You Can Apparently Cook A Steak In The Dishwasher

You've likely heard of the cooking technique known as sous vide. The process requires tightly sealing food in a plastic bag (usually with a vacuum sealer) and then submerging it in a vat of water, where it cooks at a low temperature over a long period of time with the help of a special device that heats and circulates the water. The result is ultra-tender, perfectly cooked food. However, if you don't want to spring for a sous vide cooker, you can supposedly replicate the results using your dishwasher.

As one viral TikTok demonstrated, all you need to do to cook a steak in your dishwasher is to season your steak as normal, seal it inside an airtight bag, run it through the dishwasher's normal cycle, and then finish it off with a quick sear on the stovetop. The idea behind the method is that since the average dishwasher heats up to around 150 degrees Fahrenheit, the appliance should get hot enough to safely cook an array of foods during a full cycle, from eggs to frozen pizzas to, yes, steaks.

Is it safe to cook in the dishwasher?

But just because you can do something, that doesn't always mean that you should. In some cases, cooking in your dishwasher might not be all that safe. One risk is that your cooked food won't actually reach the proper, USDA-recommended temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit — and still harbor illness-causing bacteria when it reaches your plate. And if the vacuum-sealed bag containing your steak is damaged at all during the wash cycle, it could expose the food to the various debris and chemicals lurking in your dishwasher.

Despite these risks, though, dishwasher cooking has been around for decades and pops up as a culinary trend every few years, with endorsements from foodies, cookbook authors, and even Oprah. So, if you decide to cook your steak — or any food — in the dishwasher, you won't be alone. However, consider taking a few extra safety precautions by ensuring you only cook your food in properly sealed, airtight containers that can stand up to the high temperatures (some hacks suggest just wrapping your food in aluminum foil, which isn't the safest way to go) and always test the temperature of your steak before chowing down to ensure that it's properly cooked.