What’s a Trivet?

Everything you wanted to know about trivets, and more

Trivet intentions: A history

A combination of the Middle English word trevet, for cooking vessel, and the Old English Word trefet, for three-footed, today’s modern trivets have deep roots. Wrought iron or cast iron trivets with longer feet were originally used to elevate pots from the coals of a fire. As cooking implements advanced, so did the trivets. They become smaller, more attractive, and streamlined for stovetop and tabletop use.

Trivets today: Not just for fires anymore

Today’s trivets are a far cry from the bulky, metal trivets of the past. Now, the purpose is to keep hot dishes from burning or leaving marks on dining tables or counter tops. But while saving tabletops is a noble cause, adding a delightful accent to with the practicality of trivets is just as fun.

Trivet Pursuit: Different types of trivets

Whether you’re a collector or you simply need to keep your table top pristine, there are multitudes of choices for everyday needs. Here are a few to help:

Tea Trivet: These trivets are normally about 6 inches across, and are an elegant accessory on which to place your teapot. A ceramic trivet, or a ceramic tile trivet, is often the most attractive for teapots.

Casserole Trivet: Normally slightly larger than tea trivets, these trivets will safely keep your casserole dish from scorching the table. Casserole trivets look great in wood or even cast iron for a dramatic effect.

Electric Warming Trivet: Just as it sounds, this trivet is more for keeping dishes warm. These trivets plug in, and are safe and easy to use.

Scented Trivets: Wonderful for the holidays, scented trivets are often fabric, crafty designs.

Straw Trivet: These woven mats are a give the table top soft, natural look. And don’t worry, the straw trivet is strong, and won’t burn under those hot dishes.

Sandstone/Fired Clay Trivet: These beautiful trivets have the look and feel of a Southwestern feast, and hold up well under even the heaviest pots.

Collecting trivets

Authentic, older iron trivets and iron tile trivets and wrought iron trivets can be identified by their casting marks, the area where the material was poured into the mold. Casting marks are on the reverse side of the trivet, and are either circular or rectangular in shape. Older tea trivets were made from delicate porcelain, and are an exciting find if one is found intact with minimal scratches. Auction houses and thrift stores are often great sources.

There are plenty of trivet styles today to choose from, perfect to fit your personal style. Trivets can be season-specific, like resting that holiday roast on top of a beautiful, framed poinsettia trivet. Or they can be funky, and fun, like the popular cat or dog trivets, shaped like your favorite animal.

Whichever you choose, let the trivet reflect your own style. Match it to your décor, and keep it fun and simple.