Milk and Meat in the Kitchen

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The Biblical Prohibition

  • Please take note that we are only speaking in terms of the Torah prohibition here. There are many cases where it is rabbinically forbidden to have meat and milk even though there is no Biblical prohibition. For example it is Rabbinically forbidden to eat milk and meat together if they were not cooked together.
  1. The Torah states three times "לֹא-תְבַשֵּׁל גְּדִי בַּחֲלֵב אִמּוֹ-You shall not cook a kid (baby goat) in its mother's milk" (Exod. 23:19; 34:26; Deut. 14:21). Our Sages learn that the repetition three times teaches us the prohibitions of cooking, eating, and having any type of benefit (monetary or feeding one's animals) from milk cooked with meat.[1]
  2. Our Sages teach us that the language of "לא תבשל"-"You shall not cook" implies that the Biblical prohibitions only apply if the meat and milk are cooked together.[2] There is discussion whether frying or roasting meat and milk together is included in the biblical prohibition.[3] If a mixture of meat and milk is not biblically prohibited then one may derive benefit from it so long as one doesn't eat it.[4]
  3. The Torah only refers to a "גדי"; however, our Sages have taught us that a "kid" refers to all kosher domesticated animals (e.g. sheep, cows). We were also taught that all types of kosher animal milk are prohibited to cook meat with, not only the milk of the mother. Rather, the reason why the Torah was so specific is because it was speaking in the present (i.e. that the verse spoke in terms which are similar to the way the world functioned at the time).[5]

Separate ovens for meat and milk

  1. Many Poskim rule that nowadays a person should have separate ovens for cooking meat and for cooking milk.[6] In cases where this is difficult, one can be lenient to use one oven so long as one covers all food placed in the oven or if one cooks the different uncovered foods in the oven over 24 hours apart.[7]
  2. According to some, if the foods are dry foods that don't produce vapors, then one may place the foods in the oven one after the other (but not at the same time).[8] Others rule that ideally one should wait 24 hours between cooking the foods and that one should first let the oven run for 15 minutes before placing the second food into the oven.[9]
  3. In a case where someone has only one oven, he does not need to have separate oven grates for meat and milk.[10]

Sink for meat and milk

  1. If one is cleaning meat dishes in the same sink in which one cleaned milk dishes, if there's still some dairy remnant in the sink, it's forbidden to pour hot water there because at the time one pours the water the meat and milk are halachically cooked together even though one has no intention of using those remnants. [11]

Microwave for meat and milk

  1. If one uses a microwave for meat and for dairy (at different times), some authorities hold that one should preferably double wrap all foods[12], however, some authorities hold that covering it well with one covering is sufficient. Some also advise using different trays one for dairy and one for meat. [13]
  2. If one wan't careful to keep his microwave kosher in these regards, one can make it kosher again by cleaning the microwave out and boiling water in the microwave for a few minutes. Some also recommend adding detergent to the water that is to be boiled in the microwave.[14]

Toaster-oven for meat and milk

  1. One should preferably designate his or her toaster-oven specifically for meat or for dairy, since it is small and hard to clean out. The concern is that small particles remain behind in the toaster-oven and would then make it impossible to separate between meat and dairy foods.[15]


  1. S"A Y"D 87:1. Maimonides in Ma'akhalot Asurot 9:2 explains that when the Torah only mentions the prohibition of cooking milk and meat together, it means to say that in addition to not eating or having benefit from it, cooking is also prohibited. This is similar to how the verse only prohibits one to have relations with his daughter's daughter, but makes no mention of not having relations with one's own daughter; the latter, unmentioned portion, is taken as a given.
  2. Chullin 108a, S"A YD 87:1.
  3. Sefer Kashrut HaShulchan (Baser BeChalev 6:1) writes that there is a dispute between the Pri Chadash and the Machaneh Yehuda whether frying milk and meat is included in the biblical prohibition or is only rabbinically prohibited. He concludes by quoting the Ben Ish Chai Bahalotcha who rules like the Pri Chadash that it is biblically forbidden. This is also the position of the Gra S"A 87:13. Pitchei Teshuva S"A 87:3 rules to be stringent like the Pri Chadash but quotes the Pri Megadim to say that if there is significant loss, one may be lenient to derive benefit from the mixture so long as one doesn't eat it. The Pri Chadash rules that roasting meat and milk together is likewise prohibited by the Torah. The Ran quoted in Rabbi Akiva Eiger S"A 87:1 rules that meat and milk roasted together are only forbidden midrabbanan. The Aruch HaShulchan 87:11 rules that one may consider fried and roasted meat with milk to be on the level of a rabbinic prohibition.
  4. Rama S"A 87:1.
  5. S"A Y"D 87:2. Maimonides in Guide to the Perplexed 3:48 even suggests that the practice of cooking a kid in its mother's milk may have been an idolatrous one.
  6. Rabbi Mansour says this lechatchila at [1] This is also the opinion of R' Shmuel Pinchasi quoted at [2]
  7. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Iggerot Moshe Y"D 1:40. Chacham Ovadia Yosef quoted by Rabbi Mansour [3] writes that bedieved if one didn't wait 24 hours before cooking the opposite type of food, the food would nevertheless be permissible. However, R' Ovadia states that ideally one should wait 24 hours between cooking the two foods and that one should first let the oven run for 15 minutes before placing the second food into the oven.
  8. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Iggerot Moshe Y"D 1:40.
  9. Chacham Ovadia Yosef quoted by Rabbi Mansour at [4]
  10. Rav Moshe Feinstein in Iggerot Moshe Y"D 1:40.
  11. Sefer Kashrut HaShulchan (Baser BeChalav 6:3) quoting Sh"t Yabia Omer 5:3
  12. The OU quotes Rav Yisrael Belsky who says that preferably one should double wrap food put in a microwave if it's used for meat and dairy (at different times).
  13. Yalkut Yosef (Isser Veheter, vol 3, pg 167) rules that if the microwave works only on radiation (without a heater) one should make sure to cover all food very well and then it would be permissible to use it for meat and dairy one after another. This is also the opinion of Rabbi Mansour at Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz writes that one covering should suffice to inhibit the splattering of food and steam from being released. He also mentions the point about using separate microwave trays.
  14. Rabbi Mansour in the name of R' Shmuel Pinchasi at [5]
  15. Rabbi Mansour in the name of R' Shmuel Pinchasi at [6]