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How can I kasher a microwave?

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related question regarding pesach: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/15191/759 – Double AA Mar 28 '12 at 4:33

Usually it involves making sure it's thoroughly cleaned, then boiling water in it for several minutes. (Warning: the water could theoretically superheat, so be careful.)

From the OU:

"How is a microwave oven kashered to change the dairy or meat status, or to kasher from non-kosher use? A microwave can be kashered by placing a bowl of water in the oven. The oven is filled with steam by operating the microwave at the highest setting for approximately ten minutes. The bowl is refilled and moved to another location, and the above procedure is repeated in order to kasher the area where the bowl previously rested. If there is a glass plate on the oven floor, it is preferable to cover or change the plate since it is questionable how the halacha views glass. If the oven surface is plastic there are different opinions whether kashering is effective, but in case of necessity many poskim follow the lenient view. Kashering between meat and dairy can be done immediately after the previous use, while kashering a non-kosher oven requires a 24-hour downtime. In all instances, kashering must be preceded by a thorough cleanup. As is true of a conventional oven, kashering can be bypassed (even for a non-kosher microwave) by double wrapping the food."

The OU has posted lectures on kosher in the workplace, in one of these lectures, Rabbi Avraham Stone talks about the "magic microwave kashering trick", with which he's not so thrilled. His recommendation vis-a-vis office microwaves is to double-wrap everything, e.g. leftovers inside tupperware -- which can have a small vent -- inside a paper bag. The outside of the paper bag is now non-kosher, but that's okay; the tupperware and food stay kosher.

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You assume it requires kashering.

The Star-K says you can use any microwave so long as it is clean inside, you are heating only the kosher item alone, and the item is on a thick plate. You don't even need to cover the food.


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The Star-K is a bit slippery on this topic and they change their position (usually without notice) as they better understand the technology. Check back with the Star-K from time to time to see if they change again. It is important to note that the Star-K is talking about a microwave where the internal walls do not heat up to a level of yad soledes bo (so hot you'd quickly move your hand away if you touched it). A GE Advantium -- a combination oven and microwave (expensive but really cool) gets much hotter and so you have to treat it like an oven. – Bruce James Jan 24 '13 at 15:04

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