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Peninei Halakha > Pesah > 10 – The Principles of Kashering Kelim > 08. Foods Cooked in Kelim That Were Not Kashered

08. Foods Cooked in Kelim That Were Not Kashered

If one mistakenly cooked on Pesaḥ in a ḥametz pot that was not kashered, if 24 hours have not elapsed since ḥametz was last cooked in the kli, the dish is forbidden on Pesaḥ and must be destroyed. If 24 hours have passed, the dish is kosher be-di’avad, as there is a rule that anything that imparts foul taste does not render a food forbidden, and after 24 hours, the flavor absorbed in and stuck to the kli has become foul. Consequently, the taste of the foul ḥametz does not render the dish forbidden (SA 447:10, YD 103:5).

If the one who cooked in a ḥametz pot on Pesaḥ knew that it had not been kashered but transgressed and cooked in it on Pesaḥ, then even if 24 hours have passed since ḥametz was cooked in it, since he transgressed and cooked in a ḥametz pot that was not kashered, the Sages penalize him and render the cooked food forbidden to him and to anyone for whom he cooked. However, others, for whom he did not intend to cook, may eat from it, since in fact there is no ḥametz flavor that renders it forbidden.

Others are stringent, maintaining that even if one accidentally cooked on Pesaḥ in a ḥametz pot, even if 24 hours have passed since ḥametz was cooked in it, the dish is forbidden, because ḥametz on Pesaḥ is treated more stringently than other prohibitions, and just as even the tiniest quantity of ḥametz renders a mixture forbidden, so too, even its befouled taste renders a mixture forbidden (Rema; above, 7:5, n. 5).[6]

[6]. As explained in Peninei Halakha: Kashrut 34:2, it is impossible to calculate with precision how much flavor was absorbed in or stuck to the walls or how much flavor they release, as some kelim, like earthenware, absorb a lot; others, like wooden kelim, absorb less; and there are still others, like metal kelim, in which the flavor only adheres to the walls. Some flavors are absorbed or adhere more strongly, and others less so. Some foods have a very strong flavor, and others have a weak flavor. Since there is a constant uncertainty that can never be resolved, the halakhic ruling is that in order to avoid uncertainty, one must consider the entire wall of the kli as though it is filled with the flavor of the dish, and during cooking, it is all released into the dish. Since the contents of almost all of our pots and kelim are not sixty times the volume of the wall, with all its thickness, if kosher food was cooked in them within 24 hours of cooking non-kosher food, the kosher food is rendered forbidden by the non-kosher flavor that it absorbed.

This is the status of earthen and wooden kelim even today, and this is also the status of glass and metal kelim that were not cleaned with soap, as generally accepted. However, as explained in Peninei Halakha: Kashrut 32:4-8, unlike earthen and wooden kelim, metal and glass kelim do not absorb flavor into their very substance. Consequently, if they were cleaned with soap, as generally accepted today, they do not impart flavor. Therefore, be-di’avad, if one accidentally cooked in a clean ḥametz pot, even within 24 hours, the dish is kosher. Nevertheless, there is still an obligation to kasher it (ibid. 7), so if one took a pot that was used to cook ḥametz within the past 24 hours and purposefully cooks Pesaḥ food in it, even though no flavor that would render it forbidden was imparted into the dish, due to the Sages’ penalty, the dish is forbidden to the cook and to anyone on whose behalf he cooked the dish (Rashba, Ritva, Radbaz, Knesset Ha-gedola, Pri Megadim, and others, as explained in Peninei Halakha: Kashrut 32:3, n. 3, toward the end).

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