Why do you need a heat diffuser?
Chili tastes burnt? Béchamel has flecks of brown? Tomato Sauce has a scorched mark at the bottom of the pan-on the inside of the pot? It is due to the direct heat touching the bottom of the pan. Whether you use a coated cast iron pan or a three-core-layered pot, delicate sauces and high sugar content sauces and foods can burn when cooked over a direct heat source for long periods. This is what a Heat Diffuser is for.
A Heat Diffuser is a way of having a protective layer between the harshness of the direct heat and the food that you want to taste like what is simmering and not the burned crust that forms on the bottom of the pan. This is not to be confused with the “fond” or browned bits that become the base of a sauce. We are talking the brown/black char that can form on the bottom of the pan and add a burnt taste to whatever you are cooking.
Depending on the pot size, different size Heat Diffusers are available, and they come in a variety of materials-usually cast iron or stainless steel. Our preference is the cast iron. They fit nicely on the rack of a gas stove, provide a protective layer for cooking and are fairly indestructible.
Our recommendation is the Ilsa Heat Diffuser available through Amazon.