Essential equipment – the silicone saucepan lid

A few years ago a friend gave me a present which didn’t look very promising. It looked like a bit of floppy plastic.

Now I know better. This humble gift has become one of the most useful pieces of equipment I have in my kitchen.

saucepan lid
it hangs up conveniently

For me it become, almost immediately, a saucepan lid. I am not the proud possessor of a pristine set of saucepans. Most are well-loved. And in the loving process they have somehow either lost their lids – either temporarily or permanently – or the glass lids have become broken or chipped.

This one piece of silicon fits the small to medium pans – the ones I most use. You can use it on the hob or in the oven. Because it hangs up jauntily with my other utensils it’s become the one I use for everything.

But I also sometimes use it for other purposes, mostly instead of clingfilm. You can use it on top of a bowl in the microwave, or also just as easily, in the fridge. To seal effectively the rim of the vessel you’re using needs to be smooth and even.

You can put them in the dishwasher, but they don’t seem to get very dirty.

saucepan lid
The original lily pad inspired lid that I was given

They also last a long time, although concerted use in the oven can discolour which is why I’ve, reluctantly, thrown my original lily away and replaced it with a rather colourful winterberry one.

What’s not to like?

The lid I was given is by Charles Viancin, a former marketing director, who grew up in the beautiful Haut Savoie and decided to launch his own line of accessories inspired by flowers and plants (although the colours might be jolly they aren’t very natural!). The lid given to me was his first design – a lily lid inspired by a trip through asia. Since then Viancin has added many different designs and products (including a colander/steamer which is effectively the same as a prep-a-lot) but the lid remains The Brilliant Idea, and the best seller.

His company is headquartered near Annecy in the French alps.

The lids cost less than a tenner and are available everywhere.


This post is dedicated to Isabella Cunynghame

saucepan lid
Charles Viancin is headquartered near the Lac d’Annecy in the French alps
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