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Would You Cook Salmon in Your Dishwasher?

Would You Cook Salmon in Your Dishwasher?

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Guys, we totally know what to do with that otherwise-useless dishwasher you have. Do some cooking.

Consumerist brought us to this fascinating story from Real Simple about what can and can't go in your dishwasher, and two items stood out to us: potatoes and salmon.

According to the masters of multitasking, "Potatoes can get nice and clean in the top rack with a rinse-only cycle (no detergent). Sound crazy? It makes mashed potatoes for 20 a lot quicker," they write.

As for salmon? Wrap it up in some foil with some lime juice, salt, and pepper, and run the dishwasher on normal. Why you would, according to Real Simple: "It’s an Internet cliché that happens to work. Impress friends! Make kids laugh!"

But of course, this tends to leave your dishwasher smelling like fish, according to the Real Simple staff. "Plus, you’re actually cooking the salmon with your crusty dishes and coffee-stained mugs." Yikes.

Commenters on the other hand think this is perfectly normal. "To all of the doubters out there, you don't know what you're missing! I've been making this dish for years and my whole family loves it. And my dishwasher and dishes are not fishy at all!" one wrote on the recipe comments.

Other dishwasher cooking ideas that we are too nervous to try out: carrots, corn, and maybe broccoli?

Does Dishwasher Cooking Really Work?

You can do chores and cook food at the same time--all in your dishwasher. But do you want to?

In the avalanche of turkey recipes released in the past month, one in particular stood out: a dishwasher-cooked version, and from a famous chef, no less. David Burke, known for such innovations as pastrami salmon and cake pops, swears by this method that cooks the poultry through four cycles of a dishwasher.

A quick Google search of "dishwasher cooking" leads to recipes for salmon, lasagna, potatoes and more. There's an entire cookbook devoted to the method, and Oprah has even weighed in on the subject with salmon, pasta and vegetable recipes.

So it's proved it can be done, but the real question here is why. Why would someone decide to use a dishwasher to cook food over more traditional methods such as the oven, grill or stove?

Dan Pashman, creator and host of the Sporkful food podcast, devoted a show to dishwasher cooking and came away with a number of insights.

"I tried a whole bunch of different foods. Some were very successful and some were pretty disastrous, though nothing so disastrous that it broke my dishwasher," Pashman said. "You can really try anything - there's nothing to lose other than the food. But the most important thing to know is that you have to make sure the food is sealed really well."

The classic and most well-known dishwasher recipe - salmon - calls for a tightly sealed foil packet, but Pashman also recommends ball jars and vacuum-packed plastic bags to keep water and soap out.

Once you have an airtight package, the food possibilities are endless, though Pashman found that lighter, less dense foods cook better. "In general, if you're looking for the types of dishes that you might want to cook in the dishwasher, the best ones are foods that you poach, because the cooking technique is very similar to poaching," Pashman said. "Take a minute to find out what temperatures your different dishwasher cycles go to. You want it to hit at least 140 degrees for most foods."

Pashman experimented with lobster, scallops, Korean beef bulgogi, eggs, mussels, clams, couscous, pears and more for his podcast, but he hasn't returned to the method since. "It does make salmon well, and the poached pears were great," Pashman said. "But were they better? Not necessarily."

While the method may be great for multi-taskers and the environmentally-friendly looking to get chores and dinner done at the same time, cooking in your dishwasher is mainly a good party trick.

"I would do it for a party just to impress friends. Your friends show up and you have sink full of dirty dishes and there's no food," Pashman said. "And you load all the dirty dishes and drop the food in the nooks and crannies, pour some drinks, run the dishwasher, take out the clean plates and serve the dinner. It's a fun twist and people will remember that. If you practice and know what you're doing, the food will taste great."

Dan Pashman's Bourbon Poached Pears in the Dishwasher

4 firm, ripe Bosc or Bartlett pears

1 vanilla bean (split and scraped-use the insides and discard the skin)

Combine water, brown sugar, honey, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla bean in a saucepan on medium heat. Stir until spices are dissolved. Peel pears, leaving the stems, and halve them, scooping out the seeds. In a large ball jar combine pears, contents of saucepan and bourbon. If pears are not completely covered by liquid, add a bit more water. Mix gently. Cook in dishwasher on regular cycle.

Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes depending on dishwasher Total Time: 1 hour - 1 hour 30 minutes Servings: 2

  • 1 salmon fillet
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 pinch thyme
  • 1 pinch rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Aluminum foil
  • Vegetables of your choice

Cut your fillet into 2 inch wide pieces.

Season the fillets with the sea salt, thyme, rosemary, garlic and lemon juice. Place salmon into a foil boat (fold sides up) that secures all the liquids. Drizzle some olive oil on the fillets.

Cut your vegetables into bite sized pieces. I used broccoli, cauliflower and carrots but this is up to personal preference. Place in foil boat (say that 10 times quickly) and add water.

Practice safe cooking and wrap up both foil boats. This prevents the water from the dishwasher to not ruin your dinner.

Place the salmon and vegetables on the top rack of the dishwasher. Be wary to not puncture the foil.

Turn the dishwasher on its highest setting, with heated dry on and run the washer.


Wait patiently. Hang out with some friends while you wait!

When the cycle is done, wait for about 10 minutes and pull your food out.

Marvel at your genius creation and brag about how innovative you are.

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We were skeptical, despite the fact that the heat in a typical dishwasher is 170°F.

We followed Blumer's "Dishwasher Salmon" recipe, and prepared salmon and potatoes the way we normally would: salt and pepper, some herbs and lemon slices on the fish a drizzle of olive oil on the potatoes. The only tweak we made was to cut the potatoes into really small pieces, to ensure they'd cook through.

Once the ingredients were prepped, it was time for a key step: wrapping the fish and potatoes tightly in tin foil to make sure that no water gets in, and no steam (or fish juices!) get out. If you've ever cooked foods in parchment paper, the packing method is similar.

Our packets secured, we headed to the dishwasher. Blumer recommends using the top rack of the machine, and we've even heard of an incredibly efficient woman who places her salmon in the top rack, while the bottom rack is filled with dirty dishes. We didn't want to risk it, so our dishwasher was empty, save for the food-filled packs.

One normal, two-hour cycle later, we opened the packets to discover . undercooked fish and almost raw potatoes.

If we were going to try it again, we'd try a longer, more intense cycle in the dishwasher. But let's be honest: why cook dinner in the dishwasher when you can just use an oven?

How to Store Salmon

Fresh salmon is best when eaten the same day you buy it. But it will stay for a day or two tightly wrapped in plastic and stored in the coldest part of the fridge.

You can freeze salmon for up to 6 months. To thaw, take it from freezer to fridge the night before you intend to eat it. Or if time is an issue, submerge fillets in cool water frozen fillets should be completely thawed in about an hour or two. Never thaw salmon at room temperature because bacteria can build up in the thawed outer portions even as the center remains frozen.

Dishwasher Cooking: Make Your Dinner While Cleaning The Plates

Food writer Dan Pashman says poached pears are great in the dishwasher. We're not sure about the asparagus, but we'll let you know after the cycle finishes.

My mom is a creative cook. And a darn good one at that.

But when she told me and my sister — way back in 1995 — that she had started cooking salmon in the dishwasher, we just rolled our eyes and shook our heads. Here comes a kitchen catastrophe.

Here's How To Poach Salmon In The Dishwasher

An hour later, mom proved her teenage daughters wrong once again. The salmon was tender, moist and super flavorful. In some ways, it was better than her fish cooked in the oven.

Flash-forward 18 years, and dishwasher cuisine seems to be making a comeback.

A handful of YouTube videos and food blogs are showing off the method. And even Oprah offered up a recipe for an entire lunch — noodles, asparagus and salmon — prepared in the dishwasher.

You wrap the salmon tightly in aluminum foil or a cooking bag. Add a lemon wedge, oil and some spices — cilantro, ginger or really, anything that you want. Put the foil package on the top rack and start a normal washing cycle, without adding soap.

