The Instant Pot is an electric pressure cooker. Instant Pot, or IP for short, is a brand name. There are many other brands out there but this is the one I have and love. There are different sizes and models out there. The smallest one is 3 quart and the largest at the moment is 8 quart. If you're a solo driver the smallest one is probably the one you want to go with. I have a 6 quart on the truck.
Then there are different models too like the IP Lux, Duo, Smart, Duo Plus and Ultra. Then there are also different options like 6-in-1, 7-in-1 and 10-in-1 as if it wasn't confusing enough!
I have the Duo 7-in-1. I also had the Lux but actually didn't like the sealing mechanism. It's slightly different than on the Duo but more finicky so if it wasn't set exactly right it wouldn't seal properly. With the Duo I never had that problem. The Lux is the economy model so to speak so it's the cheapest one you can get. Is that bad? No not at all. Just depends what you want to do with it.
My main reason for going for the Duo is mainly the sealing button issue I had with the Lux.
The Lux doesn't have a preset yogurt button, doesn't have a low pressure button. Is that bad? Not in my opinion.
The Smart and Ultra one have a bunch of extra bells and whistles I'm not familiar with so I won't go into those but for me personally, being on the road, I don't need all the extra stuff.
For instance making yogurt sounds great but it's an entire process I simply don't have the time for while driving! Nor do most of us have the storage either for all the fancy stuff 😉
At first I was a bit apprehensive as I had heard horror stories about stovetop pressure cookers. If you follow the instructions on how to use these electronic pressure cookers you don't have to worry at all. They are in an entirely different league from those old stovetop ticking time bombs! The most important rules are to not overfill your Pot and be VERY careful when you use quick pressure release (the seal switch once the cooking process is done.). If you e.g. made soup and use quick pressure release and have too much liquid in the pot, it may come spewing out the sealing vent and you can get burned. So be careful! They do recommend using natural pressure release when cooking soup by the way. Meaning just let the pot sit for about 20-25 minutes and the pin in the lid will drop on its own indicating you can open the lid and the pressure has naturally released from the pot. This is the recommended way too when cooking e.g. meats. If you do quick pressure release it usually dries out the meat.
I was also skeptical that I could make beef stew in 50 minutes (plus approx. 30 minutes for the food to heat up, the pot to build up pressure before it starts counting down from. 50 minutes to being done). Or that it would even taste remotely as good as having cooked in a slow cooker all day long. But I'm a fan now! The meat is so tender and tastes the same as if it had cooked all day long! It really packs the flavor in there.
You can also brown meat and veggies in the pot itself before switching to pressure cooking or steaming. There is also a slow cook option but why use it if you have the quick way available?
I love this thing so much I got rid of my slow cooker! After all, we need the storage space!
If you have any questions feel free to ask them and I'll try to answer them. Oh we do have a 2000w pure sinewave inverter in our truck. It didn't seem to like our previous larger regular Cobra inverter!
It runs at 1250w at its highest, the 6 quart that is. The 3 quart is 1000w I believe.
Of course there is very limited storage space on the truck. It's like a tiny house but even smaller! So you have to get smart about it. I'm in no way an expert on this as our truck still looks like a mess too but there are a few things that work for me and maybe it will help you.
So first: refrigerator space! If you're lucky enough to be able to have a dorm sized fridge on your truck and it doesn't break on you in a short time, then kudos to you! We have one of the Dometic fridges that are specifically made for trucks/RVs as they're build to withstand all the bumps and vibrations which regular fridges are not. So yes they are expensive but worth it after you've had a few regular fridges break after a few months.
But as the space is more limited, how can you store stuff for meals for 5-6 days? It does take some creative skills!
I always have Ziploc bags on board because as soon as we get our groceries, I repack half of them. They are either packaged in too bulky cartons/containers or in case of bags they're too blown up etc.
So what do I do? First I plan my meals ahead for 5-6 days and think of what ingredients I'd need for each meal. I try to come up with things like for example chicken noodle soup; what does that need? Chicken obviously, so I get two half chickens, put them in the Instant Pot (electric pressure cooker) and when done put them in a bowl or plate to let the, cool off. Pull the chicken meat off both halves. One half goes into the soup, the other half goes into a Ziploc bag to make e.g. chicken salad with. The soup will also need celery, carrots and onions. I know I will not need the amount of all 3 just for soup. So I use half and with the other half I can make for instance beef stew.
So then all I'd need is beef stew meat. Now you pretty much have 4 meals and probably leftovers as well. These are just examples but if you think about it, you can create a lot of meals with similar ingredients without making the same over and over.
We also have a 3-drawer storage thing that fits into one of the cubbyholes of our truck. The top drawer has all kinds of loose stuff in it.
The second drawer I put the spices in I always use and the third is for the cooking utensils. So they're right next to the little pull out drawer table and easy to use/easy access.
Hopefully this helps at least one of you out there! Safe travels!
Tip and pictures by Tamara Swink :)
This is a 43 qt. freezer you can use in your truck. They ordered it from here
It has both AC and DC connections plus you can take it out of your truck if you go into a hotel for instance so you don't lose any of your food.
Thanks for sharing your tip Tamara :)
Tip and picture by David Moceri :)
Bought these from Walmart. Thought they were really tasty. Looked it up on the net, found bunches of recipes to make them from scratch, like broccoli, chicken and cheese. Walmart carries the kale ones.
Tip from Sherrie Philpott. Thanks Sherrie!
She found a produce store called Heinie's Market. It doesn't have truck parking but is within walking distance from the TA in Wheat Ridge CO. Her directions: Found a produce store in Wheatridge CO. Next to the TA. Walking go left out of parking lot. Cross road for I70 EB on ramp. Building on the corner.
By Mark A. Love.
From The Trucker Gourmet : Many ask about the gas set up. Well - pans to a reach to the left. there is a heavy washable towel under so they go back out of the way warm after wipe. Stove top itself comes in case stored, reachable under bunk. After dinner prep cooking is quick. Always disengage fuel can before put away. Fridge,utensil drawer and pantry to right as in every truck. Not pictured. Open windows while cooking recommended. Cook ....Plate .... put equipment away ... EAT .
See the huge amount of fresh food here? This picture was taken by Yardie GirlTruckin who stopped at Dowling Fruit Orchard in Beaumont, California which is fast becoming a very popular stop for truckers in our group to go shopping. It's cheap and they have very fresh products AND truck parking!
It's on SR 60 in Beaumont, Ca just west of the I-10 split. ... near Banning.