There's a very simple solution if you can't turn your stove burners down far enough to simmer food. Better yet, it's inexpensive!

Can’t Simmer on Your Stove?

Tired of burning food whenever you try to simmer it? Can’t turn your stove burners down far enough to simmer? Or turn it down and then it goes out a few minutes later . . . no burnt food, but also not cooked.

The problem is more common with gas stoves than electric, and particular with boat, RV and camping stoves.

Good news: there’s an inexpensive solution. It’s called a flame tamer, heat diffuser, simmer ring or simmer plate. Just different names for the same thing. Some are solid and others have air channels and holes. Either type works.

They’re dead simple to use: just place it on the burner and then put your pan on the flame tamer.

It will spread the heat out, eliminating hot spots, insulate the pan somewhat and allow you to simmer foods even when the burner is at a higher setting. You should still use the lowest setting that you can achieve unless you discover that’s just too low.

You can get expensive flame tamers, but I’ve discovered that the inexpensive ones work just as well — in fact, maybe even better. Amazon has a wide selection and is where I bought mine.

The heat diffuser I’ve linked to below is about the same price as the one I have but better suited to boats as the handle is not flammable (I cut the wood handle off mine finally as I worried about it over a flame with the motion of the boat) and the handle folds for storage or can even be removed.

There's a very simple solution if you can't turn your stove burners down far enough to simmer food. Better yet, it's inexpensive!

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10 Comments
  • Jan Bogart
    Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

    never knew such a thing existed! only bugs me making rice. i just move the pan halfway off.

  • Debra Turner
    Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

    I removed the wooden handle from mine as it was getting too hot and charred one day! Thanks for reminding me to put that on my shopping list to replace the old one!!

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

      I cut it off mine — I like the new one that I linked to in the article since the handle is metal and also folds/removes for storage. A much better design for about the same price!

    • Debra Turner
      Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

      The old one came from a Villiages in Guatemala! I am in Cartagena, Colombia now so have more options! The removable handle is a great option!!

  • Stephanie Hyman Holden
    Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

    Thank you for this!!! I am ordering one today!!

  • Michael Ard
    Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

    In Spain They had a similar thing, It was a round steel plate about 6″ across perforated. I have used one for years Easy to make too. like this but not as elaborate:

  • Tod Mills
    Posted at 27 February 2017 Reply

    Boy, if this thing works as advertised, it is just what I need. Not sure why boat burners can’t be fine tuned as well as my home stove.

  • Elaine Gustafson
    Posted at 28 February 2017 Reply

    I found a porcelain coated cast iron heat diffuser/reducer by Ilsa on Amazon. After using one of the lightweight, perforated ones that got rusty, I found this cast iron flat plate with removable handle was just perfect for the boat and also for my gas stove at home. It is always on the stove and gets used daily. I don’t miss the old rusty one ! It also seems to turn any pan into a cast iron pan.

  • EJDakins
    Posted at 16 March 2017 Reply

    Take it from a gas guy, burners can be adjusted to simmer,gas stoves like all other items on a boat need to be serviced and cleaned like any thing else.

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