Kosher kitchens are an interesting meeting between very specific traditions and what can be accomplished with technology to make adhering to those traditions more convenient and the resulting kitchens still efficient and easy to work in.
Generally, the kitchen design process is about making trade–offs between the pros and cons of each of the design elements.
As all Main Line Kitchen Design customers learn, creating the best kitchen design requires both the customer and their designer to be flexible about wish lists such as giving up some positive aspects or desires to gain better designs or to save money for other splurges.
Kosher kitchens add additional requirements to designing a kitchen that limit what trade–offs are possible.
This generally makes designing a kosher kitchen more of a challenge, particularly for less experienced designers. Over the past few years, new material, fixture choices, and high-tech appliances with Sabbath mode settings have been developed. Other conveniences have made designing a great kosher kitchen easier for kitchen designers familiar with the newest products and materials.
The website Star-K is a wonderful resource for designers and homeowners planning a kosher kitchen.
Star-K explains the strictest interpretations of kosher rules/guidelines and helps in evaluating the newest Sabbath mode appliances. Keep in mind when using Star-K, even the most Orthodox Rabbis sometimes have different opinions on what materials can be considered kosher. Accordingly, we recommend checking with your Rabbi if you are considering using Quartz or Corian countertops, dishwasher drawers, other surfaces, fixtures, or appliances that can fall into a grey area on the kosher scale.
The following appliance innovations further demonstrate this fascinating meeting between technology and tradition in kosher kitchens:
Refrigerator/Freezer Doors placed in Sabbath Mode that:
- will not cause circulation fans to go on/off. (kosher)
- will not activate any tones or digital readouts. (kosher)
- will not affect defrost cycle. (kosher)
- will not turn on interior appliance lights. (kosher)
- pause automatic ice makers. (kosher).
Sabbath Mode Ovens
While very popular in the kosher grey area. Many Sabbath Mode Ovens will do a vast array of anything you preprogram them for but most of these amazing conveniences do not meet the strict criteria of Star-K and other orthodox rabbinical groups. As a result, simpler and less automated ranges are the most appropriate when considering the strictest halachic concerns.
Being a kitchen designer means designing great kitchens for all your customers. Our job is not to determine the style of our customers’ kitchen, it’s to help them implement their style whether it is simple modern or ornate French country. With kosher kitchens, our job is to understand the level of compliance our customers and their Rabbis are comfortable with and to design within those boundaries.
Hoping your kitchen designer places your style and preferences above their own in helping you create a great kosher kitchen. Happy Passover.
. . . and of course . . .
Paul, Julie, Chris, Ed, Lauren, Jeremy, Juliet, Camilla, and Mark.
If you thought two dishwashers in a kosher kitchen was as many as you needed, watch the funny video below to learn why you may want more.