Diffuser plate/slab for more even and constant searing?

Sear101 | Oct 12, 202009:24 PM     27

The purpose: Searing a protein on a non-reactive surface, 18/10, after a sous vide cook.

The problem: My stainless pans won’t hold up to temperature drop. My Himalayan salt rock does do the job well. But I want a non-reactive equivalent.

The hypothetical solution:

So in this hypothetical searing scenario, I need someone smarter than me to analyze for illogic before I try it.

- https://www.chowhound.com/post/heat-c...
- https://www.centurylife.org/even-heat...

80% of my research was done on this thread and this centurylife link that only has 1 paragraph on it and a footnote with much more explanation.

So. I’d like to go with aluminum due to the higher specific heat, lack of discoloring oxidation, and price point. I will begrudgingly choose copper if you guys tell me my gas stove is definitely gonna melt the aluminum.

So I can get a sheet of aluminum alloy 6061-T651 which is suggested by centurylife at 12”x12”x.25” for $28, free 2 day shipping.
I’d like to go thicker if you think I could without melting the aluminum.

And then I could throw that on the burner or oven first and set my thin duxtop triply on top and sear even and constant. With some drawbacks according to the centurylife link footnote.

Would this work?

Would it melt the bottom before the top got hot enough to sear? I prefer 400-500+ degrees roughly for sear temp. But I’m sure an even 350+ with no drop off is probably acceptable.

Do I need to get a corner-less disc shape piece of aluminum at the cost of twice the price? Or will a square slab work fine?

Additionally. If I were to get a 12”x12”x.025” piece of 18/10 stainless steel for less than $12 Could I just stack them?
Effectively creating a $40 inefficient yet even enough and high heat retention cooking “flattop”. Like a non reactive salt slab maybe.

Just to compare to the proline skillet at 3.7mm of aluminum. 6.35mm of just aluminum in this slab. Almost 2 times the aluminum with close to half the steel content. And it only costs $40. (Though not anywhere close to being a true fair comparison due to handles and bonding and cladding and induction and etc.)

That’s what makes me feel like it won’t work right. Otherwise I’d hear about it all the time instead of scouring the internet for every mention of sear and diffuser and finding 2-3 good hits. But if $40 on Amazon prime can really knock out a sear better or heat more evenly than a proline I would be impressed.

Let me know if anyone has seared on something like this before? Or if you had an IR thermometer on it and saw it was gonna melt before your pan/surface reached sear temp. Or maybe some scorch tests? I’m extremely curious!

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