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Ceramic tagine (Staub): **Yikes** I guess now I need a stovetop heat diffuser?

tadasana Dec 5, 2009 04:35 PM

Has anyone in Chowland used a stovetop trivet or heat diffuser with a ceramic tagine?

Here's my sad tale: I just impulse-purchased a pear-green Staub ceramic tagine at Tuesday Morning for $42. Such a deal!

It was the last one (of course) and the box had symbols on the side that made it look like I could use it directly on the stovetop. Also, the bottom of the box had a recipe for chicken tagine that said to pan-fry the chicken in the tagine. So I put it on the stove, started cooking, and noticed a sticker on the side of the box that said "do not use directly on stovetop."

I went to the Staub company's website but the tagine pictured there is a model with a cast iron bottom. No other models. I guess mine was discontinued (hence the bargain at Tuesday Morning).

As I type this, my tagine is cooking the lovely chicken recipe from the bottom of the Staub box. But I'm afraid of ever using it again til I figure out the "diffuser" business.

I'm hoping I can just buy something and use it with the tagine because I'm a one-pot kinda gal. I actually went to Tuesday Morning to get a dutch oven but of course the LC dutch ovens were $125 and the Staub tagine was $42--and groovy green. *sigh*

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    fauchon RE: tadasana Dec 6, 2009 03:57 AM

    I've owned a number of diffusers (aka flame tamers) and IME Simmer Mat is the quality choice. It gives you a lot of control & has never ruined a pot or a recipe IME.


    1 Reply
    1. re: fauchon
      tadasana RE: fauchon Dec 9, 2009 06:57 AM


    2. g
      grant.cook RE: tadasana Dec 9, 2009 07:46 AM

      Most clay pots need a heat diffuser (the Emile Henry Flame line is a notable exception). Doesn't mean you can't get it up to heat.. just means you can't get it to heat REALLY FAST using direct flame... the diffuser allows the slow heating that prevents a temperature gradient that could crack the ceramic.

      You can pick up a diffuser at Ace Hardware for like $2..

      1. g
        grant.cook RE: tadasana Dec 9, 2009 07:51 AM

        In fact, most tagines are ceramic.. All-clad and Staub just found another high-end way to sell their cookware..

        1. a
          asmilindog RE: tadasana Jan 2, 2013 10:48 AM

          The inexpensive ceramic tagine can be stovetop used if it is cured first. Sounds like you did not do that but it is probaly not too late. Mine was inexpensive from Bed Bath and Beyond and use it on the stovetop but I cured it first. Instructions for doing that can be searched online. Very easy. A diffuser is merely and iron plate that rests between the tagine and the heat that spreads out the heat.

          1. Chemicalkinetics RE: tadasana Jan 2, 2013 11:24 AM

            Ok. This situation is a bit confusing. So I will say this. All of clayware I have used can directly go on heat source without a heat diffuser. They need to be cured, or soaked up. I have not had one crack on me yet.

            In your case, I cannot really comment on a Staub tagine since it is probably glazed in all sides. If you need a heat diffuser, you can get it from many places, and they are all basically a flat piece of metal. Keep in mind that a heat diffuser is not quite the same as a flame tamer.

            1. drongo RE: tadasana Jan 2, 2013 05:12 PM

              I have an Emile Henry ceramic tagine, which I use directly over flame regularly. I do have a flame tamer but have always used this tagine without it, and no problems yet. To reduce thermal shocks, I am careful not to move the tagine directly from stovetop to cold counter etc.

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