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I have looked at this question regarding the use of induction cooktops on shabbat. The problem seems to be one of החזרה (returning to the fire) -- understandable, since one cannot take a pot off the burner without breaking the connection.

One workaround is to set the burner to go off before the meal begins. But I'd like to suggest another: I've found that if you put a blech (made of the kind of metal that works with induction cooktops) on the burner and under the pot, taking off the pot does NOT break the connection, or cause any change in the display. Is there any reason that would not work?

  • Welcome to MiYodeya Michael and thanks for this first question. Since MY is different from other sites you might be used to, see here for a guide which might help understand the site. Great to have you learn with us! – mbloch Jan 18 at 7:30
  • I tried to edit your question to make it clearer and hope I got it right. You can edit further or rollback my changes if you prefer – mbloch Jan 18 at 7:35
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As a practical concern, Rabbi Rosen of the Star-K writes:

How do you kasher the [glass] cooktop? Years ago, when the question was posed to me, I told the consumer to simply put a blech over all of the burners and let the heat radiate over the entire surface. Bad move – the cooktop shattered! We now had firsthand evidence that you do not cover glass cooktops.

(Though that was a conventional, not induction, element.)

More simply, plenty of places sell "induction interface disks" -- a flat circle made of the right kind of the metal that heats up, then you put your pot on top of that. Presumably (I don't know how the shut-offs work or the like) you could leave the induction on, with the interface disk in place, all of shabbos. At which point the only concerns would be the risk of someone mistakenly removing the disk, plus the obligation to "cover the fire" (and/or controls, depending on who you ask) to prevent someone from fiddling with it. I don't know how contemporary rabbis would rule on those; you could argue that the disk already is the cover, or alternatively that the disk is the "fire" that still needs to be covered.

  • If the disks are derech bishul (normal way of cooking), how do they avoid issues of hachzara - michzi k'mevashel (appearance of cooking)? – Loewian Jan 18 at 15:47
  • @Loewian good point! I was just thinking in terms of shihiya. Presumably you'd need induction -> interface -> empty pot -> food for hachzara. (Man, this is starting to sound like Chad Gadya!) Or instead of the interface, use an empty ferromagnetic pot all along ... ?? – Shalom Jan 20 at 2:34
  • Is shehiya any more of an issue than by any other heating device that also doesn't have a risk of stirring coals, as per the original decree? – Loewian Jan 20 at 14:42

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