‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten Puts Forbidden Items in the Dishwasher All the Time — Except This 1 Major No-No

Food Network star Ina Garten, better known as Barefoot Contessa, plays by her own rules in life. Sure, she has a hit cooking show and a bunch of best-selling cookbooks. But the 72-year-old food connoisseur refuses to bow down to popular opinion. When critics accused her of using too much butter, she doubled the amount. And when they expressed disgust at her dishwasher contents? She just kept on living her life.

Garten isn’t phased by horrified followers who think she’s breaking some sacred rule by loading most kitchen utensils in the dishwasher. She did admit, however, that there’s one item you’ll never find in there.

‘Barefoot Contessa’ Ina Garten believes in taking risks

Ina Garten
Ina Garten | Mike Smith/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

It probably wasn’t easy to leave a high-paying White House finance job to pursue her dream of owning a small Hamptons retail store, but that’s precisely what Garten did in 1978. The Barefoot Contessa grew the business and sold it to two employees before starting her next endeavor: cookbook author. Those aspirations eventually led to a lucrative hosting deal with the Food Network.

All along the culinary whiz has been doing things her way, regardless of risks or negative feedback. This attitude probably helped inspire her latest controversy. Garten is enduring so much criticism for putting delicate cooking implements in the dishwasher.

She shared an Instagram photo of taboo items in the dishwasher

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Garten connects with fans via social media channels, especially Instagram. A recent post depicting the Barefoot Contessa’s dishwasher contents proved appalling for those followers who thought she was being reckless.

The offending image showed a wood-handled spatula, an All-Clad pan, and a Wusthof chef’s knife all loaded up in the dishwasher after taking a spin. The caption read, “If you’re not sick of unloading the dishwasher, could you please come unload mine??”

Instead of offering kitchen assistance, Garten’s many followers flocked to the comments to express their discomfort with what was in the dishwasher. She replied, “EVERYTHING goes in the dishwasher!! My assistant used to put the birdcage in the dishwasher (she took the bird out first).”

The 1 thing Ina Garten won’t put in the dishwasher

There is a line even Barefoot Contessa won’t cross. Garten wouldn’t dream of putting her cast iron cookware in the dishwasher, she clarified on Instagram.

People who use cast iron know that the dishwasher, soap, or steel wool can strip the pan’s seasoning and damage it beyond repair.

Instead, cleaning cast iron cookware requires only kosher salt and water. The owner can use the salt to help remove stuck-on food particles and a paper towel to wipe it out. Boiling water helps loosen more stubborn messy pans. Other than that, these items don’t need any additional care.

Some of Garten’s kitchen items, including her All-Clad pan and wood-handled tools, are technically dishwasher safe, Apartment Therapy notes. But hand washing is always the safer option when you have time (which Barefoot Contessa clearly does not).

Modern Comfort Food: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook comes out Oct. 6, 2020.