Fish in the dishwasher and other crazy cooking tips

February 6th, 2012

Dishwashers Ovens & Cooking Recipes

Last week we published ‘The Kettle is for Water, not Sausages,’ which provoked an extraordinary response from our readers.

It seems we’ve struck a chord deep within the heart of the Australian psyche. Alongside barbequing large bits of dead animal and slathering Vegemite on everything, it appears that the average Aussie is something of a MacGyver in the kitchen – constantly on the lookout for new and probably unwise uses for ordinary appliances.

So here is the good, the bad and the ugly of what I’ve decided to term ‘Guerrilla Gourmet’, as suggested by you!

Dishwasher Fish

“Apparently salmon is great cooked in the dishwasher – haven’t tried it yet though!” writes Toni.

Another reader, Savithri, asks: “I have been dying to try to do steamed whole fish in the dishwasher. Haven’t done so yet, but supposed to be good, isn’t it?”

Which prompted me to loudly proclaim that I couldn’t imagine anything more ludicrous. (Cue mixed reactions in the office around me).

Each to their own, I suppose. Reader Heather explains how it’s done:

“Wrap fish tightly in tin foil, put it in your dishwasher on fast wash (no soap!) and you have perfectly cooked fish. The foil must be wrapped tightly or you will end up with fish bits through the dishwasher – yuk!”

As for Margaret’s idea, I have to take my hat off to her: “I steam clean my daughter’s school hat in the dishwasher.”

Ironed Toasted Sandwiches

This method, on the other hand, is nothing short of genius.

“Toasted cheese sandwich – wrap in foil, and iron for a long time,” says Leah from Canberra. “Not only worked, but the iron wasn’t harmed :)”

Kathy has a similar story: “I once used an iron in a motel to make a toasted sandwich… worked a treat.”

“A sandwich in a paper bag and the iron on top for a toasted sandwich,” reiterates Lily.

That said, it would only be convenient in a situation where you didn’t have a sandwich toaster but had easy access to an iron. And don’t mind cheesy cuffs.

Bacon & Eggs on a Sandwich Toaster

Suggested to us by so many of you, the jury agrees: sandwich toasters can be used just like a normal frypan to cook virtually anything.

“We used to cook our steak, chops and sausages on an old sandwich toasty machine when our stove gave out :)” explains Kim.

Our resident bachelor Morris (of hash browns in the toaster fame) agrees, adding steak and sausages to the list of foods that can cooked on a sandwich toaster. “You can do both sides at once!”

This could also be a potential solution for camping or caravan living. (Although we urge you to please check the user’s manual before proceeding!)

And on a similar cautionary note, our CEO John Winning, said: “We had a good laugh at some of the ideas our customers sent in, yet we don’t recommend trying these cooking methods at home – many of these suggestions will ensure your warranty is void.”

Others had far less sensible stories to share:

“Used an electric frypan to heat some wheel bearings so they went on the axle easier, did it all the time.” – Pete

“Used our flat sandwich press to iron a school logo patch onto my daughters school hat cause I don’t have an iron. Worked really well ¦^]” – Sue

Urn Yabbies

Believe it or not, but we received not one but two stories about using an urn to cook yabbies. TWO!

Writes Dean: “Mates of mine had a pond just outside of their smoko hut full of Yabbies. Somebody thought the urn water was making the coffee taste funny, but couldn’t work out where the claw had come from when they rinsed it out. My mates started taking sandwiches again for lunch.”

Which is astounding, but nothing tops this one:

“In 1970s when ABBA was in Australia a dumb TV reporter in ABC Perth boiled yabbies in the studio engineer’s tea urn. Nearly caused a national strike. Union had to negotiate and bought the fellows a new urn. Couldn’t get the stench out. He thought he would impress Agnetha with them.” – Jan

Around about this point we would normally include a disclaimer saying something to the effect of ‘don’t try this at home’ – but honestly, if you think cooking yabbies in an urn is a good idea, we’d hazard a guess that perhaps you’ve got bigger problems to worry about than fishy appliances.

(Dis)Honourable Mentions

“When I was younger I wanted to make a hot chocolate so instead of putting the milk in a saucepan to heat up I put the milk into the kettle and ruined it. It stunk so bad I tried to cover the area with incense and when my parents boiled the kettle to make coffee it didn’t taste very nice and they found out.” – Michelle

Using a cordless drill to make marshmallows – “just stick the whisk in lock it down and off you go.” – Sherrie

“I wrap a steak, butter and a little bit of Cup’o’Soup in tin foil and wire to exhaust manifold…drive at 100km for 20 km and turn….yum.” – Warren

“Some years ago my late Father-in-law had a really bright idea. The power had gone off and he wanted a cuppa, mmm he thinks, the old wood fire was burning, so he put the electric kettle over the flames. He wondered what the burning smell was. Result, he had to buy a new electric kettle.” – Mary

Which is a story disturbingly similar to Dorothy’s:

“Put an electric kettle on a gas stove to boil. Not a smart move, but I was pregnant at the time and not in my right mind. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Needless to say, a new kettle was required.”

