The purpose of this tutorial is to introduce/ review basic information needed in order to run and operate your Kosher Kitchen.  It is meant as a supplement to personal contact with a Rabbinical authority or experienced mentor in Judaism to assist you on your Kosher journey.

This educational enrichment program is made possible by Tzivos Hashem Canada

Please gather together your household and click on the topics below.

Kosher Food Utensils


Most utensils used in food preparation and storage in a Kosher kitchen must be either Milk-designated or Meat-designated.  They should be distinguishable and stored separately in order to minimize the chance of a mix up.   Though many non-kosher utensils may be made kosher through boiling, we do not re-kosher utensils from dairy to meat use, or vice versa.

There may also be a neutral set of utensils for “Pareve” foods, that will allow non-meat and non-dairy foods to be prepared in them which can be later eaten with either type of foods.  the Pareve utensils, however must be kept and washed separately from both the meat and dairy dishes in order to retain their neutrality.

New Utensils


New metal and glass food utensils are to be immersed in a body of water called a Mikva.  Glazed earthenware “china” must also be immersed because of the glazed coating.

A mikva is a natural collection of rain or underground water.  One should use a certified kosher mikva  built for immersion according to Torah specifications.  Although there are natural bodies of water that are kosher for mikva, a competent Rabbinic authority should be consulted prior to immersion in them.

A utensil must be immersed completely in the water, all at once.  The best way to do that is  to let go of it in the water.  If the mikva is too deep, a laundry hamper can serve as a net inside the mikva, where each utensil may be dropped into it separately.  After several utensils have been dropped in to the net or hamper, they can all be pulled out at once by lifting the hamper out of the water.  Care must be taken not to “plop” the utensil in the water, as the bubbles may compromise its complete immersion.  Bottles and cups must be turned right side up for immersion, so that they may be filled completely with water.

A mikva immersion is required in order to ritually cleanse an object before its assimilation into the Jewish environment.  Therefore, a utensil fashioned by a Jewish craftsman does not require mikva immersion.

*note- Pots and pans, manufactured outside of the United States and Canada,are often coated with a shiny substance that has non-kosher ingredients.  They should be purged with boiling water in order to Kosher them.

Used Utensils

Sources  on koshering used utensils in the Torah. Bamidbar Ch31,v23“Anything which would go into fire, pass it through fire…” The commentator Rashi explains that this part of the verse refers to food utensils that are used in cooking or broiling. A utensil is made kosher the same way as it is usually used.  That is a cooking utensil like a pot is immersed in boiling water to purge it from non kosher ingredients cooked in it.  Thus a baking or a broiling utensil is made kosher by applying direct fire to it.It is advisable that an experienced and knowledgeable individual should assist in the koshering of any used utensil.

Kosher Dishwashing


The absolute, best for a kosher kitchen is two separate sinks where meat dishes will be washed separately from dairy. The next best is a double sink where the dairy side can be covered by a metal or plastic cover to protect it from sprayduring the meat dish washing and vice versa. One should avoid pouring boiling hot liquids into a double sink after meat or dairy cooking. It is advisable that metal “grids” or baskets should line the bottoms of the double sink to keep the dishes just a touch above the metal of the sink itself. Separate scrubbing pads and drying towels are to be used for each set of dishes. A dish washer may be used for one set of dishes only.  It can only be either meat or dairy designated.

The Kosher Refrigerator

Refrigerated foods should be placed in their containers in such a a way that there should be no direct contact between meat and dairy foods.   Care should be taken that the milk should not leak on to meat or “pareve” foods kept near by for example.

Kosher Milk

What are the requirements for milk to be kosher?  Milk that is milked from a kosher type of animal is by definition kosher.  However, Jewish Law (Shulchan Aruch, Yore Deah 115,1) prohibits using milk that was extracted from an animal without the supervision of a Jew.  The primary concern is that there may be a mixture of milk from a non-kosher animal added to it.   There is however an additional aspect to Chalav Yisrael (milking that is supervised by a Jew).Chalav Stam (unsupervised milk) adversely affects the Faith of the one who drinks it (Lekutei Sichot Vol 34, p.281.)  On a spiritual level, foods have different values and effects on the Soul as well as the Body.  The Torah and our Sages were mindful of these effects when instituting various dietary laws.

Kosher Cooking


Stovetop cooking in a kosher kitchen requires coordination.  Meat and dairy should not be prepared at the same time on the stove to prevent cross spills.

Electric stove elements can be turned on for several minutes until red hot to purge them between meat and dairy cooking.

Alternatively, it is a practice in some homes to designate elements as meat and dairy.  The unused elements of the opposite genre would be covered to protect them from cooking spills.  This is necessary, however in a case of a clay-top stove top to cover the glass over the unused elements.  Care should be taken not to place cooking utensils on the glass between the elements, since that area would be considered a mixture of opposites.

In a case of a gas stove, the designated milk grates may be covered as well during meat cooking, and vice versa, or taken off altogether.

