Trivets are a tripod used to elevate pots from the coals of an open fire. (The word trivet itself ultimately comes from Latin tripes meaning “tripod”.) Metal trivets are often tripod-like structures with three legs to support the trivet horizontally in order to hold the dish or pot above the table surface. Dutch Oven chefs rely on trivets to elevate a dish from the direct heat of the bottom of the cast iron pot to allow good circulation of heat and to avoid burning the bottom of the dish.
All DO chefs have a variety of trivets in their outdoor kitchen supplies because they insure the proper completion of the recipe. For example, a fruit pie prepared in a pie pan needs to sit up off of the dutch oven so that the bottom does not burn and the whole pie comes out flaky and brown. A pot roast needs just a little elevation so that the bottom doesn’t burn and the meat has a consistent temperature throughout the dish.
The fun part of this is that there are many different types and shapes of trivets. They are works of art in my opinion! My better half started cooking with his boy scouts long ago and he had three smooth stones, all the same height, that served as his trivet. My friends in the LSDOS Prairie Dog Chapter have welded together horse shoes to make trivets that speak of our Texas heritage. But most of my Iron Chef friends have trivets that they found in kitchen stores. Simple oven proof devices that do the job.
How many trivets do you have in your outdoor kitchen? What is your favorite??