Heat diffusers are wonderful for preventing burning in thick substances such as puddings, gravies, etc. I even use mine on my wood heater to hold glass or metal candles I want to melt down to clean. They diffuse the heat from a burn, or wood stove, and let food cook evenly without burning. You can find them in any kitchen store and sometimes discount stores.
By Shirley from Tallassee, TN
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Someone on ThriftyFun was talking about their pots boiling over too much or food sticking and it was suggested to try the metal stars. My hubby told me to call this hardware store mainly because they sell everything. They do have the stars, however, they have two other things that go over the burner. They are called heat diffusers. One cost $4 because it had a wooden handle and another cost $5 with a removable handle.
I asked the difference between the stars and the diffusers and the lady said that the stars become thin over time because of the heat. Also, they get hot. What if you forgot that and decided to pick it up? You could burn yourself. I haven't gotten them yet but plan too because I would rather spend just a bit more money and save my fingers. I also have a small child who might get curious. Just thought I would suggest it to you.
By Barbara from Shoemakersville, PA
Editor's Note: Here is the post that Barbara is referencing:
The food might be sticking due to the cookware and uneven distribution of heat. Check out cookware with extra thick bottoms. It's heavier than the cheap stuff. You could visit ebay and look up "5 ply". 3 ply is less expensive and thinner. The higher the ply, the heavier and thicker the pot. Some 3 plys are heavy and some are not. Depends on the quality of the pan.
I had heat diffusers with previous cookware sets and found that they did not last. Eventually, they'd crumble. Thought I'd warn you. Best ones are heavy and made of iron. All the paint will flake off, don't be surprised, but the diffusion will still function. In fact, I'd rather have the paint off, because I don't know how toxic it might be and wouldn't particularly want it in my air, my food, nor my kitchen. (03/10/2009)
At one time these were sold with Corning Ware for use on top of the stove. (03/11/2009)