Learn how to protect yourself when cooking.
Do people buy these cooking gloves only as guaranteed protection from minor burns and scalds? Are they wearing them only as a precautionary measure in the kitchen? What characteristics of great oven mitts do you think convinced picky purchasers and smart buyers to buy certain brands and types?
While good market research can provide insightful and accurate answers to these questions, a quick review of the Top 100 Best Sellers and Top Rated oven mitts at Amazon already gives the average shopper an idea about the qualities that buyers look for the most in these mitts.
Separate Movable Fingers and Close-Fitted Wrists
It seems people prefer to wear gloves with fingers instead of oven mitts with flat, wide tops. The silicone mitts were especially built that way because they’re meant to be used not only as protective gloves, but also makeshift trivets for steaming hot dishes. Ordinary cooking and grilling do not demand much thermal insulation. You can deep fry your food without the need to wear kitchen gloves. You can reheat or cook your food in the microwave and safely take your ready-to-eat lunch or dinner out of the little oven without using oven mitts or even pot holders.
This preference for heat-resistant gloves with separate moveable fingers seems to be more about comfort and ease of movement. Because the fingers have their individual slots, the skin between your fingers from tip down to the curve is always kept dry and protected. Friction, heat and sweat can also cause a rash to develop, which is why rubbing a handful of anti-perspirant talc on your hands first before slipping them into the oven mitts or cooking gloves is a good idea. Cooking gloves with individual fingers offers protective cover for large skin areas, such as the palms and backs of the hands, and also the small spots, like the skin between the fingers.
People probably draw psychological comfort from that warm, slightly tight feeling around the wrists. Although the wide bands of soft fabric fit so closely to the skin, they’re not so tight that they’re on the verge of cutting off the blood circulation on that area below the wrists.
Flame Retardant Better Than Heat Resistant
Many kitchen mitts have bulky exteriors made from semi-hard silicone rubber, which is slow to absorb and conduct heat. Silicone rubber can last up to 20 years in dry, cool storage, but this estimated shelf life is drastically reduced when it’s continually exposed to extreme heat and cold or to mechanical and chemical abrasion. A hardy type of silicone is the preferred raw material for oven mitts, cooking gloves, and trivets. This FDA-approved silicone can withstand surrounding temperatures that may reach up to 250 degrees Celsius or around 482 degrees Fahrenheit, which is beyond three times hotter compared to any of the recommended core temperatures for roasting or grilling different kinds of meat.
Some cooking mitts are made of polypropylene-based non-woven perforated fabric that’s been made almost invulnerable to fire because of its ceramic coating. Ceramic is not a metal, but it’s the foremost material that’s most recognized as a fire retardant. It doesn’t conduct heat well, but when a glove isn’t completely covered in ceramic coating, there’s a possibility the heat can get past the glove’s defenses.
Cotton and Silicone Mitts are Popular Choices
Unsurprisingly, silicone takes the cake at being the crowd favorite for oven mitts. Silicone stretches, bends and twists – the kind of flexibility that’s important when you’re wearing your mitts and you don’t want a rigid rubbery glove hampering your hand movements. It’s also resistant to extreme heat and cold, which is important when you want to take out that large lump of frozen meat that looks like a rock covered in ice. It’s been freezer burned, but you can’t take any chances of burning your skin with ultra-cold ice. Wear your silicone oven mitts from Life Quintessentials to prevent your skin from getting stuck to the freezer wall.
Mitts made of both silicone rubber and chemically treated fabric seems to be better insulators than cooking gloves made of just silicone or simply fabric. This is exactly what a Canadian blogger, Michael Ross, realized when he pitted different types of oven mitts and cooking gloves on his Great Oven Mitt Review of 2014. Although the red oven mitt made of silicon and fabric that he nicknamed ‘The Alien’ was only number three on his list, it’s still a commendable mitt because it delivered “the best bang for the buck”. He recommended using it to “take hot things out of an oven and not burn yourself.”