That's the traditional method. And it works great. The hot water and steam essentially poach the salmon. And at the low temperature, about 140 to 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the fish cooks very slowly, so it turns creamy and soft, as Dan Pashman of the Sporkful podcast tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin.

But is this really worth the time and energy? Running a dishwasher uses a lot of electricity and water. And if you're not adding soap, then you still need to repeat the wash to clean greasy pots and pans. Seems like just a gimmick to impress dinner guests, right?

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Not quite, says Italian food writer Lisa Casali. She argues that the method can be quite environmentally friendly. There's just one trick: Instead of using aluminum foil, as many websites recommend, you should put the food into airtight canning jars or food vacuum bags. Then the hot water doesn't touch the food. So you can add soap to the cycle and really clean your dishes while poaching dinner.

Casali has been experimenting with dishwasher cuisine for a few years. And the result is her cookbook Cucinare in Lavastoviglie (Cooking with the dishwasher), which gives recipes for a whole array of dishes, like couscous, veal, tuna and even fruits and desserts.

Dishwasher cooking is best for foods that need to be cooked at low temperatures, Casali says. "After some experiments, I found that it wasn't just a different way to cook — it was a really particular technique," she says. "Something I was looking for years: the way to cook at low temperature at home."

Unfortunately, Casali's book appears to be available only in Italian. But the innovative chef has put together a few how-to videos on Vimeo, with English subtitles, describing top recipes.

Or you can watch Pashman on YouTube cook everything from shrimp and beef to spinach and pears in the dishwasher. Bon appétit!

For this raw salmon recipe, you'll toss the cubed fish in a simple grapefruit ponzu sauce and serve over tender greens. Crushed wasabi peas add a pop of heat.

Switch up this endlessly riffable salad to suit your preferences, but try to always include a mix of cooked and raw vegetables for the best textures. This is a great way to use up leftover cooked salmon, if you've got it.

Since 1995, Epicurious has been the ultimate food resource for the home cook, with daily kitchen tips, fun cooking videos, and, oh yeah, over 33,000 recipes.

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement and Your California Privacy Rights. Epicurious may earn a portion of sales from products that are purchased through our site as part of our Affiliate Partnerships with retailers. The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast. Ad Choices

2 Rules for How to Cook Salmon Even Haters Will Love

I'm a salmon hater too. These are my tricks for how to cook salmon I'll actually eat&mdashplus, my full recipe.

I don’t really like salmon. As a professional cook, I feel funny declaring any real culinary dislikes (I promise I only have a few), but no matter how many times I try it in a restaurant or cooking salmon myself, the fish is a hard sell for me.

I desperately want to like salmon: It’s versatile, loaded with healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, and a nice way to change up the chicken-steak-pasta program that seems to have taken hold in my house. Now, I’ve finally figured out how to cook salmon so eating it doesn&apost feel like a chore. It’s a two-step process that anyone can employ for the salmon lovers and haters in their household.

First, buy frozen, not fresh. I prefer to buy frozen pre-portioned salmon filets. Because they’re frozen fast and efficiently (on the boat from which they’re caught), these pieces of fish have little chance of going bad. The longer a fish has been sitting around unfrozen, the stronger it starts to smell and taste. Freezing ASAP ensures that the fish tastes as fresh (i.e. less fishy) as can be. When it&aposs time, I pull as many salmon filets as I want to make out of the freezer and put them in the fridge to defrost—overnight usually does the trick.

Second, stop pretending you&aposll acquire a taste for bare salmon. I would like to be able to enjoy the distinct flavors of the Cohos and the Kings, the Sockeyes and the Ketas, but I really just need some help. Enter sauce. Specifically, an herby, garlicky, vinegary mixture that works beautifully on a seared, broiled, or steamed fish, but also as a salad dressing, a roasted vegetable toss, or a dip for crusty bread. Here’s how to make Roasted Salmon with Herby-Garlic Sauce.

