What Is a Flame Tamer?

Simon Slayford

One frustrating aspect of cooking is that stoves are rather temperamental; they're either raging hot or too shy. Such a problem can result in an instance where one piece of meat being pan-broiled is already burnt while the piece on the other side is uncooked. Getting rid of such a problem requires a device called a flame tamer.


The flame tamer, more properly known as a heat diffuser, is a metal disk designed to distribute heat from a stove fire evenly and even decrease the amount of heat radiating from the stove to the pot or pan. This ensures that the bottom of any pot or pan mounted on top of a flame tamer is heated evenly, preventing hot spots from developing in a pot or pan while cooking.

The Flame Tamer Benefits

The advantage of using a flame tamer is that food cooks evenly on all areas of any pan or pot that rests on it. There is a lesser tendency to burn a meal when using a flame tamer. Because of the heat distribution it provides, a flame tamer can be used to convert any heavy-bottomed pan or pot to function like a dutch oven, making it useful for dishes requiring slow cooking such as a braise. Since a flame tamer tends to decrease the temperature radiating to a pot or pan, there is a lower risk of plastic handles melting, and it virtually eliminates the risk of getting terra cotta and glassware destroyed by stove use.

How to Use a Flame Tamer

To use the flame tamer, mount the disk on top of the stove, and then the stove can be used as if there was no extra device in place. In essence, the flame tamer receives heat directly from the stove's flames, and the pot or pan is then mounted on top of the flame tamer. A flame tamer can be used with both gas and electric stoves.

Safety Measures

Since a flame tamer receives heat directly from a stove, it can become very hot. Users are advised to allow the flame tamer to cool down completely before attempting to move it from the burner. It is also advised that users make use of a pan grabber or a pair of pliers and oven mitts when moving the flame tamer to avoid getting burn injuries.