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an oven with sabbath mode enabled

In the late 1990s, kitchen appliances got some overdue upgrades that added lights, control panel screens, wall units, and other electrical components. While this brought our kitchens one step closer to the Jetson reality, the technology left out an entire group of people: the Sabbath observing the Jewish community!

To combat this, KitchenAid released the first oven units to include a “Sabbath Mode” which allowed people who observe the Sabbath (also known as “Shabbat” or “Shabbos” for the Ashkenazim) to continue to use their ovens without worrying about violating their religious laws.

Whether you are someone who observes the Sabbath or not, it’s important to know what exactly Sabbath Mode means for your oven. After all, it’s just a click of a button away!

Why Would an Oven Have a Sabbath Mode?

For those in the Jewish community that observes the Sabbath, they have strict religious rules that can limit their use of technology. On the opposite end, they also need their appliances to override certain features to allow them to safely prepare food.

According to Star-K, a non-profit that can certify if a product is kosher or not, the quick rundown of the cooking rules during Shabbat are:

Jewish Sabbath observance does not permit the kindling or extinguishing of a fire or the cooking of food on Sabbath. Jewish Holiday observance does not permit the creation of a new flame, but cooking and adjusting fire as needed for cooking is permitted.

The Sabbath isn’t like other religious events that happen once a year; it occurs every week from Friday’s sunset to Saturday’s sunset. So, it’s very helpful to have appliances that can make this day of rest that much easier!

What Does an Oven in Sabbath Mode Do?

Sabbath mode on an oven

Typically, an oven has a feature that will turn itself off if left on too long. However, when you turn Sabbath Mode on, this feature is disabled. That allows your oven to stay on and warm for however long you need it to be.

Some more modern ovens with a Sabbath Mode feature can turn the electrical components such as the clock, digital displays, and even the cleaning cycles, off completely.

In short, an oven in Sabbath Mode only allows you to use the baking element and nothing else.

What are the Rules of Cooking During the Sabbath?

  1. No one may adjust the temperature, even in Sabbath Mode. This is true for both the oven and your warming drawer.
  2. You must fully cook all your meals AND have them in your oven before Shabbos begins.
  3. You cannot add any food to your oven during Shabbos to cook or warm, regardless if it’s cooked or not.
  4. Do not place nor cook any food on your stovetop.
  5. If you want to use your oven light, it has to be either on or off BEFORE enabling Sabbath Mode.
  6. If you want to use your warming drawer, it has to be turned on BEFORE enabling Sabbath Mode.

Can Food Go Into My Warming Drawer on Shabbos?

hometech oven souffle lessons

Quick answer: no. No food can go into your oven or warming drawer during Shabbos. However, what about the food that’s already in your warming drawer?

According to Star-K, if your warming drawer is the type of model that doesn’t have any technology (digital controls, lights, sounds, etc.) besides an indicator that tells you when power is going to the drawer, the setting can be adjusted on Yom Tov but not on the Sabbath.

If your warming drawer doesn’t have a simple design, then play it safe and do not use it.

How Do I Know If My Sabbath Mode Oven Is Actually Kosher?

The best way to know for sure is with proper research into the make, model, and manufacturer. Even something like a double-door oven would have to be made specifically to have separate vents to make it kosher!

Finding ovens that were made with halachic authority can help decrease concern about how “Sabbath friendly” a product is. A handy guide for some kosher-friendly appliances can be found here: https://www.star-k.org/appliance/

Help! My Oven Is Stuck in Sabbath Mode!

oven repair

Whether you meant to activate Sabbath Mode or not, your oven stuck in a baking setting can be dangerous. The constant heat without any means of adjusting the temperature could cause the food to burn or worse… a fire!

If you can’t get your oven out of Sabbath Mode or are having troubles with it in general, give Home-Tech a call! With over 40 years of experience, our technicians can help repair your favorite appliance brands and AC. Send us a service request, and we’ll get to you as soon as we can!

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