Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Kosher >
Mar 20, 2012 08:42 AM

What pesach kitchen utensils do you have?

Do you have a full pesach kitchen? What do you wish you could add? Do you ever get frustrated when a pesach recipe calls for pastry bags, citrus zesters, and other little things that you just don't have for pesach?

For example, I have 1 parve pot, 1 parve frying pan, and plan to get some knives/cutting boards this year, maybe a vegetable peeler too. Using all disposables to host 2 seders. Trying not to acquire too much junk in a small apartment.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. PP,
    I think the key to how much Pesach stuff you acquire is summked up in the last two words of your post....'small apartment'

    Growing up, my mother had everything for Pesach that she had for year round, because she had a separate Pesach Kitchen in a big house.
    My first apartment as an adult had a relatively small kitchen, so I made do with few Pesach utensils. I did an amazing amount with a paring knife, an 8" French Chef's knife and a hand egg beater.
    In my first house, I had ample storage in the cellar for Pesach utensils and over time acquired all the utensils, small electrics and serving pieces I needed.

    My current home is very large (something NOT doable in NYC)(8000+sq feet) and I have a Pesach Kitchen as my mother did. This year's newest acquisition is an electric potato peeler. I'm getting too old to peel 25 lbs at a time by hand.
    I do have all the kitchen electrics, Mixers, blenders, cuisinart, meat grinders, and a BBQ grill oustide.
    Pesach is my favorite holiday and we have a houseful of guests every night. We do not use disposables, but have a Pesach dishwasher, which I consider the height of luxury and much cheaper than hired kitchen help.

    Could I make Pesach with 3 knives, some spoons, 3 mixing bowls and a set of $19.99 pots, yes. I did it in my young single years, would I want to, no. Eventhough Pesach is only 8 days it's worth investing in good equipment, it will last a lifetime (and not weqar out from overuse).

    13 Replies
    1. re: bagelman01

      Also a function of age. We had the bare minimum in our first apartment when we first got married. 20+ years later we've accumulated so much that we can't even unpack it all. The only appliance we don't have is a coffeemaker, just got used to using a French press during Pesach.

      1. re: ferret

        we have both a 12 cup farberware for breeakfast/lunch and two 30 cup urns, one decaf, one regular for evening meals. We don't usually run a hot water urn, as we and our guests are not tea drinkers.

        1. re: ferret

          I also understand the age function. At 40 we decided that our parents were too old to make Pesach for the extended families and we took it over. So intead of meals for 4 on Chol HaMoed, we were doing 18+ people 3x/day for 8 days. This makes the utensils a necessity.

          1. re: bagelman01

            With 8000sf you can probably accommodate a few of your Chowhound friends, too. :-)

            1. re: DeisCane

              #1 I'd love to have you
              #2 we have nearly 20 relatives who come for the entire holiday and I wouldn't wish them on you <VBG>
              #3 we eat gebrokhts, we use schmaltz, too
              #4 Most of our frum friend ONLY eat at family during Pesach, their loss.

                1. re: DeisCane

                  what would mashed potatoes be without schmaltz and gribenes? The best part of Pesach after the gantze tzimmes with knaidlack and brisket in it.

                  1. re: bagelman01

                    I'm right there with you. At our wedding, we topped our mashed potatoes with goose gribenes.

                    1. re: DeisCane

                      Long time family tradition to make goose for Chanukah, so we actaully make it in the Pesach kitchen so we can render the svhmaltz and freeze it and the gribenes for Pesach.

                      My great grandmother told me that her grandmother (the last of the family to come from Europe (1871) told stories of kashering the kitchen for Pesach at Chanukah so the goose fat and skin could be made Pesachicke and put away in the root cellar.

                    2. re: bagelman01

                      For that matter, what would matzah balls be without schmaltz? My great grandmother's recipe features 2 tbs per 4 medium-to large balls.

                      1. re: masteraleph

                        Pareve, for the vegetable soup and my niece the vegetarian <VBG>
                        The one's in the chicken soup are made with schmaltz and a little piece of gribenes tucked in the middle.

                    3. re: DeisCane

                      And gebrokhts! But we only use cholov yisrael and hand shmurah on Pesach!

            2. re: bagelman01

              I and Mark Bittman in our tiny Manhattan kitchens are green with envy.

              Using a lot of disposable aluminum baking pans, and making do.

              The one think I could not do without is an electric egg beater.

            3. I also live in a Manhattan apartment. I don't make the full chag (we are generally only home for chol hamoed, which may include a Shabbos), but I do all the baking for my in-laws' seders, whether or not we are with them, and a bunch for my parents as well. Given my storage space, I have one big Rubbermaid bin which is my Pesach box, and if it doesn't fit in that box (now quite full), I will have to go without it on Pesach. Cousins gave us wedding present of a Target 'Kitchen in a Box' full of cheap versions of the basics, advising us to keep it for Pesach. We have that (mostly kept pareve), a decent knife, and various baking things, including a hand mixer, a zester, springform and tube pans, a bunch of baking bowls and measuring implements, etc. Anything else gets done in disposables.

