[Avodah] Can I sprinkle Himalayan pink salt onto my hot cholent on Shabbos?

Prof. L. Levine llevine at stevens.edu
Tue Nov 2 05:56:45 PDT 2021

>From today's OU Kosher Halacha Yomis

Q. Can I sprinkle Himalayan pink salt onto my hot cholent on Shabbos?

A. Himalayan pink salt is a mined salt that has not been cooked. Although regular table salt typically undergoes a cooking and drying process that allows us to consider it mevushal (cooked) and no longer subject to the restrictions of recooking on Shabbos, these leniencies would not apply to Himalayan pink salt. What are the halachos of uncooked salt on Shabbos?

Shulchan Aruch (318:9) writes that uncooked salt may be added to a kli rishon on Shabbos, so long as the kli was removed from the fire. Although ordinarily an uncooked food may not be placed in a kli rishon, salt is an exception. The Gemara (Shabbos 42b) states that salt only cooks when heated directly on a fire. Once the pot has been removed from the fire, the heat is no longer sufficient to cook the salt. However, Rema writes that there is an opinion that uncooked salt may not even be added to a kli sheini, and lechatchila it is proper to be strict. Igros Moshe (OC 4:74, Bishul §17) writes it is permissible to add raw salt to a kli shlishi (third vessel). It is questionable if a solid that is transferred to a third vessel has a status of kli shlishi. Since cholent contains hot solids, it is proper to be strict and not put uncooked salt on cholent as long as it is above yad soledes bo (too hot to hold).

Note that if the pink Himalayan salt must be ground, it is forbidden to do so with a grinder on Shabbos (OC 321:8).

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