A GUIDE TO CHANGING TO A KOSHER KITCHEN

This is a short concise guide to kashering the kitchen and utensils for year-round use other than Passover. Keeping Kosher is an essential mitzvah that instills holiness in the everyday act of eating. The Jewish kitchen is a holy place where Jewish living takes place.

Please email Rabbi Porter at rabbiporter@aol.com to set up an appointment for a home visit.

To learn how to maintain a kosher kitchen, and, the rules of kosher, please learn with a knowledgeable Rabbi or call the Etz Chaim Center at 410-764-1553 to sign up for a class or a tutor. Basic information and courses in basic kashrus is available online at www.star-k.org.

Anyone beginning to keep kosher who koshers their home through the Etz Chaim Center, and, lives in the Baltimore area can receive a $100 Gift Certificate at Seven Mile Market. Call the Etz Chaim office to participate.


REFRIGERATOR

Needs only to be cleaned. Care should be taken that containers and pots should not smear the shelves or drip on other containers.

TABLES/COUNTERSNeed only to be cleaned. All hot pots require trivets in order to place them on the counter top. Obviously, two or three sets of trivets are needed for hot meat, dairy, and parave utensils.

STOVE TOP AND GRATESShould be thoroughly cleaned with a product similar to Easy Off. Electric burners need to be turned on to red hot. For gas stove tops, after cleaning, the grates on the stove need to be placed in a cleaned oven for one hour above 550 to kasher them. The area between the burners is considered treife since both meat and dairy pots are cooked on the stove.

OVENS

Self-cleaning ovens:

clean all areas not touched by the self-cleaning process with Easy Off until clean and then run through a 2-1/2 hour cycle.

Regular or continuous clean ovens:

one must thoroughly clean all six surfaces of the oven, door and the racks with Easy Off or another suitable cleaner. If one cleaning does not suffice, a second cleaning is required. After 24 hours of non-use the oven is ready to be heated for one hour above 550. One can use the oven for meat and dairy if either the meat or milk food is dry or covered and the oven is clean. The rack itself should not be used with direct contact of food.

BROILERSee Toaster Ovens.

DISHWASHERIn a case of great need or loss of money, an enamel coated or plastic coated dishwasher can be Kashered. First the entire inside must be cleaned. Care must be taken to clean the traps, strainers, and revolving armatures. After waiting 24 hours of non-use, run the dishwasher three times at the hottest water temperature by raising the temperature control on your water heater to its hottest 2 hours prior to Kashering. The dishwasher then must be designated for meat or dairy. Preferably, boiling water should be poured on the racks.

MICROWAVE OVENShould be thoroughly cleaned and then wait 24 hours of non-use. A cup of water should be boiled inside on high for 20 minutes until the entire microwave has been steamed. One can use the microwave for meat and dairy if the items are covered. The glass plate bottom should be kashered by pouring boiling water upon it and separate plastic plates should be used for milk and meat.

TOASTER OVENShould be cleaned like a regular oven. The broiling rack or toaster rack can only be kashered by placing in a self cleaning oven for a 2-1/2 hour cycle. The oven can be heated to over 550 for one hour. Afterwards, it can only be used for meat or dairy, but not both. It is advisable to just replace the rack and pan.

TOASTER

Replace. Should not be kashered.

SINKSIf you have one sink, it will remain non-kosher. Clean all surfaces and the faucet with steel wool. Separate racks and dish pans are needed to use in the sink for meat and milk after a thorough cleansing with a treife sponge between their uses. Separate sponges for meat, milk and parave are required. If you have two sinks, they can be kashered by the Rabbi.


THE KASHERING OF DISHES, CUTLERY, POTS & PANSYou will need an Orthodox Rabbi to assist you in Kashering your home. Please call the Etz Chaim office to provide all necessary assistance or to arrange a home visit to kasher your home.

GENERAL RULES OF KASHERING ARE:The utensil must be absolutely clean from any food substance or rust residue. This can be accomplished with steel wool or, if necessary, a propane torch.

 

If a utensil has cracks or holes that cannot be cleaned, it cannot be Kashered - i.e., knives with handles or graters that are loose or half cracked.

24 hours of non-use is required before kashering.

Dishwashers cannot be used to kasher.

KASHERING

The Rabbi will show you how to place the item into a kashering pot of actively boiling water for about 30 seconds and afterwards rinsing the utensil in lukewarm or cool water, when possible. This method is used when an object absorbed non-kosher food through a medium of hot water.

The item is then Kosher and parave.

This works on the following items:

Metal cutlery

100% metal pots and pans that were used with water, but not baking pans, spits, bar-b-que racks or frying pans

Plastic utensils

Melmac

Wood without cracks

Rubber

Stone

Bowls and mixing blades of food processors and mixers can be cleaned and kashered in boiling water. Can openers can just be cleaned thoroughly.

Baking pans, frying pans, bar-b-que racks or any other utensil used without liquid require heating the utensils until red hot or heating them for three hours in a self-cleaning oven. This method is used when absorption occurred by direct contact with heat - baking or broiling. In most cases, it is more practical to replace these items.

China Earthenware, Teflon, Corningware, Baked Enamel, Porcelain, frying pans, and Pyrex require Rabbinic consultation to decide if they can be kashered and by what method.

Pyrex, Corelle and glass utensils not used on the fire or oven just need to be cleaned and designated for meat or dairy. Drinking glasses only need to be cleaned.

Pots that are too large to go into boiling water can be kashered by boiling water up in them and a hot rock can be added when the water is boiling to assure that the rim is also covered. Large items that cannot fit in the boiling water at one time can be turned in order to make sure that all parts are kashered.


IMMERSION IN THE MIKVEHTo instill holiness, both new and newly kashered utensils require immersion in a kosher mikvah especially made for utensils or a natural ocean, lake, or a river when it has not rained within 3 days. Utensils made in Israel by Jews do not require immersion. All utensils must be free of label or glue residue. They must be completely immersed at one time in the water of the mikvah.

All metal, glass, pyrex, china, or glazed utensils require immersion. If some parts come in contact with food, they must be immersed. Concerning the bracha, see your local Rabbi for details.

In Baltimore, mikvahs for utensils are located at

 

The Agudah Center, 6200 Park Heights Avenue

Shearith Israel Congregation, Park Heights and Glen Avenues

Congregation Arugas Habosem, Clarks Lane and Park Heights Avenue

MARYLAND HALACHIC LIVING WILL

The "Halachic Living Will" is designed to help ensure that all medical and post-death decisions made by others on your behalf will be made in accordance with Jewish law and custom. 

For the State of Maryland only.

Go to www.jlaw.com to print out a pdf file.

Please call Rabbi Porter with any questions, 410-764-1553 x 202.

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