GUIDELINES TO GOING KOSHER
The following is intended as a general guide only. Those intending to make the transition to Kosher should first consult their Rabbi.
When you are ready to have your kitchen kashered, KAWA is happy to do it for you as a free service. Please contact us on 0410 548 859 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Once you have made the decision to go kosher a number of things need to be done/considered.
There is no need to rush. As this is something of great importance, it is worth spending the time and effort to ensure that it is done correctly and that it will be sustainable.
Take stock of the physical layout of your kitchen
Decide which areas will be used for meat and which will be used for milk. This should be done with all surfaces and drawers (the drawers should be labelled to avoid errors). Divide everything (pots,pans,utensils,cutlery) in your kitchen into two groups MEAT or MILK. There should be no overlapping in the use of any vessel or utensil between meat and milk.
Sinks - You need one each for Meat & Milk
If you have two separate and fairly deep sinks (the length of your hand or close to it) then you are set. If not, you need to either nominate another sink in the house for meat/milk (the opposite of whatever your single kitchen sink is to be) or use a bucket or other container to wash your dishes in. In this instance, the sink itself is treif (non-kosher) and is used only for pouring the used dish water out of the empty buckets. Another system often used is to hold each dish in your hand and wash it under the tap without it touching the sink.
Please note: porcelain sinks cannot be kashered.
Buy a subscription to a kosher guide
In Australia less than 10% of the locally produced kosher certified foods available in the stores have a Hechser on them to identify them as Kosher. The only way you are going to know what is available is by having an up to date Kosher Guide. Many of the complaints about Kashrut being expensive and not convenient come from not having at least one of the guides available. In Australia there are two guides.
Kosher Australia provide a kashrut guide in an app form and a booklet. Go to https://www.kosher.org.au/.
The other guide is Kosher Made Easy available at http://www.ka.org.au/.
Now that you have set up your kitchen and purchased the appropriate reference books (kosher guides), it is time to remove everything from your kitchen that is not kosher, (including wine & liqueur). Throw all the treif food out or give it to a non-Jewish friend or neighbour. Remember, unless the item is fruit or vegetables or is listed in the kosher guides or from overseas with a hechser on it - then its not kosher.
Practice makes perfect
With your kitchen set up , your kosher guides ready, treif food and drinks thrown - what's next? Before you get the kitchen kashered, it is best to spend some time practising living kosher. The main problem now is old habits and mind set which need to be changed. You will make mistakes, everyone does (even people who have been kosher their whole lives). The idea now is to modify your kitchen habits so as to make kashrut second nature.
A brilliant book to use is The Spice and Spirit: The Complete Jewish Cookbook published by the Lubavitch Women's Cookbook Publications. The book details the "How & Why" of Kashrut and the recipes are pretty good too.
Once you feel at home in your new kosher set up, it is time to have your kitchen made kosher (Kashered).
Some points to be aware of regarding kashering are:
- What Can be Kashered
In general metal, glass and wood (must be very clean) can be made kosher. Materials that cannot be kashered
are most plastics, porcelain, ceramics and earthenware.
Most appliances can be kashered including ovens, stove tops, grills and microwaves. Dishwashers can be
kashered if their sides are metal but you will need to buy new racks. Note: They must be VERY clean and not
used 24 hours prior to kashering.
- Kitchen Equipment
In general most pots & pans can be kashered providing they are metal and do not have special coatings (like
teflon). The same is true for cutlery & utensils.
- Method Of Kashering
This depends on how the item was used or made non-kosher. Most items will be kashered by immersion in
boiling water or by being heated by a blow torch.
Most of the vessels and utensils that have been kashered, or that you will purchase new in the future, require tevila (toivelling) in the Mikvah. A full inventory should be taken and the items can be divided between those that require a Bracha to be toivelled and those that don't (this can be arranged at the time of kashering).
Don't worry, help is available from KAWA every step of the way. Our contact details are:
Mobile: 0410 548 859