HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >

Universal pan lids

fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 05:34 PM

My pan lids seem to be disappearing or I acquire a pan without a lid for some reason. Does anyone use universal pan lids? Any thoughts?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. c
    calliope_nh RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 05:40 PM

    I have a 16" aluminum pizza pan (mostly flat, slightly curved up at crust position at edges" that I use almost exclusively.

    1. s
      sueatmo RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 06:18 PM

      http://tinyurl.com/bbyhl64 This is a link to an Amazon page. You can buy universal pan lids.

      2 Replies
      1. re: sueatmo
        fldhkybnva RE: sueatmo Mar 7, 2013 06:28 PM

        Yea, that's my question. Do you find that they are as good as separate lids? A friend commented that she does not think they seal very well which made me hesitate to buy the one that I spotted in the store yesterday

        1. re: fldhkybnva
          sueatmo RE: fldhkybnva Mar 8, 2013 03:45 PM

          I imagine they are better than no lids at all.

          I use pot lids for skillets all the time.

          This summer when I was in temporary digs and had only minimum kitchen gear, I bought some used stainless pots and some misc. glass lids that sort of fit, at the Goodwill. This arrangement worked.

      2. Eiron RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 06:29 PM

        My thoughts:

        I've looked at those universal lids & keep thinking that they'd be too inconvenient (ie, big) for most of my pans.

        I have had decent luck finding nice replacement lids at thrift stores. I found a heavy stainless lid for my 10" pan for $2, & another heavy stainless lid for my 8" pan for 40ยข.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Eiron
          fldhkybnva RE: Eiron Mar 7, 2013 06:32 PM

          Yea, it seems impossible to find a replacement lid sold by itself other than online. I think our spring fair is upcoming or I might just have to give in to Amazon.

        2. kaleokahu RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 07:37 PM

          Hi, fld...

          I use them for filling holes in my batterie where I have pans with no covers, or am simultaneously using indentical-circumference pans that are in a menage-a-couvercle with the same cover. I welcome the day when I can *not* use them, and keep looking for "real" matching covers.

          If you get one/some, make sure you get the kind with concentric "steps", so that condensate drains back into the pan rather than onto your cooktop.

          About thrift store replacements... TAKE YOUR PANS WITH YOU. I have bought maybe 8 $1 covers that *measured* as if they'd work, and didn't. So now they're back at Goodwill, perhaps waiting for you!


          1. fmed RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 09:57 PM

            Ikea makes an lid in three sizes (9",11",13"). I have the 11" lid and it works and seals well http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro...

            1. j
              John Francis RE: fldhkybnva Mar 7, 2013 10:15 PM

              Most of my skillets have no lids of their own, so I use an Invitations Stainless Steel Universal Cover that I bought at Bed Bath & Beyond. It fits pans from 12" to 8" by being stepped down for each smaller diameter, with a see-through dome and heat-proof knob in the center. Not ideal for a 12" skillet as the lid is stepped down so far that the smallest ring often touches the food, but it's OK for most of what I do.


              1. John E. RE: fldhkybnva Mar 8, 2013 08:44 AM

                Instead of buying a universal pan lid, I'd buy a lid that fits the pan. We bought a Tramontino tri-ply 12" skillet that came without a lid. I bought a stainless lid that fits perfectly, actually it looks as if it came with the pan, for $3 at Goodwill. We have a small non-stick pan for frying eggs, it didn't have a cover either, so I bought a SS lid for .75 cents at a thrift store. Those stores are littered with lids. Measure your pans that need lids and get ones that fit.

                1. j
                  John Francis RE: fldhkybnva Mar 9, 2013 12:53 AM

                  Just saw an episode of Julia and Jacques in which they used a flat disc with a handle sticking out at the side as a universal lid. Don't know where you can get one, and if it's copper like Julia's it would be expensive. Here's a photo - click on it to enlarge:

                  8 Replies
                  1. re: John Francis
                    John E. RE: John Francis Mar 9, 2013 08:40 AM

                    Julia bought that copper lid and her copper pots and pans over 60 years ago in a cookware store that opened in Paris in 1820 and is still open today.


