The Test Kitchen's New Dishwashers

Anna Stockwell

On my first day as an intern at the Saveur test kitchen, I dove right in: along with the other interns, we spent an entire 8-hour day testing recipes, running out to get last-minute supplies, and scrambling to get everything done. Amidst the madness, I didn't have a chance to stop and do the dishes— no one did. Big mistake.

By the end of the day we had an entire counter stacked with dirty plates, pans, and tools, and the only working dishwasher barely fit enough to make a dent in the pile. (Plus it took an hour and a half to run through its cycle.) So we attacked it by hand: it took an entire team of interns forty-five minutes of washing, drying, and putting away dishes in shifts to finish cleaning everything, and not much of it was fun.

Not too long later, I arrived at work one morning and saw a brand-new dishwasher being installed, and I was very, very excited. After the initial loading (it fit so many dishes!), the first thing we couldn't help but notice was that there wasn't anything to notice: the dishwasher, a Thermador Sapphire, was completely silent, the only sign that it was on was a red light that discreetly shines on the bottom right of the machine. (Because the test kitchen is open to the whole SAVEUR office, the quiet went much appreciated by the editors.) We spent the rest of the day playing with our new toy: not only were the racks able to hold 6-quart pots and 10-inch pans, but greasy half sheet trays and racks fit instanding upright, with a sprinkler system in the back that ensures that the taller items got just as squeaky-clean as everything else.

Since we test so many recipes in a day — and don't have an infinite supply of pots and pans to test them with — of the machine's many pre-set washes, we take the most advantage of the thirty minute Quick Cleancycle. Even though it's very speedy, it does a fantastic job at getting all those dried-up onions, scorched garlic, and other food residue off the pans. I tend to leave my grimiest pots (which usually result from a test gone awry) for the very end of the day, when I switch on the two and a half hour Auto Plus cycle — I know that when I come in the next morning, it'll be as if I never burned that stew and I look like a rock star intern!