Kashering Teflon



New York

Someone purchased a new T-Fal frying pan and used it once and left it to wash. After some time, she could not remember if she used it for turkey meat Sloppy Joe’s or dairy French toast and scrambled eggs. How should she treat it going forward? Can it be kashered?


Rav Moshe’s position is that teflon can be kashered—see Igros Moshe EH 4:7, and a good number of poskim agree—and I feel that that is a position that can be followed without hesitation (especially since once it is eino ben yomo we are totally in d’rbanan territory). Now, given that it was used with only solid—we are talking about tzli, not bishul, so to kasher it you would need to do libbun kal (since it’s heter you don’t need libbun chamur)—but you can’t do that because it would ruin the teflon. But—because it is התר בלע—you can do הגעלה—which can be done on teflon without ruining it!

Anytime something is התירא בלע, it can be kashered with either ליבון קל or הגעלה, even if it absorbed directly from the fire. See Mishnah Berurah 451:28

צריכים ליבוןאקדים הקדמה קצרה ויצטרך בכמה מקומות. דע דאיתא בגמרא דדוקא דבר איסור הנבלע בכלי עי אור צריך ליבון אבל דבר היתר הנבלע בכלי עי אור אף שאחכ נאסר כגון בשר קדשים שצלהו בשפוד עג האור אף שלבסוף נעשה הבליעה בשפוד נותר אפה הכשרו של שפוד זה די בהגעלה

So—even if it was ודאי milkhigs or fleishigs, this would be ok to get it back to neutral. It is true that the minhag is not to kasher from milk to meat so as not to be going back and forth,  but (1) that is not relevant here, as you do not know the min, so it effectively needs to kashered, and (2) when it comes down to it, I side with those who say that the problem is going back and forth, not just doing it once).

השתא דאתינן להכי—even if it were a safek of איסורא בלע—let’s say it was ודאי meat, and then within 24 hours of the last use, it might have been used with cheese—and thus there was no way to kasher it since ליבון חמור would be required—I would still say that יש מקום להקל after 24 hours when there is a tzorekh. The logic is that once it is eino ben yomo we are dealing with a d’rabanan of gzeira atu ben yomo, and now we have a safek—so it is safek di’rabanan. Add to that that it was (presumably) cleaned with yad soledet bo water and soap—which is a good basis to say that it makes it pagum, regardless. (If she didn’t use yad soledet bo water—she can do so now).  Again, if it is not a real צורך, I would just buy a new one in this case of ספק איסורא בלע.

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