Oven mitts fall under the category of unsexy kitchen products but are absolutely essential. Sure, they don’t have the wow factor of a sleek stand mixer, but oven mitts perform an arguably more important function: protecting your hands from painful burns when handling a Dutch oven or a roasting pan.
After several rounds of testing over the past few years, we found Food52 Five Two Oven Mitts(available at Food52) are the best you can buy, beating out the top-scoring OXO Good Grips Set (available at Amazon), because the Five Two includes two protective oven mitts in a set.
Big Red House Oven Mitts (available on Amazon) are our top choice for people who prefer cloth mitts.
Whether you’re an occasional baker or experienced chef, your oven mitts are the sole protective layer between your fingertips and a brutally hot pan—so we wanted to find out which ones could actually handle the high heat.
These are the best oven mitts we tested ranked, in order:
OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt with Potholder
Food52 Five Two Silicone
Big Red House
Grill Armor Gloves
Cuisinart Oven Mitts with Non-Slip Silicone Grip
The 'Ove Glove' Hot Surface Handler
Ooni Heat-Resistant Gloves
San Jamar Cool Touch Flame Mitts
Mastrad Orka Kitchen Silicone Mitt
Williams Sonoma Oven Mitt
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Food52 is an online food community that publishes pro-chef-approved recipes and serves as a marketplace for its own line of gorgeous kitchen appliances, among other cooking and baking ware. These mitts wisely combine the heat-resistance of silicone and wearability of soft fabric, making them extremely comfortable to wear. The interior is soft to the touch and felt like a fleece blanket covering my hands. These mitts are long, which means our tester's hand and part of her forearm were safe during testing. In terms of care, they’re washer and dryer-safe.
While we’re confident the high quality will ensure longevity for these mitts, we think they’re a bit too pricey for most consumers.
Sometimes a product just gets everything right—and the Big Red House mitts get everything right. Our testers hardly would’ve expected a layered cotton mitt to hold its own against silicone and Teflon varieties, but they gave our testers' hands enough protection for more than four minutes while they held a baking sheet straight from a 450°F oven. In comparison, some other mitts for that test were only comfortable for just over one minute.
The heat protection is surely the most important thing, but there’s more to like about the Big Red House mitts. They’re nice-looking (simple and classic) and lined with soft, comfortable terry cloth. Silicone striping helps with grip. They don’t dwarf small hands, which our testers really appreciate, but they aren’t so small that other people with bigger hands couldn't comfortably wear them (we invited volunteers to try them on). We found it easy to shift a hot oven rack while wearing them, though picking up spoons in our testers' gloved hands proved slightly more difficult. Finally, at $13 a pair, they’re an excellent bargain.
Hi, I’m Valerie, a cooking and baking enthusiast at Reviewed. As I spend a ton of time testing ovens and other kitchen appliances, I’m always looking for a sturdy, well-made pair of oven mitts to help make my life easier.
And our former Home and Outdoors editor Kori contributed to the first round of testing. She's done a great deal of cooking both professional and personally.
From bear paw shaped novelty oven mitts, to the oven gloves commonly used in the Reviewed test labs, to the more traditional gloves that most people have, we’ve tried all kinds. Some worked OK, like Reviewed’s oven gloves. Others, like the bear paw mitts, were thrown out in a fit of anger after hot bakeware singed our tester’s hands through the fabric. Until we began testing for this review, we’d never actually tried an oven mitt that felt as protective as it should. And now that we've seen what's out there, we refuse to use subpar oven mitts in our own kitchens again.
Testing oven mitts is a tricky business, so each test I performed was carefully designed to provide important information without requiring me to burn my fingers in the name of data. In order to check how effectively each mitt protected my hands from heat, I placed a sheet pan in a 450°F oven for half an hour. I then used each mitt to hold the pan, measuring the length of time I was able to do so before it got uncomfortably hot. Four minutes was the maximum length of the test, but only one mitt (the Big Red House) made it that far. To further test heat protection, along with dexterity, I also ran the oven at 350°F for one hour, then used each mitt to move an oven rack to a new position.
Moving racks isn’t the only kind of kitchen task you might need to take on with a mitt on your hand, so I also wanted to try a few more precise operations, I used each mitt to pick up and use both a large wooden mixing spoon and a normal metal dinner spoon. It wasn’t a deal breaker if I struggled a bit with dexterity, but I took issue if I struggled a lot.
I checked each mitt to ensure that it was machine washable, easy to store, and easy to put on or remove. Finally, I noted whether the mitts were comfortable to wear.
