Chapter: 11 – Koshering the Kitchen

1. Countertops

Kitchen countertops are generally cold, but sometimes hot ĥametz foods or boiling pots from the stove are placed on them, and if some sauce spills on the countertop, it is absorbed at the level of a “kli rishon removed from … Continue reading

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2. The Sink

In general, the status of a sink is similar to that of a countertop, though in one respect it is less strict because it usually contains soap, which befouls the tastes of foods, and in another respect, it is more … Continue reading

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3. Grates, Burners, and Stovetops

Throughout the year, people usually use the same stovetop grates for both meat and milk, because even if some meat or dairy food spills onto them, the flame incinerates and befouls whatever has spilled. However, people customarily perform light libun … Continue reading

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4. Ovens

To kosher an oven, clean it thoroughly and run it at its highest setting for half an hour. It is difficult to kosher baking trays. Because they absorb through fire, they require heavy libun, but since heavy libun will cause … Continue reading

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5. Warming Trays (Shabbat “Plata”s)

Sauce from ĥametz food occasionally spills from pots onto the warming tray (“plata”), and since the plata is a heat source, the ĥametz is absorbed with the intensity of a kli rishon on the flame. On other occasions, dry ĥametz … Continue reading

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6. Microwave Ovens

The common practice is to kosher a microwave oven in four steps: 1) cleaning it thoroughly of any residual food resulting from spillage or vaporization; 2) waiting twenty-four hours so that the absorbed taste becomes foul; 3) heating a container … Continue reading

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7. Dishwashers

The filter, where residual food often gets stuck, must be cleaned thoroughly. Then the dishwasher should be run at its hottest setting, so that any absorbed ĥametz is released, ke-bole’o kakh polto. Regarding the racks, le-khatĥila they should undergo hagala … Continue reading

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8. The Dining Table

In the past, people would kosher their tables by pouring boiling water over them, and some took the stringent approach of pouring boiling water onto a white-hot stone on the table, so that the koshering would be at the level … Continue reading

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9. The Refrigerator and Kitchen Cabinets

Because they are used with cold food, the only concern is that some ĥametz crumbs might remain there. Therefore, cleaning them is what koshers them. In hard to reach places where ĥametz crumbs may have gotten stuck, one must pour … Continue reading

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10. Pots, Skillets, Silverware, and (Non-Earthenware) Bowls

We detailed the laws relating to hagala of pots in the previous chapter. The principle is that intensity of koshering must match the intensity of absorption (see above 10:8), but the custom, le-khatĥila, is to kosher everything through hagala in … Continue reading

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11. Blenders and Mixers

Electrical appliances such as blenders and mixers are occasionally used to mince and mix hot and sometimes sharp foods. Regarding such appliances, one must follow the established principles and always relate to two problems: 1) ĥametz may have gotten stuck … Continue reading

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12. Other Utensils

Silver goblets: It is proper, le-khatĥila, to perform hagala on silver goblets used for kiddush wine and other hard drinks, because crumbs sometimes fall into the goblet along with these strong drinks, which, according to some poskim, causes their taste … Continue reading

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13. Earthenware and Porcelain Utensils

If earthenware absorbs ĥametz hot, even via a kli sheni, hagala is not effective. Although libun would effectively burn the taste absorbed in the utensil, the Sages forbid koshering earthenware utensils through libun because there is concern that they will … Continue reading

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14. Glassware

Leading Rishonim take diametrically opposed positions regarding the status of glass utensils. According to Rabbeinu Tam, Rosh, Rashba, Ran, and many others, glass is smooth and hard, and even if it had been used to hold boiling hot foods, it … Continue reading

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15. Enamel Utensils

Enamel utensils are made of metal and coated with a thin layer of enamel for aesthetic reasons. The inside of the pot is usually colored white, while the outside is decorated with different colors. Enamel is made of sand like … Continue reading

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16. Plastic Utensils

Plastic utensils that have absorbed the taste of boiling hot food are koshered via hagala with boiling water, like all other utensils. This is true of all types of metal, such as silver, copper, iron, aluminum, etc., as well as … Continue reading

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