Families all over the world and the U.S. are gearing up for the preparation of Passover, a nine-day ritual that includes cleansing the home to make it completely kosher. A particular focus is placed on removing every last remnants of leavened foods and chametz — those foods made with wheat or grains. The key here is perfection, and all utensils, surfaces, dishes and appliances must be spotless and/or covered thoroughly to avoid contact during the holiday. Passover 2016 begins the evening of Friday, April 22nd and ends on the evening of Saturday, April 30th.
Fear not. Below, we have included important tips to help you prepare for Passover, with a focus on proper appliance use and cleaning, and how to avoid common Passover mistakes in the kitchen.
Prepare Your Appliances for Passover
When tackling the refrigerator, start with a deep clean. This entails removing all shelving and drawers and sanitizing both the inside and the components with warm water and a cleaning agent. While just cleaning your refrigerator is sufficient enough, some people opt to cover the shelves with foil for extra protection. You can cover the shelves, but do so with caution. Covering shelves with non-breathable material like foil or plastic prevents air from circulating from your freezer to refrigerator. This can be very damaging! If you plan on using foil, make sure you poke holes so that air can flow through. Paper towels can work as a safe alternative, too.
Another common cause of circulation disruption and appliance failure is stuffing the refrigerator beyond its capacity and obstructing air flow. Make sure it has enough room to “breathe.”
While many families are tempted to enlist the self-cleaning feature on their ovens before major holidays including Passover, we strongly recommend against this. Due to the intensity of the heat and time, and the tendency to leave the oven unattended, it is not uncommon for the oven to malfunction in some way, leaving you without an oven for Passover. Tip: If you’re not going to use the over during Passover, simply tape it shut and you’re done!
Range or Stove Top Preparation
We know. Cleaning the range is everyone’s least favorite kitchen duty. For Passover, no particle of chametz, grease or the like can remain. Remove the grates, wash them in the dishwasher and scour the stove top and burners. In the traditional sense, something that was used for chametz a year ago is still chametz. This means Passover food cannot touch your range or cooktop, so it must be covered. The easiest way to do this is with aluminum foil. Reminder: Do not cover oven vents on your range with tin foil. Improper covering of vents on a gas oven will cause a buildup of carbon monoxide, a poisonous, colorless and odorless gas which can cause injury or death if inhaled.
We saved the easiest for last. Just place a bowl of water in the microwave for 10 minutes, wipe it down with a paper towel and repeat the process. Caution! Bowl will be extremely hot. The steam acts as a potent sanitizer, but for an added measure, wash the glass turntable separately in the dishwasher.