Choosing the Best Oven Mitts
Getty ImagesWhen you hear the term high-tech fabrics, you might conjure an astronaut's space suit or body armor. Personally, I think about the sails of a racing boat and oven mitts. Yep, oven mitts. Long gone are the days when the top priority was matching the kitchen towels; the best mitts available today combine stay-cool comfort, fantastic dexterity, and a no-nonsense grip. But are the high-performance materials worth an equally high price tag?
INEXPENSIVE OVEN MITTSThe Parvin Flameguard 15-inch mitt ($8.79 at amazon.com) is an all-around terrific mitt that relies on old-fashioned quilted cotton. Because it's such a handy size, you might well want two. When the mitt gets wet, it smells like plastic, but because it's so well padded, it's still heat resistant. Now, the Weber Barbecue Mitt is aptly named -- it's so bulky, it's strictly for the grill -- but at $9.95 (from amazon.com), who could resist buying a couple? They're the perfect Father's Day present for the man who thinks he has everything, although you might not share the fact that the long, black sleeves look very evening length, à la Audrey Hepburn. He could take that the wrong way.
MODERATELY PRICED OVEN MITTSThe Orka 11-inch glove ($14.99 at target.com) is made of silicone, so it's waterproof -- you can pluck a lobster out of a pot or lift a cheesecake out of a water bath with impunity. It get sweaty inside very quickly and it only fits small hands. The littlest hands in your household, in fact, might commandeer it for use as a hand puppet.
OXO's 13-inch Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt($19.95 at chefsresource.com) uses a silicone rib design, which does indeed make for a super "good grip." If you have a tough time opening a jar of pickles, you will find this mitt way too stiff.
It's back to basic cotton and terrycloth with Le Creuset's 14-inch mitt ($14.95 at chefsresource.com). A magnet sewn into the sleeve keeps it next to the stove, but after one trip to the washing machine, the magnet lost its mojo.
Duncan's Kitchen Grips 2-piece set ($19.99 at bedbathandbeyond) comes in a genuine pair -- that is, there's a left-handed mitt and a right-handed mitt. Because they are perfectly flat, they seem a little counter-intuitive, but they actually have very good heat resistance and dexterity. The synthetic rubber is easy to clean and durable, and the mitts do double duty as pot holders.
FANCY-SCHMANCY OVEN MITTSThe cotton Tucker 12-inch BurnGuard ($34.95 at chefsresource.com) is very well insulated and comfy for all but the largest paws. And even though the 15-inch Kool-Tek is hideously expensive ($40.95 at cooking.com), what can I say? I love this glove! Made of Kevlar (body armor, remember?) and Nomex (used in firefighters' clothing), it has a sure grip and great dexterity. It makes you feel invincible.
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