No, this is not about poaching salmon in the dishwasher. We have already done that one.
(“My father-in-law, a big-time salmon fisherman on his annual trips to Alaska, taught me about wrapping the big fish in aluminum foil, then running them through two cycles of the dishwasher to poach them,” Todd Jennings recalls. “I loved the 3×5 card he wrote for me: ‘Wrap fish, put in dishwasher, run one cycle, turn fish over, run for another cycle. DO NOT USE DETERGENT!'”)
No, this is something quite different and, if I may say so, a lot more important.
John Peterson: “This is sorta along the lines of your ‘guy cooking’ thing. It’s pretty well known that most families use dishwashers in a way that probably takes more overall time than washing them by hand. It is at least not very efficient even if it does save a little time. The biggest problem is that every dish needs to be handled at least twice — once to put it into the dishwasher and once to put it into the cabinet. A lot of times, clean dishes are taken straight from the dishwasher to be used. This is the essence of the invention — get rid of all cabinets and replace them ALL with dishwashers. This is not really as wacky as it sounds. Dishwashers today can have different front panels to make them look almost like cabinets. Dishwashers are not cheap, but neither are cabinets. It would take a little design work to get the water and waste water piping all over the kitchen and there is a small problem with ‘rotating the stock’ (you probably don’t want to put your dirty dishes in with the clean), but these things are solvable.”
They certainly are! What I would do while we wait for more elaborate solutions is simply to have two dishwashers, one to the left of the sink, one to the right. Dirty stuff goes into the left, clean comes out of the right. When the right one is nearly empty, clamp the left one shut and start it — and then start putting the dirty stuff in the right one and taking clean out of the left.
Of course, a real guy is not going to use a lot of dishes, let alone pots or pans. You will notice Friday’s recipe for corn (Cooking Like a Guy™ #5) requires neither.
What really bugs me are people (naming no names) who turn this two-step process into a three-step process, and worse. First the dish — which may have nothing on it but a few crumbs, and could easily be wiped or rinsed clean and placed directly back on the shelf (it will dry! it doesn’t need any help!) — is placed in the sink. This is to avoid the enormous effort of putting it in the dishwasher. Now it is in the sink, typically on top of a greasy pan or becrusted pot filled with soapy once-hot water.
Note what has happened here: The dish, which was crystal clean on the bottom and just a little crumby on the top — virtually ready for instant shelving or reuse — is now greasy and yechie all over, on both sides. As is the top to the pot. How did that get in there? All it had on it was a little condensation underneath, absolutely nothing on the top, let alone in the crevices of its handle. But no, it, too, is now filthy and disgusting. (And it can’t go in the dishwasher. It’s Calphalon™. La-dee-dah! One can get in big trouble putting that in the dishwasher.) So now the sink is more or less unusable; things that were all but clean are disgusting; the water it all sits in has grown cold and a little smelly; carving knives that could have been rinsed in a single motion are now greasy from handle to tip way at the bottom of the whole mess and totally inaccessible; and still the dishwasher waits to be loaded.
John Peterson is clearly on to something.
But look! The man hasn’t paused 30 second before topping himself. He concludes: “Next — a kitchen table with sides that fold up and washes the dishes in place.”
Maytag? Are you listening?