We have a "mixed diet" household, so much of our cookware has (at some point) been used to cook meat, poultry, or fish. However, I also like to cook vegan food for vegan friends who visit.

I know that if I'm cooking for a very strictly kosher friend, for example, I would need separate "meat" and "milk" cookware. Do some vegans avoid using cookware that's previously been used to cook meat? Why -- flavor, ethics, something else?

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    as long as it's been properly cleaned, I can't see a reason to avoid it, and I don't think any of my vegan friends have this kind of restriction.
    – GabrielF
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 16:06
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    @GabrielF, I have had house mates who would call something "properly cleaned" that I'd call "reeking of lard".
    – Turion
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 19:49
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    @Erica♦ Here in India Hinduism clean or avoid it because of influence of religion, they think their god will upset and punish them. People follow like a sheep. There can have personal reason to avoid as mentioned in answer. Thank you.
    – Swapnil
    Commented Sep 23, 2018 at 6:14

2 Answers 2


I can't answer definitively but possibly my experience is worth sharing here.

Thinking about food labelling, products may be labelled vegan and have a warning aimed at allergy sufferers along the lines of

produced in a facility that handles dairy products, eggs [...]

So, a product can be vegan if cross-contamination may have taken place. I am vegan for ethical reasons, as I believe is still the case for most people who follow a strictly vegan diet. Cross-contamination, rationally speaking, shouldn't be an issue, and I hear some vegans say they don't care about it at all.

Nonetheless, there seems to be a kind of disgust factor that varies from person to person. The other day I went to a stall selling French galettes, and ordered the vegan option listed on the menu, then saw them prepare it using the same equipment (with no cleaning in between) that they were using to prepare the non-veg foods. I ate the galette, but I didn't feel comfortable about it - I just felt that I couldn't waste good food (another, related ethical concern). I know other vegans feel the same way (having talked about this with many veg*ns over the years) to different degrees. For most, if the ware has been washed, then we feel OK (and in my culture and probably others, it would be rude to ask or complain about it as a guest, I think). But it's always extra nice for me to hear the kitchen is veg*n or "I used my veg-only saucepan", etc, and other people have said the same thing to me.

Besides the disgust factor, others may have a different approach to their dietary practices, such as religious commitments to avoid certain foods, as you mention, and I can't answer for those, although such concerns might be a factor for some of the vegans I've talked to who say they feel better knowing that separate equipment has been used.

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    I think this about as definitive as it can get -- "some do, and here's a possible reason why" :) Thank you!
    – Erica
    Commented Feb 15, 2017 at 16:37
  • I like that you mention that another ethical consideration in regards to wasting food comes into play sometimes. For me, as long as the cookware is cleaned it's okay. Otherwise I could as well just take part in eating a meal that is cooked with meat and "eat around it", not putting meat onto my plate (which I wouldn't do)
    – Futurecat
    Commented Nov 13, 2018 at 15:38
  • Some people are vegetarian for allergy reasons, and cross-contamination would be a very real health concern. Also, some pans (eg cast iron) need to not be washed with soap -- the fats are literally what make it a nonstick surface. So if someone cooks animals in it, then the animal fat will be in the pan for subsequent use. Again, this can be a serious health risk for someone with meat allergies Commented Jun 1, 2023 at 4:09

Just another perspective, maybe should have been a comment instead, but:

I read once, on a blog possibly but it was a good few years ago, that the person no longer sees meat as food, and I agree totally.

When people ask me questions like 'don't you miss x thing?', it almost doesn't compute because there's meat and then there's food, and I wouldn't use my kitchenware for non-cooking tasks and then use it for something I'm planning to eat.

I certainly enjoy knowing my own cookware has never seen meat, but... oh wait, that was until an inconsiderate housemate decided to chop some chicken on it.... THANKS DUDE!

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    yes I agree, I don't see meat as food and I feel baffled when people ask if I miss it
    – Zanna
    Commented Feb 16, 2017 at 7:09

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