When it comes to holiday meals, breakfasts in bed, or making your favorite snack, the kitchen is a centerpiece in every household. The kitchen provides constant sustenance and hopefully warm memories of sharing. Those memories could turn into nightmares without the right equipment. Oven mitts fall into this category and are important in keeping you safe to continue the joys of cooking. We have researched the best oven mitts on today's market to help you make an informed purchase.
Oven mitts have different functions within a kitchen. Aesthetically, many cotton and lighter fabric mitts adorn a kitchen to match a certain style. However, the mitts on the market made best to withstand the heat include silicone and neoprene. Silicone mitts rate as some of the most durable and heat-proof investments made in a kitchen.
While the functions of an oven mitt can vary in style, durability, heat-resistance, and comfort, cotton, silicone, and neoprene all have a place with advantages and disadvantages. To find out more about how these three types of oven mitts compare, keep reading.
Cotton fabrics, often light-weight and thin, offered in various styles, decorate many home kitchens. These beautiful prints and patterns have distinctive drawbacks when used for baking and handling hot dishes. Cotton burns at a mere 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Many oven recipes call for 350 degrees to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Therefore, when used in oven mitts, the cotton can be coated in a flame-resistant chemical. Cotton mitts require thick layers of batting to provide the proper protection to your hands when moving around hot dishes or bakeware. Even then, cotton oven mitts wear down over time and are prone to develop "hot spots" or places where the heat transfers through the mitt instead of being absorbed.
In every store where oven mitts are found, cotton is an affordable solution that offers a wide range of tastes and decor. Yet, cooking and baking often require two hands. Often in stores, oven mitts are bought individually. If you have ever wondered if oven mitts come in pairs, click here.
Neoprene fabric, or synthetic rubber, offers a non-toxic option that can withstand 500 degrees Fahrenheit. It is not absorbent and holds up to cooking in various settings; on the grill, with grease, or baking. Cleaning neoprene only requires soap and water. It does not soak in stains like cotton fabrics.
Affordable, easy to clean, and food-safe, silicone oven mitts offer the best return on investment. This choice can take the heat up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Silicone stands up to steam and grease because it is naturally water-resistant. It offers good gripping capability and cleans easily with soap and water. Sometimes silicone will be paired with a layer of fabric on the inside, making it easier to pull on and off as you are cooking.
Are silicone oven mitts safe?
Silicone oven mitts are safe for food interactions and fire resistance. Silicone use is safe in things like oven mitts because the process of making silicone creates a stable chemical bond. This makes it less likely to form reactions with foods, whether cooking with acids or bases.
The water-resistant silicone features make a good choice for kitchens because bacteria have nothing to penetrate and, since the surface is not porous, it is easier to clean. Only soap and water are needed to clean silicone oven mitts, although some will also be able to go through the washing machine if desired.
Silicone is an extremely effective fire-resistant material. Rather than melting, silicone defies high temperatures and keeps its form. Over time, silicone can become rigid, but this does require age.
Are silicone gloves heat resistant?
All gloves often provide less heat resistance than an oven mitt. The structure of a glove has the downfall that it does not protect the forearm because it often falls short in length. Silicone gloves are still heat resistant to 450 degrees Fahrenheit because of the silicone compounds used. Some tests have used silicone gloves and mitts to as much as 600 degrees Fahrenheit.
When using gloves, it's important there be a lining on the inside of the glove. This will make it easier to put gloves on and off.
Oven Mitt Variations
There are many things used in a kitchen to grab a hot pan. However, some of them leave a more lasting impression than others. To avoid burns, broken glass, or spilled food, consider the following options if needing an oven mitt alternative.
Squares of fabric with thick layers of padding sewn into place allow pot holders less girth than the oven mitt and more flexibility. Pans and baked goods will not tilt precariously if placed on top of the potholder. Also, pot holders take up substantially less room in kitchen drawers. However, the materials do tend to break down as the number of washes increase.
Mini Baking Mittens
For increased gripping strength, especially if using heavy cookware that may retain heat for long durations like cast iron, mini baking mittens are ideal. These get rid of the bulk of traditional oven mitts and provide a concise cover of protection. These are not perfect for grease or steam because of the lack of coverage of the wrist and the forearm.
Oven mitts are bulky and can make it difficult to handle dishes if a proper grip is not maintained. Gloves provide an in-between that can be important for grip and dexterity. Again, the coverage is not the same and does not offer protection to the forearm. However, oven gloves may be less heat tolerant or absorbent because of the lack of padding traded for added dexterity.
Lined Oven Mitts
Oven mitts with an inside lining provide an extra layer of protection and make them more comfortable to wear. Linings make it easier and quicker to pull mitts on, an added benefit in a busy kitchen.
What is the best material for oven mitts?
Silicone offers the best oven mitts on the market. While not as flexible as neoprene counterparts, the affordability, heat resistance, comfort, and protective factors cannot be beaten. It does not deform or lose its shape over time. Instead, it provides constant and consistent protection.
Oven mitts are just one important element in a functioning kitchen. Looking for other utility items in your kitchen routine? Find 11 types of aprons to pair with oven mitts and their uses by clicking here.
Kitchens produce creations meant to bring people together and share joy. Considering all the factors, silicone oven mitts keep the memories in the right place. Ensure they are heat and fire-resistant, offer a good grip and the right amount of comfort for you.