[Avodah] Induction stovetop halachic status

mcohen at touchlogic.com mcohen at touchlogic.com
Wed Jul 1 15:31:10 PDT 2020

... What is induction cooking?  Induction cooking is a revolutionary energy
efficient way of cooking without heat.  How do you cook without heat?  The
answer is with electro-magnetic energy.  The conventional burner is replaced
with a coil of tightly wound copper wire under the glass cooktop.  Turning
on the "burner" sends electro-magnetic energy through the coil.  If you
placed your hand on the coil area, you would feel nothing.  If you placed an
aluminum pan on the same area you would still feel nothing.  However, by
placing an iron skillet or a pot with an iron core or magnetized stainless
steel on the cooktop, the magnetized skillet completes the magnetic
connection and the electro-magnetic field of energy transfers directly into
the pan.  This causes the iron molecules to move very rapidly, giving off
heat.  In turn, the cookware cooks the food.  Lifting the pan off of the
cooktop breaks the magnetic connection, and you will no longer be cooking.
The cooktop will be heated by the "magnetic" pot or pan, but it does not get
hot from the coil.  Consequently, any spill onto the ceramic cooktop surface
will be a result of an irui kli rishon, spillage from a hot pot, not a
heated cooktop as you would have in conventional cooking.  Hence, if one
would want to kasher the cooktop, it could be accomplished by a lesser means
of kasherization, irui kli rishon.10

Although induction cooking offers a koshering benefit, the cooktop cannot be
used on Shabbos or Yom Yov because the cooking connection is made once the
pot is put onto the coil area.  Similarly, one would not be able to remove
the pot from the cooktop on Shabbos or Yom Tov because one would be
"disconnecting" the magnetic field by removing the pot.  While the ability
to kasher an induction cooktop is an advantage, the disadvantage of not
being able to use it on Shabbos or Yom Tov makes this cooktop impractical,
unless one has more than one cooktop in the kitchen (an induction for during
the week, and a non-induction for Shabbos and Yom Tov).
As with every new advent of technology, one balabusta's dream is another
balabusta's nightmare.

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