Leaving food on the grill or barbecue into Shabbos

Barbecue Grill-May one leave food on a grill or barbecue:[1]

It is permitted to leave meat and other foods in the barbecue so long as the foods are half cooked on both sides before Shabbos.[2] However, one may not remove the meat from the barbecue until the coals and fire have extinguished.[3] Hence on a practical level, barbecues may not be the ideal method of having a Friday night meal due to these restrictions. Alternatively, one can slip a pan in between the grate and the coals, thus having any dripped gravy fall onto the pan rather than the coals.

If one transgressed and left than less than half roasted meat on a Barbecue into Shabbos?[4] Seemingly if the barbecue was left closed from the entrance of Shabbos, then all the food is permitted to be eaten even if it was not half cooked by the time Shabbos arrived. However, this matter requires further analysis, as today people are no longer particular against opening up the ovens due to the wind, and hence perhaps this leniency should no longer apply!


Q&A on Barbecues

May one set up a gas Barbecue before Shabbos?

This has the same law as does a coal barbecue.


May one leave meat roasting in a George Forman before Shabbos to be eaten for the Friday night meal?

A.     Leaving the meat in the grill from before Shabbos:

If it does not have adjustable temperatures:  Then it may have even less than half cooked meat or poultry placed in it before Shabbos.

It has adjustable temperatures: Then the meat must be half roasted on both sides before Shabbos.


B.      Removing the meat from the grill on Shabbos:

Works based on Temperature: If the grill is temperature based[5] then the food may only be removed when the grill’s heat is on.[6]  Vetzaruch Iyun due to Meigis if it may be removed even when it is on, as when it is on it is like removing food from a pot that is on the fire which is forbidden.

Not temperature based: Tzaruch Iyun due to Meigis, as if it is constantly on it is like removing food from a pot that is on the fire which is forbidden. [In any event it would be permitted to open the grill while it is on and then remove the meat when the heat turns off in order to avoid Meigis.]

Ø  One may never remove the meat until it is fully done due to the cooking prohibition.


[1] See Admur 254:1-4

[2] Admur 254:2 If [the meat] was roasted on both sides before Shabbos to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy, it is permitted to leave it [on the fire in the oven] even if it is whole, even if it is meat of an ox or goat. It may be left even outside the oven on top of coals, or next to the coals. [Furthermore] even according to those which prohibit to leave a pot on a Kira which is not swept or covered, as long as the further cooking will condense it in a beneficial way, nevertheless when roasting on top of the actual coals, they agree it is permitted [to leave it there] if it was roasted before Shabbos to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy. As since it reached Ben Drusaiy, if he will stoke the coals it will scorch the meat [and thus there is no worry that one will stoke the coals]. However when roasting [meat] not actually on top of the coals [but rather near the coals], it is forbidden to leave it there according to those which prohibit there [in 253/9] to leave a pot on top of a [non-covered] Kira as long as further condensing is beneficial to it, unless it has roasted so much from before Shabbos to the point that further condensing will damage it. [However practically] it was already explained there [in 253/9], that the custom is like those which permit to leave a pot [over an oven] as long as it has already cooked to the point Ben Drusaiy from before Shabbos, and thus according to this it is permitted to leave the meat which has roasted to the point of the food of Ben Drusaiy from before Shabbos, even if it is outside the oven near the coals, and certainly [it is allowed] if it is on the coals itself.”

[3] Admur 254:2 “[When leaving meat actually on top of coals] one needs to be careful to delay removing the meat on Shabbos, from on top of the coals, until after the coals have dimmed, in order so that one will not extinguish anything when removing the meat that is on them. This is not similar to a pot [that is on top of coals] in which case one is allowed to remove it from on top the coals on Shabbos, as explained in chapter 253/11, as the pot does not extinguish the coals at all [when it is removed], however meat slightly extinguishes the coals (with the gravy that drips from it) when it is removed.”

[4] See Admur 254:3 “If one left it in a closed oven, even if it was not plastered shut with clay, it is permitted after the fact, even if it is meat of an ox and goat. As there are opinions which permit [this to be done] even initially, as they are not worried that one will open the oven in order to stoke it, and one may thus rely on their opinion after the fact [that one already left it in a closed oven].”

[5] Meaning that it turns on when the temperature of the grill reaches a certain low point in temperature.

[6] As otherwise the cold wind will cause a drop in the grills temperature and cause it to turn on quicker due to one opening it.

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