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Trivets are square, round, or rectangular items that are used to protect a surface from a hot serving dish, bowl, or pot. They function like large coasters on the top of a table, but they shield the surface of the table or countertop from heat that could damage the finish. Sometimes referred to as hot pads, they may have decorative elements that make them attractive to keep out on a table in the kitchen.

What materials are trivets made from?
  • Cork: Cork trivets come in a variety of decorative and functional shapes and sizes. Cork trivets are lightweight, and they are bigger than cork coasters. Their advantage is that cork absorbs moisture that can condense on the exteriors of hot dishes, just like a cork coaster absorbs the condensation on a drink glass.
  • Silicone: A silicone trivet mat is flexible, allowing you to pick up hot pots or hot dishes in the kitchen and drain the water or pour the food into a colander. The silicone trivets can also withstand the hot temperatures of an oven or a pressure cooker, allowing you to stack hot dishes for double boiling or draining of grease.
  • Metal: A metal trivet may be made of cast iron, stainless steel, or powder-coated stainless steel. A stainless steel or cast iron trivet lifts the hot dish above the countertop or tabletop, allowing heat to dissipate in all directions.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic is often used as a kitchen mat. These mats may have ornate designs glazed onto them. The stoneware is smooth and thick, and it can withstand hot pots and dishes up to very high temperatures.
What kinds of things are trivets used for?
  • Safeguarding the dining table: A silicone, iron, stoneware, or cork trivet is often placed on the kitchen tabletop. This allows you to put serving dishes on the dining table without fear of marring the tabletop. The trivet mat absorbs the heat of the dishes so that the tablecloth or dining table itself are not damaged, again much like coasters also protect your furniture’s surfaces.
  • Protecting your hands: The heat from pots or hot dishes can burn your hands, and this is true of steel or aluminum lids. A silicone mat can be used to lift up the lid or pick up the pot in addition to providing a place to set down the item. A silicone pot holder also allows you to pick up cooking dishes and carry them from the kitchen to the table.
  • Collect drippings from meats: When cooking meats like a turkey or a roast, many people love to use the juices or drippings for making gravy. An iron trivet fits into a meat rack, roaster, or casserole dish to raise the meat so that the juices will be easier to collect from the dish.
How do you clean a silicone trivet?

Sometimes, a pot holder or trivet mat made of silicone will get liquids or grease spilled onto it. To wash silicone potholders, submerge them into a sink with a few inches of warm, soapy water. Use a scrubbing sponge to clean between all of the grooves on the silicone pot holder. They can also usually handle the high heat of a dishwasher cycle.