              1. kitchenaid, knife sharpener, peelers, knives of various types, nut grinder, choppers, graters for horseradish and potatos, food processor, spatulas for frying pans and the rubber spatulas for working with meringue, various pots and pans, and a big pot specifically for kashering

                11 Replies
                1. re: ganeden

                  I'll see your big pot and raise you a large propane torch.

                  1. re: ferret

                    I can't match that. But I do make space in an upper cupboard for a Rube Goldberg-esque contraption called a steam wallpaper stripper. It makes kashering granite and metal counter and tabletops a breeze.

                    1. re: AdinaA

                      out of curiosity , where was it stated that such a device heats to the 212 needed to kasher?

                      1. re: lacosta

                        I had never heard of, let alone met, a wallpaper stripper, until it came around in a Pesach bulletin maybe 3-4 years ago.

                        Which bulletin? I don't remember. I simply ordered the one they recommended. I love it.

                        It has a boiler, a hose, and a flat thing that you hold on the counter while the steam pours of it. The label warns you that STEAM IS PRODUCED AT 212F. and lots of warnings and advice. It's really hot and it comes pouring out into the kashering lid.

                        1. re: AdinaA

                          I'd be interested in seeing the sources for Kashering counters with steam. AFAIK, it's poured-water, or it's covered.

                          1. re: psycomp

                            Yes - what is the source for use of steam - as in perhaps a Shark or other make portable steam gadget? We have granite counters and stainless steel sinks and have always been told we have to pour boiling water over the surfaces (which obviously makes a huge mess, no matter how many towels one utilizes. Alternatively we've been told that there is a Shita (which we do not follow) at least as to the granite that holds it need not be kashered - only cleaned as it does not absorb. Additionally - anyone know how to kasher Bosch dishwashers for Pesach (all metal interiors with some very small plastic fittings - can buy extra sets of racks)?

                        2. re: lacosta

                          The boiling point of water is 212 F at sea level. You can't produce steam without reaching 212 F.

                          1. re: mamaleh

                            Yes, a mixture of steam and water would be at thermal equilibrium at the boiling point. It is the method we use to kasher barrels and tanks in the winery. We do not use steam free of liquid water. However, one must admit that any steam condensing on a surface would be doing so initially at the same temperature as the steam (simple physical chemistry) and since the requirement is that the surfaces be hit with such water (and not that the surfaces be brought up to the temperature of the water, which varies as the boiling point due to atmospheric pressure), the simple reading would be that the condensate could potentially kasher the surface. I have heard that some rabbis therefore allow steam. I have not heard who they are, nor would it be more than a minority opinion, and potentially is only a bidieved .

                            1. re: mamaleh

                              Thank you Mameleh.

                              I prefer the steamer for reasons of safety on two levels

                              1. It's a lot easier to guard against scalding than when pouring volumes of boiling water from pots. It is so hard to pour boiling hot water onto the edge of a steel table or counter. If you don't pour onto the edge so that it flows onto the floor, is the edge kashered? I find that I have to lean over and pour at arm's length to prevent myself from being scalded (tip: rags on the floor to prevent splash) But still, it's dangerous. If you or the pot slips, or jiggles, you could be badly burned.

                              2. I am more certain of getting all the surfaces hot enough. Water starts to cool the instant you lift it off the stove; it is not easy to make certain that you pour directly onto every inch of surface; and is the water you pour from the bottom of the kettle still at a rolling boil? probably not.

                              1. re: mamaleh

                                The process of kashering through Hagallah requires hot water to be in contact with the surface of the item to be koshered. Steam alone does not have the properties need to cause kashering as the concept of hagalah is that the hot water will take in the flavor of the food absorbed into the vessel. If you will have a film of water that will boil in contact with the steam as you go over the surface of the countertops, or if there is liquid buildup from the steamer on the surface of the countertop that is heated by the steamer this would constitute proper hagalah .


                                Rabbi Avrohom Mushell

                                Star-K Certification

                        3. For anybody who cooks during the holiday you need a mixer, food processor, and basic sizes of pots and pans. I can appreciate your space constraint. I plan my menu for the whole holiday in advance so I know what equipment I'll need (as well as ingredients I need to purchase). I've accumulated a lot of stuff over the last 25 years so even though I sometimes see some interesting recipes, I am loathe to buy more stuff!

                          10 Replies
                          1. re: sharonfl

                            You 'need' a food processor? I grew up without one entirely, and rarely use mine even during the year, as I'm reluctant to drag it out of it's awkward location, assemble, hand wash all the sharp little pieces, and get the whole thing back in its awkward location. Getting one for Pesach is completely out of the question - I have other things to do with that 1/2 cubic foot of closet space.

                            Beyond a knife, a stirring thing, a pot, and a pan, 'need' is in the eye of the beholder. If you don't bake, you don't need a mixer, but I definitely do. I really like having both a springform and a tube pan, because it's important to me to bake recipes that go in them, but you might not care.

