While traveling, sometimes you just want to cook a quick and healthy meal and get on with your day. This guide outlines how to cook in a hotel without a kitchen. I’ll explain exactly what tools and utensils you need to pack to prepare simple, affordable, and most importantly healthy meals while traveling.
- I also describe exactly what precautions you need to take to stay safe while cooking in your hotel room.
- Finally, I’ll share a few of my favorite hotel room recipes.
- Eating in restaurants every day gets expensive.
- It’s also unhealthy and time-consuming.
- The tips in this guide work great for long-term travelers, business travelers, backpackers staying in hostels, and those who are traveling on a tight budget.
You can cook in pretty much any hotel room, even bare-bones rooms without a fridge or microwave. A basic hotel room cooking setup Table of Contents:
Why Cook in a Hotel Room? Hotel Room Cooking Tips Equipment for Cooking in a Hotel Room Without a Kitchen How to Pack Cooking Gear Stoves and Cooking Appliances for Hotel Cooking How to Cook in a Hotel Without a Kitchen Hotel Room Meal Ideas Useful Ingredients to Carry While Traveling Where to Cook in your Hotel Staying Safe Alternatives to Cooking in a Hotel
Is it OK to cook in hotel room?
Cooking in a hotel room is generally not allowed. Most hotels have strict policies against cooking in the rooms due to safety and health concerns. However, some hotels may allow you to use small kitchen appliances such as microwaves or hot plates with prior approval from the front desk staff.
How do you cook out of a hotel room?
Download Article Download Article Many travelers find themselves stuck in hotels for weeks or months on end. The novelty of eating every meal at a restaurant or room service soon wears off, and the traveler craves nothing more than the taste of a home-cooked meal. Use these innovative approaches to get around the lack of a kitchen.
- Use your hotel room’s coffee maker to cook oatmeal, boil eggs, or heat ramen noodles.
- Heat up an iron to grill quesadillas, cook bacon, or fry an egg.
- Pop eggs, packaged pasta, or a potato in the microwave to make stovetop meals without a stove.
- 1 Wash the pot and filter thoroughly. Wash with hot, soapy water to remove as much coffee taste as possible. If the bathroom sink is too small, ask the front desk for a communal sink, or ask to have the coffee pot cleaned.
- For most of these recipes, you can remove the filter basket entirely, and let the water drain through directly.
- Do not use coffee pots with a dark, reddish-orange stain, or a chemical smell. This may have been used to brew methamphetamine, and the resulting coffee could be hazardous to your health.
- 2 Make oatmeal, Put two packets of instant oatmeal into the carafe. Add an individual packet of honey, an individual packet of fruit jam, and a pinch of salt. Pour eight to ten ounces of water into the coffee maker, turn on the machine, and the oatmeal will be ready in about five minutes.
- For extra flavor, put a fruit-flavored herbal tea bag into the filter basket.
- Even old-fashioned (non-instant) oatmeal can be cooked this way, but it may take longer.
- No honey? Try cut-up fresh or dried fruit.
- 3 Prepare soft-boiled eggs. Place the eggs carefully into the carafe and let the hot water drip over them. Let the eggs sit in the water for a few minutes. Repeat if necessary.
- There are a few tests you can do to tell whether the egg is cooked, Try spinning the egg, then stopping it with a quick touch of your finger. If it wobbles after you remove your finger, it is still raw.
- The yolk will still be somewhat runny. It is very difficult to make hard-boiled eggs this way.
- Do not eat the egg if the white is not fully cooked.
- 4 Prepare ramen noodles in the coffee maker. Put the noodles in the carafe. Add enough water to submerge the noodles and turn the coffee maker on. After the water runs through the coffee maker, let the noodles soak in it for about three minutes, or however long it takes for the noodles to soften. Then drain carefully and add the seasoning.
- 5 Use the coffee maker as a vegetable steamer. Place carrots, broccoli, or other vegetables in the filter basket of the coffee maker. Run water through the coffee maker several times to achieve desired tenderness.
- Do not use aromatic vegetables such as onions or peppers. Generations of travelers after you will curse your name as they drink spicy coffee.
