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Fully Cooked Cholent

On friday evening, I often like to eat chulent from the chulent pot. I know before even thinking of doing chazara the food must be fully cooked. At what stage of the cooking process can I be assured the chulent is fully cooked. Of course even if the chulent is cooked for many hours the chulent still tastes different the next morning during the shabbos sueda. The potatos at night are cooked and not raw but the next morning the potatos are softer. So too the beans etc. Is there an issue of bishul on the potatos and beans that soften overnight even though they are cooked?


The food is considered fully cooked if it would be considered “fully cooked” by the average person to whom the food would be served. The fact that the cholent will taste different the next morning does not mean that it is not fully cooked now. Only if the food remains “partially raw” would there be a problem of chazarah.


If we were to be concerned for the extra softening of food after it is “fully cooked” (to the minimal degree that a food can be considered “fully cooked”), it would never be permitted to do chazrah, for one would always have to worry about the food becoming softer and softer. It is therefore clear that once the food is fully cooked, the “extra cooking” beyond this degree is not considered an effect of cooking that would fall under bishul.

For cholent, note that some write that the cholent must be fully cooked including the bones, whereas other authorities are not concerned for the bones, which are not considered “food.” It has been suggested that the dispute is a question of metzius: Iggros Moshe was lenient, for in America nobody eats cholent bones, whereas Rav Shlomo Zalman was stringent, for in Israel the practice was to eat the bones. See Minchas Shlomo (1:6, writing stringently); Iggros Moshe (4:76-77, leniently); see also Orchos Shabbos (1:chap. 1, no. 33); Kovetz Zichron for Rav Zolti, citing from Rav Scheinberg.

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