                            1. re: GilaB

                              Admittedly, you don't have to have a food processor. It is a convenience. For you a food processor isn't a big deal. I find that I'm cooking a lot more from scratch during the holiday and it's nice to have an appliance that can chop and shred large amounts of food quickly. If it is a small amount then the processor isn't worth the amount of cleaning. My point is to try to plan in advance to see what equipment is most advantageous for you and acquire accordingly.

                              1. re: sharonfl

                                I have a mandolin. A really good one. The great advantage over a food processor is that it shreds vegetables for salads on yom tov. and this lets shift the preparation of wonderful side dishes to the chag, when you are likely to have the leisure and the labor force to shred beets or jicama.

                                It also makes paper-thin cucumber slices, last time I looked, which food processors couldn't slice paper thin.

                                It is. of course, possible to shred with a box grater.

                                And you can do paper-thin slices with a vegetable peeler. If you haven't done raw asparagus this way, do it (thank you Mark Bittman)

                                But a mandolin makes producing fabulous salads or shredded veggies for a kugel easy and fast. And superior in quality to the food processor.

                                1. re: AdinaA

                                  So if you are making charoset, a box grater or food processor is a must - I'm leaning toward the grater. And for everyone who mentions a knife, there's a cutting board that should go along with it...

                                  1. re: PotatoPuff

                                    I guess it depends on the charoset recipe, but the two family recipes I've used have used a (hand) chopper, and I'm not sure how a grater would work. The most difficult bit is chopping the nuts, and I don't know how you'd do that with a grater.

                                    1. re: GilaB

                                      Keep the nuts in a bag and hit them with a hammer.

                                      1. re: GilaB

                                        My mother made her charoset with a Mouli grater for years before she got her food processor:


                                        You need to find one with both coarse and fine wheels.

                                      2. re: PotatoPuff

                                        We always used a hand chopper with attached jar such as the Popeil Chop-a-matic, been around since the 50s:

                                        or other brands such as Pampered chef (see picture). A food processor tends to liquify the charoset and cause loss of texture

                                    2. re: sharonfl

                                      Definitely. But those of us with smaller spaces (or budgets) frequently need to plan the menu around the equipment, rather than the other way around.

                                    3. re: GilaB

                                      I had a food processor for Pesach long before I had a chometz one. Yes I can grate potatoes on a box grater, but when doing 100 lbs for potato kugel, the processor is the way to go,
                                      You also don't need a big maqchine that takes up a lot of space. I have a Black and Decker small unit that has a flow spout allowing you to send the shredded product directly into a mixing bowl. Only costs $26 and doesn't take up a lot of space.

                                  2. I keep all cooking utensils that are not disposable pareve. If I add dairy or if someone brings meat, it is done on disposables. I gave away all of my baking pans, and I use foil pans instead. My days of shlepping those heavy boxes out are over, and the last thing I want to do is spend my time scrubbing them instead of with my family. I also ended up throwing out a lot of the "cheap" dollar store type utensils I purchased thinking I would only use them once a year, but they broke or disintegrated by the next Pesach. This is what I have:
                                    2 large stock pots
                                    1 medium pot
                                    really good set of knives, good peeler, good can opener
                                    2 good cutting boards (one for a little helper home from school, so the work goes faster)
                                    electric hand held mixer
                                    immersion blender
                                    spatulas - rubber and for flipping food
                                    4 wooden spoons
                                    mixing bowls - set of 6
                                    metal measuring cups
                                    4 cup Pyrex measuring cup
                                    measuring spoons
                                    2 frying pans
                                    hot water urn
                                    one real fork instead of plastic - sometimes you just need one to lightly beat an egg, emulsify a dressing, or flip something on the stove over
                                    Two years ago I found a black and decker food processor on clearance at Target, so I bought it. It was convenient for seder prep, but that was it.
                                    My best investment has been a storage pantry that I fitted with wheels on the bottom. In it, I store all of my kashering equipment, Pesach utensils, my seder table settings, and my Pesach spices that I kept from the previous year. I roll it into the house from the garage once a year, and close off all of my other kitchen cabinets, and after Pesach I roll it right back out.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: mamaleh

                                      I could not live without my Cusinart Food Procesor (parve). I do use the metal tins and I am going tomorrow to get a case of pans. For those of you who wonder why? Convenance (late, I hope I spelled it correctly!) and

                                      TRADITION I can make and create memorable dishes that they will remember forever

                                      COST Cheaper than bringing anything that I missed from a Kosher for Passover store.

                                      I save my Cusinart for the next year, but if you save the receipt you can DONATE it to an organization and get the tax deduction!


                                      1. re: mamaleh

                                        we also used to save the expensive Pesach spices from year to year, BUT stopped when we realized they lose their potency. This is money not worth saving when you taste what your cooking is like with fresh spices.

                                        1. re: bagelman01

                                          I agree with you about most of the spices. If it is a dried herb or seed, I definitely will use it during the year. I find that some of them like cinnamon and turmeric keep really well for at least a year if the lid is on really tight.

                                          1. re: mamaleh

                                            Not in my home, I have tried and it did not work
                                            Who knows
                                            I just buy new and then use it after Passover