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Tammuz 5765 – Status of Food Baked in Milchig / Fleishig Oven

7 Tammuz 5765
Status of Food Baked in Milchig/Fleishig Oven

Lichvod HaRav,

This is a very technical question that I’m extremely confused about: What is the status of food baked in a milchig/fleishig oven? For example, if I bake oatmeal cookies in a milchig oven are they milchig, or are they merely “milchig utensil”, which would mean they can’t be eaten together with actual fleishig, or are they totally pareve since they are considered dry and therefore there is no issue of Za’eh-steam that would render them the same kashrus status of the oven they were baked in? How does this apply to, say, cake batter or lasagna or fish?
Help!

Thanks,
Hadassah

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Dear Hadassah,

Thank you for your question. I hope my answer doesn’t confuse you even more!!

When you describe an oven as Milchig, you really need to know what is it about it that makes it Milchigs. If it is a clean oven which has been designated for Milchig use, any cookies baked in them are unquestionably Pareve, and may be eaten with Fleishigs (although, I must admit, a salami and cookie sandwich doesn’t sound very appealing to me!). You may even bake cookies in them even though your intention is to eat them with Fleishigs. However, if there is some Milchig residue in the oven, you should not bake cookies in them that you intend to eat with Fleishigs (L’Chatchiloh- before the fact). This is because we say that L’Chatchiloh “Reicha Milsa Hi” – we should try to avoid a situation where the smell of something Milchig will go into something Pareve that you intend to eat with meat. However, once you have baked cookies in the oven, as long as they did not actually come into contact with any Milchige residue, you may actually eat them with Fleishigs – B’dieved we say that they did not become Milchigs just because they absorbed the smell of the Milchig residue. Obviously, these cookies may certainly be eaten right after Fleishigs as well.

If the cookies were baked in a Milchige oven at the same time as a Milchige dish that produces Zei’ah (a significant amount of steam) is in there, the cookies should be treated as Milchigs and should not be eaten with Fleishigs even B’dieved. However, even in this case, you would not have to wait 6 hrs. (or whatever your Minhag is) after eating meat to eat these cookies. This is because the only time something is considered Milchigs or Fleishigs regarding the Halacha of waiting six hours is when the milk or meat was deliberately added to give it flavor, as stated in the Shach in Yoreh De’ah 89.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler