Life is stressful enough, and the last thing you need to do is burn off all your fingerprints while you’re trying to take some banana bread out of the oven. Or sourdough. Or muffins. You get the idea. The solution? A little thing called oven mitts. Here are our top picks, evaluated for their style, practicality, and ability to shield your hands from the harsh realities of a 400-degree oven.
The Practical Amazon Option
Covered in grippy silicone with a plush interior, these oven mitts are a no-nonsense solution to all of your too-hot-to-handle needs. In terms of protection, we have yet to encounter any issues (there’s plenty of insulation), and you can choose from around 14 different colors, all of which are less than $20 a pair.
The Upgrade Pick
With slightly better grip, coverage, and construction quality, these OXO mitts make for a nice upgrade. Staff Editor Carlo Mantuano swears by them, in part because he likes how the silicone nubs are arranged on a gradient. It makes these mitts feel luxurious, he claims. We trust Carlo (check out his piece on beans), and you can’t really go wrong with a well-made black oven mitt.
The Stylish Route
Some oven mitts (such as certain colors of the HOMWE variety) look like things you’d wear on a ski trip. These ones from Food 52 do not. In fact, you could arguably wear these to a nice luncheon. But probably don’t do that. Just pick a nice pastel shade, and hang these in a place where dinner guests can learn to covet them. The mitts are covered in silicone for heat resistance, and the interior is fluffy like a hotel towel.
The Minimalist Choice
What would happen if you whittled your standard silicone oven mitts down to the essentials? You’d get these grippy little things that sort of look like shark mouths. These pinch mitts provide coverage up to about your second knuckle - yet, in our experience, they offer the same level of protection as the other mitts on this list (and they take up a lot less space). That said, you do tend to feel like you’re living on the edge whenever you stick a paw inside the oven with one of these tiny mitts on. But maybe you need more adrenaline in your life.
If you aren’t mentally prepared for the pinch mitt life but don’t have enough drawer space for a couple of full-coverage mitts, try these mini ones from Cuisinart. They don’t feature silicone, but they do provide heat protection up to 400 degrees, and their classic gingham color scheme has just the right amount of I-go-on-picnics-sometimes energy.
The Non-Fussy Pot Holder
If a dedicated thumb hole feels too decadent and luxurious for your modest lifestyle, allow us to introduce the Big Red House pot holder. These thick squares of terrycloth-lined fabric are the go-to baking companions of Editor in Chief Hillary Reinsberg, and they have some grippy silicone stripes down the front, so you won’t accidentally drop a tray of scones on your cat. Plus, they’re cost-effective.
The Hardcore Selection
It takes a certain sort of person to commit to fitting multiple fingers into multiple finger holes when extracting something from an oven. If you’re that sort of person, we salute you. Grab yourself some Ove Gloves. Their insulation is superb, and they obviously provide a lot more finger dexterity than your standard oven mitt.
The Shiny One
At this point, you’re going to need to ask yourself, “Do I need some heavy-duty silicone mitts, or would my life be better if I owned some shiny pink tie-dye ones?” And that’s a question only you can answer. The tradeoff of style over performance could very well be worth it.
The Dignified Conversation Starter
What’s that on your hand? An oven mitt that makes it look like you work at The Krusty Krab? Refined indeed. It’s alarming that you haven’t already purchased this mitt.
The Mitts To Keep An Eye On
Like many another fashionable Neon Lace Company product, these Unicorn Oven Mitts are currently out of stock - but we still think you should know about them. If you find the thought of not owning these too painful, try a vintage tie-dye tablecloth in the meantime.
The Professional Alternative
We asked around, and our suspicions were confirmed: Oven mitts aren’t really a thing in professional kitchens. And that’s because professionals don’t have time to put on oversized mittens (you do), and back-of-house folks typically have a high tolerance for handling hot things (you, perhaps, do not). So what do they use? Plain old dishtowels with a blue stripe down the middle. Even if you’re grabbing mitts, add some of these to your order as well. They’re highly practical.
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