Modernist cooks and gastrophysicists are constantly developing new and innovative cooking techniques to challenge a diner’s perception and understanding of food. The culinary pioneer will harness complex machinery and techniques to create peculiar and awe-inspiring dishes such as arugula spaghetti, vegan scallops with carrot ginger caviar, or hot maple ice cream.
Then there’s cooking your dinner in the dishwasher.
Shockingly, this cooking technique has been around for a while and is only recently making a comeback. A number of YouTube videos (as well as an endorsement from Oprah) have inspired amateur culinarians and foodies to attempt poaching fish, steaming asparagus, and even making desserts using only their dishwasher. Lisa Casali, an Italian food writer, has even published a cookbook, titled Cucinare in Lavastoviglie (“Cooking in the Dishwasher”), that explains how to create a variety of dishes using only the dishwasher. But Casali notes that dishwasher-cooking should be reserved for only particular ingredients, such as foods that benefit from being cooked at low temperatures.
Although it might be a legitimate cooking appliance, is it practical to use the dishwasher to cook anything? Well, Casali points out that slowly poaching foods in airtight mason jars (sous-vide style) allows you to run the dishwasher with soap, simultaneously cleaning your dishes and preparing your breakfast, lunch, or dinner, which makes it somewhat environmentally responsible. However, a video featured on Today.com showed the hosts steaming a filet of salmon as well as some wedges of red potatoes in the dishwasher with some dubious results. After a two-hour cycle, the fish came out looking pretty rare and the potatoes emerged raw. (Whether or not the dishwasher reeked of fish is still a mystery.)
So if you’re considering impressing your friends with a dishwasher dinner — don’t. Just don’t.