Fish and Meat For health reasons, fish and meat are not cooked or eaten together.  Though fish by itself, may be cooked in meat containers, care should be taken with  spices or sharp vegetables prepared along with the fish .  The powerful sharpness of the spices will serve to bring out the meat presence from the cooking container, thus putting meat and fish together.

To allow the spice/fish preparation, some will use a fish-only frying pan or pot as part of their meat utensils

Jewish Cooking and Baking

dark bread on white
Any type of food that is usually not consumed raw, but cooked, must have direct involvement of a Jew in its preparation.  This means that even if the ingredients and the utensils are kosher,  a Jew must still either turn on the fire or do part of the cooking or baking for the prepared item to be considered Bishul Yisrael (Jewish Cooked Food) or Pat Yisrael (Jewish Baked Food).  If an already Jewish cooked or partially prepared item is reheated, than no Jewish involvement  is necessary, since the item is already prepared,  at least in part prior.This is particularly practical in a Jewish household that employs outside help.  A gentile nanny must be assisted in cooking raw foods as mentioned above.  However, to re-heat leftovers, or warm up take-out items from a restaurant, can be done without special Jewish involvement.Coffee, tea, baby formula are water based, therefore are not required to be Bishul Yisrael, since water is consumed in its raw state.   Foods prepared in a microwave are all not considered standard cooking.  They therefore may be prepared without Jewish involvement.

Any certified kosher establishment should have a mashgiach (representative of a kosher certifying body) on the premises, whose job it is to guarantee a standard of Kosher of the organization that he represents.

Kosher Eggs


The first requirement for eggs is that they must be from a kosher type of bird.  Chicken eggs are the most popular example.  Eggs must be also checked for blood spots by opening  them while raw and looking to see if there is a blood spot of any size.  The presence of blood indicates that the egg  is not kosher and must be discarded.  Hard boiled eggs are checked after they are prepared for black points.  A black point indicates that there was a blood spot on the egg.  Brown eggs as well as free running eggs may often contain blood spots.

Checking for Insects in Vegetables


Vegetables and fruits should be checked for bugs and/or worms before preparing or consuming  them. There is a prohibition in the Torah of eating insects.  As it says in Vayikra 11, 41-44: Do not disgust your souls with all manner of crawling things and do not defile yourselves…”  There are three categories of prohibitions against bugs in the Torah.  They are winged insects, crawling insects and water insects.

The following video should help in order to identify various types of insects commonly found in lettuce.  One should however develop experience in identifying insects with the help of a knowledgeable guide or Rabbinic authority.

Kosher Grilling


Obviously kosher barbecuing has its specific set of guidelines.  For grilling dairy products, a separate dairy designated barbecue is necessary.  Meat and poultry, however, may be grilled together at the same time in a meat designated barbecue.

Meat and fish, are not to be grilled together at the same time on the same barbecue.  See also kosher cooking. One should make sure that the barbecue is completely clean between meat and fish   grilling.  It is also preferable to use a separate fish designated grill rack for grilling fish.

Sharp and Spicy


It is advisable that in every kosher kitchen, there is a knife that is used only for vegetables.  Many vegetables are spicy and will absorb the taste that is in the knife.  For example, if garlic is chopped with a milk-designated knife, that garlic can be used with milk dishes only.  Using a vegetable only knife, there is a choice with which genre of food it may be used.

One should have two sets of salt/pepper shakers, a meat and a dairy one.

They and other spices should not be administered directly over steaming hot foods.  Rather, they should be first shaken onto a spoon or a knife, and than over the pot.

The Kosher Mixup

How does a Kosher pot turn not Kosher?


Heat mixes and draws taste of food into the walls of the cooking utensils involved in it’s preparation.  Taste of milk, will be reabsorbed into a meat utensil through cooking.  For example, if one stirs a pot of boiling chicken soup with a milk-only spoon, there is an exchange of tastes through the hot liquid.  The mixture of absorption of milk and meat tastes is facilitated by heat.

In case of a mix up due to heat, the general rule is 1 to 60.  If there is sixty times more meat  than milk, then the milk taste is nullified.  This formula can only be applied after the fact.  One is not to create a mixture to begin with that is from forbidden ingredients.  There are other conditions.  In any case of a mix up a competent Halachic authority should be consulted.

What makes a bowl of marinated cheese not Kosher?


Spice will do the same transfer of taste as heat.  The process is longer.  it will take 18 minutes.  A cold piece of cheese that sits in a meat-designated vinegar bowl for 18 minutes or more will absorb the meat taste of the bowl through the spicy vinegar.  The taste of the cheese will also become absorbed into the bowl.

What else makes a utensil and its contents not Kosher?


Leaving a something to soak overnight will have the same effect as cooking.  If. for example one leaves a piece of meat together with a piece of cheese soaking in a bland liquid overnight, this will make the container, as well as the products not kosher