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Testing Oven Mitts

By Tai Sierra Published

Obviously, they should prevent burns, but the best mitts should also be comfortable, dextrous, and durable.

In 2005, we named the Kool-Tek 15-Inch Oven Mitt by KatchAll our favorite oven mitt. But we were always bothered by its high price ($44.95 each), and recently we began to wonder if newer (maybe cheaper) models might offer any advantages. We gathered eight mitts, including our former winner, priced from $14.95 to $44.95 each. We included the standard quilted cotton oven mitts but also many others made of fancier stuff, including leather, silicone, neoprene (a material used for wet suits), Nomex (a fireproof fabric worn by race-car drivers), and Kevlar (which is found in bullet-resistant body armor).

In 2005, we named the Kool-Tek 15-Inch Oven Mitt by KatchAll our favorite oven mitt. But we were always bothered by its high price ($44.95 each), and recently we began to wonder if newer (maybe cheaper) models might offer any advantages. We gathered eight mitts, including our former winner, priced from $14.95 to $44.95 each. We included the standard quilted cotton oven mitts but also many others made of fancier stuff, including leather, silicone, neoprene (a material used for wet suits), Nomex (a fireproof fabric worn by race-car drivers), and Kevlar (which is found in bullet-resistant body armor).

In 2005, we named the Kool-Tek 15-Inch Oven Mitt by KatchAll our favorite oven mitt. But we were always bothered by its high price ($44.95 each), and recently we began to wonder if newer (maybe cheaper) models might offer any advantages. We gathered eight mitts, including our former winner, priced from $14.95 to $44.95 each. We included the standard quilted cotton oven mitts but also many others made of fancier stuff, including leather, silicone, neoprene (a material used for wet suits), Nomex (a fireproof fabric worn by race-car drivers), and Kevlar (which is found in bullet-resistant body armor).

Oven mitts must be washable. We stained each with a measured amount of ketchup, soy sauce, and vegetable oil and headed for the laundry room. (All mitts were machine-washable with the exception of the neoprene models.) The oil stain clung to some gloves, one faded, another emerged covered in lint, and a few shrank considerably. Only the Kool-Tek 15-Inch Oven Mitt and the OrkaPlus Silicone Oven Mitt emerged from the washer as good as new.

If your oven mitt accidentally comes in contact with a heating element, does it melt or scorch? With a fire extinguisher handy, we cranked the burner to high and stuck each glove in the flame for five seconds. Neoprene and terry cloth mittscaught fire (the neoprene smelled foul), leather gloves scorched, and Nomex models discolored. Again, silicone proved its mettle, emerging intact. The Kool-Tek glove, made of Nomex and Kevlar, was also unscathed.

Against its new crop of rivals, the Kool-Tek 15-Inch Oven Mitt—which is now sold under the name San Jamar Cool Touch Flame Oven Mitt—once again came out on top. While it wasn't the most dexterous mitt we tested, its heat resistance and durability more than made up for a little stiffness. If $44.95 per mitt is too steep (and you will need two mitts for many tasks), we suggest the OrkaPlus Silicone Oven Mitt ($14.95 each), our Best Buy. It performed almost on par with our winner, with slightly less control in the thumb.

Equipment Review Oven Mitts

Obviously, they should prevent burns, but the best mitts should also be comfortable, dextrous, and durable.