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  • Halacha
  • Separate Dishes

Ironstone dishes in storage to be switched from meat to milk


Rabbi David Sperling

Av 5, 5773
I have a set of ironstone dishes that were used for meat. They have sat in storage for 7 years and I would like to use the set for milk meals now. Is that possible?
Shalom, Thank you for your question. From my research, I found the "ironstone" refers to dishes that are a "porcelain-like dinnerware", and "though often referred to as "semi-porcelain," ironstone is refined earthenware and not true porcelain". Earthenware generally cannot be koshered, as it absorbs taste but does not release it. Because of this, you would be better off continuing using these plates for meat. However, in situations of great loss or hardship, there is sometimes room to kosher such plates which have not been used for more than a year by immersing them into boiling water three times. I cannot tell from your question if there is a great need in your case or not. But, in general, as you can still use these dishes for meat, it does not sound as if you should rely on this leniency. Only if you know the situation to be one of great hardship and need, should you use this way of koshering the dishes. This is usually the case when someone has a very expensive set of dishes that they need to kosher, or there are other extenuating circumstances. When the dishes can still be used for kosher food, albeit only meat, the need is by and large, not so great. Blessings.
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