Cooking meat with Pareve milk [i.e. almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk]

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Cooking meat with Pareve milk [i.e. almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk[1], etc]:[2]

Non-dairy milk, such as almond milk is not considered real milk, although due to its appearance of milk, and its potential misrepresentation to the onlooker [i.e. Maaras Ayin][3], its use with meat contains certain restrictions which are as follows:[4]

Cooking/eating with domestic animal meat [i.e. cow, lamb]:[5] Domestic animal meat may not be cooked with almond milk unless one places almonds within, or near[6], the mixture. It is forbidden to be cooked without placing almonds near it due to Maaras Ayin. This applies even if one does not plan to eat the food, such as he plans on giving it to a gentile.[7] [This applies even if the milk will not be recognizable after it is mixed in with meat.[8] If the meat is not cooked together with the almond milk and one simply desires to eat them together cold, then some Poskim[9] rule it is permitted to do so even without placing almonds in the mixture. Other Poskim[10], however, rule that one must place almonds in the mixture even in such a case. Bedieved, if one cooked the almond milk together with the meat without almonds, then it remains permitted to be eaten so long as the milk is no longer recognizable and one did not do so Bemeizid.[11]]

Cooking/eating with poultry: Being that poultry is not considered a Biblical form of meat regarding the laws of Basar Bechalav, the Poskim debate as to whether it may be eaten with almond milk without restriction. Some Poskim[12] [i.e. Rama] rule it is permitted to cook [and eat[13]] chicken with almond milk even without placing almonds by the food.[14] However, other Poskim[15] [i.e. Shach] rule it is forbidden to do so due to Maaras Ayin, unless one places almonds by its side.[16] Practically, one is to initially place almonds near the chicken, although if he is unable to do so, he may nevertheless eat poultry with almond milk.[17] [Certainly, Bedieved, the mixture remains permitted. The above is only necessary if one is eating in public view. If, however, he is eating in private[18], he may even initially cook/eat chicken with almond milk without placing almonds near it.[19] Regarding eating the chicken together with the almond milk while cold without placing almonds there, this is subject to the debate mentioned previously.]


It is forbidden for one to cook meat together with nondairy milk, unless there is a sign which is left in or near the meat which shows that it is nondairy milk, such as adding almonds to meat that is cooked with almond milk, or following one of the alternatives to be explained below. If one does not have any sign available, then by poultry one may be lenient to cooking it together with nondairy milk. This especially applies if one is cooking in the privacy of his home.



Does leaving almonds by the meat help even by non-almond nondairy milk, such as soy and coconut milk and like?[20]

Some Poskim[21] rule that leaving almonds by the meat helps by all types of non-dairy milk. Other Poskim[22], however, question this matter.

The labeled container-Alternatives to leaving almonds by the meat:[23]

Another alternative to leaving almonds by the meat is to leave the labeled container of the nondairy milk near the meat. Hence, one can use any type of nondairy milk for cooking with meat even if he does not have almonds available, if he leaves the container of the nondairy milk on the counter near the part of meat [and brings it to the table for the meal if the milk is still recognizable in the meat after the cooking].

I made my own coconut milk and store it in a glass jar without any label, may I use it for cooking with meat?[24]

The best thing would be for you to place a label on the jar which explicitly states that it is coconut milk and then leave the jar near the pot of meat, and on the table near the plate of meat. The only other alternative when cooking actual meat with coconut milk, is to add almonds to the meat, following the lenient opinion stated above.


[1] Examples: Soy milk; Oat milk; Potato milk; Hemp milk; Pea milk; Almond milk; Hazelnut milk; Cashew milk.

[2] See Rama Y.D. 87:3; Encyclopedia Talmudit Erech Chashad Vol. 17 p. 585 and 715; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:11-13

[3] The reason for the prohibition of Maras Ayin: One understanding is that the reason for the prohibition is because one may not do actions which will make him appear suspicious in the eyes of others, to be transgressing a command and they will think of him as a transgressor. Alternatively, a second understanding is that the prohibition is because people may be misled and come to think that the matter is permitted and then come to transgress themselves. [See Shach 87:6; Sdei Chemed Kelalim Mareches Mem Kelal Pei; Igros Moshe O.C. 2:40 and 4:82; Encyclopedia ibid; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:11 footnote 115]

[4] There is discussion in the Poskim as to the cases and scenarios in which the worry of Maras Ayin was applied to, and if it applies to Rabbinical prohibitions or only Biblical prohibitions, and even when applying to rabbinical prohibitions when it comes to meat and milk there is discussion as to whether it should apply when both foods are called or both foods are not biblical meat and milk. This matter is debated amongst the Poskim as will be recorded below.

