Sabbath Mode Kitchen Appliances and Keeping Kosher Surfaces | Special Sections

With Passover just weeks away, families keeping kosher are gearing up to prepare their kitchens. Kosher kitchen design is larger than your average non-kosher kitchen. Strict kosher homes have double sinks, separate cooking appliances, and require more counter space and storage.

A kosher kitchen is not limited to using exclusively kosher ingredients. Rabbi Menahem Posner, editor of Chabad.orgexplained that to function as a kosher kitchen, there must be room to prepare meat and dairy products separately.

While now may not be the perfect time to remodel your kitchen right now, as you prepare for Passover, think about ways you’d like to upgrade it to enhance your kosher lifestyle.

Sabbath Mode

Since strict observance of the Sabbath requires Jews to refrain from working and using electronic devices, many home appliance manufacturers have created a “Sabbath mode”, also known as Shabbat mode or Shabbat mode. Shabbat. Viking, Whirlpool, Jenn-Air, Maytag and Electrolux appliances offer models with this mode.

The mode is designed to replace the usual day-to-day operation of the electrical system, so it complies with kashrut (Jewish dietary laws), such as allowing access to food that heats up in the oven and has been placed there to heat before Shabbat.

Devices certified for Sabbath Mode are manufactured under the certification of a competent halakhic (Jewish law) authority such as Star-K or OU Kosher.

The Shabbos Keeper allows the oven to be opened and closed as many times as needed to keep food warm on Friday night and Shabbos Day.

Miele’s Sabbath Mode allows homeowners up to 72 hours of pre-programmed cooking in their oven.

GE Appliances introduced the first 100% Shabbos kosher oven. To qualify as kosher, it must be paired with their Shabbos Keeper which is sold separately from ZMAN Technologies. This system allows the oven to be opened and closed as many times as necessary to keep food warm on Friday evening and on Shabbat. The system automatically raises the oven temperature to 350 degrees four hours before each meal to cook food.

The Shabbos Keeper is also available for refrigerators.

A Sabbath Mode refrigerator includes, at a minimum, the ability to turn off all lights or other electrical activity when the refrigerator door is open. Some Shabbos mode refrigerators have a timer for the compressor so that opening the door, which would normally indirectly cause the compressor to turn on as soon as the temperature rises, will have no immediate effect on the electrical operation of the refrigerator. ‘device.

When engaged in Shabbos Enhanced Mode, the Shabbos Keeper fully automates the compressor, auto defrost, lights, sensors, thermistors and more. The mode can be configured on over 150 GE appliances, including French door bottom freezer, solid door bottom freezer, and side-by-side refrigerator models.

Most GE appliances already use the Shabbos Keeper. However, the company will launch a new generation of devices that will be certified OU Kosher independently of the Shabbos Keeper.

Dishwashers can be tricky because they don’t have a Shabbat mode feature. GE notes that models with electronic controls may have a door wake-up mode that can be disabled so that the control display, control sounds and interior lights (on some models) do not respond to opening or when closing the door. You may want to consult Star-K for guidance before purchase.

To note: OU Kosher is in the process of certifying several GE appliances. Until recently, Shabbat-compliant ovens were certified by the Star-K agency. From January 2022, some of these devices will be under the supervision of OU Kosher.


Like all countertops, they should be easy to maintain and durable. This is especially important for strict households, as meat and dairy products need to be kept separate. Any cracks in the surface can lead to contamination. Countertops go through a sealing process to clean them. Kashering a counter is the process of returning a surface to its original condition, allowing it to be considered new and then used for meat, dairy, pareve, or Passover. It is mainly used for dishes, cutlery and other metal, stone, wood and rubber surfaces.

Lauren Busser, editorial director of “The House Designer,” suggests quartz countertops for the kosher kitchen. Quartz is an extremely hard, non-porous surface that does not require sealing, making it one of the best for food preparation. They are also ideal for busy family homes or anyone who wants quick and easy cleaning.

Star-K policy does not permit the sealing of plastic or materials containing plastic components such as porcelain enamel, DuPont Corian Solid Surface and Corian Quartz Surface (formerly known as Zodiaq), Formica and Silestone.

The wells

Two sinks are necessary in a kosher kitchen; one for meat and one for dairy. You also need two preparation areas. Stainless steel can be hidden and cleaned in many ways. Busser suggests the Neva stainless steel sink from Moen that features an easy-to-clean drain design and SoundShield noise protection that dampens noise and inhibits condensation.

other considerations

Busser notes that when designing a kosher kitchen and considering double the appliances and maximizing storage, keep in mind that double the appliances also means double the electrical and plumbing needs. . Be sure to take this into account and consider the clearance of your fixtures. Be sure to install adequate ventilation to remove additional cooking fumes and moisture. You may need to extend cabinets to the ceiling to allow for maximum storage as well. jn

Consult with your rabbi to confirm whether the appliances and surfaces you choose meet Jewish dietary laws.

Rosie Romero, Jr. is co-owner of the Arizona home improvement radio show “Rosie on the House”.

Karl M. Bailey