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The Best Oven Mitts
Most models are either annoyingly bulky or dangerously skimpy. We evaluated three styles—mitts, gloves, and double mitts—in a quest to find a set that offered both safety and dexterity.
Last Updated Dec. 8, 2022. Appears in Cook's Country TV Season 14: Carne Guisada and Enchiladas
What You Need To Know
When you invest in a sturdy chef’s knife, cooking immediately becomes easier, safer, and more satisfying. The same thing is true of a good pair of oven mitts. You don’t need to worry about burning your hand on a hot skillet handle or dropping a stockpot full of boiling water halfway between the stovetop and kitchen sink.
We’ve long recommended the San Jamar Cool Touch Flame Oven Mitt and the Mastrad Silicone Mitt Plus. They keep our hands and forearms safe from the heat of the oven and kitchen equipment, but they’re both more cumbersome than we would like. On occasion, we’ve squished cookies (don’t worry, we still ate them) or dragged their wide sleeves over the bubbling surfaces of casseroles. Seeking a pair that let us work safely and nimbly, we purchased nine ambidextrous models in a range of styles. Five were fairly traditional-looking models shaped like mittens. The designs of the other four models were more innovative. Two were gloves, with individual sections for each finger and our thumbs that were meant to fit fairly snugly. The final two were “double mitts,” which are basically two pocketed pot holders connected by swaths of fabric that are presumably intended to protect a cook’s forearms from heat. Some of the mitts were sold singly and some were sold in sets; we purchased second copies of all the mitts sold singly. All told, the prices of the models ranged from about $9.50 to roughly $66.00 (for one of each double mitt and sets of two of each oven mitt and oven glove). We used them to maneuver sheets of cookies, full cake pans, and pie plates lined with pie dough into, around, and out of hot ovens; carry and empty Dutch ovens filled with boiling water; and lift and maneuver ripping-hot cast-iron skillets that each contained a 4-pound roast chicken. We also evaluated how well the mitts protected our hands and forearms from heat and how easy they were to clean.
Comparing the Innovative Models
We started by assessing the fit and agility of the innovative models. First up: the two double mitts. The mitts of both these models were made of fairly flexible cotton (or cotton and polyester) and were roughly the same size and shape. We liked that we could push our hands all the way into the corners of the mitts’ pockets, which allowed us to easily pinch the edges of cookie sheets or small knobs and handles. That said, there was no clear advantage to this style (and there were plenty of drawbacks). When we used both hands to carry an item, the connecting strips of fabric that were supposed to protect our forearms from heat drooped ineffectually between them. And when we needed to use our hands for two dif...
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The mission of America’s Test Kitchen Reviews is to find the best equipment and ingredients for the home cook through rigorous, hands-on testing. We stand behind our winners so much that we even put our seal of approval on them.
Kate is a deputy editor for ATK Reviews. She's a culinary school graduate and former line cook and cheesemonger.