Stovetop clay tagine cooking -- can I heat to a simmer without a diffuser?
I love my clay Le Souk cooking tagine, but have only been cooking in the oven with it because I couldn't get it hot enough with the diffuser for a good simmer - but was I just too impatient waiting for it to heat? (I have never used a diffuser, and I'm scared of all the warnings that range top cooking will crack it.) I have a Viking stove. Does anyone else with a Viking (or similar) cook a CLAY (not metal enamel) tagine on the stovetop and get a simmer going without a diffuser? (Or with one?) Thanks!
They clearly state on low heat preferably with a diffuser.
That said of coarse the heat needs to be high enough to simmer the ingredients. With my Wolf I use a diffuser and because of the power of the range would not do so with out one.
I have used cheap Chinese clay pots (sand pot) and a Spanish cazuela on a portable gas burner without a diffuser. I start these with a low flame, and increase the flame as the pot warms up. Once the contents are bubbling, I have to turn the flame down as low it will go.
I'd say follow the manufacturers recommendations.
I've only used a diffuser when I've cooked on electric coils with my unglazed rifi tagine. My other tagine is Emile Henry flameware and I've used it directly on gas burners and electric ( both coil and glass top stoves). Just start low and gradually raise the heat.
I've found that (with a diffuser) starting low with electric coil elements and slowly moving up can result in the clay pot not coming to a boil for a couple of hours. So I start at medium, and move it to medium-high to high shortly afterwards. If there are solids in the pot in addition to liquid, the pot comes to a boil much faster. But once it does start boiling, then I turn the heat way down.