I know that we’re here looking for the best heat diffuser for gas stove but I also wanted to mention that I love how some manufacturers call them heat tamer or flame tamer.
These are all fitting names because a heat diffuser does tame the power of a gas stove.
We basically look for one if we want our burner to spread its heat more evenly.
At the same time, this layer between the flame and our pans also reduces the heat.
That is great if we want to slow simmer foods or if we want to braise on the stovetop and not in the oven.
Or if we want to eliminate hot spots in our pans and prevent food from scorching.
Of course, good cookware should heat up evenly without any hotspots and maybe getting a heavy-bottomed saucepan can do that. However, sometimes we might need additional help. And that’s where our search for the best heat diffuser for gas stove comes in.
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Best Heat Diffuser for Gas Stove Reviews
The prices can vary quite a bit so it’s a good idea to have a budget in mind.
Perforated models will cost around $10. These are among the cheapest, they come with handles, and they can be a good choice if you don’t want a model that has the potential to last a lifetime and beyond.
My favorite options are those that look like a round baking steel. These are flat, round pieces of metal that are a bit more expensive. They can cost around $20-$40 but the price is worth it if you pick the right one. Well, there are air fryers under $50 so they’re not exactly cheap but these heat diffusers can last a lifetime.
All in all, whether you want to spend $10 or you are willing to go a bit higher, I’ll try to find appropriate recommendations for all budgets.
1. Ilsa Heat Diffuser, 7 Inch: Overall the Best Heat Diffuser for Gas Stove
I truly believe that this flame guard from Ilsa is overall the best heat diffuser for gas stove.
It’s not cheap, being among the most expensive.
However, we must take into account the truly impressive quality that this cast iron heat diffuser from Ilsa offers.
Let’s first talk about its size. I just want to make sure that you pick the right size for your pots and pans.
The Ilsa measures 7 inches in diameter. Some people might think that it’s too small. For others, it will be just the right size. It’s up to you and the cookware you want to use it for to decide if this size is the right one.
Can a diffuser be smaller than some of our biggest pots? We have large saucepans that can have an 8 or 8.5 inch diameter. So this Ilsa model is not extremely big compared to the size of some of our pots.
A diffuser can be smaller and it shouldn’t pose any problems. However, we generally choose a diameter that matches the diameter of our pots.
Besides the matter of size, the Ilsa Heat Diffuser is quite amazing and I don’t have any other complaints about it.
It is made in Italy from cast iron with a stainless steel handle. I love the fact that it’s made of cast iron and I also like its sturdy handle for handling it and removing it.
We can be sure that this diffuser for gas and electric stoves can last a lifetime.
It’s not a fragile piece of metal.
The stainless steel handle is removable for easy storage or if it inconveniences you.
Obviously, it can be used for various reasons, including the fact that it can protect glass cooktops from scratches and cracks.
Besides that, it creates a flat cooking surface.
Also, it reduces and distributes heat evenly and it eliminates hot spots in pans.
We can slow simmer sauces without them scorching or boiling over.
Plus, it helps balance smaller pots like butter warmers and espresso makers.
It’s electric and gas compatible.
We can wipe it clean or hand wash it in warm water. Dry thoroughly immediately after.
Where to Buy?
2. Ilsa Heat Diffuser, 8 ¼ Inch
The same manufacturer also has a 8 ¼ inch size in case you’re interested in a slightly bigger size.
The price range is similar.
However, I should mention that his bigger size doesn’t come with a handle of any kind. That’s actually the major difference between the two.
Besides the different sizes and the lack of a handle for the 8 ¼ inch one, I would say they’re both equally good and made very well.
Where to Buy?
3. Fitz-All Heat Diffusers: Cheapest for Gas & Electric Stoves
These are pretty much the cheapest heat diffusers we could buy. For a price under $10, we get a pack of two.
They’re also limited in purpose and in the cookware that they can be used for. Let’s see what we get.
These 2 are actually 2 pieces of wire that go on top of the burner.
Each one measures 3 ¾ x 3 ¾ inches.
They’re not the usual diffuser which is made of solid metal. These two from Fitz-All are some wire pieces, they’re grids.
The manufacturer describes them as being made from heavy gauge metal. However, I should also mention that some buyers described them as being quite flimsy.
