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The best cooking appliances you never thought of

Unplug your toaster and have at it.


Allen Weiner


Posted on Feb 7, 2015   Updated on May 29, 2021, 2:36 pm CDT

Roasting in a Viking oven can get boring after a while, so why not try making Sunday dinner for your clan using the dishwasher or iron? Not an iron skillet—we’re talking about the one you use to press your skirts.

Anyone can prepare a five-course meal, from appetizers to Baked Alaska, using traditional pots and pans, measuring cups, and a fancy-schmancy Wolf range. It takes a real chef—more likely a really nutty chef—to cook chicken with a stream iron, dishwasher, washing machine, or coffee maker.

So, release your inner Alton Brown; unplug your toaster, food processor, and high-speed blender and have at it. What’s the worst that can happen—your lasagna skips the rinse cycle and tastes like soap?

1) Iron chef

John Quilter is a really cool British dude whose restaurant went bust, so like any self-respecting busker, he took to the street to perform his culinary magic. Against the stares of those nearby, the Food Busker demonstrates how to prepare chicken in a savory wrap using a household iron. The trick, as this skilled chef demonstrates, is to use a tightly packed aluminum foil pouch, slice the bird extra thick, and be sure to iron your dish on both sides. No starch, please.

2) Perking up a meal

I’ll have salmon on a bed of rice with some steamed vegetables, and chocolate fondue for dessert. And make it a decaf.

Yep, this dinner menu can be prepared using an everyday drip coffee maker—the kind you can buy on sale on Black Friday for $10. Coffee pot cooking comes in handy when you are on the road and want to save a few sheckles on a fancy dinner. Looks good on the business expense account.

Speaking of Alton Brown, the man who made being a food nerd fashionable shows how to make oatmeal in a coffee pot. The secret is putting a tea bag in the top of the brew basket.

3) The churn cycle

British funster home cook Maddie Moate is more of a comedian than a cook, but nonetheless she offers up an interesting way to make butter in your washing machine. The part where she puts the cream vessel inside a dirty trainer (what Brits call sneakers) is enough to make you gag, but the end result is more than satisfactory.

4) The cleanest lasagna ever

Alton Brown is at it again. This time, he joins MythBusters‘ Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage as they cook lasagna in a dishwasher.

This is no ordinary stunt; the trio take apart the dishwasher and put a glass door on the front to observe the cooking process. To ensure none of the three wind up in the emergency room, they place a probe in the lasagna to wait until it reaches a safe temperature. The rub here is that if you want to use your dishwasher in place of a stove, patience is the word of the day—it takes two-and-a-half hours to cook. Best not to do if you are hungry.

Cooking using household appliances is far from the most unusual food hacks around. Imagine be able to cook a pizza on your car’s radiator. That’s a recipe for another day.

Screengrab via Food Busker/YouTube

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*First Published: Feb 7, 2015, 11:00 am CST