I'm looking for a terracotta pot for making soup. the one I'm thinking of getting is suppose to be oven, microwave and stove top safe (with a difusser on electric) I saw a 7 inch cast iron one and wondered if a cast iron skillet would work as well. I a lot of those and one of them would probably be big enough to be put between the soup pot and the electric element. Has anyone used a cast iron skillet that way and did it work?
No, I have not used a cast iron skillet as heat tamer or flame diffuser, but you should have no problem doing so. I don't see the point of using one.
I have a few terracotta pots (soup pots as well as saucepan like pots) for decades. I have never had one cracked on me on electric coil elements. You simply do not want to crank your heat elements way up which can damage the pot, but you won't want to crank the heat elements way up even with a flame diffuser anyway.
I think perhaps you're off on a bit of a tangent with the terra cotta soupier. It's really an odd application. Perhaps your thinking is that you can reheat soup in the MW in the same pot in which you made it?
But yes, you can use a CI skillet as a diffuser in this way.
A few yard sale seasons ago, bought a 2 burner Lodge grill/griddle... just cuz I wanted it. It doesn't get used as often as I'd like. Lives inside my oven. If not used, ends up needing a scrub (no soap) and a little more seasoning (I use bacon grease). Last time I did that, I just left it on stove top. Put a sauce pan of something that was on lowest burner setting on TOP of griddle. Seemed to reduce the simmer to about half of what was already lowest setting. Probably could let it go all day with no worry about burning??
All you are trying to do with a diffuser is get your pot off the hot elements. Almost anything would work. A cast Iron skillet would certainly work. It would make the heat more uniform and get the pot away from the element.
You could also roll up some aluminum foil in a ring and put it on the burner and put the pot on top of the foil.
Personally, I use an enameled cast iron dutch oven for soup making because they are more versatile than terracotta. You can get one at Walmart for around $40 (6 quart). http://www.walmart.com/ip/Tramontina-...