- You can cook more vegetables at once in the carafe, but the water may make them soggy. Empty the water frequently if you choose this approach.
- 6 Make instant rice. Put the rice in the coffee pot. Add the recommended amount of water to the coffee maker, as described on the rice package. Leave the burner on until the rice has thoroughly cooked and absorbed most of the water.
- 7 Mix the hot water with sauce packets or instant mashed potatoes. Run water through the coffee maker and adding the heated water to a sauce mix or instant potato flakes. You should not run anything other than water through the coffee maker. These machines are made to heat water only, and the water comes into direct contact with the heating element. Sauces will burn onto the heating element, ruining the coffee maker.
- 8 Poach meat cautiously. The old “coffee maker meat” recipe isn’t even on the radar of food safety organizations, but it’s easy to guess they’d have a problem with it. A good coffee maker heats water to 200ºF (93ºC). This is close to boiling, and hot enough to poach thinly sliced, boneless chicken breast in roughly 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.
- When poaching, the water level should be about halfway up the side of the meat. Pour out the excess water whenever necessary.
- After the meat is cooked all the way through, add a little milk, butter, and pepper. Let sit one more minute, then remove from heat.
- 9 Use the heating element as a hot plate. Remove the coffee pot to reveal a weak hot plate beneath it. You can grill food over this on a small, heat-safe plate, or a tray made from heavy-duty aluminum foil. See the clothes iron recipes below for a few ideas.
- Grilling will take much longer than it would on a stovetop. You may not be able to reach temperatures required to cook poultry or thick cuts of meat.
- 1 Prepare the iron. Most hotels keep a clothes iron in the closet, or have them available upon request. Turn off the steam and set the iron to the cotton or linen setting before you begin cooking.
- Make sure the water reservoir is empty, or you may have trouble reaching high temperatures.
- 2 Remove from heat if the food starts smoking. Most hotel rooms have a smoke detector that cannot be turned off. If you notice any smoke, remove the food from the heat and turn off the iron for a couple minutes before you get back to cooking.
- 3 Make a grilled cheese sandwich or quesadilla. Place the sandwich or quesadilla between two layers of foil. Crimp the foil edges together to seal it into a packet. Press the iron over the entire packet for about 30 seconds. Turn over the packet carefully, without tearing the foil, and cook another 30 seconds on the other side. Repeat if necessary.
- You can make any kind of grilled sandwich this way, as long as all ingredients are already cooked or can be eaten raw. Try a dessert sandwich with peanut butter and chocolate chips.
- 4 Cook bacon with the iron. Cut bacon strips in half and place them between two sheets of foil, crimping the edges together. Press the iron firmly over the entire foil packet. Open the packet carefully with a fork every few minutes to check to see if the bacon is done and to let out the steam. It’ll take about 15 minutes to get crisp bacon.
- You may need to pour out the grease occasionally to prevent the bacon becoming soggy. Pour out grease into a trash can or over other food (such as cooked rice), never into a plumbing drain.
- Cooking raw meat with a clothes iron takes some bravery. For the lowest chance of bacterial contamination, wait until the bacon is fully crisp.
- 5 Prop the iron upside down to use as a skillet. Prop up the iron using a pair of rolled-up towels or other small objects. Make sure it is firmly wedged to create a flat, stable surface.
- Keep the iron on the ironing board to minimize risk of burning.
- 6 Make a foil tray. Always place heavy-duty aluminum foil between the iron and the food. Fold the edges of the foil upward to catch liquids. This will protect your food from contamination, and the iron from damage.
- Use two sheets of foil if it is not labeled “heavy-duty.”
- 7 Cook food in the foil tray. It’s best to stick with foods that are safe to eat raw, or that have clear visible indicators that they are fully cooked. Here are a few options:
- Grease the tray with butter and crack 1–2 eggs into it. Cook 7–10 minutes or until the eggs hold together, then flip them over and cook on the other side.
- Wrap vegetables in greased foil and cook until desired temperature is reached.
- Wrap scallops in the foil tray and cook until firm and milky white or opaque.
- Cook shrimp until it turns red and opaque.
- 8 Remove the tray with clothes pins. Use two wooden clothes pins to pick up the foil once the food is cooked, transferring it on to a plate. The foil will be quite hot, so don’t touch it with your bare hands.
