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Diffusers Defined

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When testing our cassola recipes, we noticed that a newly purchased and diligently seasoned cassola was discoloring due to uneven heating. We called the cassola manufacturer, who suggested we use a heat diffuser. A diffuser, also known as a flame tamer, simmer ring, or burner plate, is a metal plate that sits right on the stove burner to spread heat evenly under pots and pans. Because it prevents hot spots, a diffuser is also great for cooking rice, as well as delicate sauces and custards. Most work with either gas or electric stoves, and some come with a handle for easy removal. Look for them in kitchen stores, where they range from $7 to $30. –Diana Andrews

Cassola Recipes featured in Fine Cooking #139:
 

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