Dishwasher Poached Salmon – Easy, Fun, Foolproof, & Wonderfully Superfluous



First of all, if you’re the sort compelled to ask “Why cook a fish in the dishwasher?” you just don’t get the joke and certainly won’t find an answer here. On the other hand, if you want to create a succulent entree in a manner that will impress – or at least scare your friends and get your dishes clean, you have come to the right place.

Demonstrating the steps of this recipe is my elder son, aka Prodigal, who, at the time this was posted, had just returned from a 16 month stay in Guatemala (another story for another day).

Dishwasher Salmon: The Illustrated Recipe



  • Olive Oil
  • Salmon – one 6-8 oz filet (steaks and whole fish are too thick to poach in this manner) per serving
  • 1-2 tablespoons lime juice per serving
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Aluminum foil


1. Lay out two sheets of foil, each at least twice as large as the piece of fish

2. Spread olive oil over the foil sheets

3. Place the salmon on the oiled side of one sheet of foil & fold up the outer edges

4, Pour 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice over the salmon


6. Salt & pepper the salmon to taste

7. Place the oiled side of the other sheet on top of the salmon and the first sheet

8. Fold and pinch the aluminum foil sheets together, creating a watertight envelope around each fillet (OK to double-wrap)


9. Place foil-wrapped fish on the top rack of the dishwasher


10. At this point, some versions of this recipe warn against the use of dishwasher soap; these recipes are written by wimps who have no confidence in their aluminum foil folding skills and who have so much time on their hands that they can cook fish and wash dishes separately; in our household, on the other hand, we have a continuous need to transform dirty dishes into clean dishes, and have discovered that detergent is necessary to effect that change. Prodigal’s personal preference is Cascade Orange Scent


11. Run dishwasher for the entire wash and dry cycle (do not use economy, cool-dry, or pots & pans settings)


12. When cycle is finished, remove and unwrap the foil packets

13. Discard foil

14. Place one fillet on each plate (Alternatively, fish can be chilled before serving)

After considering the options (none), we chose to accompany the salmon with pineapple salsa, which Prodigal pronounced acceptable although we suspect the Cilantro or Hollandaise sauces recommended by other recipes would be better yet. A salad and sauté potatoes would be fine complements to the salmon. Prodigal matched the poached salmon with an amusing vintage of Canada Dry (decaffeinated) Ginger Ale; a Pinot Noir, however, would be a more classical approach.

Dishwasher Salmon is not only geek-cool but, as far as I can tell, nearly fool-proof (as long as one respects the concept of a watertight foil envelope).

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