As long as you’re using a dishwasher to wash dishes (which can be an energy saver), you might as well double up and cook dinner at the same time.
Intrepid home cooks have long known that a dishwasher can act as a sort of oversized sous vide cooker. But, as a rule, recipes will tell you to wrap the food in aluminum foil and run the dishwasher without soap. That’s not exactly energy efficient, since you have to run a full extra cycle just to cook.
There is a way to make this all work together though, as NPR reports.
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.
It turns out that there’s a woman in Italy named Lisa Casali who is the Iron Chef of dishwasher cooking. Watch her work her magic on veal:
And on could-be-vegetarian couscous:
The key here is to pick ingredients that are already “suitable for slow-cooking,” Casali says. So, basically, anything you would slowly poach — we’re thinking fish and fruit, mostly — will work here. Anything that you would steam or sauté: not so much.
Next up: a way to not bother cooking and not bother doing the dishes simultaneously! (It’s called Seamless.)