                    1. re: John Francis
                      kaleokahu RE: John Francis Mar 9, 2013 08:28 PM

                      Hi, JF:

                      This is the famous "lollypop" lid, French cuisine's original universal lid. Down to the point where the iron handle's weight makes them too tippy to stay on the pan, they cover a great range of sizes and work OK, but you will get condensation dripping from these onto your cooktop. They are also very useful as table service tools (think Pommes Anna).

                      They are all over eBay. The problem now is that interior designers gobble them up for wallhangers to achieve that "French Country Kitchen" look. Expect to pay $60-$100.


                      1. re: kaleokahu
                        JenniferLopez RE: kaleokahu May 8, 2013 07:46 AM

                        I've also been looking for these lids. So are you saying they are more aesthetic than functional? Like you said, they come at a high price. Would I be better off with a regular fitted lid? I dont mind paying the price but I would much rather buy something that works great and looks great if I am paying that price. Maybe I might get those beautiful Ruffoni lids. I've been rather jealous of their ornamental handles and would have invested in ruffoni had they sold extra-forte tin-lined copper.

                        1. re: JenniferLopez
                          kaleokahu RE: JenniferLopez May 8, 2013 08:34 AM

                          Hi, JLo:

                          No, the flat lollypops are quite functional. It's just that they've become valuable because of their aesthetics.

                          If you watch eBay closely, you can find some lollypops that have rims--they sit down into the pans, preventing the drips I mentioned. But those are not universal lids, and they're usually hard to mate with your own pans.


                          1. re: kaleokahu
                            JenniferLopez RE: kaleokahu May 8, 2013 09:27 AM

                            Thats good news. I just realized how expensive Ruffoni lids are. Anyways, while searching these lids on the forum, I found a reply by you where you suggested that I may be able to custom order these lids from the Hammersmith in Brooklyn. I may stop by their shop later in the year when they start accepting orders again but how do the think the price of a custom ordered lid would compare to lids I may find on ebay? Would it be worth it to have it custom made or would I be better off playing the waiting game on ebay?

                            1. re: JenniferLopez
                              kaleokahu RE: JenniferLopez May 8, 2013 09:45 AM

                              Hi, JLo:

                              Hammersmith is a good option, at least when Mac starts taking orders again.

                              The lids you will find on eBay will be less expensive than custom metalwork.

                              I suggest you contact Ginger at Four and Twenty Kitchen Antiques. http://www.4and20kitchenantiques.com/ and see what she has. She doesn't advertise her lids. Awhile back, she told me she had 175 she wanted to sell. Ginger has all her stuff restored and retinned, so it is not inexpensive.

                              "[W]orth it ...custom...or waiting game on eBay?" I like to save $, and I scrounge some pretty much every day, so I don't mind waiting. You won't have to wait long on eBay if you want the flat lollypops--and you can have a high confidence they'll fit. But if you want a rimmed lid that will fit specific pans, you can wait a long time. I have ONE lid to go for my saucepans, and it's been months...


                              1. re: kaleokahu
                                JenniferLopez RE: kaleokahu May 8, 2013 03:19 PM

                                Thanks a lot. One last question.

                                You mentioned how rimmed lids sometimes have trouble mating with pans. Im guessing this has to do with the thickness of the actual pan? So a rimmed lid designed for an 18cm 1.5mm saucepan would have trouble mating with an 18cm 3mm saucepan?

                                1. re: JenniferLopez
                                  kaleokahu RE: JenniferLopez May 8, 2013 07:46 PM

                                  Hi, JLo:

                                  You're welcome.

                                  Thickness differences can enter into it, but the big reason it's a PITA is that the vast majority of sellers either can't or won't provide accurate dimensions for the part of the lid that fits *inside* the pan. Unlike with flat lollypops, with the rimmed lids, close is frequently not close enough.

                                  I take fliers on lids sometimes, and at least half of the rimmed lids I've got on eBay have either been returned or resold. It's worth the hassle, though, when you find one that is Goldilocks-just-right.