- Never use plastic clothes pins, which could melt.
- 1 Microwave eggs, If you know what you’re doing, you can make a high-quality egg dish in a microwave. This method has the lowest risk of an explosion, which could be devastating to the microwave and your hotel bill:
- Separate the whites and yolk, Put them in two separate cups. Pierce the yolk, and cover each cup with plastic wrap or a paper towel. Microwave the white for 30–60 seconds, then microwave the yolk for 20–30 seconds. Leave them to finish cooking for 2 minutes before eating.
- 2 Microwave pasta, Cover a small handful of pasta with water. Microwave for 3–4 minutes longer than the suggested cooking time. Check every few minutes, stirring and rotating the bowl.
- 3 Make a baked potato, Wash the potato in the bathroom sink, then pierce the skin with a fork on all four sides. Cook for 5 minutes, then turn it over and cook another 3–5 minutes. Check occasionally by poking it with a fork; the potato is done when the center is soft. Let stand five minutes to finish cooking, then cut it open and eat with butter and salt.
- 4 Try other recipes, Microwaves are versatile cooking appliances. Check out this article for many more recipes and general advice.
- Some of these recipes require refrigerated ingredients. Ask for a mini-fridge at the front desk if there isn’t one in your room.
Add New Question
- Question How can I keep food cold? If the hotel room has a mini fridge, you can store the food there. If it doesn’t, you could bring a cooler with you, and fill it with ice. You will need to periodically replace the ice, however. You can get one of those standard plastic coolers, or even one of those cheap, Styrofoam ones.
- Question Are ovens allowed in hotel rooms? Usually no, they are only found in apartment style hotel rooms, such as hotels like “Extended Stay America”. Usually if there is an oven, such hotels will list that in their description because it’s an added feature and not usual. Most hotel rooms are not set up to deal with heat, steam, spills, cooking odors, and the like, so ovens wouldn’t be suitable. Some places might include a microwave though.
- Question Can I use an induction burner, which does not give off heat into the room, without getting evicted? Jezebel Bastet Community Answer Yes, you probably can. Watch out for cooking smells that can be a source of complaints from other guests. It is better to use a crock pot.
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- Many hotels offer these appliances to guests who ask for them, even if the appliances aren’t in the room.
- After you’re finished with the coffee maker, clean it thoroughly.
- Ask the front desk for plates, cups, utensils, and condiments, or nab some from the breakfast room. Don’t mention that you’ll be cooking, which is usually not allowed.
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- If you ruin something that the hotel owns, the hotel will charge a lot to replace the broken item. So be careful!
- Cooking in hotel rooms violates most health codes and hotel regulations. If caught, you may be fined, charged the cost of appliances, and/or evicted from the hotel.
- Never leave electric devices on and unattended, even for a short time. A clothes iron can easily start a fire if it falls off the board.
- Wash ice buckets or other containers in hot, soapy water before you use them as serving dishes.
Advertisement Article Summary X If you want to cook food in your hotel room, you’ll have to get creative. For example, try heating 8 to 10 ounces of water in the coffee maker, adding oatmeal, then running the machine for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can steam vegetables by placing them in the filter basket of the coffee maker, filling it with water, and letting it run until they’re tender.
Can you use a crockpot in a hotel room?
There shouldn’t be a problem with a crock pot or slow cooker. It would be no different than plugging in a hairdryer or curling iron in the room. I’ve called and asked to bring a full sized coffee pot in the past, and never had anyone deny that request. Bring the crock pot.
How do you cook in a hotel without setting off smoke alarm?
3. Use a Fan or Hood – Using a fan or oven hood to remove the smoke or particulate from the area is a good solution to the problem. Opening a window may also be enough to vent enough smoke from the area and prevent the smoke detector from going off. Creating air movement reduces the density of the particles, keeping them below the detection limit of the unit.
Can I use a microwave at a hotel?
Why hotels don’t have microwaves Microwaves are typically absent from hotel areas due to concerns that they might be used to prepare food that isn’t served there. However, most microwaves can cook food, and cross-contamination may occur if a microwave is used and subsequently abandoned.
