Meat and Milk in a Non-Kosher Toaster Oven

Q. My office has a non-kosher toaster oven. I see people heating pepperoni pizza (basar b’chalav) in it. Am I permitted to heat a sandwich in this toaster if I double wrap my food in two layers of aluminum foil?

A. The Rema (YD 87:4) writes that one may not stoke the flame under a pot that belongs to a non-Jew. This is because the pot may have previously been used with meat and milk. By stoking the flame, one is accelerating the cooking of the taste of milk and meat in the water. Although the meat and milk were previously cooked, it is forbidden to recook them, as noted in a previous Halacha Yomis. The same concern applies to a toaster oven. There may be residue of milk and meat on the tray or walls of the oven. Unless the toaster is cleaned before using, one might be cooking basar b’chalav, and this is forbidden. Therefore, using a non-kosher toaster is not recommended, even if the food is double wrapped, unless it is first cleaned. (If the oven is clean, there is no problem of reheating the basar b’chalav because the absorbed taste in metal is not edible. In contrast, stoking the flame under a pot of food is a problem because the taste enters the water which is edible.)


The Gerald & Karin Feldhamer OU Kosher Halacha Yomis is dedicated to the memory of Rav Yisroel Belsky, zt"l, who served as halachic consultant for OU Kosher for more than 28 years; many of the responses in Halacha Yomis are based on the rulings of Rabbi Belsky. Subscribe to the Halacha Yomis daily email here.