                    2. fldhkybnva RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 08:20 AM

                      I might have to give in to the sheet pan or universal lid as I can't find a 12" lid for my cast iron anywhere other than online so perhaps should just order it.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: fldhkybnva
                        INDIANRIVERFL RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 08:46 AM

                        Storage space is critical on a boat, so I have two universals. One to ten inches, the other to 24 inches. Put a cast iron pot or 6 lb. lead dive weight on top to get a better seal.

                        Ideally, there should be a convex area so the handle will be flush with the top of the lid. Helps moisture to drip from the middle and not the edges.

                        No clue as to maker as they are from the thrift store.

                        1. re: fldhkybnva
                          juliejulez RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 10:31 AM

                          Oops just saw this after I posted my response, but what about a universal lid like this? http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Repla... It's only $20.

                        2. juliejulez RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 10:29 AM

                          I have this cheapo one from Ikea and it works great: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/pro... It fits perfect on my skillet from Ikea of course, but I've also used it on my square cast iron and it works just fine. It's pretty flat on the bottom so it creates a pretty good seal on all of my different size pans.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: juliejulez
                            fldhkybnva RE: juliejulez May 8, 2013 11:35 AM

                            Thanks for the recommendation. Ikea is an hour or so away but maybe I can take the "risk" and order online.

                          2. f
                            fourunder RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 01:19 PM

                            Before you purchase any lids.....do you have another fry pan that you can invert and cover the fry pan you are considering purchasing the lid for?

                            I use mostly Wearever Aluminum Commercial cookware....while lids are available, instead, I just use fry pans and sauce pots, inverted or not, to cover fry pans and sauce pots.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: fourunder
                              fldhkybnva RE: fourunder May 8, 2013 01:34 PM

                              The pan I'm looking for a lid for is my biggest so no other pan or lid seems to work and have been using a sheet pan for now :)

                              1. re: fldhkybnva
                                juliejulez RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 01:48 PM

                                You can also do what my SO did before I showed up... use foil ;)

                                1. re: fldhkybnva
                                  kaleokahu RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 01:55 PM

                                  You can occasionally find lollypops in the 12-16" diameter range. I have a 14" that works really well on my largest saucepan (12"). Strangely, these big ones can sometimes go for less than the smaller ones.

                                  1. re: fldhkybnva
                                    John E. RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 08:12 PM

                                    We have a 14" non-stick skillet that is only used occasionally and even more infrequently with a lid. I never actually looked for a lid but did discover the blue speckled enameled 'canner' kettle had a lid that fit.

                                2. s
                                  sueatmo RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 04:23 PM

                                  http://tinyurl.com/c2hfynp Kuhn Rikon Spill Stopper 11.5" Silicone Pot Lid

                                  This is not exactly a lid, but a silicone "spill stopper." I think it might be useful for some applications. "Fits pots and pans from 6"Diam to 10"Diam"

                                  1. o
                                    onrushpam RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 04:34 PM

                                    I have one I bought at Target years ago and use it nearly every time I cook. The biggest pan I've used it on is a 12" cast iron skillet. It's similar to this one: http://www.target.com/p/chefmate-12-n...

                                    I guess mine is "non-stick", but it's not coated with Teflon or anything. It's just a very slick metal.

                                    It's worked great for me. I usually use it on cast iron pans I don't have lids for. I think the smallest pan I've used it on is 8".

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: onrushpam
                                      fldhkybnva RE: onrushpam May 8, 2013 04:59 PM

                                      I spotted this at Target a few weeks ago and didn't know if it would work but good to hear some positive feedback. It seemed perfect for the purpose and is pretty cheap given it has multiple uses.

                                    2. breadchick RE: fldhkybnva May 8, 2013 07:02 PM

                                      I've found the universal lids with the graduated rings to be a bit cumbersome because the middle of the lid is so low in the pan. Before I bought skillets that had lids that fit, I used wok lids with metal handles. They fit within the skillet (10 inch lid for 11 inch skillet for example) and allowed room for bumpy food. They also could go into the oven if needed. Sure, they don't fit saucepans, but most saucepans come with lids. It's a cheap fix and I found other uses for the lids too. Just a thought.

                                      Show Hidden Posts