When you do a lot of baking, oven mitts and potholders are an everyday tool that is as important as your oven is – especially if you want to get whatever you’re baking out of the oven. While you can use a dishtowel wrapped around your hand, oven mitts give you a better grip and a little more peace of mind when lifting anything out of a 350F oven. Towards the holidays, more people than usual are baking, whether they’re roasting a turkey for Thanksgiving or baking batches of holiday Christmas cookies, and that means that the review of oven mitts in a recent issue (Dec/Jan 2012) of Cook’s Country should come in handy for almost everyone.
The magazine set out to find an oven mitt that offered a lot of heat protection as well as offering a lot of maneuverability. Mitts that were too thick made it difficult to grip a cookie sheet securely, while thinner mitts gave you a more secure grip. Some of those thinner mitts, however, didn’t offer the heat protection of the larger gloves. They tested the mitts with casserole dishes pulled from a 450F oven and, to measure heat resistance, held them as long as possible (do not try this at home!) while they were wired with heat sensors to see how much heat got through the gloves and how quickly. They also looked for mitts that were washable and easy to care for.
The test winner was the Kool-Tek 15-inch Oven Mitt, which offered great heat resistance, good pan control and came out of the laundry looking good-as-new. Also highly recommended was the Orkaplus Silicone Oven Mitt with Cotton Lining, which performed as well as the Kool-Tek for less than half the price. Gloves that came in with lower, but still good, ratings included the Calphalon 14-inch Oven Mitt and the Oxo Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt which were not as grip-friendly as the winners, as well as the Le Creuset Oven Mitt, which work well but didn’t hold up quite as well after repeated washings.