Glazed Tagine on Stovetop
I'm planning to cook a tagine tonight in my new glazed clay tagine. Of course, traditionally the tagine is cooked over a fire or stove so that the bottom gets hot while the cool conical top condenses the vapors. I'd like to stay as close to this as possible, but saw a few references to not putting glazed tagines on the stovetop or they might crack. Not sure whether I believe this. If I put my tagine on an electric stovetop over low heat with a stainless steel pan as a heat diffuser, will I be OK?
Depends. If your tagine has only a clear glaze on the inside and the outside is plain earthenware, it's probably ok. If the tagine has fancy painted designs on it, it's for serving only and with probably shatter the first time you put it on a stove top.
If you decide to use it on a stove top, put it directly on the burner or use a proper diffuser. You'll never get a tagine hot enough with steel pan under it, especially if the bottom is slightly curved, as many are. You can get diffusers at most asian markets for maybe $5 and I've seen them at BB&B and other outlets.