This was originally published at EZ Vid.
Time To Glove Up
Cooking is a joy for those who love to eat and serve others. The kitchen is considered a cook's domain, their castle, the place where they create feasts for family, friends, and anybody who dares to love food. With that joy also comes a great deal of responsibility and common sense. Working with food requires the use of a lot of equipment, like ovens. Let's face it. Ovens get hot and it can be easy to get burned or singed when removing pots, pans, and other materials during the baking and cooking process. For that reason, you'll need a good pair of oven mitts to maintain the maximum amount of protection from potential burns and splatters. The good news is that there are plenty of options out there to keep you safe.
An oven mitt is an insulated glove (or mitten) that is worn over the hand in the kitchen to protect the skin from severe burns that come from hot foods, heating elements, stoves, or other hazards experienced while cooking.
The majority of oven mitts consist of some amount of heat insulation and are surrounded by heavy-duty cotton fabrics. Premium-quality oven mitts are often treated with silicone, making them resistant to water and stains. They can also be composed of other durable and synthetic materials, like Kevlar and Nomex. Textile gloves with decorative patterns are often machine washable, which makes sense for both the professional and home cook.
The degree of heat protection oven mitts provide really depends on the material from which they're made. Those made from fabric typically protect hands from temperatures up to two hundred degrees Fahrenheit (ninety-three degrees Celsius), whereas those mitts with silicone materials can provide protection up to five hundred degrees Fahrenheit (two hundred degrees Celsius).
Certain oven gloves have also been designed with individual finger sockets, making it easier to maintain a strong grip around your kitchenware as opposed to gloves having 2 separate sections for your thumb and remaining 4 fingers.
Many oven gloves are sold individually to offer customized fits for both the left and right hand, but they're also known to come in pairs depending on the brand.
Finally, if you enjoy a lot of bright colors in the kitchen, you'll be excitedly overwhelmed by the number of attractive color combinations and designs you can find on oven mitts. Designs can vary from anything such has hearts, to animals, to cartoon characters. For oven mitts, the sky truly seems to be the limit.
Oven Mitts Aplenty
It is a given that a pair of oven mitts should be functional. In other words, the mitts should protect you from burns. However, this idea is like saying that a doctor should wash their hands between appointments with patients. As simplistic as the concept may seem, some cooks may not realize it when they sacrifice functionality and practicality for design and style. The good news with many oven mitts is that you can have both.
Oven mitts should be relatively easy to wash and keep clean. It's inevitable that at some point during the cooking process, those gloves are going to get dirty. Are you working with hot pasta sauce? Prepare for splatters. Are you carrying hot soup or stew pots around the kitchen and to the dinner table? That soup or stew will eventually stain your apron and gloves, regardless of how careful you try to be.
Extra length definitely comes in handy, since it can be just as easy to burn your wrist and arms on a heating element or stovetop as it is your fingers. Your wrists and arms will thank you for the additional length and protection.
Oven mitts should also be comfortable. After all, you may have them on for a while, so you don't want your hands to feel cramped, become overheated, or start to sweat unnecessarily when you need to concentrate. For that reason, pay attention to the shape of the oven mitts as you shop. They need to fit easily over your hands and fingers.
Consider the type of cookware you use before investing in your oven mitts. For example, if you use a lot of ceramic and cast iron pots and pans in the kitchen, be sure your gloves have adequate heat resistance. Silicone construction is often a good choice in such a scenario.
A Brief History Of Oven Mitts
The story goes that the first pair of practical oven mitts were invented back in the 1870s by a fellow named Earl Mitt, the owner of a Texas bakery. Earl ended up badly burning himself on a cooking utensil and crafted a glove made from a combination of wool and shoe leather to prevent further injuries.
Some of the earliest patented oven mitts that followed Earl Mitt's design in the 1890s used paper as an insulating material. While logical, paper didn't provide the same degree of protection that heavier synthetic materials and fabric would later deliver. Since that era and the discovery of silicone with its heat resistant properties, Earl Mitt's loss was an industry gain in that materials improved greatly over time, thanks to his initial invention. This served to revolutionize the original design and is a definite upgrade from the traditional cotton insulated gloves that the Texan invented.
Today, oven mitts are available in virtually any color you can imagine and in most any style.