Using your kitchen appliances to cook food in unconventional ways, like making mug cakes in the microwave, or using your coffee maker for ramen, have been creating a stir for quite some time, but dishwasher cooking is easily one of the most controversial “kitchen hacks” out there. While you’re accustomed to using the microwave, toaster, and stovetop to cook food, your dishwasher is the place for blasting dishes with loads of soapy suds, and the thought of a lemon-cleaner-scented dinner sounds less than appealing. But when you think about it, the dishwasher is basically a giant hot water bath circulator with the internal temperature reaching between 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, more than hot enough to cook… let’s say a lobster tail?
Now the first and most important step for using your dishwasher as a cooking device is to make sure you get a whole bunch of mason jars. These are essential for cooking in this unconventional appliance. There are certainly people who’ve tried using foil to wrap their food, and while they might have been successful, it’s always scared me to not have a waterproof seal on whatever’s being cooked.
To cook in the dishwasher you essentially need two things: whatever it is that you’re cooking and then some sort of liquid that can come to a simmer to cook your food. For this poached lobster tail we’re going to cook it with butter, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt.
You can also cook up loads of different veggies in the dishwasher, from green beans and asparagus, to Brussels sprouts and potatoes. One trick when cooking potatoes is to cut them up into very small bite-sized pieces. I made mine with a mixture of olive oil and butter, but you could also cook them with water and then season them after they’re done.
Place your sealed mason jars in the dishwasher, and as long as the seal is tight, you can load up the dishwasher with your dirty dishes as well!
Set your dishwasher to clean and make sure that you select “heated dry.” That ensures that the proteins especially will reach the internal temperature to be cooked through.
Small word of warning, since I know you’ll be running to the dishwasher the moment it stops cycling to check on your food — make sure you use a towel to grab your mason jars. They’ll still be super hot!
I’m not going to lie — this might have been the most tender lobster I’ve ever eaten. It was succulent and moist and cooked to perfection! Not only that, but I ended up brushing the leftover lobster butter on the roll before I toasted it and saved the rest of it to use with my eggs the next day. The veggies were cooked through, still a little crisp, and well-flavored, and were a fun addition to this lobster dinner.
Would you try cooking dinner in the dishwasher? If you do, be sure to share your photos on Instagram and tag us @BritandCo using hashtag #DishwasherCooking! We’d love to see your delicious recipe ideas and hear your thoughts on this unique cooking technique.
(Photos via Nicole Iizuka)