A pair of good quality kitchen oven mitts can give you great protection from burns if you follow common-sense safety tips like these:
Dry Hands, Dry Mitts
Cotton loses it’s ability to protect from heat when wet. Did you ever grab a hot handle with a damp kitchen towel? If yes, then you know what I’m talking about. Oven mitts are the same. Even with a steam barrier, if the oven mitt is wet, you’ll feel that hot steam pretty quickly.
After washing you mitts, make sure they’re completely dry before using. The fabric and padding are thick, so I always stand them up over a heating vent (in the winter) or lay them out to dry on the back deck on a warm, sunny day.
Not too hot
Even the best quality kitchen oven mitt will only handle items taken from a 350-400 degree oven – max. This is especially true if the item is heavy, like a 5-quart casserole dish. If you’re cooking or baking with really hot temps, consider a pair of professional welding gloves.
Or just double up – your oven mitts plus a pair of pot holders.
Don’t hold hot items for too long
I’m sure most of you reading this know exactly what I’m talking about here. Kitchen oven mitts and pot holders are meant for intermittent use. That means that, depending on the oven temp and quality of your mitt, you have about 6-10 seconds before you start feeling some heat.
You can depend on a few seconds to go from oven to stove top, or oven to table before you need to put your dish down. Let the mitts cool off for a few, then you can pick the item up again.
Once again, heavy duty or high heat jobs need heavy duty protection, more that the average kitchen oven mitt or pot holder will give you, no matter what some retailers say. Invest in a pair of leather welding gloves – it’ll be money well-spent.