Instructables

Hotel Cooking (or how to NOT empty your wallet eating out)

Picture of Hotel Cooking (or how to NOT empty your wallet eating out)
I went to a hotel for a conference. Spurred by the fact that we had just eaten out and had no way to reheat the food (no microwave, stove, etc) I had this idea: how CAN you cook at a hotel room?

So in an effort to prove it could be done, and to avoid eating out, I tried to cook for my self in my room.

The goal of this instructable is to use ONLY things readily available in your everyday hotel, and provide a method to eat some sort of meal that costs less, and may actually resemble something healthy.

So let's get started shall we? I'll be cooking rice in this instructable, but remember, eggs, pancakes, and soups should be fairly easy as well!

*as a side note, please forgive the pictures, I wish I had brought my real camera, but all I had was a smart phone camera.  I tried to Photoshop the pictures a bit to make them presentable.

 
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Step 1: Prepping

Picture of Prepping
You may DIE. Hot water is hot! Rice may cause choking hazards! Electricity is shocking! Something could explode! I'm not really sure how, but the sign is cool, and deserved inserting.

Now that we're passed that, be responsible, this is not a very stable setup. you should ALWAYS be watching the cooking process!

What we need:
-Clothes Iron
-pot/cooking implement
-source of water
-rice (or other ingredients depending on what you're cooking)
-A fork or stirring implement (more on this later)
-a stand or prop, I used the coffee pot

by the way, while you're reading, go ahead and get the hot water running, and your iron on the highest setting it has. That way it will be hot when you need it!

*well upon further review, it was brought to my attention that the Hot water may be a dirtier source than the cold water (rusty pipes/old equipment, etc). So use the cold water if you can. The hot will save some time, but you'll have to decide whether it's worth it or not.
bruc33ef3 years ago
Great concept. Here are some things I can add from my own experience:

1. For rice and other grains: Pack a cheap, lightweight, immersion coil with you (or use the room's coffee maker) ... and a thermos bottle. Boil the water, add the rice, veggies and/or meat and water to the thermos bottle, seal the bottle, lay it on its side, and let sit for awhile. You can prepare at night and let sit overnight for a hot breakfast or you can prepare in the morning and let sit all day for a hot dinner. The food slow cooks in the thermos. Search the web for "thermos cooking" for more such ideas.

2. Don't use hot water from the tap. It's full of crud from the old hot water heaters it comes from and is sometimes dangerous.

3. You can make grilled sandwiches on the clothes iron. Just cover with a piece of aluminum foil. (Save your aluminum sandwich wrapper from Wendy's or Arby's for this.) Make your sandwich. Press with the iron on both sides, one after the other.
thecheatscalc (author)  bruc33ef3 years ago
Interesting stuff! I didn't think about that for the hot water... hmm...

Thermos cooking? sounds interesting! I'll have to make sure to check that one out! that sounds fairly useful actually.

I'll try to add in your ideas, I forgot to add the grilled sandwich one in there!
bruc33ef: I was going to mention that about the coffee pot. Seems silly to use the iron to make hot water, then prop up the handle with a device that was designed to make hot water.

Then again, your rice might have a slight Folgers tinge to it.

thecheatscalc:
Google "Freezer Bag Cooking". It's very popular with hikers who want to just add hot water to something and have a hot delicious meal.

Great recipes+stuff here:
http://www.trailcooking.com/
bruc33ef PS1183 years ago
Yeah, you're right about the coffee maker. The solution is to swing the basket out of the way -- or yank it out -- and get the hot water straight from the heating element.
I've used a hotel coffee maker to heat water for some ramen cups I brought with me. Some hotels are nice enough to have a small refrigerator/freezer for cold foods (fruit, sandwich meat, veggies), but for the ones that don't: put a bunch of ice in one of the trash bags, put your cold stuff in another trash bag and put that in the ice bag. Keep it in the tub in case it leaks and to easily change the ice out. Try to use bottled water, preferably, but if you can't let the water sit in a cup for a few hours so that the chlorine can evaporate out (at least I think thats what it does), that way it doesn't affect the flavor as much.
If you don't feel like being MacGyver, bring some peanut butter and jelly and buy some bread when you get there. Or bring some tortillas since they don't get squashed like bread does in luggage (I learned the hard way).
djohnson631 year ago
Wow this is quite a clever one. I stayed at a hotel in Quebec just a few days ago and had to skip dinner for this reason. Now i know! Thanks again.
Good 'ible & great comments. I would add: given some aluminum foil to protect against spills, you can use the iron for a variety of foods (e.g. grilled cheese sandwich). The little one-cup-at-a-time coffeemakers most hotels have now are good for heating water for freezer-bag cooking as suggested above; a stock of quick-cook or instant oatmeal, grits, soup, etc. can save $$$$ in travel.
if you frequent snack bars / fast food places, pick up a couple extra napkins and some eating ware, and stow this against evening needs.
lemonie3 years ago
Quality-stuff.
(what was the conf'?)

L
thecheatscalc (author)  lemonie3 years ago
Atlanta Christmas conference, Some really good stuff there!

 the conference title?

L
thecheatscalc (author)  lemonie3 years ago
That actually is the conference title! haha
http://atlantachristmasconference.com/

sorry about the confusion!

Ah the CCC, thanks.

L
l8nite3 years ago
a small electric skillet packs easily and can cook everything from toast to soup, they even make 2cup size crockpots (available @ walgreens I think) now, but all that aside, this was a nicely done "ible"
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