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There is a good chance that unless you are a rather active home cook or watch a lot of Food Network, you may not be fully aware of what a trivet is — but for those of us who spend a lot of time in our kitchen, we sometimes feel like we couldn’t live without them.
Trivets can take many forms, but generally, they act as a buffer between nice surfaces and hot dishes or cookware. That probably sounds pretty straightforward. However, the forms trivets take and how they are used can vary quite a bit. You may come across cast iron trivets, those that look like marble slabs, some that are enamel and of course silicone — but that’s not even all. There is even an entire Instant Pot trivet devoted to — you guessed it, Instant Pots.
If you are serious about avoiding damage from that hot and heavy cookware, a trivet of some form is a must.
What Is a Trivet
A trivet is an object made from a heat-absorbing material placed between a table or countertop and cookware, a serving dish or bowl to protect the surface from heat damage. However, not all the best trivets are created equal. Some trivets are best suited for specific surfaces or cookware, while others double as cooking accessories in their own right. Here is a basic rundown of the different trivets you can buy and how to use them best:
- Silicone: Silicone has taken the top spot for go-to trivets in modern kitchens. These affordable, lightweight trivets are flexible and dishwasher-safe, so they clean and store easily.
- Cast Iron: Cast iron trivets come powder coated or enameled and have feet to lift hot pots and pans off countertops. But these handy iron creations can serve double duty. When cooking in a deep pot like a Dutch oven, a cast iron trivet elevates food to avoid sitting in fat or grease.
- Cork: Cork trivets are universal thanks to their affordability and neutral appearance. They also function as great coasters for items prone to condensation, thanks to their ability to absorb water.
- Instant Pot: As the name suggests, the Instant Pot trivet is for a specific purpose. Not only does it prevent food from sitting in unwanted drippings, but the best Instant Pot trivets also have two handles on either side to allow for easy food removal.
- Cotton: Suitable for most family kitchens, cotton trivets are more intended for decorative use if you are prone to high-volume cooking and using high heat. One note of caution: cotton trivets can be prone to burn.
- Bamboo: One of the most eco-friendly in the trivet family, not only are bamboo trivets trendy at the moment, but the designs tend to have slots that allow heat to escape without causing damage. Bamboo trivets are also easily hand-washable, unlike cork and cotton.
- Wood: Similar to bamboo but less sustainable, the best wood trivets should feature ventilation to allow for heat to escape. These differ from bamboo in their ability to take on many different appearances depending on the choice of wood.
- Marble: As a natural stone, marble doesn’t conduct heat, making it a great, chic option for a trivet. However, marble is also a porous stone for countertops, which means spills and stains can cause irreversible damage. It’s much easier to retire an antiqued marble trivet than a stained marble countertop.
- Steel: Simple and sturdy, steel trivets often have a decorative design and can last for generations. One major drawback of steel trivets is getting very hot rather quickly.
- Ceramic: Whereas glass and ceramic trivets are typically secondary trivets, they are still surprisingly durable. They prevent damaging surfaces but can get hot quickly. They provide as much decoration as protection, and people often use them as small cutting boards or presentation trays.
Why trust SPY? Author Aly Walansky covers all things food, booze and dining for outlets including Food Network, Forbes, TODAY, The Kitchn and of course, SPY. So she knows a thing or two when it comes to cooking — and how to do it well. Keeping all this in mind, below, we have selected our favorites from each category above. Keep reading for our picks of the best kitchen trivets right now.
ME.FAN Silicone Trivet
BEST SILICONE TRIVET
Silicone trivets are particularly excellent for protecting countertops from hot cookware made of stainless steel and cast iron because they’re super versatile and heat resistant. Silicone can withstand up to 440 degrees Fahrenheit. If you are going to be using the trivet at the stove, temperature control is crucial. You’ll be pouring hot soup or steaming food into a container, which can easily cause a dangerous mess. But trivets made of silicone are flexible and will help maintain the temperature of your dishes or glassware. This trivet works as an insulated mat and has a non-slip surface, so just put that hot dish on and relax — it won’t slip, fall or spill.
