Kitchen Confidence

How to Hack a Heat Diffuser

By • April 3, 2013 • 10 Comments

Inspired by conversations on the FOOD52 Hotline, we're sharing tips and tricks that make navigating all of our kitchens easier and more fun.

Today: How to get soft, even heat -- with a pie plate.

While strong, hard heat can be our friend in the kitchen -- searing meats, roasting vegetables, boiling pasta -- sometimes, we need to tame those flames. When we're making delicate reductions -- or re-warming coffee or leftovers -- we want to be gentle, kind. Watch Kenzi demonstrate how to get that soft, even cooking surface, using simply a pie plate.



This video was shot and edited by Kyle Orosz.

 

 

Jump to Comments (10)

Tags: video, heat diffuser, hack, hacks, how-to & diy, video

Comments (10)

Default-small
Default-small
Stringio

over 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

There is also a great cast iron diffuser for $10:

http://www.amazon.com/Lodge...

and several others -- search Amazon for "diffuser".

Black_picture_small

over 1 year ago loubaby

Thanks for both of these ideas...I didn't want to spend $50 at Williams Sonoma for one...

Default-small

over 1 year ago walkie74

aw phooey. Guess I have to wait until I get into a place with a gas stove...

Open-uri20130530-14939-qaknqp

over 1 year ago LauriL

Meant to say does NOT work with Induction ranges! my bad!

Open-uri20130530-14939-qaknqp

over 1 year ago LauriL

I wish I had a gas range! :( as this does work with induction ranges. Quick idea especially for those of us who don't have cast iron though!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Moe Rubenzahl

My favorite method is to place the saucepan in a cast iron skillet.

Default-small

over 1 year ago johnaka

Sorry, Kenzi, this does not make sense. Thin aluminum will not diffuse the concentrated heat as well as heavy steel or iron. While aluminum may be a good conductor of heat, this method is the equivalent of just adding a thin layer of aluminum to the pan. It would seem a BETTER way would be to invert a beat-up cast iron skillet, which would provide a stable and evenly diffused heat.

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

A skillet would definitely work, but so does this! We used to use this trick often in a restaurant where I worked, and I made many reductions without a single scorch.

Default-small

over 1 year ago jkr7977

Can you use the same technique with an induction range?

Me

over 1 year ago Kenzi Wilbur

Kenzi is the Managing Editor of Food52.

That gets tricky -- if your pie plate is made out of non-induction material (meaning it might not conduct the heat properly), then I'd think no, although I've never used this trick on an induction range.