Creating a Kosher Kitchen in NYC
November 30, 2011
What makes a kitchen fundamentally kosher is in the way structured as well as in the way it is used. Materials and design are not as important as respecting Jewish practices that designate separation of dairy foods from meat and employing different dishes and cutlery for different holidays. For example, Passover week must have a change of dishes, as well as special utensils and tableware. Jewish individuals living in NYC who observe all rituals need sufficient kitchen space to keep kosher items safe and available when they are needed. Installation of additional cabinets, countertops and other convenient accessories are also appealing to make kitchen space more accessible to Jewish families who desire a kosher kitchen.
Maintaining a workable and inviting kosher kitchen means reducing clutter and adhering to Jewish practices by having two dishwashers and two sinks to decrease the amount of dirty dishes as well as maintaining Jewish cleanliness guidelines. Most designer kosher kitchens actually contain two ranges, two sinks and two refrigerators.
NYC designers of kosher kitchens recommend the following tips for customers wanting to renovate their existing kitchen:
|•||Install kitchen cabinets that extend to the ceiling (less dust and cleaning needed on top of cabinets!) and remove the undersides of beams, vaults or arches. Cabinets should be installed on separate walls and facing each other to prevent contact of meat with dairy products.|
|•||Hang wire baskets to utilize dead corner space, which also makes cleaning the corners easier|
|•||Replace old appliances with those implementing a “Sabbath mode”. These appliances contain units permitting Jewish individuals to turn off the automatic fan from sundown Friday to Saturday night. This also prevents inadvertent use of power during the Sabbath period, which such use is prohibited|
|•||For people who aren’t able to or simply do not want to have separate areas for dairy and meat, having granite countertops and stainless steel sinks is recommended. Pure stone or granite and stainless steel are acceptable for use with both meat and dairy products because such surfaces can be thoroughly cleaned by pouring boiling water on them.|
|•||Wood may also be used if it is completely smooth and contain no cracks whatsoever. However, kosher law will not allow any plastic materials used in countertops or sinks used for both meat and dairy products.|
Living in a NYC apartment or condo means space is not always plentiful. Countertops can therefore be designed with raised dividers partitioning off sections of the countertop in order to separate meat and dairy products. Installing cabinets that differ slightly in color is helpful when making sure food remains kosher. If you have questions prior to hiring a NYC contract when renovating your kitchen, consult with a rabbi or check a dependable reference such as the Jewish Virtual Library or the New York City Rabbinical Council for proper advice.