They’re actually designed to protect glass coffee pots and tea pots.
That’s why I said that their use is limited.
However, there are some people who also use them for their metal cookware. For example, some use these grids from Fitz-All to protect their glass cooking surface from metal cookware.
Others, indeed, love using these metal pieces to protect their glass cookware from shattering.
The manufacturer also mentions that they can be used under metal pots and pans to reduce sticking and burning of food.
Or to eliminate scorching the cookware.
We can use them both on gas and electric/glass stovetops. They’re compatible with all cooking surfaces.
All in all, while the Fitz-All Heat Diffusers are not exactly the most impressive models we could buy, I still wanted to recommend them for those on a very limited budget.
If you don’t want to spend $20-$40 on a product, Fitz-All might be just the right thing for your burners and your glass and metal cookware.
Where to Buy?
4. HIC Kitchen Heat Diffuser
On paper, this model from HIC sounds dreamy. It sounds to be exactly what we want from the best heat diffuser for gas stove. And it’s also very popular.
In reality, there are plenty of negative reviews we have to pay attention to.
Some buyers who have used it on glass stovetops have been thoroughly disappointed with it.
There was also one person who bought it for their clay pot. They used HIC on a gas range on low. Unfortunately, HIC didn’t prevent the clay pot from cracking.
There are also products that are created for glass coffee pots and tea pots, like it’s the case with the Fitz-All that I reviewed above.
Of course, we must also acknowledge the fact that no heat diffuser is advertised as being the perfect utensil for preventing clay pots from cracking.
That’s certainly not their purpose and HIC doesn’t advertise their model as being capable of doing that. But it’s good to read about other people’s experiences because they present us with different situations and their results. Some of those situations might apply to us and some might not.
There are certainly a lot of buyers who are totally satisfied with it.
This HIC is a perforated heat diffuser. It basically looks like a perforated metal plate.
It’s made from stainless steel, which is a popular material. And, since it’s made of stainless steel, it shouldn’t rust.
The purpose of using one is to create a flat cooking surface, to reduce and distribute heat evenly, to eliminate hot spots, and to keep foods from scorching.
It also comes with a removable plastic handle. If the handle is an inconvenience, you can easily remove it. It also makes storage easier.
The good news about these simmer plates that are perforated is that they’re among the cheapest, with prices around $10.
On the other hand, discoloration can set in after only a few uses in or even after being used just once. That won’t happen with dark heat diffusers that look like a round, solid piece of metal.
But it’s a risk we have to be aware of when we’re looking at these perforated plates.
The HIC Kitchen Heat Diffuser is described as being able to create a flat cooking surface. However, there are some buyers who mention that the surface is not that flat due to its handle.
Well, we will also come across many positive reviews from buyers who are totally satisfied with their purchase. For example, one person has had theirs for several years so they decided to get a second one for their other burners.
A short conclusion we can draw is that it’s flimsy. But it can still be used for years to come if we’re very gentle with it. That makes it a good potential long-term utensil that is sold for a cheap price.
It’s compatible with electric, gas glass stovetops.
It has a 8.25 inches diameter. With the handle, it measures 15.75 inches in total.
Where to Buy?
5. Simmergreat Heat Diffuser
This one is quite completely different from most heat diffusers on the market.
It’s actually a flame guard that elevates the pots that are placed on it.
Thus, this flame guard from Simmergreat is very high and it creates a high distance between the bottom of the pot and our gas burner.
Usually, diffusers are placed right on top of the flame. Then, the round metal plate is heated up.
The bottom of our pots and pans makes direct contact with the heated round metal plate that acts as a diffuser.
The Simmergreat Heat Diffuser is completely different from the usual because it actually elevates the pots so no direct heat touches the bottom of our cookware. It acts more as metal construction that creates a good deal of space between the flame and the cookware.
The Simmergreat is an open plate design that elevates cookware.
It’s quite intriguing and unique.
Even though it’s unusual from what we’re used to see when we’re looking for the best heat diffuser for gas stove, it’s still pretty expensive.
It’s in the same price range as the Ilsa one that I recommended as my favorite. I prefer the Ilsa over this Simmergreat only because I’m afraid that the construction and design of the Simmergreat might make our cooking go just too slow.
