Ovens/Cooktops Pre-Purchase Advice

Cooktop

  • If electric, choose coil type burners rather than heating elements embedded in a smooth glass surface.
  • If glass and electric, may present a problem of kashering for Pesach or if bought used. Check with your Rav.
  • If electric, may be a problem adjusting the temperature on Yom Tov.
  • If electric ignition, may be a problem with initiating a flame on Yom Tov.
  • Cooktops (gas or electric) may have a light or light bar that turns on when the burner is turned on. Some of these light bars also increase or decrease as the temperature setting is adjusted. Some cooktops may also have simmer lights that turn on and off as one enters or exits a very low setting.
  • Avoid electronic controls. After return of power from a power failure, these units will probably stay off. Avoid induction cooktops. They work well, but are not usable on Shabbos or Yom Tov.

12-hr Cutoff

  • Should have a way to disable or override.

Temperature Adjustment on Yom Tov

  • If you desire to change the temperature of the oven on Yom Tov, the display readout should not change, nor should any tones be activated.
  • In addition, to adjust the temperature, one must know when power (gas or electric) cycles to the oven or there must be a built in delay (gramma).
  • Please note that not all indicator lights indicate when power is cycling to the oven. Rather, they may indicate only that the oven is on.

Opening the Oven Door

  • Avoid ovens where a light comes on/off with the opening/closing of the oven door.
  • Should not activate any tones or icons.
  • Should not activate or deactivate any heating elements immediately(listen for relays clicking or see if power indicator light goes on immediately).
  • If light in oven cavity is activated by opening the door, there should be capability of removing the bulb or leaving the light on for the entire time at the panel switch.

Timed Bake

  • If timed bake is desired for Friday night or the first night of Yom Tov, check to see that the end of the timed bake is not announced with icons, tones, or displays which are cancelled when the door is opened, or a buzzer that must be manually turned off.

Warming Drawers

  • Warming drawers have the same issues as ovens (see above: timed cutoff, temperature adjustment on Yom Tov, opening the oven door, and timed bake) because they are thermostatically controlled and many cannot be set for temperatures below 120°F (yad soledes). Check with your Rav for proper use of warming drawers on Shabbos.

Recommendations

  • Simpler is better.
  • Gas is recommended over electric.
  • Avoid slew controls (up/down arrow). Stick to knobs or number pads.
  • If a company advertises a Sabbath mode, make sure it includes more than the 12-hr cutoff override. Otherwise, see potential problems above. Also, make sure there is a competent halachic authority behind the Sabbath mode to endorse it. To verify that your product has a Star-K certified Sabbath mode, find your model number in the appliance section or call our office at 410-484-4110.
  • Before first use of a new oven, be sure to wash the racks and interior of the oven thoroughly with warm water and soap to remove any coating oil.
  • When remodeling a kitchen with a separate gas cooktop or a dishwasher, it is advisable to install them with a separate on/off switch. Before Shabbos or Yom Tov this switch should be turned off to avoid any problems.
  • It is best to actually see any cooking appliance before purchase.

Click here for information on oven products under Star-K certification.