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May 21, 2013 11:26 AM

Warming tray/hot plate for Shabbat

I am looking to purchase an electric warming tray/hot plate for Shabbat. Are there specific ones that can be programmed to go on at a certain time or do I need to hook it up to a timer (if that's safe)?
If not, do they shut off automatically after a certain number of hours (as some crockpots do)?
I assume that the ones from the Judaica stores would fit my criteria but they there is a limited selection of them and they are overpriced.

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  1. This one is NOT marketed as a "warming tray," and the lowest temp setting is 150F - is that too hot?

    No timer, but it's inexpensive.

    1. Amazon has a "Shabbat Hot Plate."

      The only safety issue with using a timer is getting one that's rated for the appropriate power level:

      1. I used to have a timer control my hotplate then a "helpful" friend of my wife said that one is not allowed to do this. I was a little annoyed at the waste of electricity but have since used it without the timer.

        Please check into this and if what my wife's "helpful" friend was wrong please report back. I hope I don't turn into a "helpful" friend and cause you to waste electricity too :)

        This is the one that I use

        11 Replies
        1. re: MartyB

          Did she think you weren't allowed to do this from a halachic standpoint or due to safety issues?
          Regarding the Waring one that you have- do you turn it on before Shabbat and it stays on until you turn if off (after Shabbat is over)? I am just concerned about leaving it on (without food on it) when I am asleep or out..

          1. re: EmpireState


            As to the Waring, I keep it on all Shabbos.

            1. re: MartyB

              I did a little digging and it looks as though my wife's "helpful" friend may be wrong (or way to frum for my taste, her husband wears a streimel). Check out the following link for the pros and cons on this topic and its conclusion.

              In short it appears to state that one can use a timer the only problem that they discuss is if one can put something on the blech when it is off to be warmed when the timer kicks in.


              So it looks like I can save electricity on shabbos as well as not have the blech on while I sleep. Yay! Thanks for the post!

              1. re: MartyB

                Upon reading the halachic article I did note that it states that the blech cannot have controls that regulate heat so it appears that if you do purchase the Waring you would have to pull the control (if one is able to) off the blech before shabbos after you set it. Since my Waring is in Florida and I am in NY I will not be able to test the removeability of the temperature knob until I return to Florida in July.

                Note having variable temperature should not be an issue as long as the knob can be removed. Check out

                note the feature:
                Variable temperature control dial with removable knob-minimum 110°F, maximum 230°F

                1. re: MartyB

                  So my LOR said that you have to cover the knobs. There are no restrictions on timers. He doesn't wear a streimel. :)

                  1. re: EmpireState

                    You know it just occurred to me, maybe I can put my hot water urn on a timer as well!

                    1. re: MartyB

                      Yes on a holiday, when you can heat up water any way you choose, but not on Shabbos, when you can only keep water hot that's already hot, not heat it up from cold.

                      1. re: GilaB

                        Thanks for clarifying that point! I forgot the point for the warmer (or urn) is to warm, not cook (or boil)!

                        1. re: MartyB

                          I have purchased both the hot plate and hot water urn from Shabbat Kitchen on Amazon and have been very pleased with both.


                2. re: MartyB

                  Hi MartyB. A couple of questions since you already own it. Is the power cord long? How long does cold food take to warm up? What temp setting do you leave it on? Thanks and Shabbat Shalom

                  1. re: EmpireState

                    The cord is not that long, not an issue for me since where I keep it I have an outlet nearby. The unit is currently in Florida and I am in New York so I cant give you measurements now. I will be there at the end of June. As to the setting. I usually keep it between medium and high. It has no problem heating up and keeping a half steamer of baked ziti toasty. Usually I put items on the blech anywhere between 8-9 am and everything is warm by 11:30 when I come home from shul.

                    Here in New York (as well as in Florida) I have wonderful slow cookers that I also use to warm things up. Again these units has have variable setting and I can use it as a small blech but most of the times I simply put items in plastic bags and put it into the pot to keep it warm. If I am making a chulent I again, place items in individual plastic bags and simply plop them in right over the chulent.

                    In New York:

                    In Florida:

            2. I bought the Israeli warmer and it got so hot it cracked my Corian counter. I wont buy another one and I run my crockpot on a Corning counter saver.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SoCal Mother

                Check out the one that I use, it has a dial to control the heat.


              2. I live in Israel, where these warming trays are very commonly sold. I don't think I've ever seen one that has so much as an on/off switch. Most people, including me, use a timer.
                You will want to consult your own LOR, but I was told by a reliable source that it is permissible to use them on Shabbat. The only issues are: 1) most people hold that you should put a rack, upside down pan or similar on the tray if you are placing a dvar yavesh on it during Shabbat and 2) if you want something wet like cholent for Shabbat day -- in such a case, the timer can't be programmed to switch off and then on again during the cooking period.
                I place the tray on my (cold) stove top, because I have heard of countertops cracking from the heat, as SoCal Mother described.