Food truck owner navigating battle with East Texas heat

Temperatures inside the trailer can reach 100 degrees, and the owner said he can only run one appliance at a time: the AC or the fryer.
Published: Aug. 24, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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EAST TEXAS (KTRE) - Food trucks, they’re what a lot of people count on to get their breakfast, lunch and even dinner. Without being stuck in one building, they’re able to provide food at many different locations.

TNT Smokehouse Owner Jeremy Teague said with this Texas heat beaming down, it’s become a challenge.

“It has affected quite a bit. The heat has obviously taken a toll on a lot of East Texans, whether or not they want to come out and weather the heat, getting outside to come to a stand-alone food truck,” said Teague.

Teague said not only has the heat made customers hesitant to stop at the truck, but it causes him to offer a limited menu as well.

To cook burgers and fries, you have to have the vent hood on, to run the griddle and the fryer, so with just generator power, I can run the AC unit or the vent hood,” said Teague.

The trailer sometimes reaches a temperature of 80 to 100 degrees, so Teague said the obvious choice would be to run the AC, which means they can only serve barbecue that has already been cooked, to keep away the added heat of a grill and fryer.

“When we’re on generator, and we don’t have full, commercial 50-amp service. We do go down to just a straight barbecue menu. Like I said, if it’s a hundred outside and you have the vent hood on without AC, it’s 100 inside,” said Teague.

Teague said he knows that other food trucks are facing the same problem.

“I know they’re dealing with the heat inside the trailer. All the Facebook groups I’m a part of, everybody’s saying, ‘Hey, what can I do to cool my trailer off? What can I do to keep my trailer cool?’ That’s a question during the summer that’s asked all the time,” said Teague.

He said TNT Smokehouse does offer the option to call ahead and place an order to prevent customers from having to wait in the heat.