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Shevat 20, 5778

Spices for Meat and Dairy use

Rabbi David Sperling

Do I need to have separate spices and salt shaker for cooking dairy and meat? I heard that when using over a pot, the steam may make the spices and the cover of the container dairy or meat.

Thank you for your question. In the work HaKashrut by Rav Fuxs (chapter 2,57 hebrew) he writes that one should refrain from shaking the same spice container (or salt shaker) directly over the cooking pot for milk and meat cooking. This is because of the steam that arises from the pot, and could be absorbed into the spices, causing a problem of mixing meat and milk.

However, this very much depends on how close the container comes to the steam. If one inserts the spice container right into the pot then the steam will be very strong and hot when it comes into contact with the spice container. On the other hand, it would seem to me that most people hold the spice container at some distance from the pot's steam when adding spices in order that their hands do not get burned or to steamy. If this is true, then the steam at such a distance would not be considered hot enough to transfer into the spice.

One could of course avoid the problem by either having two containers of every spice or by shaking the spice out onto a spoon or the palm of your hand, not over the pot, then dropping it into the pot. In such a way the container itself will never be over the steam of the pot.

In short it is certainly praiseworthy to have two salt shakers (etc) so that there is no chance that they will absorb steam from the milk and meat pots. Alternatively one could be careful to never shake directly into the steamy pot, but add the spice that was shaken out into a spoon etc when not over the pot. But, those who use the same spice container for milk and meat cooking are able to rely on the fact that they do not bring the container close enough to the steam for it to be absorbed.


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