Passover

The information below is only applicable for Passover 2020

Four Ways to Kasher Kitchen Utensils for Passover

One of the most daunting preparations we make for Passover is kashering our year‑round utensils for Passover use. As with all areas of halachah, those who are unsure of how to apply the rules of kashering to their situation should consult an Orthodox rabbi. (Of course, if one does not want to kasher their year-round utensils, they can simply buy new utensils for use on Passover only.)

Why do we need to kasher our year-round kitchen utensils for Passover? The Torah (Bemidbar 31:23) requires kashering any utensils acquired from a non-Jew, as they are presumed to have been used with non-kosher foods (and will therefore have absorbed non-kosher flavors). Since chametz on Passover is also forbidden, the Talmud applies the laws of kashering to utentils used with chametz as well.

There are four basic ways to kasher kitchen utensils:

The prescribed method for kashering each item depends on how the utensil was pre‑viously used for non-kosher (or chametz) foods. For a list of common kitchen utensils and how to kasher each one, click here.

It is recommended to kasher all utensils before the end of the time on erev Pesach that one is allowed to eat chametz. Kashering may not be done on Passover itself.

1. Libun Gamur (Burning)

For utensils used directly in the fire (e.g. BBQ grates)

These utensils must be kashered by placing them back into
fire. This process has the effect of burning away any absorbed
non-kosher or chametz tastes.

  • To qualify as complete libun, the metal must be heated
    until it glows. Running the self-clean cycle on an oven (approx. 850° F) also
    qualifies as libun.
  • There is no need to scrub the utensil before performing libun, since the fire will
    burn off any residue, but some cleaning is advised.
  • There is no need to let the utensil sit idle for 24 hours before doing libun, although
    it is advised to do so if possible.

2. Libun Kal (Light Burning)

Can sometimes be used in place of hagalah (boiling), or when the need for libun (burning) is only an added stringency (eg. stove grates)

  1. First, prepare the utensil by thoroughly cleaning it with hot water
  2. After cleaning and drying, the utensil should be left unused for 24 hours.
  3. Heat the utensil to a dry temperature of 550° F (i.e. in the oven) for a minimum of
    one hour

3. Hagalah (Boiling in water)

For utensils that were used to cook non-Passover items with liquid (eg. silverware or pots)

  1. First, prepare the utensil by thoroughly cleaning it with hot water.
    • Only utensils that can be scrubbed clean may be kashered. Items that have narrow cracks, crevices, deep scratches or other areas that cannot be cleaned, cannot be kashered for Passover.
    • The following, for example, cannot be kashered for Passover: pots with rolled lips, bottles with narrow necks, filters, colanders, knives (or other utensils) where food can get trapped between the blade and handle.
  2. After cleaning and drying, the utensil should be left unused for 24 hours.
  3. After 24 hours have elapsed, immerse the utensil into a pot of boiling water.
    • It is necessary that every part of the utensil makes contact with the boiling water.
      To accomplish this, the immersion process can be done in parts. For example, a large spoon can be immersed into a pot of boiling water for 10 seconds, turned over and then the remainder of the spoon can be immersed.
  4. Remove the utensil from the boiling water and rinse it off in cold water.

Ideally, the pot used for hagalah should be a Passover pot that is reserved strictly for this purpose

Otherwise, chametz utensils may be kashered in a clean non-Passover pot that was not used for 24 hours. If using a non-Passover pot, the minhag is to kasher the pot first, with hagalah. (To kasher the pot, boil water in the pot and then discard the water. Then boil new water in the pot for the hagalah immersion process.)

4. Iruy (Pouring boiling water)

For utensils that only came in contact with hot liquid being poured over them (eg. sink faucet)

  1. First, prepare the utensil by thoroughly cleaning it with hot water.
  2. After cleaning and drying, the utensil should be left unused for 24 hours.
  3. Pour boiling water from a Passover kettle over the utensil.

For utensils that came in contact with hot liquid being poured over them AND hot solids falling onto them

If the utensil came into contact with hot chametz solids, as well as liquids, then one should kasher the utensil by pouring boiling water accompanied by an even melubenet, a heated stone. The kashering cannot begin until the utensil is cleaned and not used for 24 hours.

For example, a kitchen sink typically comes into contact with both hot liquids and hot solids (eg. pasta). To kasher a sink with an even melubenet: Attach a stone to a clamp, and heat the stone on the stove for a minute. While pouring boiling water over all surfaces of the sink (iruy), move the stone along the sink with the boiling water so that the water is reheated on the surface of the sink. The stone may need to be reheated on the stovetop several times, since the stone may cool down quickly.

Which Materials Can Be Kashered?

Metal, Wood, Stone, Composite Stone, Natural Rubber and Fabric

Usually, these materials can be kashered.

Ceramic (such as china) or Enamel-coated pots

These materials cannot be kashered.

Glass

Ashkenazim have the custom not to kasher glass.

Plastic and Other Synthetic Materials

Some poskim do not permit kashering plastic or other synthetic materials for
Passover; however, the opinion of the OU rabbanim is that they may be kashered, if
there is a need. Ask your rabbi for guidance.

List of Specific Kitchen Utensils

For a list of common kitchen utensils and how to kasher each one for Passover, click here.