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.
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.
A (former) student of English, a lover of raisins, a user of comma splices. My spirit animal is an eggplant. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream. For that, I'm sorry.