Can I keep the hotel robes?
Whether it’s a miniature set of Molton Brown shampoo and conditioner, or a pair of comfy slippers; there are very few of us who have been able to resist the urge to slip something into our luggage upon checking out of a hotel. Confronted with the array of potential freebies, a sudden attack of kleptomania can hit even those of us equipped with the most well adjusted of moral compasses.
But where do you draw the line? What is theft, and what are hotel managers expecting you to pocket? Read on for expert advice on what you can and can’t steal. TOILETRIES Kicking off with the most obvious, the consensus is that toiletries are fair game. “The general rule of thumb is that if it can be reused then it can be taken,” says Hotels.com marketing manager, David Spasovic.
“Miniature toiletries, shower caps, combs, disposable razors and toothbrushes. These are all goodies that can be swiped.” Pier One Sydney Harbour Hotel’s general manager, Kim Mahaffy, agrees: “We expect guests to either use or to take consumable items, including soap.
But preferably not two dozen from the housekeeping cart!” TWO WORDS YOU WANT TO HEAR AT CHECK IN THE SECRET TO GETTING A HOTEL UPGRADE THE TRUTH ABOUT HOTEL SLIPPERS CONFESSIONS OF AN A-LISTERS’ HOTEL BUTLER ROBES AND SLIPPERS Long a staple of hotel thievery, the bathrobe is one of the most debated ‘can I steal this?’ items, but in general these are off limits and will be laundered and reused for the next guest.
Most hotels will also charge you if one does go missing. The slippers, however, are a different matter. “Slippers won’t be used again,” explains David. “So you may as well stash them away for you to use on your next flight – they’re ideal for wearing on a long haul.
Hold back on robe though.” STATIONERY Hotels brand these amenities in the hopes that you WILL take them. “Hotel-branded pens and writing pads are cheap to replace and are actually free advertising for the hotel, so these are fair game,” says David. TOWELS AND LINEN Towels and bed linen also rank highly on the radars for would-be thieves.
According to the “Huffington Post”, the average hotel loses 10 to 20 per cent of its linens per month. While some properties now install electronic tags to help curb their losses, many savvy hoteliers are selling everything, including beds, linen and towels.
“We have all of our bedding for purchase,” says Four Points by Sheraton Melbourne Docklands general manager, Stephen Ferrino,” And many other hotels are doing the same.” HOW ABOUT THE REST? Shoehorns and sewing kits all sit in the ‘acceptable to steal’ camp, as do magazines – incidentally, research from Hotels.com has shown that magazines and books are some of the most nicked items in a room.
Bibles are also a perennial on the ‘most stolen’ lists, but seriously, if you’re hankering after a free bible, you should probably heed the ‘thou shalt not steal’ commandment. Similarly bizarre are light bulbs. According to a survey of 8,000 hotels by LateRooms.com, they are the second most stolen hotel room item.
Then there’s remote control batteries (yes, really), coat hangers and toilet rolls. “What’s built into the cost of the room varies from hotel to hotel,” says Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort, Gold Coast, general manager, Mark Sexton. “However, as a general rule, bathroom toiletries, tea bags and coffee sachets, magazines and any welcome amenities are all acceptable to take within reason.” WHERE TO DRAW THE LINE If you find yourself thinking: ‘those curtains would go nicely in my spare room,’ stop and have a serious word with yourself.
“Sometimes guests can get carried away,” says Debra. “We’ve seen a picture frame removed from the wall, a docking station takenand it’s not just items from guest rooms. I’ve also seen a large carpet runner go astray and someone once tried to walk away with some furniture from the lobby.
The curtain-less window, the blank space on the wall where the plasma used to hang – the absence of these items will be noted and you will be held accountable. Remember, your credit card details are on file. CONSEQUENCES Nobody is going to bat an eyelid if you take a few soaps, but remember that constant incidences of theft can impact a property’s bottom line and while bigger chains may be able to absorb more of the cost, for smaller independents, the loss can really hurt.
This aside, hotels can, and will, put thieves on a barred list in their database, which – when dealing with a mammoth chain like Hilton – will prohibit you from checking into any of their properties worldwide. Then there’s the prospect of actual criminal charges.