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Kashering Utensils and Appliances for Pesach

03/20/2020 01:13:58 PM


What utensils may be kashered?

As a general rule, metal implements such as silverware, pots, and most other kitchen implements can be fairly easily kashered for Pesach use. Boiling water is the kashering medium we can use. Metal baking pans, baking sheets or frying pans however (unless you typically use the frying pans with very generous amounts if oil, making them more like pots), are more difficult to kasher, as they require the application of “direct heat” either in the form of a blowtorch or through being heated in the high heat of a self-cleaning oven. Both of these options come with potential hazards, but are theoretically possible. Please be in touch with the clergy if you are in need of kashering such an implement.


How does one kasher silverware, pots, etc.?

The basic process is that of immersion in boiling water.

  • To begin, kasher your stove top, or at least the burner you will be using for kashering, FIRST. See “Kashering the Kitchen” below for how that’s done.
  • Next, bring a large pot of water to a bubbling boil. It does not matter what kind of pot this is (Pesach or chametz, dairy or meat) as long as it is completely clean, and has not been used in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items that you will be immersing in this boiling water should also be completely clean and, ideally, also unused in the prior 24 hours.
  • The items should be immersed in the boiling water individually, so that the water touches the entire surface. It is not necessary to immerse the entire object all at once. You can immerse the bottom half, remove the item and then immerse the top half if this is necessary.
  • When immersing a pot, you should first remove any removable handles, which should then be immersed separately. If the handles cannot be removed, extreme care should be used in cleaning the point where the pot and the handle meet. Same is true of the lids.
  • It is customary to rinse the kashered items in cold water to conclude the process. You can cold rinse all the kashered items together, when you are done with the boiling water portion.
  • If you want to kasher a pot that does not fit into your “kashering” pot, here’s the procedure:
    • Fill the pot and bring it to a boil.
    • Simultaneously heat a small object (a stone, a metal implement) on an adjacent burner.
    • When the water in the pot boils, use plyers to gently drop the heated object into the boiling water, causing the water to overflow and thus kasher the outside of the pot as well.
    • This can be a mess, so put towels down in the floor beforehand. Also it may cause the gas flame to extinguish, so be on alert for that.
    • It is not typically possible to kasher the lid of this pot though, as one cannot get the entire lid immersed, even in stages.

Kashering Glass:

  • Glass baking pans cannot be kashered for Pesach.
  • Glass into which hot liquids were poured (i.e. they were never on a stovetop, in a microwave, or in an oven) can be kashered in one of two ways. You can pour boiling water over and into them (at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use). Or you can fill them with cold water (again, at least 24 hours after their most recent "hot" use), empty the water after 24 hours, and then repeat that same process two more times. As a practical tip, it might be easiest to simply place the glass into a tub, fill the tub with cold water covering all the glass inside, drain and refill after 24 hours and after 48 hours.
  • Drinking glasses that were never used with hot liquids at all simply need to be carefully washed for Pesach use, though the prevalent custom is to use the filling/soaking method anyway.


Cleaning the House for Pesach:

All of us (I hope) will be completing the Sale of Chametz form, and thereby transferring ownership of our chametz to righteous non-Jewish person. If that’s the case, why is there a need to clean for Pesach, a cleaning culminating in the Bedikat Chametz that we do the night before the seder? The answer is that we clean in order to remove from our house (and office and car) any chametz that we might otherwise accidentally discover and be tempted to eat on Pesach. As such, the rule of thumb is that we need to clean out all the places where we may be over Pesach where chametz might exist in edible form and quantity.


In addition, cleaning also insures the credibility of the "bittul" (the verbal nullification) of our chametz that we recite on Erev Pesach. We will be able to say the “bittul” without any reservation, knowing with confidence that there isn’t a bottle of expensive liquor (for example) in some closet that we neither cleaned out nor included in our Sale of Chametz.


Without a doubt, we have a generations-old custom of giving the house a thorough cleaning before Pesach, and this tradition should be honored. But we should understand what the halakhic objective is, and especially when there are so many other Mitzvot calling to us, to set our priorities and use our time appropriately.



Oven: The oven should be cleaned carefully with oven cleaner, and then turned onto "broil" for as long as you typically broil food in your oven. The cavity of the broiler compartment may be kashered in the same manner as the oven, but the broiler pan itself needs to be covered with heavy-duty foil if you want to use it on Pesach. A self-cleaning oven is self-kashering. Allow 2 hours of self-cleaning for this purpose.


Stove top: The surface, grates and jets should all be cleaned well, and you should vacuum out the area beneath the stovetop. There is a custom to let the jets burn for 10 minutes after they have been cleaned. Any part of the range surface onto which you might place a pot or a food item during Pesach should be covered for Pesach.


Counter tops: If they are of kasherable material (stainless steel or stone) kasher them by pouring boiling water over them, or by "steaming" them with a steamer. In the latter case, be sure that the steamer is producing a coating of boiling water upon the counter. For non-kasherable counter materials, cover the counters throughout Pesach.


Sinks: If they are stainless steel, kasher by (a) not using hot water in the sink for 24 hours and then (b) pouring boiling water over them. If not, you need either to line the sink (with contact paper) or use a sink insert.


Cabinets, drawers, fridge, and freezer: that will be used to store Pesach food should be carefully cleaned so that no "chametz" remains. No covering is necessary, though some people do have the custom of lining shelves and drawers.


Table tops: should be carefully cleaned and then covered (with a freshly-laundered tablecloth) throughout the holiday.


Microwave: Assuming that you use your microwave as most of us do, primarily for defrosting and warming as opposed to actual cooking, you may kasher it in the following way: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces. The grate-like area on the inside wall should get special attention. After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the microwave's most recent use, bring a cup of water to boil in the microwave, so that the microwave fills with steam. Finally (an extra "chumra" for Pesach), cover the surface onto which you place the dishes inside the microwave. Wax paper is good as long as you replace the wax paper should it become wet.


Urn: After cleaning both interior and exterior surfaces, and at least 24 hours after its most recent use, fill the urn, plug it in, and allow it to reach its maximum temperature. After you empty and unplug the urn, bring it over to the sink and simply pour boiling water over the sides, taking care to keep the water away from the electrical component.


Blenders: Carefully clean the appliance to the point at which you are completely confident that is free of any food particles or residue. If you have used the appliance with hot food, then all detachable metal or glass components should be kashered. Metal can be kashered via "hag'alah" (boiling water), and the glass can be kashered according to the information about glass, above.


Dishwasher: Carefully and thoroughly clean all surfaces (including the drain). After at least 24 hours have elapsed since the dishwasher's most recent use, run the dishwasher - with soap - on the longest, most powerful cycle it has.


Pesach Products

Here are the links to two fine publications:

OU Passover Guide:

Rabbi Eidlitz’ Guide:

Video of Rabbi Eidlitz’ Pesach Products Review

Mon, July 22 2024 16 Tammuz 5784