We're always searching for new ways to use our favorite appliances, but would you try cooking a meal... in your dishwasher? Add this machine to the list of the latest household appliances repurposed into multi-functional cooking devices, trumping rice cookers, coffee makers and the good old-fashioned iron.
Speaking of "wash, rinse and repeat", cooking in the dishwasher isn't exactly a new thing. According to the Los Angeles Times, the idea of cooking proteins and fish like salmon in the dishwasher has been around since the '70s, with one of the earliest recipes for dishwasher poached salmon (demonstrated by a Department of Water and Power home economist, no less!) published by The Times.
Does cooking food in a dishwasher actually work?
Dishwashers come in a variety of models, so the temperature ranges and cycle setting can vary. But, in general the appliance uses hot water and steam to create a humid and hot environment that is similar to the wet cooking processes of poaching or sous vide cooking.
Ingredients need to be tightly wrapped in foil, sealed in glass canning jars or packed in air-tight, food-safe plastic bags before they are put in the dishwasher. In fact, for all you brave multitaskers, using the latter two options allows you to clean your dirty dishes at the same time without risk of soapy water contamination.
What foods can you cook in a dishwasher?
Dishwasher cooking enthusiasts say proteins and fish work best, but other ingredients and more complex recipes may require a bit of trial and error.
Is it safe to eat?
Since dishwashers reach varying maximum temperatures, food safety experts worry that harmful pathogens like salmonella won't be killed in the cooking process. It's important to consider the endpoint temperatures you will need to reach to fully cook foods, especially for poultry, beef, pork, fish and eggs.
Check out the slideshow above to discover how foods like lasagna, poached pears and even lobster turn out under the wash and rinse cycle.