Appliance Pre-Purchase Advice

Cooktops

  • Electric smoothtops may present a problem of kashering for Pesach. Check with your rav.
  • Electric cooktops may pose a problem with adjusting the temperature on Yom Tov.
  • Electronic ignition may pose 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-hour cutoff – should have a way to disable or override.

Ovens

12 hour 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 and no tones should be activated.
  • To adjust the temperature, either one must know when power (gas or electric) cycles to the oven or there must be a built-in delay (grama).
  • 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

  • Should not activate any tones or icons.
  • Should not activate or deactivate any heating elements (listen for relays clicking, or see if power indicator light goes on immediately).
  • If light in oven cavity is activated by opening the door, one should be able to either remove the bulb or leave on the light at the panel switch for the entire time.

Timed Bake

  • If timed bake is desired (for Friday night or the first night of Yom Tov), check to make sure that no icons, tones or displays are canceled when the door is opened, and that a buzzer does not need to be manually turned off.

Warming Drawers

  • Warming drawers have the same issues as ovens (timed cut-off, temperature adjustment on Yom Tov, opening the door, and timed bake) because they are thermostatically controlled. Many warming drawers cannot be set for temperatures below 120ºF (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-hour cut-off 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, you can search for your model number in the appliance section of our website at www.star-k.org 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 oil coating.
  • 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.
  • Before purchasing any cooking appliance, it is best to view the actual item in the store.
    Visit our website at www.star-k.org for lists of oven products under STAR-K certification.

REFRIGERATORS

Opening the Refrigerator/Freezer Door

  • Should not cause circulation fans to go on/off. (Check to see if fan runs with open door. If it does not, press down door plunger switch and listen to see if fan goes on. Some models have two door plunger switches – one for the light and another for the fan motor.)
  • Should not activate any tones or digital readouts (e.g., door ajar icons, cabinet temperature and settings).
  • Should not affect defrost cycle. (Defrost cycle should not be dependent upon the amount of times and duration of the door opening.)
  • Light in refrigerator cavity should be removed, either by unscrewing the bulb or by taping down the light switch. Check to make sure there are no other lights (e.g., door lights) that are turned on when the door is opened.

CAUTION: Disabling Door Switches

Taping or otherwise holding down the door plunger switch to avoid these problems will cause the refrigerator to operate less efficiently (the cavity temperature will be higher than expected); in hot, humid climates, the compressor may run continuously which may shorten its operating lifetime. Always remember to remove the tape or other hold-down device once Shabbos/Yom Tov ends.
Numerous models are now using magnetic door switches instead of the mechanical spring plunger switches; avoid these models. If you already own such a model, you may disable it by locating the switch with a strong magnet and then taping the magnet over it. The magnet must be flat enough to not interfere with the proper sealing of the door gasket when you close the fridge. To locate the switch, check the outside top of the refrigerator. There may be a plunger switch, or there may be a magnetic switch somewhere along the refrigerator’s inside frame, around the sides or at the top of the fridge.

Freezer “Whoosh” Sound

The whoosh sound that occurs when some freezer doors are closed occurs when the freezer door is opened and the cold air escapes from the freezer and is replaced by warmer, lighter and less dense air. When the door is then closed, the warmer air cools and becomes denser; this air takes up less space than when it was warm. This creates a vacuum in the freezer which nature tries to correct by sucking in outside air through the door gasket; thus, the “whooshing” sound. This process does not present any halachic problems for Shabbos or Yom Tov.

Other Issues

  • Automatic Ice Makers – Lift the hanger bar to an off position before Shabbos or Yom Tov to ensure that nothing is activated by removing ice.
  • Ice and Cold Water Dispensers – Should not be used on Shabbos or Yom Tov because it directly turns on a valve and/or motor.
  • Motion Detectors – Problematic for Shabbos and Yom Tov because the refrigerator is illuminated when one approaches it.

Recommendations

  • Simpler is better.
  • Test the unit at the store before purchasing.

STAR-K CERTIFIED APPLIANCE COMPANIES

For details regarding specific models and guidelines on how they may be used on Shabbos and Yom Tov, please visit our website, www.star-k.org, or call our office at 410-484-4110.

Amana

Cooking Products

Bosch

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Dacor

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Electrolux

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Frigidaire

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Gaggenau

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

GE Appliances

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Hotpoint

Cooking Products

Jenn-Air

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Kenmore

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

KitchenAid

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

LG

Cooking Products

Liebherr

Refrigeration Products

Maytag

Cooking Products

Miele

Refrigeration Products

Moffat

Cooking Products

Monogram

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Premier Appliance

Cooking Products

Samsung

Cooking Products

Sub-Zero

Refrigeration Products

Tecnogas

Cooking Products

Thermador

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

True Manufacturing

Refrigeration Products

U-Line

Refrigeration Products

Viking

Cooking Products
Refrigeration Products

Whirlpool

Cooking Products

White-Westinghouse

Refrigeration Products

Wolf

Cooking Products