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This is my first post here.

I'm fairly familiar with cooking on Shabbat, but I have a few specific questions.

I know there are issues with using the warming setting on an oven to keep food warm. Mostly around opening the door causing the heating element to (eventually) turn on, which is why many hold that you need to take everything out of the oven at one time.

What about these two cases:

1) Fully cooked food is in the oven (on a warming setting) before Shabbas begins. I set the timer so the oven turns off just before I'd want to serve the food. So the oven is still warm, but off. Can I then take one item out at a time, and leave the rest in the still warm, but off, oven?

2) If you rely on the the opinions here that fully cooked (dry) food could be reheated on Shabbas. Would you be able to put the cold (dry) food into an oven that off at 10:00, and have a timer set that would turn the warming function on at 10:15 and off again at 12:30, and then remove the food after it's turned off at 12:30?

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Welcome to the site. Thanks for your interesting question. I look forward to continue seeing you over here. –  Gershon Gold Feb 6 '12 at 21:19
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don't forget to always CYLOR. –  Shmuel Brin Feb 6 '12 at 21:31
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2 Answers

#1 seems OK. The issues here are

  • cooking and
  • the usage of timers.

There is no cooking problem for that which remains in the oven for 2 separate reasons:

  1. The food is cooked and
  2. The oven is off

If the food would be uncooked and the oven on, you would effectively raise the temperature when you close the oven door thereby cooking the uncooked food Rema OC 259:7 at the end, referencing SA OC 257:4.

Placing even cooked food in the still hot oven is a rabbinic violation compared to placing cooked food in an oven which had its coals removed (garufah) (unless the conditions of chazara apply.) If the oven is merely a little warm, it would be permitted in any case (Based on Rema OC 253:5)

The custom seems to allow setting a timer to turn off an oven when it is no longer needed, given that many use the GE (et al.)/Star-K collaborated oven which call this the Sabbath Mode.

#2 has both issues:

One is not allowed to place an item in a hot area which is considered a normal cooking method- like an oven or a stove top (Rema OC 253:5). Care must be taken to set up the warming area so that it complies with an abnormal cooking method like placing the food on top of another pot of food that was placed there prior to shabbos.

The timer is an issue as well. See my timer discussion here based on Igros Moshe OC IV 60.

I hope to put in appropriate sources soon.

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Regarding question 2

http://www.star-k.org/kashrus/kk-cooking-ovenshabbos.htm

My oven and warming drawer have a delayed start timer feature. May I set it to go on Shabbos morning and place the food to be heated there on Shabbos before the pre-determined time? No. The food should not be placed there to be heated on Shabbos.

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That page is great (and I had seen it before). Most of their answers are very detailed with explanation, but the answer to this one question is so terse. I wish there was an explanation. I suspect that Start-K doesn't rely on the leniency referenced here, that seems to be fairly commonly accepted. –  PinteleYid Feb 6 '12 at 21:42
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