This site is supported by Pidyon — freedom from spiritual captivity. Please support Pidyon if you benefit from this site. ב"ה

A Practical Guide to Hagala: Large Items

by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, II Adar 5765 (April 2005)

OK, so you've followed the hagala directions and kashered most of your items, but you've got something that's too large to immerse in another pot. So what do you do?

If a kitchen utensil is too big to fit into the pot of boiling water all at once, it can be kashered in two or more passes. For example, I have a barbeque spatula that is some 18 inches (45 centimeters) long. To kasher a utensil like this, just follow the normal hagala procedure. When it comes time to immerse the kli in the boiling water, dip one end of the kli into the boiling water, then turn the kli around and dip in the other end. Make sure that the two immersions overlap a little making sure that the entire vessel undergoes hagala. Finally, rinse the entire kli under cold water. Note that some rinse the first end under cold water after immersion prior to proceeding to kasher the other end.

Finally, how do I kasher my biggest pot? It can't fit into any other for immersion, so what do I do?

  1. Clean the pot thoroughly. If it has any cracks or openings that may have food stuck inside them, these must be thoroughly cleaned out before kashering with hagala. Areas that cannot be cleaned should be torched before hagala. You can also use a caustic cleanser such as Easy Off® to render any forbidden taste like dirt and then proceed to boil in hot water.
  2. Let the pot sit unused for 24 hours.
  3. Place a brick or large stone with the oven turned to its highest temperature. After the stone gets hot, remove it with a tongs. You can also use a piece of metal; a large nut or bolt gets hot very quickly and will work fine. A stone placed on the stovetop flame heats up quickly as well.
  4. Fill the pot nearly to the top and bring it to a rigorous boil.
  5. Drop the hot rock into the pot. BE CAREFUL! When you do this, the pot will rigorously boil over and overflow.
  6. Once it is safe to do so, use another pot to scoop hot water out of the large pot and pour the water out until the large pot is light enough to lift.
  7. Once the large pot is light enough to lift, pour it out into the sink and fill and rinse it with cold water.
  8. BE CAREFUL! The rock will still be VERY HOT!

Questions to ponder:

Back to Lo Ba'Shamayim Hi

Like what you read? Contact Rav Dovid to bring him to your community for a lecture, class, or shabbaton.