I’m living in an apartment with some friends who aren’t very careful with Kashrus. Can I use the pots and pans that I am pretty sure are kosher?
I’m living in an apartment with some friends who aren’t very careful with Kashrus. Some of the Keilim used for food are probably not kosher anymore. There’s a few Keilim that I think are still perfectly kosher, but it could be someone mixed it up at a certain point.
I can’t afford to buy completely new Keilim, which is obviously the most ideal. Can I use the pots and pans that I’m pretty sure are kosher, if they’re kept with stuff that aren’t for sure kosher, and are being used by people who aren’t careful with Kashrus?
In this case, the pots in question should be Kashered out of doubt. If the pots and pans are being used by people not careful with Kashrus, it’s difficult to be “pretty sure” that they are kosher.
I will try to give you a basic overview of the details you need to know:
Note: This information is only for kashreing from non-kosher (such as meat and milk mixtures) to kosher.
Other laws apply for from year round use to Pesach use. see here.
- Enameled pots and glass pots (e.g. Pyrex) cannot be Kashered .
- Plastic and other synthetic materials may be Kashered in this case.
- Utensils which cannot be thoroughly cleaned such as those having crevices in which food may accumulate may not be Kashered, as is the case with utensils with loose-fitting handles.
- Materials which might get ruined during the Kashering process may not be Kashered.
- Teflon or enamel coated pots cannot be koshered.
- In general, baking, roasting and frying pans cannot be Kashered unless they are always used with generous amounts of oil or other grease when cooking. If that is the case, they can be Kashered via Libun Kal which involves cleaning the pans well, not using them for 24 hours and then putting them on an open flame until both the inside and outside of the pan are hot enough to singe paper.
How to Kasher:
- Thoroughly clean the utensils to be koshered and wait 24 hours.
- Fill a kosher pot with water and boil. Immerse the pot requiring Kashering for 15 seconds while maintaining a rolling boil. The pot need not be completely submerged all at once; it can be immersed piecemeal, lowering each part into the water and keeping it there for 15 seconds. After koshering, rinse the koshered pot in cold water.
- If the pot to be koshered is too big to submerge in another pot, fill it with water to the very top. Boil the water. Heat a large stone or other piece of metal. Using a pair of tongs, throw the heated stone or metal into the pot causing the water to overflow the top of the pot.
WARNING: Be very careful not to get scalded by the boiling water shooting out from the pot.
- Pour out the water and rinse the pot with cold water.
If there is anything that is not clear to you in this process, feel free to ask.
Alternatively, you can use inexpensive disposable tin pots and pans.
Another issue that can well be a problem in this setting, is the oven.
See here for the details you need to know to Kasher the oven. Information on how to Kasher other parts and utensils of the kitchen can be found there too.
After you Kasher, take great care and attention to all that happens in the kitchen. It is very hard to share a kitchen in this setting. It might be a good idea to keep your own small electric plug in stove, or toaster oven. Alternatively, you might wish to ask your friends to respect your needs and wishes and to be extra careful in keeping a kosher kitchen from now on. If they indeed start keeping kosher, and are generally religious, you may trust them.
See here for a similar situation.