Discover how to figure out the ideal generator size for your food truck so you can make customers happy without overdoing it.
Some rough general food truck generator size categories are small up to 4500 peak watts, medium up to 7000 peak watts, and large at 7000+ peak watts.
In practice, food truck power needs can vary a lot depending on the appliances, appliance sizes, and device brands inside of them.
To get a somewhat better idea of the ideal food truck generator size in your situation, you can check the chart with wattage estimations below.
However, keep in mind that these numbers are not perfect for every single device in the category. Ideally, you would check your specific brands and sizes.
Amps and volts needs can be important too.
After that, you can follow the steps below the chart to estimate how big your food truck generator should be.
Food truck wattage chart
To find out what size generator you need for your food truck you want to get an idea of the power needs inside it.
However, it is important to keep in mind that your brands and/or device capacities could have different power needs.
The numbers below are not perfect for every single device in the category.
Additionally, some food truck devices also need a minimum number of amps or volts which can influence your generator choice too.
So when in doubt, you want to check the exact wattage needs with your favorite brands/retailers and/or implement a margin of safety.
|Food Truck Device||Running Watts||Additional|
|Air Fryer||1600 Watts||1600 Watts|
|Blender||400 Watts||450 Watts||850 Watts|
|Coffee Maker||600 Watts||600 Watts|
|Countertop Food Warmer||1500 Watts||1500 Watts|
|5000 Watts||5000 Watts|
|Deep Fryer (Small)||1500 Watts||1500 Watts|
|Dishwasher||220 Watts||320 Watts||540 Watts|
|Electric Frying Pan||1500 Watts||1500 Watts|
|Electric Grill||1650 Watts||1650 Watts|
|Electric Oven||3500 Watts||3500 Watts|
|2100 Watts||2100 Watts|
|Electric Skillet||1250 Watts||1250 Watts|
|Exhaust Hood||300 Watts||300 Watts|
|Food Processor||1000 Watts||1000 Watts|
|Hot Plate||1250 Watts||1250 Watts|
|Ice Maker||300 Watts||300 Watts|
|Incandescent Light Bulbs||60 Watts||60 Watts|
|Microwave Oven (650 Watts)||1000 Watts||1000 Watts|
|Microwave Oven (800 Watts)||1300 Watts||1300 Watts|
|Microwave Oven (1000 Watts)||1500 Watts||1500 Watts|
|Portable Fan||40 Watts||80 Watts||120 Watts|
|Pressure Cooker||1200 Watts||1200 Watts|
|Radiant Heater||1300 Watts||1300 Watts|
|Radio||Up to 200 Watts||Up to 200 Watts|
|Refrigerator||800 Watts||1400 Watts||2200 Watts|
|Slow Cooker||270 Watts||270 Watts|
|Toaster||1200 Watts||1200 Watts|
|Waffle Iron||1000 Watts||1000 Watts|
How to figure out your food truck generator size
The watt chart and your own additional wattage needs research are helpful but there are still a few steps to figuring out the ideal food truck generator size:
- Note down what food truck appliances you will use at the same time together with their wattage needs.
- Add up the continuous watts of the strongest combination. Your generator will need at least this many (and preferably at least 10% more) running watts to power your food truck.
After these steps, you can go two ways depending on how accurate you want to be.
A more detailed sequence is:
- Rank your food truck devices from highest starting watts to lowest.
- Calculate the amount of peak watts you would need to handle this startup sequence.
A more straightforward method that results in a food truck generator that is likely a bit too big (which can be good in terms of safety margin) is:
- Make a sum of the running watts of the strongest food device combination that will run at once.
- Add the highest additional starting watts on the list to the sum.
- Your food truck generator will need at least this many peak watts.
Again, keep in mind that a good calculator and the right steps will not make up for suboptimal watt needs.
It tends to be smart to figure out the power needs of your specific food truck equipment and add a margin of safety.
What type of generator do you need for a food truck?
After getting an idea of the wattage needs of your food truck, you still need to figure out what type of generator you will need.
First of all, you typically want to go for an inverter generator or other low THD model.
These will be necessary to run sensitive electronics like a microwave, coffee machines, certain refrigerators, etc. safely.
After that, you have multiple fuel types you can consider for your fuel truck generator.
For portable generators, this will often mean choosing between gasoline-only, dual fuel (propane too), and tri fuel (propane and natural gas too).
More specifically, gasoline-only and dual fuel will typically be the best for food truck generators.
Your choice will depend on things like how often you set out with your food truck and how easily you can get each fuel type in your event locations.
There are diesel generators too but these tend to be not that food truck friendly due to their limited mobility.
Solar generators sound nice on paper too but in practice, they tend to offer watt amounts that are too small for food trailers.