I'm Sara Gittel from the Shtetl and I just got back to my home with my freshly shechted chicken that I had brought to our local Shochet. I seem to have forgotten though how to salt it. Can please you explain to me what I should do? Thanks!

In all seriousness, though, salting meat was something the vast majority of our great-grandmothers learned at home on Friday mornings. Today very few Jews do it themselves. Can someone explain what needs to be done, as if they were talking to Sara Gittel?

Everyone should of course CYLOR before relying on this if they ever need to salt meat themselves, but I think it is still quite informative to have a feeling for what went/goes on.

Please cover the whole process of salting an entire chicken at home, including different opinions when necessary, but focusing on the more conclusive rulings. An ideal answer will read like a hands-on guide.

  • 1
    Vtc per faq: " Your questions should be reasonably scoped. If you can imagine an entire book that answers your question, you’re asking too much."
    – Seth J
    Mar 12, 2013 at 16:59
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    @SethJ A guide is not a book. I'm not looking here for lumdus.
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:01
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    Ok, but it's still a complicated process with a lot of divergent opinions. Asking for different opinions is what will turn this into a book. A more cut and dry how-to guide probably should begin along the lines of, "in order to satisfy all (or most prominent) opinions, follow these steps."
    – Seth J
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:11
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    Sorry, I didn't mean to be curt. I was writing from mobile. I think the concept here is a good one, but I think it ought to be pared back a bit to stay in scope. Sam's answer is a start, but it's by no means conclusive, especially the way the question is currently worded, which I do still think leaves it open to a lengthy essay, at least, plus footnotes.
    – Seth J
    Mar 12, 2013 at 20:35
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    See he.wikisource.org/wiki/… Mar 12, 2013 at 22:29

3 Answers 3


The unsalted meat should not come in contact with any kosher food or vessels until the process of salting is completed.

Step one: Take the meat and wash it well then soak it in a special vessel (used specifically for this) for a half hour (Rama 69:1). When finished soaking let the water drip off before salting. If using a knife to cut open clots or to just cut up the meat or chicken make sure to have a special knife, do not use your kitchen knife (butcher should have three different knives, Shach 69:3).

Step two: Take the meat and salt it with average size salt not too coarse and not too thin (S"A 69:3) and place it all over the piece of meat try to get every inch (if it is a chicken it should be cut open and salt should be placed inside all over [Misbtzos Zahav 15]). The salt should remain on the meat for one hour (Rama 69:6) and placed on a slanted board with holes so the blood can drip out (make sure to do it over a special vessel to collect blood do not use your sink).

Step three: It has to be rinsed one more time (S"A 69:7). Before you do that first shake off and rinse the salt off with water (69:7). Then place it in a vessel filled with water and wash it well. Then take out the meat rinse out the vessel, fill it a second time and wash one more time (see Rama 69:7 with achronim especially the Taz and his girsa).

Note: If I left anything out please let me know. Also this is not for psak halacha - that is what a Rov is for.

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    perhaps add information about where to put the meat where it is salting (e.g. slanted board, holes, or hanging) and to not use a kosher knife to cut the chicken prior to salting
    – Menachem
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:52
  • Why not my sink? It touches fleisch and milchig and is therefore treif. Mar 12, 2013 at 18:54
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    Some people have separate sinks
    – sam
    Mar 12, 2013 at 19:10
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    If everything is cold, why would this treif up the sink, knife, bowl etc. after the fact?
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2013 at 20:28
  • Also, can you please include siman/se'if numbers for the references?
    – Double AA
    Mar 12, 2013 at 20:29

Something which has actually been skipped is the fact that the water used to wash it and soak it before salting must all be cold. If the meat comes in contact with hot water the halachah is that the blood clots there and leads to halachic problems.


There is one important step that hasn't been mentioned which starts the entire process. Two candles must be lit and placed at the top of the slanted board on which the chicken/meat will rest. The reason is that in the shtetl, there was not electricity and so one needed candles to see what was being done.

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    Sorry to throw cold water on this, but I doubt they would have been able to afford to use candles for something like this. Candles are expensive. They would have done this outside in the sun.
    – Ariel
    Mar 13, 2013 at 3:07

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