Kashering Cabinets, Drawers, & Countertops

Different opinions from different movements and rabbis

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However, since there are disagreements about how to treat a Formica-type countertop when kashering your kitchen, check with the rabbi helping you kasher your kitchen.


Wood counters are kasherable but a challenge. According to both Conservative and Orthodox rules, you need to shave the surface and plane it to even it out, sanding away any cuts and scratches in the wood so they are no longer visible. You need to wash it with both soap and water and bleach, then wait the requisite 24 hours.

Metal, stone, and wood countertops, and Formica and other “plastic” countertops, if you are following Conservative tenets, can be kashered through irui [infusion]. Heat a kettle of wa­ter to boiling, and pour the boiling water over the entire countertop. Yes, this can get messy, so make sure you have a bunch of clean rags or towels on the floor to absorb all the water.

Regardless of the material your counter is made from, most rabbis recommend that you do not place hot pots or pans directly on the countertop. Rather, place them on ded­icated trivets.

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Lise Stern

Lise Stern is a food writer living in the Boston area.