What You Should Know About Oven Mitts
Most oven mitts are made of either fabric (usually cotton) or silicone. Some are made of a combination of the two, like a cotton-lined silicone mitt or a cotton mitt reinforced with silicone. Cotton is generally softer to wear and easier to wash in a machine, but silicone can be more durable and provide a better grip and easier spot clean situation. I tested one mitt made of a different material entirely—the kevlar San Jamar mitt—but a kevlar mitt is an outlier.
Oven mitts come in three major styles. The most common (and most traditional) is shaped like an oversized mitten, which is an easy one-size-fits-all style that allows your hand to fall naturally open but has the downside of limiting your hand movement. An option that allows for better dexterity is the mitt that is shaped like a glove, though a glove shape is tougher when it comes to fitting all hand sizes comfortably, not to mention it just plain looks unattractive. You’re also unlikely to find a silicone glove, which is only a negative if you specifically want silicone. Some oven mitts choose to separate your thumb from the rest of your fingers but are shaped more like a hand puppet than a mitten. This provides a natural grabbing shape, but it situates your thumb directly below the rest of your fingers, which can feel uncomfortable.
There’s really no hard and fast rule about which material and style make better oven mitts. Some of the silicone mitts did a great job at heat protection, while the worst mitt at the job was cotton. However, the winning mitt was also cotton—layered cotton, that is, with silicone striping for grip. Ultimately it comes down to what style you find the most comfortable and which specific mitts happen to do a better job at protection, regardless of the type of fabric—and that information is luckily readily available because I tested all these mitts myself.
Other Oven Mitts We Tested
OXO Good Grips Silicone Oven Mitt & Pot Holder Set
As our testers have small hands, we find this mitt from OXO to be the perfect size. It did well in testing, as we were able to hold the hot tray for four minutes without feeling the heat. The soft silicone material gave our tester's fingers enough room to perform precision tasks, such as grabbing a teaspoon or whisk, without removing the mitt.
The only downside is the set comes with one mitt and one potholder. For people who often roast or bake in heavy cooking vessels that require both hands to transfer, this set isn’t practical as the pot holder isn’t nearly as effective as the mitt.
If you’d rather grab a pair of silicone mitts than stick with plain old cotton, Homwe’s offering is probably your best bet. The tester was able to hold a hot tray for almost a minute before the heat began to feel painful, and her hands were really comfortable inside the mitts, which are lined with soft fabric. A downside is that these mitts were way too big for her (and even too big for her male friend, whose hands are much larger), but unlike some of the bulkier mitts, these are thin enough that she was still able to maintain the necessary control to grab utensils, stir a pot, and take a cookie sheet out of the oven. That said, if you have small or medium-sized hands, you might find the size annoying.
The gloves are especially long, which means they protect your forearms in addition to your hands and wrists, a nice design choice.
It seems unfair to lead with something subjective, but it has to be said—these gloves are so very ugly that it’s hard to imagine wanting them in our tester's kitchen. But if you can get past appearances, there are some definite pros to opting for this style of mitt.
The biggest pro is probably dexterity—obviously having your fingers separated allows for control that most mitts lack. We found this was actually detrimental when moving a rack in the oven with one hand, since our tester's fingers slipped through the gaps between the metal bars. However, so long as she used both hands she didn’t find this to be much of an issue. And when it came to using spoons and picking up items, these gloves have clear advantage over most of the mitts out there.
The gloves were also fairly heat-resistant, allowing her to hold a hot tray for more than 30 seconds before she had to worry about burns (and let’s be real—why would you need to hold a hot tray for more than 30 seconds?). However, we found them scratchy and uncomfortable to wear, which is a major problem. They fit our tester's male friend’s hands better than hers (the fingers were about an inch too long for me), but he noted that they were a bit of a hassle to take on and off. If you specifically want gloves, these are the ones. Otherwise, go with the Big Red House mitts.
These mitts protected our tester's hands against heat for longer than every other glove I tested, apart from the winning Big Red House mitts. Our objections to them are purely design-related. Most of the oven mitts we tested look like oversized mittens, while a few look like gloves. The Cuisinart fits neither category and instead is shaped more like a hand puppet, with your fingers populating the top part of the puppet’s “mouth” and your thumb occupying the bottom. We found this ideal during those times when putting on a puppet show, but less ideal for every other time anyone uses the mitts. It’s not that our tester struggled to use a mixing spoon (though it was admittedly tough to pick up an ordinary dinner spoon in these mitts), just that the design forces your fingers into a position that doesn’t feel particularly natural or comfortable.