Le Creuset Enameled Cast-Iron Deluxe Round Trivet
BEST ENAMELED CAST IRON TRIVET
Cast iron trivets are, at their core, quite attractive. They will often have rubber feet (but not always, so always check the specs) so that they don’t scratch your table or countertop, and you’ll notice decorative holes. These are actually to protect airflow. The one risk is that the trivet itself can get pretty hot, so proceed with caution. This trivet has a gorgeous and festive round-shaped made of enameled cast iron that will become a part of the decor while protecting the decor it’s nestled above.
Lodge Cast Iron Meat Rack/Trivet
BEST CAST IRON TRIVET
When it comes to cast iron, you don’t get much better than this trivet from the cast-iron aficionados at Lodge. It’s preseasoned and works both as a meat rack and trivet, so whether you want to raise your meats or pies or keep a Dutch oven off a surface, it will get it done, with the ideal level of heat retention and even heating. When done, wipe down and dry.
Fox Run Round Cork Trivets
BEST CORK TRIVET
Cork is heat resistant and so versatile. It’s easy to clean, lightweight and takes up little space — but as streamlined and straightforward as it is, it also gets the job done. Whether using it as a coaster for cold drinks or to keep a hot pot from burning your tabletop, it’s ready — and then, between uses, it can even prop up those planters.
Instant Pot Stainless Steel Official Wire Roasting Rack
BEST INSTANT POT TRIVET
Generally, when we talk about trivets, we’re talking about protecting countertops from hot pots or tables from hot serving plates, but Instant Pot trivets hold the dish or food above the liquid at the bottom of the pot. A dedicated Instant Pot trivet is excellent for everything from steaming vegetables to cooking multiple dishes simultaneously, like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. This is a gamechanger if you are looking to elevate food to not sit in its grease or keep ingredients separate until they are on your plate.
Beets & Berry Trivet Set
BEST COTTON TRIVET
This cotton trivet set is an excellent value because it includes two trivets that are seven inches each and two trivets measuring nine inches each. That’s ideal for having trivets to protect different sized surface areas, and this cotton is easy and effective thanks to a thick weave that can easily be thrown in the washing machine and reused when needed.
Garkup Natural Bamboo Trivet Mat Set
BEST BAMBOO TRIVET
Bamboo products are very on-trend right now because they present an earth-friendly sustainable option that is incredibly versatile. They are also a great option as a trivet, as they have solid heat resistance and give a decor-friendly authentic look wherever used. They are also easy to clean — just wipe down with a cloth and put them away.
ECOSALL Natural Wood Trivets For Hot Dishes
BEST WOOD TRIVET
Wood is an excellent trivet because it can resist heat, but unlike some other trivets on our list, it also never gets hot. You won’t burn yourself if you touch it at the wrong time, which for those of us who get impatient in the kitchen can be a tricky issue. This trivet uses 100% natural, non-toxic and organic beech wood. It is very crack-resistant and is easy to clean, so it’ll stay sturdy no matter what you put on it. That’s an ideal trivet for any kitchen.
French Kitchen Marble and Copper Trivet
BEST MARBLE TRIVET
Marble is just elegant without even trying, and this trivet feels like it belongs somewhere very fancy — but your studio apartment kitchenette will do just fine too. It is trimmed with copper and will protect those surfaces from heat damage, all while adding to the luxury of the occasion.
Home Basics Scroll Collection Steel Trivet
BEST STEEL TRIVET
It’s hard to get more sturdy and durable than steel, making it an ideal option as a trivet to protect your tabletops and counters from hot pots and serving dishes. The decorative design makes it look like a part of the decor, but it’s not so ornate it becomes its own centerpiece. It takes up minimal room, so when done, just let it cool down and set it in a cabinet until next time.