- Question: [Sunday, 24th Adar 2, 5782]
Am I allowed to place Kishkeh into cholent, or Matzah balls into soup, right before Shabbos?
If the pot of cholent or matzah balls is sitting on an uncovered flame, then it may not be done. If, however, the flame is covered, such as with a Blech or line of tinfoil in a crockpot, or one is using an electric plate without adjustable temperatures, then it may be done.
In certain cases, the sages decreed against leaving uncooked food over a flame into Shabbos because if one were allowed to leave the food on the fire once Shabbos began, one may forget that it is Shabbos and stir the coals [i.e. increase the flame] on Shabbos in order to finish the cooking. Now, in which cases did the Sages make this restriction? The Sages only suspected that one would come to raise the flame under his food, if the food is less than half cooked before the start of Shabbos, and if the fire being used is uncovered. If, however, the flame is covered, then it is not a problem. Accordingly, to place the Kishkeh in the cholent, or matzo balls in the soup right before Shabbos, would be allowed if the flame is covered, such as with a Blech or line of tinfoil in a crockpot, or if one is using an electric plate without adjustable temperatures. If, however, the flame is uncovered, then it would be forbidden to be done, being that the food will not be half cooked before the start of Shabbos. Some people make the mistake to think that since the food is placed in raw right before Shabbat, that it therefore circumvents the issues. However, in truth, this leniency only applies to raw meat, and even then only in specific cases, and certainly does not apply to raw matzah balls or Kishka being placed in right before Shabbos.
Sources: See regarding if the flame is covered: Admur 253:1; Michaber 253:1; Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 pages 302-304; See regarding the status of a Shabbos Plata: Shabbos Kehalacha Vol. 1 pages 298-300; Minchas Yitzchak 5:91 and Shevet Halevi 5:30 regarding a water boiler; Piskeiy Teshuvos 253:7; SSH”K 1:25; See regarding the status of raw meat and other foods placed right before Shabbos: Admur 253:8; 254:13; Michaber 253:1; Shabbos 18b