Do I need to use a heat diffuser with my soapstone pot?
November 17, 2009 2:41 PM   Subscribe

Do I need a heat diffuser on my glass top stove when using a two quart soapstone pot? And, if so, what type is recommended and where can I purchase one online...

I am moving towards cooking primarily with cast iron (instead of coated pans/pots). As I was searching for pots and skillets my wife brought out a beautiful 2 quart soapstone pot that we purchased a few years ago, but has only been used as a decorative piece, so I'm going to give this a try as well.

I'm in the middle of seasoning it, and found advice on some online sites (but not all) to always use a heat diffuser on my glass top stove when using soapstone.

Is this necessary? Are there alternatives to a purchased heat diffuser? Seems like McGiver could come up with something from around the house to solve this problem.
posted by HuronBob to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Not sure if it's required, but you can use one of your cast iron skillets as a diffuser.
posted by sanko at 2:42 PM on November 17, 2009

Dude, any McGyver-like solution you come up with would probably cost more in materials and effort than buying an inexpensive heat diffuser.
posted by dersins at 2:46 PM on November 17, 2009

Response by poster: dersins... yeah, I know, but, of course, there isn't a store I've stopped at in three days that carries those (even ACE Hardware), and it bugs the hell out of me to pay $8 shipping on a $2 item that is going to cost them about $1 to mail....
posted by HuronBob at 2:57 PM on November 17, 2009

Best answer: Seconding sanko's tip. Last night I used an iron skillet as a heat diffuser for a big metal pot of spaghetti sauce I was simmering and it worked really well. No scorches - I didn't have to stir the sauce constantly.
posted by zippy at 3:07 PM on November 17, 2009

America's Test Kitchen (super cooking geeks) recommended as a low cost solution to just wrap some aluminum foil into a donut shape and then cook on top of it. You want a few inches thickness. It's cheap and get's the job done with materials you already have.
posted by ShootTheMoon at 4:19 PM on November 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Sadly, I recently cracked my tagine cooking on low heat right on the glass top stove. Use a diffuser.
posted by GamblingBlues at 6:03 PM on November 17, 2009

I wouldn't think that soapstone would be very good for cooking. Even if it doesn't shatter on you, when you stir you're going to scrape some of the soapstone loose and it'll get into your food.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 7:54 PM on November 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks to all... I found a diffuser....

and, soapstone works great as cookwear... I love it...
posted by HuronBob at 8:56 AM on December 13, 2009

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