50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Kids Do): Cook Something in the Dishwasher

Cook apples in your dishwasher! The Risky Kids


Task: Clean your dishes and make a snack at the same time – with the same machine!



  • Pint-sized mason jar and lid
  • 2 apples
  • 1 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons white or brown sugar

Possible Hazards:

  • Food Poisoning

How It All Went Down:

My kids are fairly accustomed, by now, to being on the receiving end of some odd questions that start with, “Hey, do you want to …?” But I believe I truly threw them off when I asked them if they wanted to cook something in the dishwasher. Clearly I had some explaining to do, as Elena assumed that we’d be throwing some raw chicken on the top rack right next to the glasses.

In Gever Tulley’s book 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do), he suggests a variety of things that can be cooked in the dishwasher (in appropriate packaging) alongside the dishes, such as chicken, hot dogs or vegetables. In doing my own research, I also found guides to cook lasagna and salmon in the ol’ Whirlpool. Perhaps you’re so intrigued you’d like to  get yourself an entire cookbook dedicated to the craft!

In the end we chose something simpler: Cinnamon Sugar Apples. It’s a dish I make often on the stovetop, but I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to let Elena create her own recipe and make it herself, from start to (very clean!) finish.

Why on earth would you cook something in the dishwasher, and how, exactly, does it work? Well, just to say you did is a good enough reason for us. But if you were especially concerned about energy efficiency, using one machine to do two jobs is a great way to conserve energy. A dishwasher uses jets of hot water to clean your dishes. Because it’s insulated and has its own heating element, it’s really not that much different than an oven – minus the soapy bubbles and water!

And why is this a Dangerous Thing? Attitudes are  shifting about what is safe for kids to do. Combine that with the rare incidents of kids getting injured by common household appliances that spread like wildfire via TV and internet, and you’ll find many parents choosing to restrict kids’ access and use of appliances. Learning how common appliances, such as dishwashers, ovens, and microwaves work, as well as how to use them, are basic life skills that every child will need before they head off for their own (hopefully) independent lives. Enough talking, though – let’s cook something in the dishwasher!

Cinnamon Sugar Dishwasher Apples


Cinnamon sugar apple prep

Core apples and dice or cut into thin slices. Place cut apples into the mason jar, adding a few pieces of butter to each layer of apples. Add cinnamon and sugar and screw the lid on as tightly as possible. Place jar in top rack of dishwasher.

Cinnamon Sugar Dishwasher Apples

Run the dishwasher at the hottest setting, and make sure the dry cycle completes before opening. Remove from dishwasher and enjoy!

Cinnamon Sugar Apples Cooked in the Dishwasher

What are you brave enough to cook in the dishwasher?

You can read about the rest of our experiences with 50 Dangerous Things. Inspired by Gever Tulley’s book 50 Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do).



  1. Well?! You didn’t say how the cooked apples turned out!

  2. Yes! Kind of like cooking in a sous vide! What a fun mom you are 🙂

  3. I can’t wait to try this!

  4. I love it! Never occurred to me. I LOL’d at the “Possible Hazards: Food Poisoning”.

  5. This is such an awesome experiment! I’ll be purchasing Tulley’s book immediately. 🙂 Thank you for this great post.