When you were a kid, you probably got a kick out of popping all the little bubbles on a sheet of bubble wrap. The popping paper is almost too much fun for a kid to resist – but the popularity of bubble wrap apps for iPhones and other mobile devices indicate that popping those bubbles isn’t something that only kids enjoy. This Poppin’ Hot Oven Mitt is inspired by bubble wrap, although you won’t be able to pop the silicone bubbles that give it its cool look. The mitt is made of translucent, heavy duty silicone that can stand up to any temperatures that you might need to handle while pulling pans and baking sheets out of your oven while looking convincingly like real bubble wrap! It measures 8.4 inches wide and 11.75 inches long, which gives you plenty of coverage whether you have bit mitts or small ones. And it is definitely a conversation starter because your friends may not believe that you’re using a potholder and not a real sheet of bubble wrap. You may, however, want to keep this mitt out of the reach of kids because the urge to try a pop bubbles of bubble wrap is hard to resist and, while it would be extremely difficult to deflate these silicone bubbles, you probably don’t want to risk the integrity of the mitt in the process.
Archive for: oven mitt
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.
Aprons are good for many things. For instance, they are good for helping you keep splashes of food off of your clothes while you’re cooking, giving you quick place to wipe flour off your hands and, if they have pockets, a place to stash a whisk, microplane or can opener until you need it. In the Oven Mitt Apron, classic aprons get a new functionality, doubling as potholders and making aprons an even more multipurpose kitchen item. The apron has thickly padded oven mitts built right into it, with pockets behind so that you can easily slip them on and grab a hot pan or baking sheet. Compared to a more traditional apron, it does look a bit silly when the potholder parts are dangling down – the look more like pant legs than a skirt – but they will definitely come in handy and there is nothing silly about not burning yourself in the kitchen!
The apron is made from cotton and is unisex, coming in just one size with an adjustable band at the waist. It has a more masculine look to it than many aprons, so it might be a good choice for someone who likes to grill and might need a little protection from hot grates and hot dishes.
A crowd-feeding turkey is the biggest thing that some of us cook during the year, and that often means that we need special cookware to accommodate its size and shape, while most oven-roasted meats and vegetables do just fine in smaller and shallower pans. A roasting pan should be big and fairly deep, about 3-4 inches, to hold all the drippings from your roast and any vegetables you want to cook alongside it. Even though it might not be your most-used kitchen pan, you’ll get much better results and have an easier time cooking if you put a little thought into choosing a roasting pan.
The first step is to measure your oven – and then take the measuring tape with you when you shop. You can’t entirely trust the measurements given by manufacturers, either of ovens or of baking pans. Ovens can have ridges (to hold up oven shelves) that narrow the available space in an oven, and while pans’ interior measurements may measure up as advertised, the thickness and shape of the pan may cause the actual dimensions of the thing to vary. And don’t forget to include the handles when you measure! Handles can extend up to 2-3 inches from the sides of a pan, inches that aren’t always listed with a pan’s standard dimensions.