[5] Rama 87:3; Darkei Moshe 66:6; Toras Chatas 62:8; Rashal in Yam Shel Shlomo Chulin 8:52; See Michaber 87:4 regarding woman’s breast milk that it contains Maras Ayin and Michaber 66:9 based on Kerisus 21b regarding fish blood that if a places scales next to it and it is permitted

Other opinion: Some Poskim rule that there should be no restriction against cooking and eating even domestic meat with almond milk without leaving almonds next to it, being that the prohibition of Maras Ayin does not apply to imitation foods. [See Pleisi 87:7-8; Encyclopedia ibid footnote 203; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:11 footnote 114; Although the Kreisy implies that one should to be stringent by domestic meat and should only use this argument of leniency for poultry, nonetheless, he later suggests that there is room to be lenient even by domestic meat being that everyone knows that the milk is Pareve.]

No almonds available: If one does not have almonds available, some Poskim rule that it is permitted to cook and eat the meat with the almond milk. [See Taz 87:4; Atzei Levona ibid; Encyclopedia ibid footnote 195 and 202] However, others are stringent. [Implication of Rashal ibid]

Stuffed cabbage with meat and almond milk: In Kushta, the custom was to serve rice cooked in almond milk after a meat meal by a Simcha and special occasion. Likewise, they eat stuffed cabbage, which is stuffed with meat and almond milk. The Poskim suggest various reasons for why they did not suspect for Maaras Ayin, such as that perhaps everyone knew this to be the standard practice and hence there was never a chance of Maaras Ayin to the onlooker. Also, perhaps the almond milk was not so recognizable in the stuffed cabbage. [Kneses Hagedola 87:8; Machazik Bracha 87:6 and 10; Yad Efraim 87; Kaf Hachaim 87:27; See Pleisi 87:8]

[6] Implication of Rama ibid; Chidushei Rav Akiva Eiger ibid; Rashal ibid, brought in Shach 87:6

[7] Implication of Rama 87:4 [that one may not cook non-Kosher meat with milk, and it is not possible to interpret that the Rama is referring to eating]; 1st approach in Shach 87:7 that Maaras Ayin applies even upon cooking a food; Rashba 3:257 regarding breast milk; Taz 87:5; Peri Chadash 87:7; P”M 87 S.D. 7 in opinion of Rama; Levush; Chochmas Adam 40:4; Yad Yehuda Pirush Hakatzar 87:12; Chidrei Deiah 87; Hagahgos Rav Akiva Eiger; Chochmas Shlomo; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:11 footnote 116 that so rule most Poskim

Other opinions regarding cooking if not eating: Some Poskim rule that that there is never a Maaras Ayin prohibition by merely cooking [non-Biblical] meat and milk, as Maaras Ayin only applies when one eats a food. [Shach 87:7; See Atzei Levona 87:4; Hagahos Imrei Baruch; Arugas Habosem Y.D. 84; Minchas Elazar 3:6; Encyclopedia Talmudit ibid footnote 193; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid footnote 116] Practically, the Shach concludes like his first explanation that even cooking Rabbinical meat and milk is forbidden due to Maaras Ayin.

[8] Shach 66:11; Toras Chatas 62:4; Chidushei Rebbe Akiva Eiger  87; Meishiv Davar 2:30; Divrei Malkiel 2:41-15; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:12

[9] Toras Chatas 62:8, brought in Taz 87:4; Shach 87:6 in his understanding of the opinion of the Ram; Kneses Hagedola 87:8; Mateh Yosef 2:7; See Kaf Hachaim 87:29

The reason: As the Rama ibid rules that by Rabbinical mixtures we do not apply the prohibition of Maaras Ayin and cold meat with milk is only Rabbinical.

[10] Shach 87:6; Rashba 3:257; Erech Hashulchan 87:14; Kaf Hachaim 87:29

[11] See Michaber 87:4; Shach 66:11; Minchas Yaakov 62:18; Chidushei Rebbe Akiva Eiger  87; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:12

[12] Rama 87:3 “Poultry however is permitted to cook in almond milk even without the almonds being that it itself is only a Rabbinical.”; Toras Chatas 62:8, brought in Shach 87:6; Peri Chadash 87:7; Plaisi 87:7-8; Levush 87; Migdal Oz 1:8; Shulchan Gavoa 87:17; Yeshuos Yaakov Pirush Hakatzar 87:5; Yad Yehuda Pirush Hakatzar 87:11; Taz 87:4 and Chaguras Shmuel 87:9 and Aruch Hashulchan 87:16 regarding letter of law

