There are few kitchens that don’t possess a set of oven gloves. They are a basic essential that protects the cook’s hands and forearms when removing hot dishes from an oven, but that also provides the cook a firm grip on the pot or casserole being lifted.
Protection for the cook derives from the shape and design of the gloves, and from the material from which they are made: In this context, ‘Glove’ is used loosely to describe both gloves with stitched fingers; mitts; and mitts or gloves joined in pairs. Gloves and mitts should have good-sized cuffs to protect the wrist and forearm from accidental contact with hot dishes; joined gloves should have a sufficient width of fabric between the gloves so as not to restrict the user from safely picking up a hot, large pot.
Oven gloves are not expected to be in contact with hot items for a long period but should be heat resistant and not flammable at working temperatures. The gloves should also provide heat insulation and protection from splashes of hot fat and other liquids. The material of manufacture is also important in giving the cook a firm grip on the pot being handled.
Until relatively recently, cotton was the favourite material for oven gloves, for both their cover and filling, but other materials have now been introduced such as silicone and special fabrics that were originally developed for industrial applications. Silicone can be moulded into seamless gloves or added to other materials as an insulating or grip-enhancing surface. Cotton, too, remains popular as a cheap and trusted, flexible material that can be easily washed.
Oven glove standards
In conducting our research, we have been led to a British Standard regarding Oven Gloves: BS 6526: 1998 and Amendment No. 13697: 2002. It was written ‘pre-Silicone’ but still makes useful recommendations regarding ‘the rate of thermal diffusion through…gloves’ and the fire and heat resistance of a glove’s cover. The Standard’s recommendations on design, though, are not affected by the material of manufacture and are still relevant today: “The dimensional requirements for gloves joined in pairs are: 190 mm for the inside length of the thermal insulation of the pocket; 140 mm for the inside width of the pocket, measured at the cuff, and 400 mm for the length of the joining materials. For single oven gloves: 240 mm from the inside finger tip of the glove to the cuff-edge; 140 mm for the inside width of the pocket, measured at the cuff-edge, and 120 mm internal width across the palm to the thumb-join for gloves with a thumb.” We quote these dimensions in full to help readers to see whether the various oven gloves on offer ‘measure up’.
After heat-resistance, material-of-manufacture and size-and-shape, our cook will want to consider cover-design and price. Oven gloves come in all colours and can be covered in patterned or pictorial printed fabrics. Prices begin at a couple of pounds and range up to tens of pounds for high-specification gloves. We would avoid cheap, thin, cotton gloves for obvious reasons but price does not seem to be a stumbling block to acquiring a good-looking, practical pair of oven gloves.
Best Oven Gloves
Aubina Ezi-Grip Double Oven Glove
The Aubina Ezi-Grip is a well-made double glove manufactured from 100% cotton. The glove is available with a grey or beige covering and the filling is soft cotton-down. The glove has two features for improved grip: the mitt has a separate pocket for the thumb and the inner face of the mitt is covered with a terry facing. The mitts are over-sized and will accommodate the largest hands. Unfortunately, the glove is not washable (because the filling clumps and loses its heat resistance) but it is competitively priced and meets BS 6526.
Aicok Non-Slip Oven Mitts
Aicok Non-Slip Oven Mitts are best-sellers, available in either bright red or black. They are well-padded and comfortable with a quilted cotton liner, and are machine washable. The cotton covering is embellished with a silicone-grid that provides slip-resistance. They are specified as heat-resistant to 240°C and users report no ‘thermal transfer’ when removing trays from a hot oven. The exterior length from finger-tip to cuff-edge is 27.5cm, which will offer sufficient wrist and forearm protection. Each mitt has a hanging hook sewed to the cuff. These are excellent gloves for the price.
Jonhen Silicone Gloves
The Jonhen Gloves are moulded silicone mitts with a quilted cotton lining and a thick cotton cuff. The gloves are rated as heat resistant to 200°C and the silicone has been given a patterned surface for added grip. The silicone is waterproof too, guarding against harm from hot spills. The dimensions would seem to meet BS standards: the overall exterior length is 27.9cm and the width at the cuff is 18.9cm; the chequered cuff is 8.5cm long. The gloves are machine washable and are offered in red or grey. Reviews are uniformly positive.
Honeyall Silicone Oven Gloves
These Honeyall Gloves are mitt-style gloves made of thick, moulded silicone with a cotton lining. They are selected, in particular, for their extra-long ‘sleeves’; the exterior length of the gloves is 37cm. The palms and wrists of the mitts have a non-slip pattern and the cuff is fitted a hanging loop. The silicone is waterproof and can be wiped clean, as necessary. The gloves are available in four bright colours: blue; green; red; orange. These are well-reviewed gloves that will suit anyone who might feel safer in oversized mitts.
Master Class Heavy Duty Double Oven Gloves
These Master Class gloves are traditional cotton double mitts with an inner nylon layer that stops any hot liquids penetrating through to the cook’s hands. The large mitts are well-stitched with reinforcement at the cuff and are lined with cotton towelling. They are machine washable below 40°C. We especially like the generous mid-section which is 51cm between the mitts’ cuffs and offers good protection to arms and waist without restricting movement. The pockets themselves are approximately 27cm deep by 19cm wide. The manufacturer states they are BS 6526 compliant.
Master Class Waterproof/Heatproof Oven Gloves
These gloves combine silicone mitts with the benefits of a double-glove design. The mitts are made of moulded silicone and have a separate thumb and a cotton lining. The gloves are waterproof and heat resistant to 250°C and have a textured surface for a secure grip. For cleaning, the silicone surfaces can be wiped clean, or the entire double-glove is machine washable. The silicone mitt measures 24cm from tip to cuff but the padded cotton mid-section gives good wrist and forearm protection. These gloves enjoy generally excellent reviews and will be a useful and durable addition to any kitchen.
Black Silicone ‘SiliMitts’ Oven Mitts
These ‘SiliMitts’ are chosen for their extra-length (37cm) which provides excellent protection from burns to the forearm that might occur when reaching deep into an oven. The moulded silicone extends up the user’s arm and is finished with a cotton cuff. The lining is a cotton/polyester mix. In common with other silicone gloves, these mitts are waterproof and heat resistant up to 250°C and have good grip. They are available in three colours: black, blue and grey. Theses SiliMittts are a little more expensive than some of our other picks but the reviews are wonderful and they are a great pick, offering both safety and durability.