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Kashering, Kitchen and Kitchen Mix Ups


1. Can one drain food in a non-kosher clean sink?

2. Can Worcestershire Sauce be used to flavor meat and chicken?

3. I would be grateful if you could clarify a common kashrut error. If one were to accidentally use a dairy spoon in a meat soup or vice versa, how do you kasher the spoon? I've been taught that you stick it in soil for a while, after which it's given a good wash and can then be used again.

4. Is it possible to kasher a china plate?

5. I noticed that several companies sell vapor steam cleaning machines that shoot steam out at 212 degrees under high pressure. Would this be a valid method of kashering countertops, tabletops, and sinks that are made of kasherable material?

6. Are there any electric griddles that can be koshered?

7. If I received shot glasses (for wine, brandy, etc.) from my grandmother who did not keep kosher, may I kasher them?

8. If you accidentally use the wrong sponge (meat vs. dairy), should you immediately throw it out?

9. I cooked using red wine vinegar without certification. Is this a problem?

10. I just purchased a home which has countertops made of Corian which I heard can be kashered through sanding. Is this so?

11. Should a pottery cookie jar be toiveled?

12. Can a wooden cutting board be kashered?

13. Is one permitted to use Bone China? I have heard that it might come from animal bones.

 


1. Can one drain food in a non-kosher clean sink?

Yes. The food should not touch the sink. (However, on Pesach one should not drain hot food into a Chometz sink.)

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2. Can Worcestershire Sauce be used to flavor meat and chicken?

Whether or not worcestershire sauce can be used as a flavoring for meat or poultry depends upon the percentage of anchovies used in the ingredients. Anchovies are small fish. The halacha does not permit the mixing of meat and fish because of sakana, halachic health concerns. However, if the amount of anchovies are less than 1/60, i.e., less than 1.66% of the worcestershire ingredients, the fish would be batul b'shishim, nullified in the sauce, and would not be considered a health concern. (For example, a sauce marked "STAR-K Fish" contains more than 1.66% fish, whereas a sauce with anchovies marked with only an "STAR-K" uses less.)

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3. I would be grateful if you could clarify a common kashrut error. If one were to accidentally use a dairy spoon in a meat soup or vice versa, how do you kasher the spoon? I've been taught that you stick it in soil for a while, after which it's given a good wash and can then be used again.

Sticking utensils in soil is generally not an effective way of kashering. (There is only one case where it is effective and so that is why some think that this method works.) For a complete understanding of how to kasher,see our online article for the proper method, http://www.star-k.org/cons-keep-basics-home.htm

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4. Is it possible to kasher a china plate?

As a practical matter, we do not kasher china if it has become non-kosher. It is best to check with us or your local Rabbi as it may not actually have become non-kosher.

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5. I noticed that several companies sell vapor steam cleaning machines that shoot steam out at 212 degrees under high pressure. Would this be a valid method of kashering countertops, tabletops, and sinks that are made of kasherable material?

One may not kasher with steam. If there is a setting on the machine which allows water to shoot out with the steam, this could be used for kashering those countertops which are kasherable. Otherwise, you can pour water on the countertop and use the steam wand to bring the water to a boil.

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6. Are there any electric griddles that can be koshered?

Electric griddles used in the home generally cannot be kashered because a direct flame is required for kashering which would ruin the griddle. If you have a particular question about a griddle which may have become treif, please call the Star-K hotline.

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7. If I received shot glasses (for wine, brandy, etc.) from my grandmother who did not keep kosher, may I kasher them?

You may kasher them by waiting 24 hours from their last use, then taking the clean glasses and completely immersing them in a bowl of water for 24 hours. Spill out the water and refill for a total of three-24 hour periods.

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8. If you accidentally use the wrong sponge (meat vs. dairy), should you immediately throw it out?

Any time you have residue (milchig residue on a fleishig sponge or vice versa) you should throw out the sponge.

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9. I cooked using red wine vinegar without certification. Is this a problem?

Unless the vinegar has reliable certification, it is non-kosher. The utensils used in cooking with this vinegar must be kashered.

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10. I just purchased a home which has countertops made of Corian which I heard can be kashered through sanding. Is this so?

Because the non-kosher hot food penetrates only a thin layer of the counter, it can be sanded down to take off a layer of Corian and it would be considered kosher. However, we suggest speaking with a kitchen contractor to see if such a project is feasible.

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11. Should a pottery cookie jar be toiveled?

If the pottery is glazed, it should be toiveled without a bracha. If it is not glazed, then no tevilah is needed.

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12. Can a wooden cutting board be kashered?

A wooden cutting board may be kashered if the board is smooth, without cracks and crevices. If it has cracks and crevices, it can be sanded until it is smooth and then kashered.

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13. Is one permitted to use Bone China? I have heard that it might come from animal bones.

It is possible that bone ash may have been processed to give the china a white color and strength. However, the processing of the bone ash will remove from it any non-kosher status. Therefore, the Bone China may be used without any hesitation.

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