In honor of the upcoming holiday of Shavous we will discuss different scenarios that arise when cooking pareve in meat or dairy utensils. Last week’s article laid out the basis for discussion, and this week’s article will cover common questions that arise when cooking pareve in meat or dairy pots. These halachos are especially relevant when cooking for a two-day holiday that involves both meat and dairy festive meals. Can one large pot of potatoes cooked in a meaty pot be used for both meat and dairy meals? Can leftover fish from one meal be repurposed in the next? Is there a difference if the food was cooked in a pot with water, baked in sauce, or roasted dry? Does it make a difference if there was parchment paper on the baking tray or not? May hot pareve cooked in a meaty pot: be poured directly into a dairy bowl? What happens to the bowl?
Sharp foods are known to have a different halachic status. What happens if the pareve food was sharp? Is onion soup different from vegetable soup in this regard?
Intention will also be dealt with in this article – what is the status of dishes used purposely in a forbidden halachic manner? Of this and more in the coming article.
There are three halachic approaches regarding pareve food cooked in meaty (or dairy):
- The Sephardic approach that follows Rabbi Ovadia Yosef’s ruling permits planning on cooking or baking pareve in a meaty dish for serving with dairy, even if meat was cooked in it within the previous 24 hours.
- The earlier Sephardic custom forbids planning on cooking or baking pareve with intention to eat it with dairy. Only once it was already cooked or baked, mixing it with the opposite is permitted, even if it had been cooked in a utensil that was used within the last 24 hours for cooking meat (or dairy).
- Ashkenazi custom forbids intentionally mixing with milk pareve food that was cooked in meaty and even if the pareve was only placed hot on a hot meaty utensil and not cooked in it, it may not be mixed with milk. . If any such a mixture occurred unintentionally, the mixture is permitted for consumption.If it was only placed hot on a cold utensil, or cold on a hot one it can still be intentionally mixed with milk.
Pareve-Meaty on a Dairy Plate – Ashkenazi Halachic Approach
Some Ashkenazi authorities permit intentionally planning to serve pareve food that was cooked in a meaty pot (even one used on the same day for meat) on a dairy plate, and the plate does not become unkosher (Rama YD 95:2). The Chochmas Adam (48:1) ruled that l’chatchila one should not plan his cooking this way, but in extenuating circumstances – such as when traveling with only one pot, planning on cooking this way is permitted.
If it was already cooked, all authorities permit serving the hot food on a dairy plate, even if the pot was used on the same day to cook meat.
The Shach also adds another caveat (footnote 5): l’chatchila one should not pour the pareve directly from a meaty pot into a dairy bowl or plate. Only when necessary can one be lenient. (When using a ladle or spoon, even if they are meaty, one can certainly be lenient.) The Chochmas Adam (48:1) writes that if pouring directly is necessary (such as for Shabbos) or when there are no other utensils, pouring directly onto the plate is permitted, but one should let the food cool off a bit before doing so.
The poskim are disputed as to the meaning of this ruling. The Pri Chadash (footnote 6) and Kresi (footnote 5) explain that the Shach meant that l’chatchila one shouldn’t pour directly from the meaty pot onto the dairy plate, but once poured, the plate remains kosher. The Chavos Daas (footnote 6) understands that l’chatchila the plate requires koshering.
Unused Pot – Eino Ben Yomo
A meaty pot that hasn’t been used for cooking meat within the last 24 hours, or a dairy pot that hasn’t been used for cooking dairy in the last 24 hours is called eino be yomo and has a different halachic status.
The reason for the difference is the flavor absorbed in the pot. Once 24 hours have gone by, the flavor absorbed in the pot is considered defective, and cooking dairy food in a meaty pot that only has a defective flavor is not a Torah prohibition. Rather, it is prohibited by Chazal to cook lekatchelo in this manner.
If a pareve item was cooked in an eino ben yomo meaty pot, it can be mixed with dairy. As for planning on cooking the halachah is like this: the Chochmas Adam (Ashkenazi poskim) prohibits it, and the Ben Ish Chai (early Sephardic poskim) permits it but praises and bestows blessing on one who refrains from doing so. Therefore, planning on making a large pot of gefilte fish in an eino ben yomo meaty pot for both meat and dairy meals is forbidden, however leftover gefilte fish after the meaty meal can be served with milk.
Permitted Flavor vs. Forbidden Flavor
The only reason the weakened flavor of pareve cooked in meaty can be eaten along with diary is because meat itself is a kosher food. Only when it meets with milk does it become unkosher, but when that meeting occurs in the scenarios discussed here the flavor is already defective when it is absorbed by the pareve food. Therefore, mixing it with the opposite does not create a forbidden mixture of meat and milk.
Sharp foods have a strange capability. They are able to resurrect a flavor, bringing it back to its freshness as if it was just cooked today. When a sharp food is cooked in a meat or dairy pot it is forever considered ben yomo even if the pot has not been used for cooking meat or dairy in years.
What is considered sharp? Garlic, onions, horseradish are all considered sharp vegetables. There are other food items that are considered sharp, but they are not the topic of this article.
When the pareve sharp food is cooked in a meaty pot, regardless of if the pot is ben yomo or not, it cannot be mixed with dairy.
Once sharp vegetables have already been fried or cooked (in pareve) they lose their sharpness and are equal to any other pareve food.
A dish with some fried onions but which most of it consists other item is not considered sharp. Therefore, a vegetable soup with a fried onion, but also vegetables and water that was cooked in a meaty pot is considered a pareve food cooked in a meaty pot. In this case, the Chavos Daas writes that if one wants to serve it with dairy (in the permitted manners according to the different rulings) there’s no need to pull out the sharp food from the mixture – i.e. the onions from the soup. However, onion soup with over 50% onions remains a sharp food, which if cooked in a meaty pot has the same halachic status as meat, and under no circumstances can be served with cheese.
Pareve Flavored by Food
The Pri Megadim and Chahvos Daas maintain that if the pareve food received the meaty flavor from another food (as opposed to pot) it becomes meaty, and forbidden to eat along with dairy. Therefore, eggs which were cooked in the same pot with potatoes that were removed from a cholent with meat cannot be eaten with dairy.
A pareve pot that was splattered with meat or dairy may become meaty or diary, respectively. This depends upon many factors which must be presented to your LOR for ruling.
Sephardic halachic approach sees no difference between cooking with water, roasting, or dry baking in an oven. Some Ashkenazi poskim see a difference, while others do not. According to the Rama, Chochams Adam, and Pri Chadash there is no difference between cooking and baking. However, the Shach maintains that when the item was baked without water, even if mixed later with milk by mistake, b’dieved the mixture is forbidden.
When a hot pareve food was placed on a meaty plate, even the Shach does not prohibit eating it with dairy.
If the pareve that was mixed by mistake with dairy was baked in a meaty oven but there was parchment paper or a disposable pan separating the pareve food from the meaty oven trays, even according to the Shach the mixture is not forbidden.
Practically, we rule leniently, unlike the Shach. However, one who follows his ruling is praiseworthy and will be blessed.
According to the opinions that forbid cooking pareve in a meaty pot in order to eat along with diary, one who did so, according to the Minchas Kohen the food is forbidden, but the Kresi and Pri Chadassh permit it. The mainstream ruling follows their leniency, permitting consuming food cooked in a forbidden manner as described above.