Put away your pots and switch off your ovens. While you’re at it, just dump your barbecue on the kerb ‘cause it’s council pick-up this week and you wont be needing it anymore.
‘Dishwasher cuisine’ is here, it is not a joke, and we are all being encouraged to try it out.
I realise this looks like trickery, but people around the world are literally stacking their dishwashers with filthy crockery, jamming in packets of salmon and beans, and topping it all off with a Powerball rinse tablet.
Possibly the greatest invention in the history of the galaxy, dishwashers allow the homeowner to maintain an air of culinary competency and cleanliness, despite the literal bomb site they created moments prior.
I have never, in my wildest dreams, considered the fact that my dishwasher could be used to prepare a meal.
To be honest, in my wildest dreams, I’m usually a Victoria’s Secret model, running from a deadly python, in nothing but a pair of angel wings.
But, I digress.
The point is, the thought of a dishwasher doing literally anything except, well, washing a dish, has always been inconceivable.
But, as it turns out, I’m a fool, and people are cooking things like poached prawns, lasagne and cous cous in their 5-star rated Mieles.
There are entire YouTube channels dedicated to the craft of dishwasher cooking, there was even a Mythbusters episode about it.
What’s more, they’re then putting this food inside of their bodies, and not contracting salmonella.
An experiment, conducted this month by Australian consumer advocacy group Choice, looked into this bizarre phenomenon to determine whether or not it was safe to cook stuff in your dishwasher.
The company’s white goods tester whipped up a meal of honey soy salmon, coconut rice, an Asian style spinach and mushrooms, and a darling little custard and fruit compote.
The verdict? “Delicious!”
Once people find out I work at CHOICE the question they invariably ask me is ‘Ash – can I cook salmon in my dishwasher?’ Today our white goods content producer, Ash, found out that, yes, you can cook salmon in your dishwasher. #fishwasher #WhatILearnedToday pic.twitter.com/1Gtp5wWmYV— CHOICE (@choiceaustralia)
HOW IT WORKS
In order to cut through all that grime and grease on our dirty crockery, dishwashers are designed with a heating element inside.
Once a cycle is activated, the unit can reach temperatures of about 62 degrees, which is high enough to cook certain proteins and vegetables, but low enough to not shatter glasses or other fragile items stacked inside.
Many experts have likened ‘dishwasher cookery’ to the sous vide method — a French style of cooking where food is vacuum-sealed in a plastic bag, submerged in a warm water bath, and cooked over a long period of time.
*adds ‘sous vide wizard’ to my linkedin* pic.twitter.com/Ewn2rzf61c— Mack Williams (@aewsome)
Unlike a sous vide machine, your garden variety dishwasher can really only cook a handful of prawns or a fillet of fish.
In other words, don’t try to slow cook a lamb shoulder or give your Christmas ham a crack in this thing.
Experts recommend novice dishwasher chefs to attempt meals that are safe to eat if they aren’t totally cooked through.
Basically, foods that are “forgiving if time and temperature are a little bit out”.
— Digital Trends (@DigitalTrends)
While I can understand the basic concept of this method, I can’t come at the bit where your dinner is literally floating around in filthy dish water and soap.
Choice agreed: “The thought of your dinner soaked with wash water, detergent and gunk from your dinner plates is pretty unappealing”.
Instead, they suggest putting your meal in several zip lock bags, an airtight jar or a dishwasher safe container.
Other people recommend wrapping your meal in four or five sheets of aluminium foil. That seems a bit risky to me.
The report also suggests cooking your dinner in a dishwasher packed with dirty dishes, because “the fuller your machine is, the more stable the temperature, and stable temperatures make cooking easier.”
BUT … WHY?
I asked myself the same thing, as I already had a stove, an oven, a microwave and a mobile phone with which to order Uber Eats.
Well, Choice has a long list of reasons why you should give this unconventional technique a try.
“You’ve got to run the dishwasher anyway, but the rising cost of electricity means you don’t want to run two appliances at once,” the report said.
That’s a bit stingy, if you ask me.
“You want to cook for a large group, and the roominess of your dishwasher means you can cook everything at the same time,” it suggested.
I wouldn’t have any friends left if I tried to cook them an entire meal in my dishwasher.
“You’re a uni student living in a share house, everyone’s drunk, and it seems like a good idea at the time,” it offered.
Yeah, I’ll pay that.
TRY IT YOURSELF
For those game enough to try this at home, take comfort in the fact that I did it, and I am still alive to tell the tale.
However the incubation period for salmonella poisoning is typically 72 hours – But so far, so good!
Simply pick your protein (salmon, prawns, chicken, etc.), marinate it and chuck it in a couple of zip lock bags.
Submerge the package in water, to force all the air out and lock that sucker up.
Then place your wrapped-up packet onto a rack in your dishwasher, where it will essentially poach in the water and the heat until firm.
“The long cycle time also gave the cooking juices a chance to develop in flavour, and it makes an excellent finishing sauce when poured over the fish,” Choice said.
Next, throw your vegetables in a jar and fill it with water and seasoning (beans, carrots, snow peas, things that don’t need too much heat to cook).
You can even (allegedly) cook rice, couscous and pasta in the dishwasher. It takes a few cycles though, so you’ll need a bit of patience.
Make sure to add water to your carbs also, to assist in the cooking process.
Chuck your dishwasher on a long cycle, crack a bottle of wine and pray you sealed everything up tightly.
It won’t be Michelin star quality, but it’ll be cooked, and you’ll have a great story to tell your mates.