Rustic or modern kitchen style? Open or closed kitchen? Should you place a kitchen island in the center, or is the layout better without it? When you design a new kitchen, there are many planning questions you must deal with. When you add the requirements of a kosher kitchen to the mix, you have an additional layer of planning and difficulties to deal with. A kosher diet is similar and often in addition to the complexity of other dietary restrictions and allergenic requirements.
The Judaism requirements, aka Kashrut, are extensive, but the laws all derive from a few basic rules such as which foods are allowed in the kitchen, storage and preparation details, and separating meat from dairy. It’s not only the food and groceries that must adhere, but also storage and appliances, etc. Therefore, it is crucial that a kosher kitchen be equipped and organized very well, to accommodate all the requirements. Some Designers might think that doubling everything is all that is needed in a kosher kitchen, but the truth is, there’s a lot more to it.
It is highly recommended to start with an inventory list - how many pots and pans and what size are they? How many daily used sets, how many for Shabbat and the holiday?
When working with a kitchen designer, it is important to make sure they have experience and knowledge in utilizing the kitchen space for cabinets. A deep cabinet above the refrigerator for long-term storage (e.g., Passover utensils), deep kitchen drawers for storing pots, tall or corner cabinets for Shabbat plate or a large pan, and any other creative idea that will help to not only be effective, but also harmonious in terms of design. Keep in mind that it often turns out that these storage places are not practical for everyday utensils, therefore, if there is no real need - do not flood the kitchen with cabinets "for any trouble that may not come". This is where the need for an accurate and orderly inventory list comes from.
#2 Ready for Shabbat
The list of tasks for Shabbat: fill water in the samovar, turn off the light in the refrigerator, prepare the Shabbat candles, pull out the plate from its place of storage and many more heartfelt tasks. How do you make the job simpler and faster and the kitchen more aesthetic every day of the week? Plan in advance where the various Shabbat devices will be placed and pull them out easily when needed.
So, for example, the samovar should be placed in a tall or corner cabinet, the electric hotplate in a wide cabinet when it is lying down, or high when it is leaning. We stored the Shabbat candles on their candlesticks and wicks together in an orderly drawer, so that before the Shabbat begins you can easily take them out of their place, and no less important, so they will be stored in an orderly manner during the days of the week.
If your marble is large enough, you can place the samovar close to the hotplate and create a sort of "Sabbath niche" close yet separated from the rest of the kitchen.
#3 Additional Storage
Another place worth utilizing is the Kitchen Island, of course - if possible to have one. The ideal is to have a wide island, around which all members of the household can sit for less formal meals during the week. It is recommended to choose an island with shelves or drawers under the work surface, and use them to store kitchen utensils used while working on the island - stainless steel bowls, cutlery and even small electrical appliances such as a mixer or toaster.
#4 Place the two sinks correctly
A good kitchen should be practical and efficient, and run smoothly and safely while working, without unnecessary running around. The work surface is usually placed next to the sink to save unnecessary running around; so how do you handle this in a kosher kitchen with two separate sinks? By addressing this in the early planning stage, considering the most convenient way of working, and adapting the plan to the shape and size of the kitchen, in accordance with the exceptional kosher considerations.
Choose materials that can be cleaned and prepared for work.
The issue of cleanliness in the kosher kitchen is important not only in terms of hygiene, but also due to the issue of kosher itself. At this point the dilemma of the materials used to build the kitchen and its parts arises. The work island, for example, is often made of wood, which is not easily cleaned and there is a chance that it will not pass the tough parameters of kosher. Think about whether you are interested in working with Formica, stainless steel, marble, or quartz, as each of them has advantages and disadvantages in terms of appearance and handling. A combination of two of these materials can be refreshing from a design point of view and very practical.
Stainless steel sinks are another amenity found in the kosher kitchen. Stainless steel is a material that can be koshered and cleaned in several ways. Keep this in mind as you will need two sinks in your kosher kitchen, one for meat and one for dairy.
Quartz is an extremely hard surface that’s non-porous and doesn’t require sealing, making it one of the best for preparing foods. Quartz counter tops can also contain an anti-microbial agent and is ten times stronger than granite. For this reason, they are ideal for busy family homes or anyone who wants quick and easy cleanup. In addition, quartz can look like granite or marble, or not, as a variety of solid colors exist, this opens the range of design options, endlessly!
Granite is beautiful and practical as well but does need to be cleaned and treated with a water-based sealant on a regular basis.
It is very worthwhile to combine, through proper planning, two dishwashers in the kitchen which will allow you to successfully deal with many dirty dishes at the same time. That is: instead of running a dairy dishwasher followed by a meat dishwasher or vice versa, it will be possible to wash dishes at the same time in two different dishwashers, each of which has a different purpose.
A double refrigerator is not necessarily needed for Kosher needs, however if you have the room, it can be a great help, especially during the holydays and/ or Sabbath when the house is full. A double door refrigerator may also be a good solution. Depending on your own family needs.
In addition, the Sabbath observance requires that Jews refrain from the use of electronic devices. For this reason, many appliance manufacturers have Sabbath Mode which allows the user to adjust the setting for Shabbat and Yom Tov use. This is essential in a Kosher kitchen!
A few more little tips for a great Kosher Kitchen:
- Most often families who wish to have a kosher kitchen in their home, are families with many children, it is highly desirable to plan the space correctly to allow as many people as possible to stay in the kitchen comfortably.
- Also, highly desirable to design the kitchen using smart doors that comply with the Halacha, which can be used even on Shabbat.
- If it’s a small kitchen space, you can use a designed and planned sink that can be closed with designed panels to hide the dishes accumulated in the sink until the end of Shabbat.
So, if you are interested in designing a kosher kitchen in your home, it is very important that you do not do it alone and seek professional help.
Today you can find a variety of examples of kosher kitchens from which you can take inspiration for your personal kitchen. However, beyond that, it is very worthwhile to choose the best professionals in the field of designing a kosher kitchen, who will help you in planning the kitchen space correctly.
While in the past, anyone who was interested in designing a kosher kitchen in their home usually needed to compromise on the visual aspect, today with the expert knowledge of the professionals and with the latest design ideas and inspiration, anyone interested in a kosher kitchen in their home can have the perfect kitchen, both in terms of strictness of the kosher requirements, and in terms of the visual aspects of the kitchen style.
So if you are ready to start working on your new Kitchen, Sign up for a FREE consultation today. Let our skilled and experianced design team bring your dreams to reality.