Food truck vendors battling the heat
LAS CRUCES, N.M. —
Today temperatures broke over 100 degrees and the rest of the week will be no exception to the heat.
We spoke with Russ Smith who owns the Happy Dog Food Service food truck with his wife, Mercy, to find out how he manages to beat the heat while cooking.
“We have the privilege in this truck to have a good installation package on the walls and ceiling. We have an elevated crawling which allows heat to rise and move away. We have good venting from the front from the outside through and out this huge vent over the hood,” Russ Smith said.
Smith said having air conditioning to manage the airflow when cooking inside a food truck is essential.
But he said not every food truck comes equipped to manage heat, and comments on what it would feel like without it.
“You would have a fan blowing heat at 120 degrees, it would be bloody hot, you’d be sweating, it would be uncomfortable,” Smith said.
But even with scorching temperatures outside, local food vendors in town still find a way to turn up the heat and feed the public.
“If you can beat the odds and beat the elements, it's a good thing,” Smith said.
Smith tells KFOX14 he had two air conditioners installed and a ventilation system to manage the flow of hot air.
“Vent over the grill, this is moving a lot of air from the stovetop away from the truck. thatThat’s important but you’re sucking hot air in. Unless you can modify that with air conditioning, you still have a battle,” Smith said.
Smith adds that good ventilation helps tremendously, especially when he’s cooking directly in front of the grill.
“Heat directly in front of me really isn’t a factor because it’s being vented out the vent. It’s going away from me. If it’s an environment coming up warm, I do have air conditioning right here next to my body and I’m receiving that directly,” Smith said.
Smith said during hot days, he puts out shade in front of his food truck to help keep his customers out of the sun while they wait for their order.