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Jewish Recipes --> Recipes --> Jewish Cooking Terms / Dictionary --> Water Blech

1: Blech - literally means metal. It refers to the metal cover plate that is placed on an open flame in order to cover it on Shabbos
2: Cooking A: Heating any uncooked or partially cooked solid or liquid food to a Temperature of 113 degrees F, Yad Soledet Bo, or higher is termed "Cooking"

3: Ein Bishul Achar Bishul - "There is no cooking after cooking/" Fully cooked solids are not able be cooked again. However, liquids can cook again and may not be reheated.

4: Water Blech Al Gavy Water Blech - a vessel on top of another vessel, e.g.. a pot containing food on top of another pot containing food.

5: Yad Soledet Bo - Laterally means, "a hand can be placed on it". That is, if you can put your hand on a heat source without burning you hand, you may use that as warming tray or blech because no cooking will occur. This temperature is generally agreed to be 113 degrees F.

A Jewish holiday or festival is a day or series of days observed by Jews as a holy or secular commemoration of an important event in Jewish history. In Hebrew, Jewish holidays and festivals, depending on their nature, may be called yom tov ("good day") (Yiddish: yontif) or Ḥagh/Chag ("festival") or ta'anit ("fast").

A "Yom Tov" has similar obligations and restrictions to Shabbat, with the exception that you can cook, carry, and transfer fire (from a pre-existing flame).

The origins of various Jewish holidays generally can be found in Biblical mitzvot (commandments).

A blech (from the German by way of Yiddish word for tin or sheet metal) is a metal sheet used by many observant Jews to cover stovetop burners (and for some, the cooker's knobs and dials) on Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath), as part of the precautions taken to avoid violating the halachic prohibition against cooking on the Sabbath.

Common use

Rabbi Fishel Jacobs's The Blech Book—The Complete & Illustrated Guide To Shabbos Hotplates gives the following guidelines:-

The food (including water) intended for Shabbat use should be completely cooked.

The stove’s gas flames or electric coils are turned on. The blech is placed over these. Alternatively, the Shabbat hot plate, which needs no blech (when it is the type which has no knobs to adjust the heat level,) is plugged in.

The pot is placed on the blech. It is permissible to place another pot on this one.

The pot on the blech, or another pot which has been placed on it, may be covered with a blanket, clothing, towel, cloth, etc., to keep the heat from dissipating. One side of the pot should be left partially uncovered.

During Shabbos, the pots are removed according to need. After removal, it is permissible to return the pot onto the blech, following these guidelines:

The pot should be removed from the blech with the intention to replace it afterwards and held at all times, not leaned onto any surface. (A heavy or unwieldy pot may be partially leaned on a surface, while being held, if there is no alternative.)
The food must be in the same pot, completely cooked, and has retained at least some of its original heat.

The permissibility of blech (and unblech, below) and the acceptable manner of their use is questioned by several modern kashrut organizations; however, the use of a blech to reheat food on the Sabbath remains very popular among observant Jews.


An unblech, or K'Deira Blech (lit. "pot blech", commonly referred to as "water blech"), is also used to heat up pre-cooked food on the Sabbath, but utilizes different halakhic mechanisms from a standard blech. An unblech consists of a shallow metal pan filled with hot water and covered by another metal pan, and thus is akin to a pot of warm food for halakhic purposes. As such, it may be more flexible than a standard blech for halakhic purposes. However, the temperature of an unblech is limited by the boiling point of water and is not as hot as a typical blech.

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