Would a Crock Pot Lunch Crock be a good option for truckers who want a small hot meal in their trucks?
How easy would it be for a local truck driver to take this item -- pre-filled with food -- to work, let it heat the food and then serve as a bowl from which to eat?
How well would the unit work with a 12-volt outlet style of plug-in inverter?
All of these questions rolled through Vicki's mind when she saw an advertisement for this device at a local retail store.
She showed Mike the ad and he bought one, eager to try it out.
Mike Simons, wearing his trucker uniform, holds the Lunch Crock, to show how small this crock pot is.
It easily fit down in the bag containing his other trucker gear and is easy to take to and use at any local trucking job where the truck has a 12-volt outlet.
This close-up photo shows the appliance in its box with its price label in place.
Mike bought this unit for $14.99 at our local Ollie's store, which is less expensive than it was at the time on Amazon.com.
The separated parts of this appliance include (shown clockwise):
(Note: These parts may be described differently by the manufacturer.)
The heating unit has been designed such that the electrical cord can be wrapped around the bottom and attached for easy storage. (Shown here, the electrical cord is loose.)
The pink cover easily twists on and off the heating unit.
This appliance runs on 120 volt AC power and uses only 50 watts of power for heating.
For his first meal heated in this unit, Mike chose to fill the bowl with bread dressing (in the bottom), frozen broccoli and turkey.
He added a dab of water to keep everything from drying out.
The bowl has a capacity of about 2.5 cups or 20 ounces.
Having placed the appliance on the floor of his truck, Mike plugged the unit into a 12-volt inverter, which he inserted into the cigarette lighter outlet on his truck's dash in order to heat the food.
Notice the green light on the inverter and the orange light on the appliance, which indicate that both are working.
This being the first meal that Mike heated in this unit, he did not think about "burping" the lid before heating.
During the heating cycle, steam popped the lid open.
Even though the lid had popped open, he never smelled the food cooking because the cover stayed in place.
Before heating subsequent meals, Mike always burped the lid and re-covered the appliance.
The lid has stayed firmly in place.
Mike had no set time for heating his food.
But given that the unit uses only 50 watts of power, he plugged it in at a time that he thought would allow the food to heat through.
Once the lid was removed, he could see wisps of steam coming off the food.
Even though the instructions that come with the Lunch Crock clearly state that this isn't a cooking unit but rather a heating unit, the frozen broccoli that Mike had put in this lunch was overcooked.
Mike reported that everything in the bowl was hot, down to the bread dressing in the bottom.
Mike Simons has used the Lunch Crock numerous times while trucking.
It has always done a good job of heating his lunch.
It is perfect for using up leftovers (such as turkey and bread dressing from our Thanksgiving meal).
Pasta-based meals and meals with rice all heat up well in this appliance.
The appliance is very easy to separate and put back together again.
The bowl, lid and cover are very easy to clean.
We are pleased to give this appliance a product review grade of "A+".