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Is Induction Cooktop good for Pessach?


Rabbi Moshe Leib Halberstadt

Cheshvan 11, 5770
Dear Rabbi, I need to buy a cooktop. The "new thing" about cooktops right now is the induction system, which cooks much faster and only heat up the spot touched by the pots, this way saving a lot of energy. Actually, only pots where a magnet could stick to its bottom are good for this induction cooktop since glass top doesn’t conduct heat. Even if an egg was put on the top of the burners, nothing would happen because the surface of the burners remains cold while cooking, it’s a very interesting system. But a question arised in my head, how to kosherize such cooktop for Pessach? And it’s ok to use meat/dairy pots on it since there’s not heat whatsoever? Thank you very much.
Please see new solutions at the end of the answer. As far as Koshering an induction cooktop for Pesach, in theory there may be an option of not using it for 24 hours, doing Libun on the Induction area by doing Hagalah on pots that were not in use for 24 hours and then boiling water in these pots on top of the induction, pouring boiling water on the rest of the cooktop, covering the cooktop with a thick cover while making holes for the induction area, it dos not work with a cover separating the cooktop induction area from the pot, making sure that only the induction area that heats up is exposed and the cover of the rest of the cooktop does not move at all, [we treat the Glass-ceramic like a Safek glass or ceramic Lechumra]. The pots that were used to Kosher the cooktop should go through Hagalah if desired to be used on Pesach. It is very complicated and it is also not clear whether the induction will reach a high enough temperature to be considered Libun, so it is highly recommended not to use it for Pesach. [It is not such a big expense to purchase a traditional Gas cooktop for Pesach]. Regarding Meat and dairy, the Induction cooktop should not be used for both meat and dairy, because even though we usually say that stove burners are Melaben themselves, in this case we are concerned about the pots moving beside the Induction area and as stated above we consider Glass- ceramic as a Keli Cheres that can not be Koshered, In addition the temperature may not be high enough to be considered Libun, so it should only be used for one of them, either meat or dairy. Our special thanks to Mrs. Sima Dor-Hay, Customer Service Manager of BSH Home Appliances Ltd, for providing us with the relevant technical information. New Technical - Halachic Solutions: Pesach I found an excellent article by Rabbi Menachem Shimel, author of "הכשרת המטבח וכליו" in which he offers a practical technical - Halachic solution for koshering induction cooktops for Pesach. Following is a summary of the article: Induction cooktops cannot be koshered. Nevertheless, since the only concern is that hot food cooking in a pot may spill over and eject the Chametz food which was absorbed by the cooktop, one may use the cooktop Lechatchila - a priori on Pesach by placing the pots on a wooden or a silicone trivet which is designed for boiling hot pots. Thus, even if the food in the pot will boil over, the pot will not be touching the induction surface, so there is no concern of absorption and ejection. It is recommended to cover the cooktop surface with baking paper since the surface had absorbed chametz. Then place the wooden or silicone trivet on top of it. We performed an experiment with a trivet about a half a cm high. There was no disruption to the cooking process. The trivet itself does not ruin even after cooking for several hours. (המאמר "הכשרת כיריים קרמיות וכיריים אינדוקציה לפסח" התפרסם במוריה, ניסן תשע"ז). Update: Silicone mats designed for cooking on induction cooktops can be found on the market. They fully cover the cooktop. There is no longer a need to use baking paper plus a trivet. Meat and Dairy This solution can also be applied for the purpose of using a cooktop for meat and dairy, by designating the cooktop for meat only. And when one wants to cook a dairy dish, he covers the cooktop with a silicone mat. Festivals Regarding the use of induction cooktops on Yom Tov. When it is permitted to cook for the sake of “Ochel Nefesh”. Apparently, there is a problem, because placing the pots activates the cooktop and removing them stops its operation. The solution to this is, to place an "induction cooktop adapter" which is a magnetic metal surface adapted to induction. Turn on the cooktop before Yom Tov, this way the adapter is boiling hot at all times, and one can place and remove the pots from the adapter.
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