How To Cook An Entire Meal In Your Dishwasher

Mind. Blown.

woman at dishwasher Getty Images

Cooking is fun, especially when you're trying something new like an ingredient or cooking method. 

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Most of us know our way around a kitchen and have pretty good knowledge of how to use an oven, a microwave, or a flame at a campground.

But did you know that you can cook using a dishwasher? 

Not only can you use a dishwasher to cook an entire meal, but you can get your dirty dishes clean at the same time. It's the finest form of multitasking. 


The internal temperature of a dishwasher ranges from 130 degrees to 150, and if you think about it (Top Chef fans will get this one for sure), what does the water circulating around the food remind you of?

That's right, Michael Voltaggio fans: sous-vide

Sous-vide is French for "under vacuum" and is a method of cooking in which food is sealed in an airtight plastic bag or canning jar, and then placed in a water bath for long periods of time.

The intent is to cook the food evenly so it will retain its moisture and not dry out. 

If you're cooking meat or something that needs a little color to look appetizing, it's OK to sear it off once it's gone through the sous-vide process.


If you're not someone who tries new cooking techniques for fun, you could use the dishwasher to cook something if you just moved into a new place and haven't unpacked all your pots and pans yet, but want to reward your movers with a tasty meal. 

Or maybe it's a very hot day and you don't want to make any more heat by turning the oven on. These are just two possible scenarios where you might choose to cook with your dishwasher. 

I don't advise flipping the script and trying to wash dishes in your oven, though.

If you do want to cook with your dishwasher, you'll need jars that are air-tight.

There are people who swear by using foil to cook in the dishwasher, but foil can be punctured and you could end up with a big mess rather than an easy cleanup.


For your protein, you'll want to pick anything that cooks quickly or doesn't have to cook all the way, like salmon, couscous, or shrimp.

For a side vegetable, choose something that is tender and can be eaten raw (just in case). For fruits, you'll want to pick any kind that is soft and tender, like blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries.

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Pack the jars with the ingredient, add a liquid (like water or wine), some simple flavorings (mustard or garlic), seal them up, place them in the dishwasher among the dirty dishes, and let the dishwasher run for the entire cycle.

When the cycle is finished, allow your jars to cool slightly, then pour off most of the cooking liquid and serve. 


You can use some of the still warm plates you just watched.

For a full tutorial on dishwasher cooking, check out the video below:


If you use the dishwasher to cook a meal for a dinner party, you'll have a guaranteed conversation starter and your guests will remember the meal forever.

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Christine Schoenwald is a writer and performer whose work has been featured in The Los Angeles Times, Salon, and Woman's Day. Visit her website or follow her on Instagram.