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It appears to be a universal Ashkenazi custom to cover the area of the stove top between the burners, underneath the grates with aluminum foil. (The grates and burners and cleaned and kashered.)

As your Pesach pots or food served do not come in contact with the underlying porcelain surface, what difference does it make if it's covered? i.e. If you would never take food that splattered out of the pot, and eat it or return it to the pot, then is covering the area with foil really needed?

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Pascal, and thanks for bringing us your question (+1)! I recommend you check out the tour to see how things work around here. I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. – Scimonster Mar 31 '16 at 17:17
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  • Similar: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/568 – msh210 Mar 31 '16 at 18:19
  • I edited that this is a universal Ashkenazi custom. Chacham Ovadia Yosef rules that one can pour hot water on a stovetop and it is kashered. Same with sinks and counters – Aaron Mar 31 '16 at 23:25
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The problem is that the stove top on Pesach can make your pots chametz much more easily than it could make your pots non-kosher during the year. As a result, even splash back or resting the pot on the stove top could cause problems. Also, the splashback from the stove top could cause your grates (on which the pots rest) to become chometz. This then affects the pots themselves.

Note that the communities that I refer to tend to be Ashkenaz.

The Star-K Pesach Kitchen - The cooktop

The rest of the range (not glass top) should be cleaned and covered with a double layer of heavy duty aluminum foil, which should remain on the range throughout Pesach. Please note: Extreme caution should be taken not to cover over the vent, as well, so as to allow the oven heat to escape. The drip pans should be thoroughly cleaned and need not be kashered. The burners do not need kashering or covering, but should be cleaned.

top of the stove

The top of the stove, however, is a different story. In reality, that surface is always treif, because it gets splashings of milk and splashings of meat. During the year, this is not a problem. Why? Because first of all, you're careful that those splashings don't touch what you're cooking. And if it does, then it all depends on whether the splashings are "edible food," and what the proportion is, etc. Furthermore, if your stovetop is cleaned, then the only problem is that it has absorbed milk and meat "taste" -- which we assume happened more than 24 hours ago. So during the year, it's very unlikely that these splashings can render your food "non-kosher."

On Passover, however, the 24-hour leniency doesn't apply. Something that was used for chametz a year ago is still chametz. Consequently, Passover food cannot touch your stovetop and it must be covered. The easiest way is to take aluminum foil and cover the whole stove top. Use the heavy-duty kind so it doesn't tear.

  • Actually according to most Rishonim, the 24 hour leniency does apply on Pesach, and so rules the Shulchan Arukh (OC 447:10). According to the Mishna Berura there, one only needs to be stringent if there is a specific community custom to be. Indeed, flavor particles that sit in your stove top for days are probably included in "Nifsad Legamrei Ad Afra DeAra" which even the stringent opinion would permit. – Double AA Mar 31 '16 at 18:24
  • @DoubleAA It appears from this and other sites that many communities do have this as a "specific community custom" in order not to have to kasher the entire stove top. I used aish but could have used others. – sabbahillel Mar 31 '16 at 18:30
  • I meant a custom to be Machmir for Natlap of Chametz, not a custom to cover the stove. – Double AA Mar 31 '16 at 18:30
  • If I understand correctly then, according to the sources Double AA cites, strictly speaking, there's no requirement to cover the stove surface with foil as the flavor particles, which even without the 24 hour leniency (which we don't have to discount) after the surface has been scoured with cleansers days before Pesach are considered completely destroyed (as in Biur chometz) and like dust. However, as per sabbahillel, regardless of what technically may be allowed, we would still cover it anyway due to it being the pervasive custom in our communities. Correct? – Pascal Mar 31 '16 at 20:21
  • Given what is said at various sites, that might be correct, but I would cover it anyway. Note that glass topped stoves have different rules as they may break according to the Star-K. star-k.org/articles/articles/kosher-appliances/2931/… Be careful and of course CYLOR since he would know your specific circumstances and what you have in your kitchen. One could say "better safe than sorry" – sabbahillel Mar 31 '16 at 20:34

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