I totally agree that diffusers dampen the power of a burner and spread out heat evenly but the Simmergreat might create just too great of a distance between the burner and our cookware.
However, I must also mention that, while this Simmergreat diffuser is not incredibly popular, it’s highly appreciated by buyers. It has a high rating so that’s what made me take an interest in it, to see what it has to offer.
I like that it’s made of ceramic coated ductile iron. That makes it very durable, I can see it lasting a lifetime. I cannot see how we could damage this cast iron construction.
I also recommend only it on gas stoves.
The manufacturer informs us that the Simmergreat was designed to make simmering any dish a simple cooking task.
Its name clearly indicates this purpose.
It is lightweight and able to be moved freely on or around the stovetop.
Moreover, its elevated surface removes dishes from direct flame and heat.
This elevation and distance between the flame and our cookware allow us to cook and simmer any dish without burning or scorching it.
Overall, it can be quite versatile and it can be used both indoors and outdoors. I can also see it as a pretty helpful tool for camping.
Where to Buy?
What is a heat diffuser?
The name is actually pretty self-explanatory.
It’s a flat, round metal surface that goes on top of a stove burner.
Of course, some can also be used on a glass stove or on an electric burner, more as a protection medium in the case of glass surfaces. They prevent cookware with uneven bottoms from scratching, chipping or cracking our glass stovetops.
Some people are going to mention things like: a heat diffuser replaces a double boiler.
Frankly, that’s not true.
A double boiler is composed of two pots that use steam to melt or cook food. A large pot is filled with water and the smaller pot is heated up by the created steam from the hot water to cook or melt food.
As you can see, these are two completely different cooking methods.
When we’re covering a burner, flame, heat is still used to cook food. There’s no steam anywhere.
Thus, a heat diffuser is certainly not a replacement for a double boiler. Two pots on top of another are a replacement of a double boiler or the definition of one.
Types of heat diffusers
Besides the fact that we can use an inverted metal pie plate, a cast iron skillet, a cast iron or aluminum griddle, we can buy a tool specifically designed to be placed on a gas or electric burner.
There are two main types of heat diffusers.
One is designed as a flat, round metal surface that is not very thick nor very slim. It might remind you of a round baking steel. Round baking steels are used for baking pizza in the oven, just like cordierite pizza stones are used.
Another different design for a diffuser is one made of two pieces of flat metal and they’re both perforated with a large air space between them.
However, I’m not a big fan of the perforated metal design because they’re usually made of chromated sheet metal, which can rust.
The good thing about these perforated metal sheets diffusers is that they’re usually the cheapest. You can buy them for about $10.
On the other hand, those that are a solid piece of round metal can cost $20, $30 or $40.
The ones that are perforated are not only very cheap. They also come with a handle, which makes them easier to handle and, anyway, they’re not very heavy.
On the other hand, some of those that look like a round baking steel, made from a heavy round metal are not always going to come with a handle. Some do, some don’t.
A heat-proof handle can make it easier to hold and move the heat diffuser. I don’t mind if I use one without a handle but some of you might.
What is the purpose of a heat diffuser?
The main reason for using one on a gas stove is to distribute heat evenly across the bottom of a pan.
The flame is spread out on the entire surface of the bottom of a pan. That’s why we look for diffusers that match the size of our pans.
The heat is spread out to reach the entire surface of a pan.
If we don’t use a heat diffuser, some of the outer surface of the bottom of the pan won’t be covered by our gas burner.
Thus, this metal surface that goes on top of a burner and on which the pan is placed eliminates hot spots.
An even heat, the avoidance of hot spots enables us to cook food without scorching.
The power of the flame is spread out but it’s also reduced in its intensity.
Thus, we can also look for the best heat diffuser for gas stove for slowly simmering food.
We can simmer sauces and other foods without them scorching or boiling over.
If you have very good cookware, you might feel that you don’t need an addition stovetop utensil, which is perfectly fine.
But keep in mind that another advantage is that using a heat diffuser can prevent pots from discoloring from high heat.
What can I use as a heat diffuser on a gas stove?
We can buy one that is specifically designed for this precise purpose.
But there are also alternatives to buying a gas diffuser in case you don’t want to spend some money on such stovetop utensils.
We can use a pie plate, just like this YouTube video shows. Of course, we can’t use a pie plate that’s made of glass because there’s a major possibility that it will break and make a mess on your stovetop.
