If it gets sticky with food, just heat water in it then scrub it clean. Click here for this pot on Amazon.
3. Electric Heating Lunch Box With Stainless Steel Food Container
This lunchbox comes with the flexibility of two cords. It has the 12V cable for your vehicle, and it also has a 110V plug when you have that option. The handle makes it easy to carry, and there's even a little inset compartment in the lid for your eating utensils. This lunch box produces steam to cook, and there's a handy vent tool on the cover to let some of the steam escape as it cooks. It's reasonably priced and comes with an instruction manual.
4. Roadpro Car Pot Heater
If you love coffee on the road, then this car pot heater may be the thing for you. Heat your water, add some good instant coffee, and you've got caffeine on the go. You can also heat water for things like cups of instant oatmeal or noodle soups if you need a quick meal on the go.
5. Ampeak 1000W converter
If you want more versatility with what you can plug into your car's battery and 12V power source, then you might want to pick up one of these converters. They allow you to plug in 110V devices to run off of your car or truck's energy source. These are great for long-haul truckers or if you're living in a converted van. There's also a USB port to charge up a computer or cell phone.
6. Portable Food Warmer
This cloth warmer is lined with an aluminum heating element. You prepare your food in a separate container and place that container into the warmer. Plug it in, and you can heat frozen foods, rewarm leftovers, or even cook food from scratch. As with any new cooking tool, it will take a little trial and error to see how it works best for you. It has a couple of outside pockets for napkins and utensils and a carrying handle, too.
7. Mini Rice Cooker With 12V Power
Have you wished for a mini rice cooker for your truck or car? We found it. This rice cooker is perfect for 1-2 people. It holds a liter of rice and has an easy-clean non-stick inner pot. The 12V adaptor allows you to plug it into and power it from your vehicle. The rice takes about 30 minutes to cook in this pot.
8. Portable Tea Kettle
Here's another portable kettle to heat hot water in your vehicle. This kettle has an easy pour spout and is a perfect tool for making tea, instant coffee, noodles, or hot cereals. It does take a bit of time, however, averaging 30-60 minutes for the water to reach a vigorous boil.
9. Extension Cord For 12V Socket
If you're car camping, you might find this 12v extension cord comes in handy. Plug into your car's 12v outlet and have an additional 12' of maneuvering capability. You may find a bit of a decrease in the amperage draw, and any time you're drawing excess power away, you should have a few spare fuses on hand, just in case.
10. Roadpro Slow Cooker
This small slow cooker is a real giant of the road warrior cooking types. Though it doesn't hold a ton of food, you can slow cook great meals from scratch in this thing. Plug it into your 12V outlet, fill it up with some veggies and meat, secure it in a box on the floor, and let it cook while you drive. Arrive at your evening spot, and dinner will be waiting. Click here for this on Amazon.
11. Portable Oven 12V On-The-Go
You can use many different types of baking dishes in this one. Glass, foil, heat-resistant plastic, or aluminum pans will all work. The heating tray heats from the bottom via your 12V outlet, and the insulated carrying bag keeps the heat contained within the portable oven. This is a great way to cook food while you're on the go.
12. Aluminum Pans
Many 12V cookers require you to have separate pans that go inside of them. If traveling makes it difficult to keep dishes washed, you might consider these recyclable aluminum pans. They come in large packages of 600 pieces, so go in with a traveling buddy and split up the order. They provide even heating and are made for 2 lb bread loaves. The measurements are 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5".
Along with these cooking devices, there are also refrigerators and fans and other 12v accessories for vehicles. Who needs granite countertops when you have a wide-open road? For other pertinent posts here at VEHQ.com, please check out these links below: