What Does a Kosher Chef Do?

Matzo crackers made by a kosher chef.
A kosher chef.
Turkey is kosher.
Cows and other cloven-hoofed, cud-chewing animals are kosher.
Pigs are not considered kosher.
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  • Written By: Erik J.J. Goserud
  • Edited By: PJP Schroeder
  • Last Modified Date: 03 April 2014
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A kosher chef handles meal preparation and food ingredients to ensure that the food adheres to Jewish Dietary Law or the conventions of the Jewish Halakhic Laws. He or she prepares only foods that are properly slaughtered. These foods must be produced with full supervision and must not be tithed or, in other words, sold for profit to support a religious organization. Only certain animals may be used by the kosher chef, and all blood must be drained from the meat before it is eaten. Kosher meats cannot be eaten with dairy according to the Jewish Dietary Laws.

Kosher is a mitzvah, which is a divine Jewish commandment to eat in accordance with kosher laws and fulfill a connection to God. A rabbi must approve the kosher chef’s food to ensure the food is kosher. One main biblical food law forbids eating blood due to the belief that the life is in the blood. Melihah, a main technique for the kosher chef, involves meat being soaked in water for one half hour to open the pores. It is then covered thickly in salt on both sides and left to sit for about one hour.


To separate all meat and dairy, kosher chefs have customized kitchens. The kitchen utensils, ovens, and surfaces cannot be used for any food that isn’t kosher. In other words, no nonkosher substances can be mixed with kosher foods. Pots and pans used for nonkosher foods must be sterilized and cleaned for at least 24 hours before being used on kosher foods. This is known as the Immersion of Vessels.

To adhere to Jewish Dietary Laws, a kosher chef keeps his or her meat and dairy products in separate cabinets and will commonly have two sinks, one of which is never touched by anything nonkosher. The chef will wipe down every surface after cooking to ensure no nonkosher substance is left behind. After meal preparation, the stove is disassembled and cleaned spotless of all food and grease. Cooking appliances cannot be used at least 24 hours before they are properly koshered.

The 1/60 (1.66%) rule refers to the fact that, if there is 1/60 left of a nonkosher substance near kosher food, it will be considered nonkosher. This rule is followed at all times by the kosher chef. There are registered trademarks known as kosher symbols. These symbols are listed on kosher products.


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