You read that correctly – cooking with a dishwasher.
It might very well sound like some sort of gimmick or wacky idea dreamt up and tested by someone with too much time on their hands, but the truth is, it can be done. It can even produce results as good as any cooker.
Of course, the foodstuffs in question need to be sealed in an airtight container or vacuum-packed bag; you don’t want it tainted by detergent tablets or dried old food that’s flying off the dirty dishes and cutlery.
Yes, that’s right – dishes and cutlery. One of the reasons this method has become popular is down to environmental awareness – it is greener to wash your dishes and cook in the dishwasher at the same time.
Steam cooked fish is the most popular thing to cook in the dishwasher at present, using the intense heat of steam produced by the water jets. In effect, your dishwasher works like a steam oven, though it’s only really environmentally friendly when used on a standard setting. For when it comes to cooking, say, meat, the temperature settings need to be hiked up considerably.
The most popular foods for dishwasher cooking include lasagne, couscous, veal, sea bass, apple pie and pizza. Though some of these – especially the latter – can take a long time and have be done on something more than an ‘eco cycle’, much like meat.
The other thing is how much cheaper it can be to use your dishwasher to cook. For a start, most people who own a dishwasher tend to set it on a cycle when it isn’t full, meaning their machine will be performing far more cycles than it really needs to. Instead, why not wait until it’s almost full, with the only space left being for whatever you wish to cook, and then set it going?
The practice isn’t new – according to a new Italian cookbook dedicated to the subject, Americans were chucking their foil-wrapped fish into their dishwashers back in the 1970s, with such appliances having been de rigueur in homes there since the ’50s.
There’s little chance of you overcooking your food by using this method given the temperatures (dishwasher cycles tend to go on an average of 75°c), although there is the chance of it being undercooked. You’re OK with most vegetables, but potatoes are unlikely to respond in the correct way – better to boil them. Still, this means there’ll be no need to shell out for a steamer if you already have a dishwasher. If you don’t, check out the Hotpoint Aquarius today and you too could become part of this eco-friendly movement.
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