Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Great Kashering Caper

Recently, I received a set of beautiful pots and pans from a dear friend. They needed to be kashered (made kosher) – immersed in boiling water and then in cool water – and then dipped in a mikveh.

So I went to work. First, I scrubbed them all clean – not very difficult, since they were already gleaming. Some of the pots had copper bottoms, which I cleaned with a mixture of equal parts of salt, flour and white vinegar. The mixture cleaned the copper on contact, but didn’t polish it. I buffed it to a shine.

Then I waited twenty-four hours, as Jewish law requires, before taking the pots and pans to the Geula neighborhood for kashering.

Near one of the central intersections in Geula is a small street. At the end of the street are some stairs. Just above these stairs is a room with several boilers, a vat of boiling water, a tub of cool water and some benches. This is one of several places where a procedure known in Hebrew as hag’alat kelim – purging of vessels – is performed.

Pots in which food is cooked in water are made kosher by immersion in boiling water. Utensils that use fire to cook, such as frying pans, must be blowtorched. (I’ll have that done next week.)

Here are some photos that I took during the process. First, the schedule – anyone in the area who needs to have kitchen utensils made kosher can do so every Friday at specific times.

Kashering station

Immersing a pot in a vat of boiling water:

Kashering process: the vat of boiling water

Immersing the just-boiled pot in a tub of cool water:

Kashering process: the cool water tub

The mikveh where I dipped the pots after they were kashered:

Immersion of vessels

The journey home:

The journey home

Stay tuned next week for The Great Kashering Caper: Part 2!


  1. Sherry Whetstone11:58 AM

    I remember (more than 30 years ago!) when we kashered our kitchen that a Sephardi neighbor told us we could, after cleaning, bury dishes (not cooking utensils) in the dirt in the backyard for a month... we couldn't wait that long so never tried it ... but very interesting concept

  2. Thanks for the kashering class, and the great photos! (Hey... I recognize those Egged bus seats...)


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