Flight Attendant’s Trick to Cook in a Hotel Room Without a Kitchen

A little while ago I spent some time in Winnipeg on a pairing. Our crew hotel in YWG used to have a kitchenette, which was great because I could save some of my per diem by not eating out every night. This season we changed hotels however and now are staying in standard hotel rooms. The kicker is that the new hotel is across the street from a Safeway. So much lost meal potential!

In an effort to save per diem, I went across the street with the intention of getting supplies to make cold food, (sandwiches, salad, etc). But while shopping I started thinking about other FA blogs I’ve read. I know for a fact some FAs will make grilled cheese sandwiches by preparing the sandwich, wrapping it in foil, and ironing it. What else could I make with the iron?

I picked up my supplies and made my way back to my room to try this experiment out.

At the store I picked up a package of sidekicks and a disposable meatloaf pan to use as a pot. My idea was to use the iron as a hotplate. The first challenge to overcome was to find a way to hold the iron “hot side up”. At first I used my shoes to hold it. That worked well, but I thought to myself “more likely than not I’m going to spill pasta all over my work shoes. Next I tried using phone books to hold it in place; but I quickly realized these would slide around too easily. They won’t hold the iron up for long at all.

Finally I decided to use my personal amenity kit. The iron fit in like a glove and wasn’t about to slide away.

The next test was to see if the iron actually got hot enough to boil a pan full of water without melting itself or burning my amenity kit. This too was a success! Albeit without a lid, the water took some time to boil.

Very pleased with myself, I pressed on to the real challenge. Can I make a pasta dinner using the iron? Using the hotel glasses, I roughly measured a cup of milk and a cup of water, put that on the iron and brought it to a boil. Once ready, I emptied the contents of the package into the pan and with my plastic fork I cautiously stirred. The instructions said “stir occasionally”, but I found myself stirring constantly due to fear of burning the pasta. While normal pans have a thick base, here we have a mere layer of aluminum separating the pasta from the iron. I’d quickly run the fork against the bottom of the pan, then bring it back out to make sure I wasn’t melting the plastic fork. Luckily it never melted.

This went on for about 10 minutes, or however long the package said it should take. By the end the sauce had thickened and the noodles seemed ready. So I took my pasta off the iron, covered it, and let it set for 5 minutes. Then; dinner time!

The pasta came out great, and I was pleased to have learned that you can in fact use your hotel room iron as a hotplate. On the same pairing I also made scrambled eggs for breakfast, although it took forever. That’s because I was afraid of burning the eggs, so I only used the “wool” setting on the iron.

I enjoyed cooking on the iron, however that mainly comes from an experimental standpoint. I now know that should I be low on cash, I can save some money by cooking hot meals on the iron in my room. That being said, I don’t intend to do this too often.

2 thoughts on “Flight Attendant’s Trick to Cook in a Hotel Room Without a Kitchen”

  1. Jet, What fun! I’ve always preferred my room to a restaurant when traveling — it’s cheaper, and you can only eat out so many times before it gets old. Especially if you’ve got to dine alone. At least in one’s room, there’s the TV for company, and no waiting for service.

    I’ve read about truckers cooking on their engine block by wrapping their food up tightly in foil and wedging it against the hot engine. After driving a ways, it’s dinnertime. I tried this once… it does work. You get some funny looks from people at the rest stop seeing you open the hood with a fork in one hand. Maybe that’d work for flight attendants and pilots, too. Do you think they will let you put a meatloaf in the nacelle? 🙂

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