My long-time favorite oven gloves are the Steven Raichlen Extra Long Suede gloves (about $18 on Amazon). I bought the gloves in 2012, but they have some “hot spots” now. The Raichlen gloves are great for handling wood, but I am testing the new Grill Heat Aid oven gloves for handling really hot pans and equipment.
First, a confession. Like many chefs and owners of wood-fired ovens, I often grab a towel for handling something hot—like the oven door handle. Many of us keep a stack of kitchen towels handy for a quick grab of the oven door or to move pots and pans. It’s faster than putting on oven gloves. (See our blog on preparing for a party)
However, opting for a towel depends on knowing what you are doing. Towels serve a purpose outside the oven, but they aren’t designed for moving hot pans out of the oven or lifting hot grates. Towels are flammable, so I use them with care, outside the oven.
Respect the heat
I respect fire and heat! I do most of the work inside the vault with tools. Wearing gloves can limit dexterity and give a false sense of confidence. The 18” suede SR gloves are better for protecting against splinters when stacking wood and providing a heat shield when removing ash. (See our blog on ash.)
Flame resistant oven gloves
The Grill Heat Aid gloves (about $30 on Amazon) are woven of flame resistant, cut resistant fibers, the same patented material used in fire-fighter clothing. The oven gloves withstand temperatures up to 932° and are non-flammable. The manufacturers state that the gloves are washable, stain resistant, and ideal for moving hot pots, burning logs, and hot grates! I don’t intend to lift hot grates, but I will be moving hot pots and pans in the vicinity of the oven door.
Left or right?
Two gloves come in each package. Both fronts and backs of each glove are embedded with identical patterns of silicone grip strips. That means you can wear a glove on either the right or left hand.
Yes, I still love the SR leather gloves, and I still grab a towel to open the door, but now I also have a good pair of oven gloves with no hot spots that will even fit my kids.