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Kashrut 3: Oops! Wrong Pot!

by Rabbi Dovid Bendory, I Adar 25 5765 (March 6, 2005)

Oh no! I used the wrong pot! What do I do now!?

First, stay calm! Not only is your kitchen still kosher, if the conditions are right, the food may still be kosher too! Even if the food isn't kosher, the pot can almost certainly be kashered. Let's go through the details so we can understand the halacha.


We'll need to understand a few concepts to understand the halacha, so let me introduce the concepts first.

OK, now let's see how we apply these concepts. In particular, what happens when you use the wrong pot?

Well, let's say that you used a ben yomo meat pot to cook a pot of oatmeal with milk. What tastes were transfered in the process? We'll need to cover two issues: the meat pot and the food in it.

The Meat Pot

Certainly the meat pot absorbed the dairy tastes of the milk in the oatmeal. These dairy tastes mix with the previously absorbed meat tastes in the pot. The meat pot is now permeated with both meat and dairy tastes; it can no longer be used to cook and must be kashered.

The Oatmeal

The oatmeal and milk have absorbed meat tastes from the pot, and since the pot is ben yomo these tastes are fresh. The food is now a mixture of milk and meat; it is not kosher and must be discarded.

So in this case, both the food and pot are not kosher.

Questions to ponder:

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