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How to Cook in the Dishwasher

Yes, You Can Cook Dinner in the Dishwasher

A few months ago I heard an interview I couldn't believe on NPR about cooking delicious dinners in the dishwasher. What? The idea of tossing foods in the dishwasher alongside my dirty plates just seemed absurd — but the efficiency actually does make sense. I hit the grocery store for a few items to give making dinner in my trusty dishwasher a try. Here's what I made:

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!


Mustard-Glazed Green Beans

This would work wonderfully with fresh peas, asparagus, or even spinach. Yum!


  • 1/4 pound green beans
  • 1 teaspoon grainy mustard
  • 1 cup water
  • Pinch of salt and pepper


Mix together 1 teaspoon of your favorite grainy mustard, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 cup water. Pour over beans and seal with a lid.

Fluffy Lemon Couscous

Couscous is perfect for cooking in the dishwasher, and the results are so fluffy!


  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 3/4 cup vegetable or chicken stock


Add ingredients to a half-quart mason jar, seal with a lid, and shake to distribute the liquid around the couscous.

Strawberry Cinnamon Compote

This sauce is perfect for drizzling over ice cream!


  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup water


Add ingredients to a small jelly jar and seal with a lid. This recipe would also be delicious with other fresh berries, such as blackberries, blueberries, or raspberries — or even chopped peaches.

How to Cook in the Dishwasher

Place the jars on the top rack of your dishwasher, and set to whatever washing cycle you prefer. Make sure the lids of the jars are sealed, and start the washing cycle. Because the jars are secure, you can cook right alongside your dirty dishes, making it a fun and efficient way to prepare dinner in a different way. Most dishwashers are manufactured to heat around 140 to 145˚F, so you're basically poaching your foods, which gives everything lots of flavor.

Be careful removing jars — they will be hot! Open and plate your delicious dinner.

What do you think? Will you try cooking in the dishwasher?

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Sarah Lipoff
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