Thus, we can use an inverted pie plate only if it’s made of metal.
I think using an inverted metal pie plate as a substitute for a heat diffuser works very well for small and medium saucepans. Large saucepans can fit on it, too.
Another obvious option is using an inverted cast iron skillet. It won’t scorch the skillet.
Cast iron frying pans are surprisingly versatile. Besides placing a pan in the skillet in order to use it as a heat diffuser or inverting it for the same purpose, we can bake pizza in the oven on an upside down cast iron pan. Or use it as a sandwich press or meat mallet, cookie crusher, nut chopper, etc.
Also, other good substitutes are griddle pans made of cast iron or aluminum. The good news for griddles is that they’re already flat so there’s no need to invert them in order to use them.
As long as the griddle is big enough for the bottom of your pans, then it can work as a replacement for a heat diffuser.
I still prefer using one that was specifically designed for this purpose but I also wanted to let you know that there are other cookware or bakeware that works as alternatives.
When should we use a diffuser for our gas stoves?
We’re here to look for the best heat diffuser for gas stove but I also introduced you to some alternatives if you don’t want to buy one.
This time, let’s see when we might need to use one. I should also remind you that we can use them both on gas and electric burners.
If we have a pan that has hot spots, that cooks food unevenly, then a diffuser will fix that problem.
Obviously, there are saucepans or pots that heat pretty evenly. In that case, you won’t feel the need for such a stovetop utensil.
More importantly, you might want to use one when you’re preparing long-simmer concoctions.
If we make sauces, relishes, chutneys and other foods that need low heat and we want to prevent scorching on the bottom, using a diffuser can be an excellent option.
They are also used when melting chocolate.
These stovetop utensils help us heat balance small pots, like butter warmers and espresso makers.
Furthermore, they will prevent handles and side grips from overheating.
We can also use one when we want to braise but we can’t do it in the oven. We can braise food wholly on the stovetop and you can use the best heat diffuser for gas stove to accomplish that low, even heat for as many hours as it takes.
Obviously, don’t use it if you’re boiling water or if you want to cook something at top flame in a very short amount of time.
How to use a heat diffuser
Using such an utensil is incredibly easy. Frankly, you don’t even need to read this part.
The first step is to obviously place it on the burner.
Turn on the burner.
Let it heat up and then place your pot on the heat diffuser.
Now, you can start cooking or simmering whatever you need to do.
When you’re done, turn the burner off and remove the pan.
However, let the diffuser cool down until you remove it from the burner because you don’t want to burn yourself accidentally. It just makes sense to put it away when it’s cooled down.
If you need to use that specific burner, move it to another burner that you’re not using.
Most will have a handle for handling it and moving it around.
If yours doesn’t come with a handle, you can use a pan grabber or a pair of pliers. Or maybe you have some serious mitts that can handle extreme heat. There are aramid fabrics or Kevlar mitts that can withstand up to 900 degrees F.
Which is the best material for the best heat diffuser for gas stove?
All are made from metal. But there are different metals that are used in the manufacturing process.
We have diffusers made from aluminum. These are good because the aluminum heats up quickly and the heat spreads through the metal quickly.
The thing is that these ones made from aluminum won’t slow down our cooking all that much. It has high thermal conductivity.
Of course, any heat diffuser, no matter what material it’s made from, will slow down cooking because there’s another layer between the burner and our pans. In fact, most of us use them exactly for that purpose. But don’t use them if you want to boil water or cook foods quickly.
Another good material is cast iron with a porcelain coating.
Heavy gauge steel or plated steel such as nickel are other material options.
There are definitely quite a lot made of stainless steel. These are also very popular because they can be used both on induction and gas stovetops.
Copper is another wonderful material for diffusers. Just as aluminum, copper heats up evenly. Both materials are amazing if you have pots with hot spots.
Copper is a wonderful conductor of heat. You’ll cook foods with less scorching and scalding. But that can also apply to all those other materials.
Those made from copper can also work both for electric and gas cooking surfaces.
Basically, all work for gas stoves but, if you also want them to work on electric surfaces, you have to make sure that they’re compatible.
All in all, I’m sure that I made some awesome recommendations to get you started. I hope you can find the best heat diffuser for gas stove for your budget and needs.