How To Heat Up Food In Your Car


Road trips can feel like a lot of living off of sandwiches and other cold food items. So what do you do when you’re really craving a hot meal, but don’t want to stop and get food at a restaurant. If you’ve ever driven across middle America you know that there aren’t usually favorable food choices anyways. 

Luckily, technology has us covered! Did you know that there are devices that you can use to heat up food in your car?? I’m not talking about putting your leftovers into your engine compartment and hoping for the best (seriously don’t do that.) 

There are three types of cooking products that you can use in your vehicle with little to no modifications to the plugs your car already has. They are:

  1. Cookers
  2. Warmers/ Coolers
  3. Microwaves

The easiest devices to use are going to be warmers and coolers as well as simple cookers. Microwaves are going to be a bit more complicated and typically aren’t a great option, and we’ll get into that. 


The cookers used in cars are going to be low power-drawing. Meaning they are slow cookers not meant to be a quick fix to heating up cold food. If you have the time, these slow cookers can be a great way to have a hot meal in the car. 

You can get slow cookers that are car compatible and that even plug into a 12v power source like the cigarette lighter style outlets found in most cars. You can also get outlet converters that convert your 12v lighter plugs into an outlet you can plug standard appliances into. Just be careful not to use an appliance that will draw too much power as you can blow the fuse if you try to use too much. 

Combination Warmers And Coolers

Think of these devices similarly to electronic lunchboxes. They will keep cold things cold or hot items warm but don’t have the ability to heat or cool to much efficiency themselves. So if you have a hot meal that you can heat up before you leave and want to eat several hours later, you can use one of these warmers to maintain the temperature of your food until you are ready to eat it. 

Warmers For Purchase


This is the device that’s a bit tricky. Microwaves tend to be a higher output food heater that draws more power. Typically you only find microwaves in RVs and other utility vehicles that have a separate battery for these endeavors. The reason is that most microwaves draw far too much power for a standard car. You can wire your fuse board directly to power a microwave or set up a direct line from your battery, however this can be tricky and you can damage your vehicle if you don’t know what you’re doing. 

Also microwaves drawing as much power as they do can drain your battery and leave you stranded if your car isn’t running. We recommend utilizing a warmer instead or finding a setup that allows you to draw power from a separate power source if you are set on a fast heating method.

Helpful Videos 

Check out this YouTube video that utilizes an electric lunch box that you can use on the go! Check out the link to purchase this exact lunch box directly after the video

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We hope this article has answered all of your questions about heating food in your car, and that you feel more prepared to utilize these techniques in your vehicle both now and in the future. Consider protecting your vehicle with an extended warranty plan from Protect My Car. In addition to warranties, Protect My Car also offers insurance and maintenance plans and can negotiate the best prices on repairs with mechanics.

About Protect My Car

Protect My Car is an extended auto warranty company. Our goal here at Protect My Car is to eliminate your worry of being financially responsible for an expensive mechanical breakdown. With our extended auto warranty, you don’t have to worry about being fully burdened with the cost of a covered repair.