Furthermore, the hanging loops on these mitts are made out of metal, which looks like a nice feature but in reality thumps uncomfortably against your arms when the gloves are in use. The tester felt a shock of cold where the metal struck her skin, but she can imagine a situation in which the metal could get hot from contact with a heat source, something she especially wouldn’t want to touch. Finally, unlike any other mitt in the group, Cuisinart recommends you wash these mitts by hand rather than tossing them in the washing machine. Not a deal-breaker, but definitely an annoyance.
The ‘Ove’ Glove may have a catchier name than Grill Armor, but visually it’s pretty similar—by which we mean it looks like an unattractive garden glove. During testing, our tester found it to be good at its one major selling point: allowing her hands to remain dexterous while she wore the glove. As with the Grill Armor pair, it was a little annoying to have her fingers separated when she was moving the oven rack, but she had no problem picking up and using silverware and other kitchen tools.
Heat protection was a little worse than with the Grill Armor gloves, but not by a whole lot. However, it must be stated that we found this glove to be fairly uncomfortable. Our tester's notes read, “Weird combo of too tight and too big,” which strikes us as a problem because her hands aren't particularly big and we think larger hands would likely find the tight parts even tighter than she did.
Can pick up silverware and kitchen tools while wearing them
Our tester was eager to try out what would surely be the most protective mitt on her list, since the San Jamar mitt is made out of kevlar—not to mention there surely had to be a reason it cost so much more than the other mitts, right? However, she really disliked this oven mitt. Some of the other designs were big, but this one was huge, to such a degree that it’s hard to imagine the size of hands it might fit comfortably. It also felt even more shapeless than usual, and the kevlar fabric was both uncomfortably scratchy to wear and slippery to grip objects with.
We also didn’t feel the mitt met our expectations when it came to protection, allowing us to hold a pan straight out of a 450°F oven for just over 30 seconds before it got too hot to hang onto. It’s not that 30 seconds isn’t plenty of time for most situations that would call for an oven mitt, it’s just that the San Jamar is expensive and we don’t know why you’d drop that kind of cash when you can have something better for far cheaper.
We were excited about these Ooni pizza gloves because of the brand’s highly-rated pizza oven. Unlike the other mitts, these leather gloves allow you to perform precise tasks with hot objects. They’re also lightweight and easy to store.
However, the performance was a bit disappointing in that we couldn’t hold the tray for more than 10 seconds because our hands got too hot. They also started to emit some unpleasant smells, which we suspect came from the leather material.
In all honesty, this was our least favorite mitt of the bunch. It allowed us to hold a hot baking sheet for 30 seconds before we had to put the sheet down, which is the only reason it’s not positioned dead last. That said, allow us to explain my dislike in detail.
The removable (and machine-washable) cotton lining of the mitt feels okay, but the silicone exterior does not. Unlike all of the other silicone mitts, the Mastrad is made out of a gross, tacky silicone that immediately collects all the loose hair, lint, and oven soot it comes into contact with. It has that uncomfortable puppet-like shape that we so disliked in the Cuisinart mitt, but combined with the silicone this gives it an appearance that caused us to write, “looks like a blobfish,” in our testing notes. Also, as with the Cuisinart, we found the shape forced our hands into a position we didn’t find particularly comfortable. We dreaded wearing this thing during every part of testing.
The most traditional of the oven mitts we've tested, the Williams Sonoma mitt reminds us of the ones we already have in the kitchen—by which we mean it will only keep your hand safe from a hot pan for about 6 seconds. Even if you’re simply removing a cake from the oven, 6 seconds is probably cutting it pretty close.
We thought this mitt was the most attractive of the bunch, but on the inside we could feel the ragged edges around the seam when we were wearing the thing. Also, even though the mitt felt thinner than most of the others, it didn’t give us great control over our hands, making it difficult to use utensils without removing the mitt. We're not suggesting you absolutely avoid this mitt because we think it’s on par with many of the mitts most of us have in our homes, but we also can’t particularly recommend a mitt that only keeps your hand from getting too hot for less than 10 seconds.
Kori began her journalism career as a teenage fashion blogger and has enjoyed covering a wide variety of topics ever since. In her spare time, she’s an amateur poet, avid reader, and gluten-free cake baker extraordinaire.
Valerie Li Stack is a senior staff writer for Kitchen & Cooking. She is an experienced home cook with a passion for experimenting with the cuisines of countries she's visited. Driven by an interest in food science, Valerie approaches the culinary scene with a firm grasp of cooking processes and extensive knowledge of ingredients. She believes food speaks to all people regardless of language and cultural background.
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