Newest cooking fad: Cooking with your dishwasher?

Nadine Kalinauskas

Multitaskers, if you're looking to cook dinner while washing up from lunch at the same time, dishwasher cooking might be for you.

Poaching salmon on the top rack of a dishwasher isn't a new idea. But with recent YouTube videos popping up — and blog posts praising the dishwasher as the newest aid in dinner prep — the idea of popping dinner in the dishwasher has suddenly become a trendy one.

And this time, the trend is more environmentally friendly.

We first learned to poach fish in the dishwasher on the top rack, tightly wrapped in foil, during a soap-free cycle.

"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?" writes NPR's Michaeleen Doucleff.

Also see: The biggest mistake to make while doing the dishes

One Italian food writer is suggesting there's a way to cook dinner and wash dishes simultaneously, saving water and time, NPR reports. Just don't use foil.

The secret? Put your food in airtight canning jars or food vacuum bags, food writer Lisa Casali claims. This way, the hot water doesn't physically touch the food, allowing you to add soap to the cycle.

Casali's newest cookbook is Cucinare in Lavastoviglie (Cooking With the Dishwasher), and it's full of meal ideas that can suit the dishwasher's method of low-temperature cooking.

"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."

Also see: How to turn a watermelon into a grill

So far, the book is only available in Italian. She does, however, offer a few videos on Vimeo that have English subtitles.

Watch her make cous cous in her dishwasher below.

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Sporkful podcast host Dan Pashman and Liza deGuia of Food Curated tried to cook with their dishwasher, Casali-style.

See how they fared below:

Their verdict: Stick with poached pears and hot toddies, skip the muscles and eggs.

Have you ever successfully made dinner in the dishwasher? Or is it something you would try?