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Thread: Copper Heat Diffuser/Defroster Plate...Any Opinions?

  1. #31

    Zwiefel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heirkb View Post
    So if you were to use a diffuser plate, would preheating take longer?
    That's been my experience. A significant difference in fact (never measured it but my subjective sense of the time is about 3X). I prefer to bring (close) to temp on one burner, then move to the burner with the diffuser.
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zwiefel View Post
    That's been my experience. A significant difference in fact (never measured it but my subjective sense of the time is about 3X). I prefer to bring (close) to temp on one burner, then move to the burner with the diffuser.
    That's sounds like like it would work.

    Btw, I just ordered an aluminum plate in the same size and thickness as my copper one just to compare things. It was only $16 and they added it to my order without any shipping cost.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  3. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr drinky View Post
    That's sounds like like it would work.

    Btw, I just ordered an aluminum plate in the same size and thickness as my copper one just to compare things. It was only $16 and they added it to my order without any shipping cost.

    k.
    Definitely interested in your practical experience with the two materials vs the "thermal conductivity chart"
    Remember: You're a unique individual...just like everybody else.

  4. #34
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    Any update on this?

  5. #35
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    just wanted to share

    =D

  6. #36
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    Interesting hack.

    Quote Originally Posted by rahimlee54 View Post
    Any update on this?
    No updates from me. I have used my copper plate several times for defrosting meats and a couple of times on the stove, but a new baby is taking serious time away from playing with my metal shiny things.

    k.
    "In Japan they don't call it Japanese food, they just call it food." -- Children's Hospital Quote

  7. #37
    Senior Member jayhay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franzb69 View Post


    just wanted to share

    =D
    That pie plate is pretty paper thin. It would only work with low temps, very low temps. Anything more and it would buckle and the effect would be nominal.

    And that is a pretty nice (home) stove. She should see the junk I have in my apt, junkkkkkk. I'd kill for that thing. For a slow reduction you can always set the burner to low and offset the pot/pan on said burner.

    I hate any thin pan. But I like her resourcefulness and the fact the her brain is on the kitchen. BIG props for that

  8. #38
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    While I didn't watch that "hack", don't use an aluminum pie plate. With the low melting point of Al, you could have a little disaster pretty quickly when using a decent amount of heat.

  9. #39
    Modernist Cuisine has grossly exaggerated their point of view.

    Sorry for necro'ing this thread, but I wanted to say a few words to explain why.

    1) Metal on metal will always have air pockets, unless they are perfectly polished with no dings or scrapes or food particles or anything stuck to them, which is unrealistic for a number of reasons. For example, a soft metal like aluminum will inevitably get dinged up by your cookware so as to introduce air pockets. And simply washing your pots will introduce stuff in-between the pot bottom and the heat diffuser, maybe as very thin layers of dried detergent or hard water or whatever. The point is that you will have plenty of air between the metal surfaces. Air is a HORRIFIC heat conductor so you lose efficiency there already. This is why computer heatsinks don't have bare heatsinks on heatspreaders; they use thermal paste to help fill in those crevices where air pockets would gather. (Paste isn't anywhere near as good as metal, but it does a better job of flowing into the crevices in the metal surfices.) But cooking temps can go well above 100C (above 450C!) which makes me think that there isn't a safe thermal paste to use for heat diffuser purposes, not to mention that you'd need to re-apply every time you switched cookware.

    2) MC is flat out wrong in their book when they advocate for steel. Steel is a horrible heat conductor as far as metals go, something like 30 times worse than copper. Cast iron is better but still leagues behind aluminum, which is itself somewhat behind copper.

    3) Even with copper/aluminum which transfer heat efficiently, it's a waste of energy to have to heat up a big plate of metal. It helps create a large heat reservoir for searing steaks or whatever, so that temperatures don't plunge too fast when you throw cold meat onto the pan, but in most other cases it's just a waste of energy and time (spent waiting for the plate to heat up).

    Given that copper is harder and denser than aluminum and not THAT much more expensive if you get scraps at your local industrial metal dealer, if you must go down this path, get 1/8th inch copper which is harder than aluminum and won't get all dinged up as fast. You can try 3/16th inch too, but that is probably overkill and just adds to the energy inefficiency and longer cooking times because you are waiting for so much metal to heat up first. Note that even relatively inexpensive cookware typically has a 1/4 inch of aluminum disc bottom, so adding 1/8th thick copper to that is like adding another 1/4 inch of aluminum. If HALF AN INCH of aluminum isn't enough to give you even-enough heat, your burner must be tiny or your pan must be huge, or both. And many types of cooking don't even need even heating, such as boiling things in water, since water convection currents will even out heat.

    I have actual experience with using 12x12 inch 1/8th and 1/4 inch plates, as well as a 12x24 inch 3/16th inch plate. In the end, I stopped using them and decided induction was the way to go: no air pockets between the heating element and the pan, because the heating element is the ferritic layer on the bottom which has already been bonded to the cooking vessel above it. Induction has other advantages too, like easy cleanup, safety, etc.

  10. #40
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    I Have a Pair i used to use at home. Now i use them over burners at the restaurant for the deep frying pots keeps oil temp more constant than an open flame.
    They also work great for defrosting items evenly or turning a burner into a small flat top that can be used for multiple small pots. works great when braising also. The heat is more even and you can braise/simmer like you would in an oven but on the stovetop. They respond quickly to temp change also.

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