Leave it to a student to find a way to do your laundry and prepare dinner in one motion. Iftach Gazit, a design student at Jerusalem’s Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, has invented a line of premade meals that creatively reimagine washing machines as sous-vide cookers. His Sous La Vie bags, which don’t technically exist yet, are designed to come in three varieties — salmon with teriyaki sauce, mixed veggies in olive oil and garlic salt, and garlic-herb steak. He actually says the idea wasn’t inspired by some need for thrifty precision cooking, but by a trip to New York, where he saw how the city’s homeless population relies on laundromats to do everything from fill up water bottles and recharge cell phones to nap without getting hassled. Gazit saw a lot of promise as a spot to knock out some cooking, too.
The Guardian says that at first, he tried filling Tupperware with pasta and green beans, and throwing that in — a procedure that yielded “edible, but not great” food. Involving the dryer ended even worse, turning whatever it was into “a congealed mushy ball.” Finally, it dawned on him that a washing machine is just hot water spinning for long periods of time, so why not try sous-viding something in there? His Sous La Vie bags, which are made of waterproof Tyvek, create a vacuum seal around the food, which he claims can be cooked simply by selecting the appropriate setting on the machine. A piece of meat, for instance, will come out medium-rare in a long synthetics cycle. For vegetables, he suggests a shorter hot cycle, like for cottons. He says the idea’s rooted in getting people talking, as much as it is in anything practical. But a salmon filet that comes out flaky after an hour-long wash is a great alternative to a TV dinner, which he notes long ago stopped being “a home cooked meal with fresh ingredients.”