When my colleague Kendra tested silicone lids (a newish market-disrupting kitchen tool that claims to be a one-stop solution for covering pots on the stovetop and in the oven and for covering bowls to store leftovers) she received, as part of the winning GIR set of lids, some ridiculously tiny ones. Silicone lids that could never ever cover even the smallest pot or pan, but that were the proper size for covering a cup, or a small ramekin.
These substitutes for aluminum foil claim to do it all, covering pots on the stove, casserole dishes in the oven, and bowls in the fridge. But are those promises too good to be true?
At first these little lids, while they were frankly adorable, would appear to have no practical use in the kitchen. Kendra obviously didn't test them as part of her review—but she gave them to me since she knew I have an ongoing obsession with keeping coffee the optimal drinking temperature.
And I did use them for that. It may seem a bit fussy, but covering my coffee cups with these tiny lids when I knew I'd be stepping away from my cup for a few minutes helped keep my coffee warm, which already made the lids an absolutely invaluable addition to my kitchen. (And, I have to say, my cup looked so cute with a little lid on it.)
If that seems like an insane single use, bear with me. What started as a semi-absurd, highly niche tool to cover coffee eventually proved to come in handy for kitchen storage in a way I'd never have expected. I began to use these small silicone lids to cover little bowls of leftovers. In cooking for one person, I often don't have an amount of extra food worthy of filling a whole glass or plastic storage container. But popping a single serving of leftover rice that could be a side for tomorrow's dinner into a little ramekin and covering it with a silicone lid was so satisfying. I've since used the little lids most often to cover jars or bowls of sauces.
Like their larger counterparts, these tiny silicone lids create a powerful airtight suction (you can actually lift the lid using the small handle on the top, and the cup or bowl attached to it will magically stay that way—attached. This makes a great party trick, FYI). Since they create a seal against the rim of any surface, you can use them on bowls or jars, even if they aren't exactly the right size. Pop a silicone lid on top of a tiny glass jar of tuna you're reusing to store salad dressing! It'll create a seal and keep the food fresh. The lids are 4 inches in diameter (you can also buy a set that's 6 inches in diameter for slightly bigger bowls and mugs), but they'll work on any jar, bowl, or cup opening that's that size or smaller. The best part of this is that you can minimize your stash of multi-component jar lids. If you, like me, love to save the glass jars that your food comes in, you won't have to worry about digging around in your cabinets to try to find the proper lid for each jar—small silicone lids will work for most reused food jars, as well as Mason jars.
This is by no means an essential kitchen item—and you should absolutely skip it if you don't feel it would add benefit to your life. But, for those of us who are obsessed with coffee warmth, who frequently see the need to cover small bowls and jars, and who get frustrated rooting around for the proper lid for our hoarded re-used food jars, these colorful silicone lids make life just a little easier.