[Avodah] Induction stovetop halachic status

Zev Sero zev at sero.name
Tue Jun 30 12:22:00 PDT 2020

On 30/6/20 11:38 am, Marty Bluke via Avodah wrote:
> I saw a news report that a restaurant in Israel lost its hashgacha 
> because they switched to an induction stovetop and had an Arab cook. The 
> rabbanut seems to hold that there is a problem of bishul akum. See 
> https://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/441824 
> <https://www.inn.co.il/News/News.aspx/441824?fbclid=IwAR2tw_cVqaoM2jGXqmpmc8qBIkU6h0g3lSy0ea0HyO7Ji67JfjhrRcGZG9U> especially 
> the final paragraph.
> Can someone explain how an induction stovetop works? Based on how it 
> works what do the poskim say about it?

An induction stove has no fire; instead, when you put an iron or steel 
pot on it, it induces a magnetic field in the pot itself, which heats up 
and cooks the food.  When you remove the pot the field stops; when you 
put it back it starts again.

The range itself never even gets hot, except from contact with the hot 
pot that's on it.  You can even put paper down on top of the stove and 
put the pot on that, and the paper will not burn; which is great for 
Pesach.  On the other hand it's unusable for Shabbos & Yomtov.

I don't know what any poskim have said about it, but from this it's 
obvious that the Ashkenazi heter of having the mashgiach light the fire 
in the morning and then letting the nochri cook on it all day will not 
work.  Every time a pot gets put on the stove it's a new action, so the 
Sefardi standard of having a yisrael put all pots on will have to apply. 
Even if the pot is removed for a second, a yisrael will have to put it 
back.  This obviously requires great care and attention, and I'm not 
surprised that the Y'm Rabbanut is not willing to trust that the nochri 
will never put a pot or pan back on the range himself, if the owner 
isn't right there watching and available.

Another interesting question is whether it ever needs kashering, since 
it rarely gets to yad soledes bo.

Zev Sero            Wishing everyone a *healthy* and happy summer
zev at sero.name       Seek Jerusalem's peace; may all who love you prosper

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