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May one use an induction stovetop on yom tov?

I assume there's a fundamental difference if the pot is already on the stove before yom tov, and food is just poured inside; this should be permitted. But what about placing the pot on the stove? Is there any difference if the induction mechanism pauses if no pot is detected?


How induction works:

Wikipedia: Induction cooking heats a cooking vessel by magnetic induction, instead of by thermal conduction from a flame, or an electrical heating element. Because inductive heating directly heats the vessel, very rapid increases in temperature can be achieved.

Symplified [my understanding, maybe I'm wrong], every solid consists of fixed atoms with rotating electrons. Some electrons rotate clockwise and some counter-clockwise. The "rotation direction" [edit me, for the correct term], can be changed temporarily with a magnetic force. The north (N) magnetic field spins it in one direction, while south (S) spins it in the other direction.

The idea of induction, is, rapidly change between N and S causing rapid changes in the atomic particals; in turn causing massive friction, which emits heat.

  • Not all of us are scientists. Could you edit and / or provide a link describing how such a stove works? – DanF Jun 30 '15 at 18:29
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    Ha! My instinct when reading this question was, "why not?" The Ralbag did it! judaism.stackexchange.com/a/22859/456 – Jeremy Jun 30 '15 at 20:08
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This Star-K article by Rabbi Tzvi Rosen says:

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.

Rabbi Mushell, also from the Star-K, writes the same thing:

Induction cooktops use electricity to create a magnetic field that will heat ferrous metal. These units react to one placing or removing a pot on the cooking surface and cannot be used on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Chabad.org agrees:

Induction cooktops are a whole other issue. These use electricity to create a magnetic field that will heat ferrous metal. You actually turn these on by placing a pot on them, and turn them off by removing one. Unfortunately, that means we can’t use them on Shabbat or Yom Tov.

According to this article in the Forward David Sarna (an Orthodox Jewish engineer) has started looking at designing such a device that would be usable on Shabbos (and I assume Yom Tov).

  • I assume you could leave a metal heat diffuser on from before yomtov? – Shalom Jul 1 '15 at 11:47
  • @Shalom, some of them e.g. seem to turn themselves off after a short time (~3 hours), so it could be you could leverage that in some way for the night meal. I'm sure the sources in the answer are speaking about remove and placing the pot, not just leaving it there. But that would also have to address accidentally moving it out of place just while taking food in or out. – Yishai Jul 1 '15 at 15:31
  • Rabbi Eli Gersten from the OU writes something similar: "Induction stovetops may not be used on yom tov at all. Heat is created when the pot is placed on the stove, which is not permitted on yom tov." – Moshe Feb 4 at 22:25

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