Q. What do they look like after use?
A. Well, like this. They will discolor from the first use
Q. Why the square shape?
A. We developed the BellaCopper heat diffuser with a square shape to allow two or more to be used side by side on adjacent burners to dramatically increase the size of the cooking area. This means that with two BellaCopper heat diffusers side by side on the stove, you can use a long griddle on them, with even heat from one end to the other. Also, gravy can be made right in a roasting pan without the usual hot and cold spots. Use two of them side by side in the oven too. Plus, it's just easier to make them.
Q. What size Heat Diffuser do I need?
A. For a Heat Diffuser, measure the bottom of the largest pan you will use, and choose the Heat Diffuser that fits. Note that a smaller pan will always work on a larger Heat Diffuser, but a larger pan may not fit on a smaller Heat Diffuser. That being said, we use the 8 and 9 inch most often in our kitchen.
For a Defroster Plate, larger is always better due to the mass of the plate.
Q. How do I use it?
A. Just plunk it on the burner, place the pan on top, and cook as you normally would. It will take a bit longer to heat up and will hold heat longer – so there is some learning curve, but it really is that easy.
Q. How heavy are they?
A. Pretty heavy. The ten inch one is 4 lbs, the nine inch is 3.25 lbs, the eight inch is 2.5 lbs, and the six inch is 1.5 lbs.
Q. What kind of stoves will it work on?
A. It works great on gas, electric, and glass and ceramic stove tops. It will not work on induction stove tops, because the relatively low power induction stoves require a magnetic metal to work, such as steel or cast iron.
Q. Can I put more than one pan on my BellaCopper Heat diffuser?
A. Yes, we have found that we can put two or three small pans on the BellaCopper 9 inch or 10 inch heat diffuser, transforming our four burner stove to a virtual five or six burner unit. This feature is especially valuable around the Holidays (and for RVs and their small stoves).
Q. Are the edges and corners of the Copper Heat Diffuser sharp, like from an industrial metal supplier, or smooth?
A. At BellaCopper we hand finish the edges and corners to deburr and smooth them.
Q. When I started cooking with my BellaCopper heat diffuser it changed color almost instantly, it this normal?
A. Yes all copper cookware will discolor with use. The BellaCopper will change from a pure copper color to a wonderful patina of reds, oranges and even blue. and then to full on mud color. While this is both normal and fun to see, the original copper color can be restored with household metal cleaners. BellaCopper recommends Barkeeper's Friend or Kleen King, with some minor scrubbing with a scotch pad. You could even use half a Lemon with some rock salt, that works well with baked on food or other tough to remove stains. Please note that you don't need to de-tarnish them to work - many customers don't bother. We sure don't bother.
Always start your cooking with the copper heat diffuser with low to medium heat and allow the food to come up to temperature – please do not go to high heat first then reduce the heat later.
There have been a few reports of a black scale forming on the heat diffuser, and the common thread in that these instances is that the users have always started with high heat. The best way to remove the black scale seems to be with half a lemon and rock salt, plus a bit of elbow grease. Or if all else fails use something like Comet cleanser and a heavy duty scrubby pad – that always works.
If you want to use High heat for searing or quick boiling we recommend just using your pots and pans without the heat diffuser – and use your diffuser for slow to medium cooking. We do not recommend using them in heat settings higher than medium to medium high for a bit.
Q. Why is it so expensive?
A. Copper is an expensive metal. Volume for volume copper is 11 times as expensive as aluminum, And even though copper is currently slightly down in price from the sky high prices of 2008, it is still well up comparatively from the 90s. It's still worth it though, as the BellaCopper Heat Diffuser / Defroster Plate is such an excellent kitchen tool. Consider that a Copper pan from one of the French or Belgian Copper pan manufacturers (Falk or Mauviel) will cost $400 USD, or more.
Q. What kind of pans work with the BellaCopper Heat Diffuser?
A. Nearly all flat bottom pans can benefit from using the BellaCopper Heat Diffuser. It makes good pans cook better. Aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron pans can all benefit from the even heating provided by the BellaCopper Heat Diffuser. Almost any cooking situation which calls for low to medium heat can be enhanced with the BellaCopper heat diffuser. Even copper pans can benefit from the BellaCopper heat diffuser. By protecting the copper pan from the direct flame, the pan's discoloration is minimized.
Note that the BellaCopper heat diffuser works best with pans that have bottoms that are flat and true, otherwise the full benefits of the copper heat transfer properties will not be realized.
Q. Can I put my Copper Heat Diffuser in the dishwasher?
A. Yes you can, but it doesn't do much – the tarnish will still be there and baked on food will still be mostly there. It will remove grease a bit, and at least doesn't do any harm to the copper.
Q. My BellaCopper heat diffuser came with some small scratches and when I use it, it gets more scratches and marks, can I stop this?
A. Unfortunately, no. All copper cookware will suffer from scratches. Although copper is amazingly good in heat transfer, it is also a fairly soft metal. With use, the BellaCopper heat diffuser will acquire a soft satin finish and marks will become less noticeable.
Caution: The BellaCopper heat diffuser will be hot during and after cooking, do not touch or handle until cool (it might take 30 minutes or more, but you be the judge).
Q. Can I wash it while it is still hot?
A. No - don't do that, let it cool on the stove first. Putting a hot copper plate in cold water can lead to warping. It's a metal working thing.
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