Most chefs prefer to cook on gas stove tops, but sometimes it's difficult to achieve a simmer, since the flame is so hot. That's where the Norpro 144 Heat Diffuser ($6) comes in. Placed on the stove top, it diffuses and thus lowers the heat, so you can cook grains and make sugar-filled candies without worrying about scorching the bottom of the pan.
A Heat Diffuser
Photo: Anna Monette Roberts