02 August 2005 @ 09:12 pm
Kosher, as it applies to utensils and the kitchen (repost)  
KOSHER BASICS: PART II

The separation of milk and meat includes not only the foods themselves, but the utensils, pots and pans with which they are cooked, the plates and flatware from which they are eaten, the dishwashers or dishpans in which they are cleaned, and the towels on which they are dried. Many a kosher household will have at least two sets of pots, pans and dishes: one for meat and one for dairy.

One must wait a significant amount of time between eating meat and dairy. Opinions differ, and vary from three to six hours. This is because fatty residues and meat particles tend to cling to the mouth. From dairy to meat, however, some customs say one must wait one full hour, and others that one need only rinse one's mouth and eat a neutral solid like bread, unless the dairy product in question is also of a type that tends to stick in the mouth.

Note that even the smallest quantity of dairy (or meat) in something renders it entirely dairy (or meat) for purposes of kashrut. For example, most margarines are dairy for kosher purposes, because they contain a small quantity of whey or other dairy products to give it a dairy-like taste. Animal fat is considered meat for purposes of kashrut.

Utensils (pots, pans, plates, flatware, etc., etc.) must also be kosher. A utensil picks up the kosher "status" (meat, dairy, pareve, or treyf) of the food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it, and transmits that status back to the next food that is cooked in it or eaten off of it.

It is important to note that kosher status can be transmitted from the food to the utensil or from the utensil to the food only in the presence of heat. Thus, many people who keep kosher and still wish to eat out will order cold food in a restraunt, to avoid problems with traife (un-clean) dishes.

Fruits, vegetables, and grains are called pareve - neutral. Pareve items can be cooked in and with both "fleishig" (meat) and "milchig" (dairy) foods and utensils.

Certain kinds of utensils can be "kashered" if you make a mistake and use it with both meat and dairy. The following may not be kashered:

  • China, pottery, earthenware, rubber, non-stick and Teflon and similarly coated pots and pans, plastic dishes, enameled pots, pans and ladles, and utensils with wooden or plastic handles

  • Utensils or vessels which cannot be thoroughly cleaned, such as those having crevices in which material can accumalate, (e.g. bottles with narrow necks, sieves etc.)

  • Dishwashers


Plastics that can withstand the kashering process, may be kashered.
Kashering usually involves exposing the item to very high temperatures, with dry flame, boiling water, steam, etc. depending on the item.
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( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Twirling like a dervish in the full moon's lightstarrchilde on August 3rd, 2005 01:15 am (UTC)
Would you mind putting these under a cut? I have both hip_domestics and cooking on my flist and seeing each twice takes up most of the page. :o}
it's Lena in Latintemptress on August 3rd, 2005 01:21 am (UTC)
Omph, it's posted to hip_domestics twice too!
Sushi's Loverhousepoet on August 3rd, 2005 01:27 am (UTC)
it is not posted twice. there are two different subjects.
it's Lena in Latintemptress on August 3rd, 2005 01:30 am (UTC)
You're right. I was confusing the 2 appearances with each other.
Sushi's Loverhousepoet on August 3rd, 2005 01:24 am (UTC)
thanks for posting this!

though I am not of the jewish faith, I've always wondered. Thanks!
necromimesis on August 3rd, 2005 01:29 am (UTC)
Thank you so much, this is wonderful!! It's something I've occasionally wondered about, but never tried to look up.
naruvonwilkins on August 3rd, 2005 01:55 am (UTC)
You know, I once told someone that pottery couldn't be kashered, and they simply wouldn't believe me.
boo boo kitty fuckajc on August 3rd, 2005 02:03 am (UTC)
Can pottery not be kashered just because it's porous?? I'm curious, just because I know you can heat it to super high heats. Thanks for posting this, it's really interesting and I've always wondered about it!!
Marty Greenemartygreene on August 3rd, 2005 02:12 am (UTC)
most likely, that's the basis. what can and cannot be kashered, and how it must be done, is based directly upon scripture.
Chrystalkickandslide on August 3rd, 2005 03:09 am (UTC)
Thank you for posting this! I've always wondered about the methods of cooking kosher food. (ex boyfriend in high school was jewish so I got a crash course in it, but he didn't really go into detail.)

My hubby worked in a flour mill when he was a teen and he said that when they were making the kosher granola a jewish priest (are they called a priest?) had to crawl into the stove and light the burner. Thus it was kosher. The recipe was exactly the same. That's a symbolic method then... are most other commercially made kosher foods literally created in a kosher way?
Marty Greenemartygreene on August 3rd, 2005 03:17 am (UTC)
most likely it was a rabbi who oversaw whatever kashrut certification agency sponsored the products that they made. He most likely said a specific bracha (blessing) upon lighting the flame.

Yes, kosher foodstuffs must be made on machinery and by means which adhere to kashrut law. This is more an issue with grains, meats, and grapes than others, but there is a lot to be taken into account- from the method of checking the raw ingredients for parasites, bugs, etc. to what else the machinery and facilities are used for.
Chrystalkickandslide on August 3rd, 2005 03:30 am (UTC)
Rabbi! thank you.

That's really interesting stuff. I'll have to tell my hubby. Thanks!
Marty Greenemartygreene on August 3rd, 2005 01:49 pm (UTC)
There are also priests (well, a priestly class- the kohens, but since there is currently no temple, being a kohen is moot.)
she's a lover, baby, and a fighterawapuhi on August 3rd, 2005 05:50 am (UTC)
that is very informative. thank you!
abeaverhausen1abeaverhausen1 on August 3rd, 2005 06:57 am (UTC)
Wow-thanks for all the information. It sounds like it would be extremely difficult and complicated.
Alicealice_bunnie on August 3rd, 2005 02:46 pm (UTC)
I also add my thanks for this post. Not Jewish, but information is always good. :)
Mayaladyortyger on August 6th, 2005 02:56 am (UTC)
Actually, some Ravs hold that a dishwasher can be kashered :) So it's really a matter of the Rav you consult.

FWIW we do not use our dishwasher because we bought the house used and our Rav said the dishwasher racks cannot be kashered, and they are too expensive to replace. We keep a strictly kosher kitchen with separate everything :)
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )