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Trivet also refers to 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. These are often included with modern non-electric pressure cookers. A trivet may often contain a receptacle for a candle that can be lit to keep food warm.
A three-legged design is optimal because it eliminates wobbling on uneven surfaces.
When roasting any meat in an oven, trivet racks - which typically fit into roasting pans - are often used to enable the meat joint to be held above the direct heat of the roasting pan and allow the juices of the joint to drip into the roasting pan for the subsequent making of gravy.
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