On Shabbos if I take a cold food which was in the fridge before Shabbos started, and I put it on a blech or hot plate (using an inverted pot or on a pot containing food) can it only be heated until yad solodot? I heard that it cant be heated above yad solodot from someone, but I have never seen this written anywhere.
This depends on the nature of food being heated.
- If it's dry + fully cooked -> you can heat it even past yad soledet
- If it's slightly liquidy + fully cooked:
- If you are Sephardic -> you can heat it even past yad soledet
- If you are Ashkenazik -> you may not heat it at all, even to less than yad soledet
- If it's very liquidy -> you may not heat it all, even to less than yad soledet
See: Shul Aruch, Orach Chaim 318, 14. Based upon Shabbat 40B.
I just answered a similar question on an older post earlier today...
According to Rav Yehoshua Neuwirth's Shemirath Shabbath, chapter 1, sections 36-37 and 60:
Any type of food, even uncooked, may be placed in a pot standing on top of another pot on a fire, as long as there is no possibility of the food reaching a temperature of 45 degrees centigrade/113 degrees fahrenheit. The intention of removing the food before it reaches this temperature is not by itself sufficient. It must not be able to reach this temperature no matter how long it is left.
Fully cooked food of any type that is still partly warm may be placed on top of a pot standing on the fire, even if it will reach a high temperature, as long as there is no chance of it roasting. It can be on the lid of the pot or in a pot on top of the pot.
Fully cooked solid food, even if it is cold or frozen, may be put on top of a pot standing on the fire, even if it will reach a high temperature, as long as there is no risk that it will start roasting. Therefor, cooked meat without gravy may not be placed on top of a pot on the fire, since it will now roast in the dry heat.
The ability to heat solid food is dependent on there not being anything (such as solidified fat or grease) that will melt when heated. This is due to the prohibition of melting on Shabbath. Exceptions: if there is only a small amount of fat which mingles with the rest of the food as it melts, this is permitted. Dissolving a sauce which is customary to each in a congealed state, such as fish sauce, is also permitted.
Since the above all talk about placing on top of a pot and not directly on the fire, you would need to using an inverted pan (or even a pot!) underneath any food that you are warming.