Ceramic tagine (Staub): **Yikes** I guess now I need a stovetop heat diffuser?
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*
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..
In fact, most tagines are ceramic.. All-clad and Staub just found another high-end way to sell their cookware..
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.
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.
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.