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Cooking in the dishwasher??

December 31, 2011 by Karl

Electric Meterberry
This article covers one of my saving flops.  I have read in some places that you can use the top shelf of your dishwasher to cook food.  Some money-saving articles I have read say that if you seal this or that food item in a zipper freezer bag, you can use your dishwasher to do more than just wash dishes.

Aside from the obvious fear of contaminating your food with water, detergent, or rinse agent, it sounded plausible.  This is one of those zany ideas that I just couldn’t resist.   Why shouldn’t it work?   When I reach for a dish that has been in the dishwasher right after the load has finished, it is hot enough to burn my hand.  Why wouldn’t it work to cook food?

Unable to resist the temptation, I decided I would test the multitasking capabilities of my Kitchen-Aid dishwasher by hard boiling two eggs.  I took two of our precious farm raised, free range organic chicken eggs, and placed them in a zipper freezer bag.  Then I placed them on the top shelf of our dishwasher amongst the dirty dishes, closed the door, and said a little prayer as I set the program and pressed the start button.

My wife who was observing this process, simply shook her head and walked out of the room muttering something under her breath about wasting our perfectly good eggs.  She has gotten used to my crazy money-saving ideas by this point, often watching perfectly good money go flying out the door as a result.

I don’t usually use the drying cycle on our dishwasher to save on money, but I decided to make an exception in this case to test out the full food baking capabilities of the device.

Our dishwasher usually takes about 90 minutes to complete its routine.  This was one of those pot watching moments where I just couldn’t keep myself out of the kitchen even though the results would not be known until the end.  I stared at the door of the dishwasher from time to time as if somehow the answer to my experiment might be visibly available, or maybe the results could be heard in some new sound that I had never heard the machine make before.  No such luck.  No clues could be gleaned from my experiment until the process was complete.

Finally the moment of truth was here.  I even waited a full 20 minutes after the cycle was completed to give my eggs some extra cook time in case they needed it.  My glasses fogged instantly as I opened the door of the dishwasher.  It must have worked with that kind of heat coming out!  I pulled the top drawer out, and gingerly picked up my zipped freezer bag.  My first observation seemed promising.  The bag had no water in it, and the eggs seemed relatively dry.

I looked up to see my wife and daughter peaking around the corner to see what kind of mess I had made.  Gently, I cracked one of the eggs against the side of a bowl in case I needed an emergency goop receptacle.  As it turned out, the bowl did come in handy.  The inside content of the egg hadn’t even begun to cook.  The very outside of the egg white was just starting to turn white from heat, but the rest was unaffected.

I ate scrambled eggs for desert that night, while my wife and daughter spared no joke at my expense.

Needless to say, I have not attempted to cook in the dishwasher again.


  1. Patty Show says:

    I’ve actually heard that cooking fish in the dishwasher works, although I’d be inclined to skip putting the soap in which would defeat the process of doing two tasks at once.

  2. Meg Keegan says:

    I bet you have your water heater turned down.

    • Karl says:

      Actually, our water heater temperature is set a little higher than it should be. I recently checked the electric usage of my hot water heater, and we are using about 90 KWH, which translates to about $12/month….. even with it set at a higher temp!

      • Erik Synnestvedt says:

        Plus the dishwasher probably has a heating element that raises the water temperature even higher than the input temperature. So the water heater temp is not usually relevant.

  3. suzane says:

    try eggs in a baggie in the DW, I think hard boiled are too dense, or thick. In Scouts we do eggs in a baggie: Crack 2 eggs into a baggie, add cheese, salsa, whatevs you like, stick in boiling water. Can’t recall how long. Scrambelllied eggs!

  4. suzane says:

    look! Now you CAN try it again! heeheehee

  5. Rick says:

    I merely set an egg, fresh out of the chicken, on the silverware rack at the bottom of the dishwasher, when doing a regular load of dishes (soap isn’t making its way through the shell unless it’s cracked). and by the end of the drying cycle it turned out very nicely soft-boiled. Knocked a hole in the top and bottom and sucked it right out – quite tasty.

    • Karl says:

      Rick. I beg to differ about the soap. Egg shells are a permeable membrane. I’m quite certain that you ate some detergent in your experiment. I wouldn’t recommend this method.

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