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How to Cook Salmon in The Dishwasher

Photograph by Morena Escardo

I first heard about the notion of cooking salmon in the dishwasher in nutrition school. The class was about finding ways to get our clients to cook more often at home, and since most people's No. 1 excuse not to cook is lack of time, the teacher offered this cooking method as one possible solution. You're going to do the dishes anyway, so why not cook dinner at the same time?

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As you can probably imagine, I first found the idea intriguing and even comical, but as it turns out, it actually works. The salmon gets slowly poached, resulting in a perfectly cooked texture. If you wrap it well, no water (or soap!) will get into it, nor will the salmon's juices escape the foil and leave your dishwasher smelling of fish. I double wrap it in heavy duty foil just to make sure, but if you're an expert wrapper you may be OK with less.

Something you should keep in mind: onion and garlic don't cook fully in the dishwasher. I add them to the fish for flavor before sticking in the dishwasher, and then unwrap and slightly sauté them in some oil and pour them over the salmon before serving. You can also change the seasoning in any way you want.

RELATED: How to Buy Sustainable Fish

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RECIPE: Dishwasher Poached Salmon

Yields 4 servings

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30-60 minutes (depending on your dishwasher cycle)
Total time: 45-75 minutes


  • 4 salmon fillets (about 3 inches x 2 inches)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4-8 sprigs dill
  • 1 1/2 medium lemon or large lime, cut in thin slices
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 large yellow onion, cut in slices
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil

You'll also need: 8 10x10-inch squares of aluminum foil


  1. Place a salmon fillet in the center of a foil square.
  2. Season with salt and pepper, and top with 1 or 2 sprigs of dill, 2 lemon or lime slices, 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, a few onion slices, and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
  3. Fold the foil covering the fish completely and making sure the package is perfectly sealed. Use a second square of foil to double wrap it.
  4. Repeat this procedure with the rest of the fish, and then place the fillets on the top rack of the dishwasher.
  5. Run a normal cycle on the dishwasher (yes, you can also do your dishes at the same time).
  6. Unwrap the fish, and serve with your side dishes of choice.

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Photograph by Morena Escardo

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Photograph by Morena Escardo

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