Oven mitts and potholders are one of those things you take for granted.
If you’re of a certain generation, you probably made them in camp, weaving bands to make potholders (remember that?).
Or you bought them ages ago because you liked the design. It went with your kitchen.
And they were fine until…
You went to pull out the Zuni roast chicken and found out, to your horror, that they don’t work.
Or, more recently, you were testing the Baguette Baking Box at oven temps exceeding 450°.
Whether they melted onto my (almost) perfectly seasoned cast iron pan or just didn’t offer enough protection for a long enough time, it became a real issue in my kitchen.
After ruining several contenders, and almost either burning myself or dropping dinner, I started to search the Internet.
That’s when I found out that most oven mitts don’t work on temperatures over 400°. Even ones that reputedly did, like the ‘Ove’ Glove which is advertised to have heat protection to 540°, let me down. It might have been able to handle the heat, but it was impossible to tell because the printing on the gloves melted into the handle of my pan.
Even my favorite review site, Wirecutter, didn’t test them on temperatures over 400° and while I’m pretty fast in the kitchen, their criteria for approval was a mere “10 seconds while holding a heavy pan, which we think is a reasonable amount of time to remove hot items from the oven or stove.”
I don’t know about you, but while I’m juggling a very hot and heavy pan, I’d prefer to focus on the job at hand and not worry about an imaginary shot clock going off and turning my mitts into meltdown.
In search of a better (read, more to my liking) response, I moved on to that most trustworthy source—the Internet, specifically Facebook. People offered up lots of advice, most of it useless. However, my brother said to sit tight and wait for my birthday.
His gift? A pair of killer mitts. These babies can take on anything up to 572° and I don’t have to worry about that imaginary shot clock while I’m crisping chicken or baking baguettes.
My second choice and good for most everyday tasks are a well-worn (and slightly melted) pair of KitchenGrips potholders that are supposed to be good to 500° (but only on one side…) and bought because they went with my kitchen.
What do you use?