Tips & Techniques

The Makeshift, Fits-Over-Anything Pot Cover You Already Own

August 25, 2017

How many times have I had this moment? I get to the part of the recipe where I have to cover the pot—yes, I know I should have read the instructions all the way through before starting—and I can't find the lid anywhere. Or maybe I never had it in the first place?

Or—an alternate but just as frustrating scenario—I need to use the biggest pot or wok or frying pan in order to fit all of the ingredients, but that particular vessel has no hat.

I could invest in a few game-changing silicone lids (they can also replace plastic wrap and splatter screens)—or I could reach for any baking sheet in the kitchen.

Easy as that (and it works with the baking sheet flipped the other way, too).

Baking sheets—expansive, heat-resistant, ubiquitous—can moonlight as pot covers, as they do in many restaurant kitchens. (I first noticed this move from our Test Kitchen Chef Josh Cohen, and then again in the professional kitchen where I work a couple of days a week.) Baking sheets may take up a bit of additional real estate on your stovetop, but they'll provide cover to almost any pot or pan, and they'll get the job done.

Just be sure to use oven mitts or dish towels when you remove the baking sheet—it'll heat up quickly as the steam from your food rises. If the handle(s) of your pan prevent you from setting the baking sheet upside-down (I do this so the rim can act as a barrier in case the pan slides), just set it down right-side up, rim in the air.

Pots to Cover

What tool is the MVP of your kitchen? Tell us in the comments below.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • bellw67
  • BerryBaby
  • KyMorgan
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


bellw67 September 1, 2017
I found a "one size fits all" lid at a grocery store for about ten bucks.
Works on my biggest pan.
BerryBaby August 28, 2017
I was aluminum foil. Never fails me. BB
KyMorgan August 25, 2017
Forget the baking sheet-- I want to know where that beautiful dress came from! :)