Many Jews have the custom to eat fried foods on Chanukah to commemorate the miracle of the pure oil found in the Beis HaMikdash. There are many different ways to fry food, but this article will focus on the traditional deep fryer and the new fad on the market, the air fryer. (For information on frying pans see the Tishrei 5781 edition of Kosher Spirit.)
As with all kitchen appliances, separate appliances are needed for meat and dairy; however, what if…
Q: I usually use my fryer for dairy (ex. mozzarella sticks). Can I make French fries with fresh oil and serve them with meat?
A: One may not deliberately fry the fries in a dairy fryer with the intention to eat them with meat.1 However, there may be applicable leniencies if the fryer is
clean and was not used for cheese in the past 24 hours, or if the fries were already mixed with the meat.2 A Rav would need to be consulted with the exact details.
Q: What about using a dairy air fryer to cook fries that will be served with meat?
A: Similar to a traditional fryer one may not deliberately fry the fries with the intention to eat it with meat. However, contrary to the name of the item, an air
fryer does not fry the food. It is a small convection oven that bakes the food with a small amount of oil sprayed on. It, therefore, has all halachos of an oven
and may not be subject to some of the above leniencies.3
Q: Can I use the same fryer for fish and meat?
A: Although one may not mix meat and fish, most opinions allow for shared equipment; however, one must be careful that the fryer is completely clean and
fresh oil is used.4
Q: My fryer has removable parts, can I buy two sets of removable parts and use one for meat and one for dairy?
A: No, the oil used in the fryer connects all of the surfaces as one, so it is not sufficient to have two sets of parts.
Q: Can I kasher my fryer for Pesach? From meat to dairy? Or to pareve?
A: Generally speaking, we are not permitted to kasher from meat to dairy or vice versa;5 however, if a mistake occurred and a utensil was incorrectly used and became non-kosher, or if one wants to kasher for Pesach or to pareve, one may do so.
Because a deep fryer is used with a substantial amount of liquid (oil), technically it may be kashered by hagalah; however, there is a critical point that must be made when attempting to kasher a deep fryer – it must be completely clean. This is quite difficult to accomplish. If one is certain that all residue has been removed, the fryer may be kashered.
To kasher a deep fryer, disassemble all removable parts, fill the fryer with water, allow the water to boil and dip in all removable parts (including the lid) and rinse
with cold water. Afterward, let the water boil over the sides6, drain the water, and rinse the fryer with cold water.
Q: How do I kasher an air fryer?
A: As noted above an air fryer has the same halachos as an oven and hagalah would not be sufficient; kashering by libun is required. This can be done by removing the basket from the plastic container and using a blow torch to heat it. This may cause damage to the appliance, so please consult the manual. If one might damage the appliance, one is not permitted to kasher it.
When kashering from meat or dairy to pareve, hagalah or libun kal is sufficient.7 One can run the oven for an extended period at a temperature above 450oF.
Q: Does a fryer require Tevilas Keilim?
A: Yes. If one is concerned that the appliance will break if submerged, a halachic authority should be consulted about how to proceed. For an air fryer, only the removable basket requires tevila, which would not pose any risk to the appliance.
*Please note, all of the above applies to appliances intended for home use. Commercial equipment may operate differently and has its own set of guidelines.
כן משמע מלשון הרמ“א )סי‘ צ“ה סע“ב( דדוקא לאחר שנתבשלו .1
באינו בן יומו מותר אבל לא לכתחילה, וכן כתבו הפוסקים
ראה שו“ע סי‘ צ“ה בתחילתו ובנו“כ .2
ראה ש“ך סי‘ צ“ה סק“ד .3
ט“ז יו“ד צ“ה ס“ק ג, וכן הסכמת הפוסקים .4
מג“א או“ח סימן תק“ט סקי“א .5
6. Please consult the manual to make sure this will not
damage your machine or cause a safety hazard.
רשב“א, הובא בב“י או“ח סי‘ תנ“א ותק“ט .7
ובשו“ע הרב סי‘ תנ“א סעי“ג בהג“ה