If you need to keep cover of pan or bowl slightly opened during cooking, what's the best way to do this. May be there is devices for that, if so preferably non-metal. Specifically glass bowl like Pyrex in a microwave.


6 Answers 6


Tilt the lid.
It will stay where you put it… approximately.
See pan top left & pyrex bottom right; they will stay like that all day if needed

If it really refuses to stay, then wedge a spatula [or any other bit of wood or plastic (& of course, not metal if it's going in the microwave) of any appropriate size]* in it, either from the edge, down the handle, as at bottom left, or right the way across then balance the lid on top of that, as at top right. The latter will also go in a microwave.

enter image description here

*This is physics 101 - put something in that's big enough to hold the lid ajar, yet not big enough to get in the way of anything else & not small enough to fall in & get lost in whatever you're cooking…

  • 8
    The actual details of precisely what bit of wood or plastic to use are really irrelevant. Find something that is big enough to hold the lid open, not big enough to jam the microwave turning, yet not small enough it will get lost in the dinner. Answer edited in the hope the comments don't now need to suggest 20 other vaguely appropriate utensils.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Dec 4, 2019 at 19:11
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    Important note: since the O.P. specified that "Specifically glass bowl like Pyrex in a microwave." it is important to do NOT use metal stuff! If you're cooking on a stove, you probably want to avoid metal (because metal conducts heat pretty well). Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 11:30

Funny enough, I saw a little silicone gadget the other day when I was out shopping - those stick men called Lid Sid are designed to do exactly what you want. Granted, they are real unitaskers, but also kind of fun.


Other manufacturers make similar items in other shapes - I have seen sheep, witches and others.


A different option is to use a silicon lid. You don't have to leave it open, you just cover the pot fully and it bleeds off steam on its own just like a tilted solid lid.

  • I have one of these that has a "flappy bit" in the middle (proper technical term there!) that acts as a release valve, it was a gift but I believe it was marketed as being designed to stop things boiling over, which for me is the starchy foam on potatoes for mash that makes a horrendous mess on the hob. A similar product to the one I have is: amazon.co.uk/Saucepan-Universal-Designed-BPA-Free-Silicone/dp/…
    – Rob
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 10:20
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    @Rob you have some kind of advanced version then. I have one like these: amazon.de/…. When I use it on stovetop, the steam comes out between the cover and the pot rim, instead of making a mess. It also does the vacuum-stay-put thing well on cold pots and bowls.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Dec 6, 2019 at 10:25

I have a rice cooker where the lid's vent hole is slightly too small, so I've done this by propping the lid open with a chopstick on one end of the lid. If you want it to be evenly vented, you could put one chopstick on both sides of the lid.


If you were doing this a lot it might be worth making a little thing with an H shaped cross section (like a bit of a girder), one pair of legs straddle the rim of the pan and the lid rests on the others. You could make it asymmetric to get variable heights. You'd have to consider the material carefully, i.e. no metal if it's to go in a microwave, some woods & plastics are more heat resistant than others.

  • Already commercially available in silicone (with cute/entertaining shapes). Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 15:15
  • @Bloke Down The Pub I'm pretty sure I got you idea, but not 100% sure. It's hard to understand without picture, so may be you could depict something.
    – R S
    Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 16:30
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    More or less like two of the little red men shown above by Stephi, attached back to back. Commented Dec 5, 2019 at 19:07

Probably we could use plastic cloth clips clipping them on the walls of a bowl, cover would stay atop of them. Probably it's ok, though there's metal spring which can cause problems.

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