At the risk of sounding like a late-night infomercial: Are you looking for ways to use your time more effectively? Iftach Gazit from the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Israel understands your desire to multitask. The industrial design student has created Sous La Vie—a way to cook food sous vide in your washing machine.
The project, given the wordplay-loving name of “Sous La Vie (Under Life),” uses waterproof bags made out of DuPont’s Tyvek industrial fabric to allow anyone with a washing machine to take on the trendy vacuum-cooking method known as sous vide. “In sous vide the food is cooked in a bath-like device at temperatures usually around 50 to 70 degrees Celsius. The same conditions can be found in a washing machine; all you have to do is change the semantics,” explains Gazit. “Instead of following a sous vide recipe and cooking a piece of meat at 58˚C for two and a half hours, just set your washing machine to ‘synthetics’ for a long duration program. Cooking vegetables? Set your machine to ‘cotton’ for a short duration program.” Sadly, if you’re looking to run a cold cycle, you’re out of luck. Though it might we worth letting your red fabrics bleed if you know you’re going to get a perfectly cooked steak out of the deal.
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Of course, though a busy parent might actually find combining cooking and laundry to be wonderfully practical, since Gazit is an art school student, the whole concept has to have a deeper philosophical meaning beyond simply making dinner. He says that despite the product being created at the Department of Industrial Design, it is actually “more of an eye opener.” He aligns it with the impact of TV dinners and speaks about how the mortgage crisis left people homeless with nowhere to cook. “It brings forth opposing ideas such as fast food vs slow food, rich vs poor and capitalism vs socialism,” he says of Sous La Vie.
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He goes on to say, “It can be humorous to think of cooking your food in the washing machine as a new dinner topic, or a Damien Hirst-style restaurant filled with washing machines instead of pills, but humour is not the point. Instead, the Sous La Vie laundry-dinner serves as a reminder of lost homes and (the American) dreams. It offers a deep look at the cultural conditions that determine what products we consume, in this case capitalism and fast food vs socialism and slow food (not to say one is better than the other). The laundry dinner is not intended solely for the homeless, but much rather for us all: a product that reflects on our taste, our economic ability and our culture.” Man, I bet this guy uses Sous La Vie to throw some really intense dinner parties.
Needless to say after all that, Sous La Vie isn’t the kind of “product” that will actually be hitting store shelves anytime soon—regardless of how cool you think it is. But thankfully, a YouTuber who seems a bit more chill gave a nice primer last December on how to sous vide in a dishwasher.
This article originally appeared in Food & Wine by Mike Pomranz.