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SHABBOS MODE: The Whats And Hows Of Using Your Oven On Shavuos And Beyond

By Tzvi Herman | All Make Appliances

The collaboration between Whirlpool and the Star-K in the late 1990s marked the debut of “Sabbath Mode,” initially patented by Whirlpool. While the term “Yom Tov Mode” might have been more descriptive of the features it offers, Whirlpool opted for the term “Sabbath Mode” to market to kosher consumers.

Despite being a popular choice among frum consumers, understanding what Sabbath Mode entails can be a bit perplexing. One of its key features, according to the psak of Rabbi Moshe Heineman, allows for temperature adjustments on Yom Tov when Sabbath mode is activated. However, there is disagreement among contemporary poskim, with many holding that even in Sabbath mode, temperature adjustments are prohibited. It’s advisable to consult with a Rav before utilizing this function.

Shabbos mode does not disable the temperature sensor on the oven. Hence according to Star-K, one cannot open the oven door on Shabbos more than once. Although many Poskim permit opening the door multiple times, one is encouraged to ask a Shaila to their Rav.

Apart from potentially permitting temperature adjustments on Yomim Tovim, this encapsulates what Sabbath Mode offers:

  • Disable the lights
  • Bypass the 12 hour shutoff (most ovens shut off after 12 hours)
  • Disable the beep after a cook time cycle
  • In many ovens today, the element/ignitor will shut off when the door is opened. Sabbath Mode will disable it completely or put it on a delay. (It’s important to note many Poskim hold that it is a problem if it shuts off on a delay and recommend disabling the door switch manually)

For older GE Ovens see instructions here

For newer GE ovens see instructions here

Several years ago, GE made the decision to discontinue their relationship with the Star-K and work instead with Zman Technologies, who created an enhanced Shabbos mode under the Hashgacha of the OU, CRC and other Kashrus agencies. Initially this enhanced Shabbos mode was available as an add on device on most GE ovens. However, recently GE introduced an oven which retails for under $750, with the enhanced Shabbos mode built in.

Unlike the Star-K Shabbos mode, the new enhanced Shabbos mode bypasses the door switches and sensors completely allowing one to open the oven at any time. In addition, this new feature allows the oven to be pre-programmed before Yom Tov to set the oven at different temperatures at different times of the day.

Instructions for the Enhanced Shabbos Mode ranges

Have questions about your specific model? Email [email protected] for assistance. Please include the oven’s model number in your email.

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