“Going kosher” is a familiar term to anyone with a passing knowledge of exotic cuisines. “Kosher” is a word derived from Hebrew. The original term as pronounced by the Ashkenazi Jews is “Kasher,” meaning to be fit or acceptable. Hence, all food items preparations for Jewish traditional dietary standards must adhere to “kosher” stipulations. Even when setting up a kitchen, keeping kosher standards must be the overriding theme.
Creating a kosher kitchen involves paying attention to several aspects. Professionals at Dutras Carpentry know what it takes to create a cooking space that not only adheres to strict religious standards but is also aesthetically appealing.
Choosing to make your kitchen a kosher one can be an overwhelming decision. Before undertaking the necessary steps, it is advisable to speak with your Rabbi or any local Jewish fraternity, like the Chabad. Any of these individuals or entities can clarify any concerns you may have regarding the whole process. You may be unfamiliar with some of the finer points of kosher; such consultations can put your mind at ease. You can also check Jessica Lakes Conway SC.
Before contacting any contractors to begin the process of remodeling your kitchen to adhere to kosher standards, you must take certain steps in anticipation of such drastic changes:
i)Start keeping meat and dairy products separately: A key tenet of kosher is separating the different kinds of foods. This means that meat (fleishig), dairy products (milchig), and all other food products that do not fall under the aforementioned categories (pareve) should be kept and prepared separately.
- ii) Begin to buy only food items that are certified kosher. Another crucial requirement of kosher is that only meat from animals whose hooves are divided into two can be considered acceptable. Such an animal must also be the kind that regurgitates its stomach contents for repeated chewing, the animals that “chew the cud.” Pigs, for example, have hooves that are divided into two, just like cows; however, they don’t chew the cud. As such, their meat cannot be considered kosher. Therefore, you must do away with such things as pork.
iii) Getting rid of all debatable foods: These include all foods that may have been prepared in a manner, not by kosher requirements.
Take Inventory of Kitchen Items
It is strongly advised that you keep utensils for handling meat products separately from those used to prepare dairy products. As such, you may have to take inventory of all your utensils and decide which ones can be koshered. This eliminating some items means you will have to purchase new utensils to replace those considered unacceptable.
Designate specific kitchen areas for dairy products and their utensils. This may mean sectioning off some kitchen cabinets, for example, just for utensils used for preparing meat.
Organizing Your New Kitchen
An ideal kosher kitchen should have separate areas to prepare meat products, dairy products, and all other food items not classified as meat.
Ensure to tell any contractors you hire to be mindful of such categorization.
In many Jewish households, there is a practice of identifying utensils. For example, preparing meat by using specific color systems. All utensils used for processing dairy products should be white. Red utensils can be reserved for meat products, and so on. The utensils themselves do not necessarily have to be of a specific color; the objective is readily distinguishable.
In addition to making the utensils ready, consider these other changes for a kosher kitchen:
Granite is preferable to wood or quartz as a suitable countertop material. The idea is to ensure a non-porous surface to prevent leaking of water during the cooking process. If only one countertop surface is available, it must be clearly partitioned.
The challenge of properly storing utensils and food items is stressful enough. Doing so while observing kosher regulations becomes more cumbersome. One row of kitchen cabinets, for instance, could house dishes only used for dairy products, while those of non-animal foods could be stored in another corner. Ensure to convey such arrangements to any contractor remodeling your kitchen for kosher purposes.
The separation of the different kitchen items should extend to the appliances used for all food preparations.
Rollers and ovens come in all sizes and forms. The portable versions are ideal for such an arrangement; two sets can be used to prepare the different food types as per kosher requirements. For example, if the oven is fixed to the wall, it can be used for meat products. A portable one can then be used for other food types.
This rule can apply to all other kitchen appliances like dishwashers and blenders.
All in all, keeping all the above factors in mind will help you set up a kosher kitchen that fully complies with all the requisite rules. If in doubt, a Rabbi or an expert in such matters can quickly clarify any issue.