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oofencocotte

Using indian bread pan as diffuser for tagine pot

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Hi all,

 

So I have a tagine pot now, which looks like this: Mason_Cash_Terracotta_Tagine_Moroccan_Tagine_North_African_T_3_res.jpg.303ca1c5408e41a1610a7750395a3e50.jpg

 

And I'm told I need a diffuser when cooking on a stove top to make sure the clay doesn't explode.

My question is whether I could use a tawa that I have: iron-tawa-500x500.jpg.8c0b070ad656bbf5e2e86f94f9065859.jpg

 

 

Or if I need some special equipment. I googled diffusers and they have holes generally, but not all of them. I'm not sure what makes a good diffuser. 

 

Thanks very much

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a good defuser is simply something that can even out the heat from the source 

 

so that they are no hot spots on what you place on top of it.

 

Im wondering it the lip of the tagine might bump into the handle or the tawa

 

so that the T is off-set and not fit very well.

 

do you have any cast iron that's large enough to hold the tagine ?

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If you have a wok ring, that will also work. For what it's worth, I've used my clay tagine directly atop the stove - both the electric coil type and the smooth-top ceramic type - with no ill effects. I am very careful to change heat slowly, though: low heat at first, then higher - and just as careful not to shock the tagine later by adding cold liquids.

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2 hours ago, oofencocotte said:

My question is whether I could use a tawa that I have

 

Sure, if there's clearance 'twixt the tagine and the disk's handle.

 

Personally, I wouldn't chance it if the hob is gas and the disk is smaller than the tagine's base.

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1 hour ago, rotuts said:

Im wondering it the lip of the tagine might bump into the handle or the tawa

 

so that the T is off-set and not fit very well.

 

do you have any cast iron that's large enough to hold the tagine ?

 

I don't have anything cast iron. But it's a mini tagine pot for one person (I got two of them for free in a cooking class). It's about 10 inches across and the tawa is 12 inches. So no problem there. 

 

27 minutes ago, Smithy said:

If you have a wok ring, that will also work. For what it's worth, I've used my clay tagine directly atop the stove - both the electric coil type and the smooth-top ceramic type - with no ill effects. I am very careful to change heat slowly, though: low heat at first, then higher - and just as careful not to shock the tagine later by adding cold liquids.

 

I'm using gas so it's a direct flame. I don't have a wok ring but I do have one of these wok supports that I can rest the tawa on (it's too big for the tagine pot itself). Would this be better? It's just further away from the heat:

61AKQVbwmLL._SL1200_.thumb.jpg.1fd03b878c2c1904f29c36e3e5153385.jpg

 

On a side note, if autocorrect changes 'tagine' to 'tagging' one more time I'm going to start throwing clay pots at the computer :)


Edited by oofencocotte (log)
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1 minute ago, oofencocotte said:

 

I don't have anything cast iron. But the tagine is a mini-one just for one person. It's about 10 inches across and the tawa is 12 inches. So no problem there. 

 

 

I don't have a wok ring but I do have one of these wok supports that I can rest the tawa on (it's too big for the tagging pot itself). Would this be better? It's just further away from the heat:

61AKQVbwmLL._SL1200_.thumb.jpg.1fd03b878c2c1904f29c36e3e5153385.jpg

 

I think that the wok support would be better than the tawa, because it will allow the heat to diffuse itself more evenly.  If there really are hot spots on your burner I'm not sure the tawa would even them out; it looks rather thin to be an effective diffuser.

 

Is your stove gas or electric?

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Just now, oofencocotte said:

I'm using gas. The wok support is too big for the tagine pot to just sit directly on it.

 

Ah.  Well, if it isn't too wobbly you can put the tawa atop the wok support. :-)  Actually, given what you say about the respective sizes of the tawa and the tagine, I think the tawa would be sufficient.  In my experience gas hobs seem to heat more evenly than electric coils, and the tawa should provide enough heat conduction to even it the rest of the way.

 

You still need to be careful to change temperatures gradually, so that thermal shock doesn't crack your tagine.

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So I did an experiment in the end. One tagine with direct heat from the stove on low. And one with the wok support and then the tawa on top, and finally the tagine. Slightly higher heat.

 

I can confirm that the diffused heat method....... (drum roll) took longer to do the exact same thing. Taste wise they were both incredible!

 

IMG_20180212_101422955.thumb.jpg.b6c7017fd83faef94d56a620542be87a.jpg

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2 hours ago, oofencocotte said:

So I did an experiment in the end. One tagine with direct heat from the stove on low. And one with the wok support and then the tawa on top, and finally the tagine. Slightly higher heat.

 

I can confirm that the diffused heat method....... (drum roll) took longer to do the exact same thing. Taste wise they were both incredible!

 

IMG_20180212_101422955.thumb.jpg.b6c7017fd83faef94d56a620542be87a.jpg

 

Thanks for that report!  Now that you've done the test, I'll tell you that I had the same results: no tawa in my case, but elevating the tagine slowed the process.  Whether it was safer for the tagine, I don't know.

 

What exactly did you cook?  It sounds like something you'd recommend to others. :)

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Actually the tawa caused the bottom of the tagine to turn black. On second tasting I felt the direct heat was tastier too.

 

I didn't follow much of a recipe because I was going for technique. 

 

Plenty of oil, then a bed of onions. A few zucchini, carrot and turnip pieces. A small piece of ginger and some mushed garlic. Then well-seasoned chicken thigh on top of that. Then a cone of more veg covering the chicken. A few green olives. Lemon juice (my preserved lemons won't be ready for another three weeks), parsley and a slice of tomato to garnish. Then a few strands of saffron, pinch of coriander powder, and some cinnamon mixed in with some room temperature chicken stock and poured over. I think that's it. 

 

Can't believe how easy it was. And the pot is also the plate! Hardest thing is the fear that the pot will crack at any moment. 


Edited by oofencocotte (log)
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New idea now though:

 

Can I take out the crockpot of my slow cooker, and then use the tagine inside it instead? 8 hours clay baked must taste better right? 

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1 hour ago, oofencocotte said:

New idea now though:

 

Can I take out the crockpot of my slow cooker, and then use the tagine inside it instead? 8 hours clay baked must taste better right? 

 

I'd want to know just how hot the cooker gets without the liner before I put the tagine into direct contact with it.  If you have a small rack or trivet that would elevate the tagine slightly off the bottom of the cooker, that should be safe.  The slow cookers I've seen just have 2 or 3 settings, and no good way to gradually raise the heat as you can with a stove top. 

 

It's possible that you'd be interfering with the purpose of the tagine lid - which, according to one of our dear departed members, may act as a cooling tower to collect the moisture, concentrate it, and cycle it back to the meal being cooked. I doubt it would hurt anything to try it, though.  It would be an interesting experiment, to see whether it makes a difference.

 

Incidentally - as you get further into using your tagine, you may find these old topics of use:

Moroccan Tagine Cooking

Caring for Clay Pots (or Claypots)

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In my experience and some time ago I did a temp test in my slow cooker, It does get hotter than you think. Personally I think its a fast way to ruin your tagine. A slow cooker delivers heat all over the inside of the cooker and all that surface area is or should be in contact with the pot. Your tagine would not be. Although it would get radiant heat from the sides and conductive heat from contact. I wouldn't, and you lose the benefit of the lid. 

Light a BBQ grill outside having a hot end and a cooler end and play with the pot on that. Then when and if it explodes its not on your nice clean stove top. Bottom line. Tagines are made to perform in a certain way as are crockpots. D

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