Opinion of the Taz: The Taz ibid rules that the ruling of the Rama is correct and that so is the custom, however if almonds are available one is to place them near the mixture, as one should try to fix the situation when possible. However, when no almonds are available, it remains permitted to cook and eat them together with poultry. [Taz ibid; So also rules Chaguras Shmuel 87:9 and Aruch Hashulchan 87:16]

[13] Taz 87:4

Opinion of Beir Heiytiv in Rama: The Beir Heiytiv 87:7 rules regarding cooking chicken in mother’s milk that even according to the Rama it is only permitted to cook the poultry in the milk and not to eat it, and seemingly the same would apply here that one may cook the poultry with the almond milk without almonds, although may not eat it without almonds being present. This explanation of the Beir Heiytiv ibid answers all the questions posed by the Shach against the Rama. He explains that the Rama agrees that we suspect for Maras Ayin even by Rabbinical prohibitions and hence one may not eat chicken with almond milk unless he places almonds in the vicinity even according to the Rama. However, the Rama is referring to cooking the mixture together without eating in which case the worst-case scenario he will cook chicken with real milk which itself is only prohibited due to Maaras Ayin. [Beir Heiytiv ibid; See P”M 87 M.Z. 4-5 and S.D. 8; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid footnote 127] To note however that the Taz 87:4 explicitly states by almond milk that the chicken may be eaten, hence negating this explanation of the Beir Heiytiv in the Rama.

[14] The reason: As chicken itself is only Rabbinical, and thus we do not make a decree of Maaras Ayin on it. Now, although we decree by blood of a fish that it may not be eaten unless it has scales due to Maras Ayin, this is only because consuming blood of an animal is Biblical and contains Kareis. [Taz ibid; Shach ibid in his explanation of Rama] Alternatively, one may not create new decrees of Maras Ayin that are not based on the Talmud or Rishonim, and hence the lack of Talmudic source for a prohibition to eat chicken with almond milk, is itself the reason for its allowance. [Peri Chadash ibid]

[15] Shach 87:6 [writes that so rule the Achronim and so appears in his opinion and so rules the Beir Sheva]; Rashal in Perek Kol Habasar 8:52, brought in Shach ibid, Taz 87:4 and Toras Chatas; Bach 66; Beir Sheva 17; Beis Lechem Yehuda 87:4; Peri Toar 89:9; Halacha Pesuka 87:3; P”M 87 S.D. 6; Chochmas Adam 40:3; Aruch Hashulchan 87:16; Taz ibid concludes like Rama from letter of the law, although writes that it is best to place almonds

Is cooking it together forbidden or just eating: Some Poskim suggest that by poultry, according to all opinions, it is permitted to cook it together with almond milk and it is only the eating that is prohibited. [Beir Heiytiv ibid] Accordingly, some conclude that according to all it is permitted even initially to cook chicken with almond milk without leaving almonds there, and if the almond milk is no recognizable then one can even eat them together without almonds. [Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid footnote 127]

[16] The reason: As the Sages forbade also Rabbinical matters due to Maras Ayin, as is evident from various laws which involve Rabbinical matters and were nevertheless decreed against due to Maaras Ayin. This is evident from the ruling that one may not walk an animal with a bell to the marketplace on Shabbos because it appears like one intends to sell it on Shabbos, which itself is only Rabbinically forbidden. [Shach ibid]

[17] Taz ibid; P”M 87 M.Z. 4; Beis Lechem Yehuda 87:4; Beis Yitzchak 87:3; Mikdash Me’at 87:13; Zivcheiy Tzedek 87:19-20; Kaf Hachaim 87:25

[18] Including if he is eating at home with his household. [Nachlas Tzevi ibid; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid]

[19] Nachalas Tzevi 87:3; Pischeiy Teshuvah 87:10; Zivcheiy Tzedek 87:23; Kaf Hachaim 87:28; Chavos Yair 150; P”M 87 S.D. 6; Chidushei Haflah 87; Yad Avraham 87; Hagahos Yismach Moshe; Hagahos Chochmas Shlomo 87; Maharam Shick O.C. 102; Noda Beyehuda Tinyana O.C. 30; Pesakim Uteshuvos ibid footnote 128

[20] See Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:14 footnote 131

[21] Chaguras Shmuel 87:10, brought in Darkei Teshuvah 87:49; Implication of M”B 143:13

[22] Implication of Taz O.C. 244:2; Imrei Yosher 38:2; Chidushei Rav Akiva Eiger 66:9

[23] Daas Torah 87:3; Maharam Shick O.C. 102; Harei Besamim 5:33; Igros Moshe O.C. 2:64; Mishneh Halachos 5:96; Madanei Hashulchan 87:19; Avnei Yashpei 6:64; Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:14 footnote 132

[24] See Pesakim Uteshuvos 87:14 footnote 132

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