  1. Preheat oven to 500ଏ.
  2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Add the salmon filets and turn to coat in the oil season with salt and pepper.
  4. Roast until salmon is opaque on the outside and just translucent on the inside, about 5 minutes. But don’t freak out if you like well done salmon: just keep roasting for another 3 to 5 minutes until it’s opaque all the way through. This will mean a slightly dryer piece of fish, but the sauce will take care of that.

While the salmon is roasting, make the Herby-Garlic sauce.

  1. Chop 2 small handfuls of one of the following (or a combination): flat leaf parsley, chives, basil and/or mint, anything tender and leafy. Place the chopped herbs in a bowl and add enough olive oil so you just see it starting to pool around the herbs.
  2. Grate a garlic clove right into the bowl—use a microplane for super fast and easy grating, or finely chop it.
  3. Add a couple splashes of red or white wine vinegar, a good pinch of salt, and several grinds pepper.
  4. Give it a good stir and then taste it. Is it delicious? You’re there. Is it sour? Add salt. Is it salty? Add another splash of vinegar. Do this until you want to put it on everything.

When the salmon is finished cooking, transfer the filets to plates alongside a nice pile of tender lettuces. Spoon the Herby Garlic sauce over the salmon and the greens and squeeze a little lemon over top. And that’s a salmon dish even a hater would love. Need more salmon for skeptics? Check out this nifty sheet pan Salmon with Roasted Cabbage and Olive Vinaigrette.

Best British recipes: Salmon is party perfect if you serve it whole

Summer means a fresh, big, juicy, pink fish, says Xanthe Clay .

In three weeks we’ll announce the first winner of the Telegraph Morrisons Best British Recipe competition, so keep your entries coming in. The quality so far has been outstanding and there are already plenty of recipes online at

Summer is really here now and whether it’s a christening, wedding anniversary or just lunch in the garden for friends, it seems to bring out the party in us. But worrying about feeding the hordes can dampen even the best cook’s party spirit.

A poached salmon is a sensible solution. It might not be at the cutting edge of culinary fashion but it’s crowd-pleasing and delicious. A whole fish cooked on the bone always tastes better than measly fillets. It makes a splendid centrepiece and can be prepared in advance. And the rich flesh goes a long way, so it won’t break the bank. Serve it simply with British green beans or runner beans tossed in salted butter, plus some waxy new potatoes (see recipe, below).

When it comes to choosing a fish, the ultimate is wild salmon. However, it’s now endangered, so effectively off the menu. But happily, salmon farming methods are much improved from the low point of the Eighties, and as long as you look for a well-reared fish such as one with the Freedom Food label you should be in for a treat.

The sheer size of a whole salmon poses problems, so here are three ways to tackle it.

Whichever option you choose, allow 8oz/225g fish per person.

The perfect poached salmon should not be dry, hard and opaque, but moist and easily flaked.

The proper way to poach a fish is in a long narrow pan. Fish kettles start at about £20, but some fishmongers (including some Morrisons fish counters) will lend you one. This method works for any weight of fish.

Wine-Poached Shrimp

Going with a protein that cooks quickly or doesn't need to be completely cooked through is the best bet. And using sealable glass jars keeps food clear of soap.


  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 dozen shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Add ingredients to a half-quart mason jar and seal the lid. If you aren't a fan of shrimp, try scallops, clams, or mussels — or a few of each!

Method: Steam

This isn&apost exactly steaming, in this method the salmon is not submerged in the liquid but it&aposs pretty close. Pour one cup of water or broth into the bottom of the instant pot insert. Either add 1 1/4 pounds tiny or chopped potatoes into the water or place the steamer insert in the pot over the water. Arrange the salmon skin-side down over the potatoes or on the steamer insert above the water.

Variations: Add fresh herbs into the water to infuse herbal notes into the fish. Another option is to add a tablespoon of butter or oil in the water with the potatoes for a creamier texture. Try mashing the cooked potatoes with garlic, butter, and cream. Swap some of the potatoes for chopped hearty root vegetables. Rub a spice mixture or spoon a sauce like a combo of grainy mustard and honey mustard over the top of the salmon. Finish the cooked salmon with a fresh herb pesto.

Watch the video: Πεντανόστιμος Σολομός.