What Is It?
If you do use it as a Frisbee, you might seriously do some harm as it’s made out of cast iron. The “helper” handle coming off the side is removable (good thing, too).
This is known as a diffuser. And, it comes in more than just cast iron—you can get them in aluminum, tin, cooper, and probably a bunch of other metals.
How Does It Work?
You put it over a burner on your stove to diffuse the heat. Apparently, people who are used to cooking on an electric stove and then switch to gas use these guys because they seem to think that gas stoves are too powerful and they end up scorching stuff. (I’ve always cooked on a gas stove, so I’ve never had an issue.)
I bought mine for use with my tagine. Tagines are made out of pottery and pottery tends to crack when exposed to high heat, so the diffuser helps keep your tagine intact.
Now, you realize why I put the quotes around the “helper” handle. That sucker is made out of metal… which as you may know, gets quite scorching when put next to a heat source. So, I ask, why would you want to even touch that super short handle after you have had your diffuser simmering stove top for several hours? Yeah, I’m probably going to throw that handle away in a hot minute.
Do I Really Need It?
If you cook with pottery, yes. If you have a gas stove that doesn’t have a simmer burner, then I suppose this would help… but I’m still skeptical on that score.
Where Can I Buy My Very Own?
Just about anywhere that sells cooking gear. There is a huge range of prices. The cheap, thin versions go for a few dollars. While, you could easily spend $50 on a larger, cast iron one.