Q. I’m hosting a picnic and some people prefer fish to meat. Can I grill both of them together?
A. The Gemara (Pesachim 76b) teaches that one may not cook fish and meat together since the combination of the two is considered a sakana (dangerous). The Rama (YD 116:2) adds that one should not even cook open meat and fish in the same oven. Nonetheless, it is permissible to cook meat in a pot used for fish or to cook fish in a pot used for meat, provided the pots are perfectly clean from residue (Isur V’heter cited by Taz YD 116:2).
In theory, if someone wishes to grill fish on a BBQ grill used for meat, he should ensure the grill is clean of meat residue before grilling the fish. Even if the grill is clean, if there is fish on one side of the grill and meat on the other side, one should not close the hood of the barbecue as that would be a form of cooking them together.
In practice, however, since it is difficult to clean a grill, it is recommended that the same grill rack should not be used for meat and fish. Either the fish should be double wrapped in aluminum foil or separate grill racks should be used.
This column comes from OU Kosher’s Halacha Yomis dedicated in memory of Rav Chaim Yisroel ben Reb Dov HaLevy Belsky, zt’l, Senior OU Kosher Halachic Consultant (1987-2016). Subscribers can also ask their own questions on Kashrus issues and send them to firstname.lastname@example.org. These questions and their answers may be selected to become one of the Q and A’s on OU Kosher Halacha Yomis.