There were so many others to choose from – such as undies in the microwave, lamb chops in the toaster, toasters and electric stoves being used to light cigarettes, electric mixers to stir paint, gas stoves to toast marshmallows, wet shoes in the oven, and much more. But my ultimate favourite is this story which came to us from Anita:

“When microwaves first came out, my mother decided to ‘bake’ a chicken.  After approx. 3-4 hours in the microwave without any noticeable colour change, she decided that it just had to be cooked by that stage and took it out. By this stage we were all starving and sitting expectantly at the table. It looked weird and when Mum put the knife into it, the skin collapsed in a steamy mess and we discovered that only the skin and bones were left.  We laughed for hours while mum cried!”

And to finish, we’ll leave you with some details which may one day be of use:

Fire brigade: 000
State Emergency Service: 132 500
Cooking for Dummies

Louise is a writer with a passion for appliances, especially those that involve food. She is particularly fond of ovens because they enable her to make cake. Apart from baking Louise also enjoys listening to alternative music, dying her hair various unnatural colours and writing poetry that has been described (by her Nan) as 'quite nice'. On her appliance wish list is a Hello Kitty toaster and 'Hero' the barking dog-shaped hot dog maker. She lives in Sydney. Google+

12 responses to “Fish in the dishwasher and other crazy cooking tips”

  1. Misselizabethblue says:

    My Mum went to school in The Mallee and at morning tea time the teacher would collect eggs from the children, write their names on them and bury them in the sand pit….at lunch time, they had a lovely “boil”egg for lunch.

  2. James says:

    A friend once found that his espresso machine in the office kitchen had the water reservoir filled with milk. It had been used over the weekend like this and when he came to use it on monday it was pumping out warm yoghurt

  3. Oh, deary deary me!

  4. Quentaris says:

    Sandwich press!! If it can be cooked on the grill or in a frypan it can be cooked in the sandwich press. Pancakes, eggs scrambled, fried and in an omelette. Roast potatoes, pumpkin, carrot etc. Cook your chips , hashbrowns, sausages, steak, chicken nuggets, fish fingers, even mince steak. Use your leftover mashed potato and vegies for a great snack and your leftover rice for fried rice.
    The one thing it is rarely used for is toasted sandwiches lol

  5. Marita says:

    LOL too funny. My husband had problems with water from the kettle at work tasting weird, so he took ours in. Only to find a few days later the same problem. Turned out a co-worker was boiling the kettle with some kind of dumpling inside it for his dinner. :urgh: 

    Not only was work kettle ruined, so was ours.

  6. I’ve found deep frying sausage to be an easier, faster and somewhat healthier option for cooking sausages. After frying them in canola oil and leaving them sit in the basket for a minute i noticed a lot less fat on the sausage when i put them on paper towel as compared to when i cook them on the stove . . . also much more even cooking.

  7. Boofoextrordinaire says:

    Before there were hair straighteners and we were too poor for a hair dryer used to use the iron on the ironing board to iron my hair straight, got a few burned bits on my forehead but,,,,,,,,,

  8. bottomless says:

    I was running late for work one day and realised I didn’t have any clean underwear, so I quickly hand-washed a pair, then drove most of the way (country roads) with my undies caught in the wound-up car window, trying to dry them in the breeze. They were still damp when I got to the office. No one had arrived for work yet, so I quickly put them in the lunchroom microwave to dry. Unfortunately, after a few seconds, they burst into flames and I had to pull them out and stomp them out on the floor! No one ever knew I went through the entire day undie-less, but they all commented on what the smell of burning ‘something’ might be.

  9. Steve Pyott says:

    Many years ago I saw a famous UK food scientist called Magnus Pyke demonstrate cooking fish in a dishwasher in foil.  The fish looked great!

  10. Marksbelinda says:

    Love the contact details at the end lol

  11. Wow! says:

    A great post – really lightened up our afternoon! I’ll never look at the kettle, toaster or dishwasher the same way again…

  12. Rach says:

    My friends husband put his work shoes in the oven, on a very low heat to dry them out. It worked, but later on his teenage son decided to make some grilled cheese on toast…and didn’t see the shoes in there. Toe jam toast, anyone?

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