When cooking, people generally prefer either oven mitts and pot holders, based mostly on what feels most comfortable to hold. If you want the ease of kitchen towels but need more insulation, then a pot holder is a reasonable choice.
An oven mitt is the safer option for those who find themselves getting burned going in and out of the oven or pouring sauce out of a pot. The decision ultimately depends on how much protection you need and what feels the most secure to you. Keeping both on hand is also useful for different situations so that you’re covered.
Oven Mitts And Pot Holders Comparisons
Cotton is traditionally used for pot holders and oven mitts, either layered in one thick layer of terry cloth or quilted. Today, many options are still made this way. The silicone option is more contemporary, with its slip-resistant grip, water and grease resistance, and high heat capacity. Silicone gloves are typically lined with cotton for additional protection, or thicker cotton mitts and holders have silicone coatings. Additionally, some mitts are made of materials like Teflon-coated nylon to provide a layer of protection that resists steam and oil.
When it comes to material, there is no wrong choice. The most important thing to remember when using gloves made of any material is to keep them dry. When they get damp or wet, their heat resistance is severely reduced, and you risk getting burned through your mitt.
Pot holders alone do not provide enough coverage for your wrists or hands, as oven mitts do. If you are prone to burning yourself while cooking, you should consider different lengths of oven mitts. In addition to providing extra coverage with pockets for your fingers, pot holders fit comfortably in the palm of your hands.
In most cases, oven mitts and pot holders can be washed in the washing machine, but care should be taken when drying. Cotton fabrics have the potential to shrink in the dryer, so line drying is the safest option. You should expect that your mitts will stain and get burned over time, and that they will never be completely removed. The stronger the holder you start with, the longer it should last.
What are the Differences Between Oven Mitts and Pot Holders?
The major difference between oven mitts and pot holders is their coverage area. Typically, pot holders are made of squares of material, with loops on the ends and pockets on the backside. While they do not cover your hands or arms to prevent burns, they are much easier to maneuver than longer oven mitts. Additionally, they make excellent trivets for hot dishes or for moving pots around on the stove or removing hot lids.
By enclosing your whole hand, wrist, and part of your arm, oven mitts completely protect your skin from contact burns. While they are bulkier than pot holders, they provide stability in the kitchen when pulling a pan of bubbling lasagna or fudgy brownies out of the oven. For those looking for something less cumbersome, they also come in various lengths. We also have a list of best oven mitts, in case you need recommendation.
How Do You Store Oven Mitts and Pot Holders?
Oven mitts and pot holders should be kept near your stove, either hung on an adjacent wall or in a drawer under the counter. You might be tempted to store them in that mysterious drawer under the oven, but beware. The drawers in some ovens are just for storage, but whatever you store there must be able to withstand prolonged exposure to high heat. Warming drawers and broiler drawers are also available in ovens. If that is the case, you may accidentally activate the heating function and cook whatever is inside. It is a fire hazard in this case.
Ultimately, all oven mitts and potholders are flammable at some point. Store them away from the oven, but close enough to grab easily, for safety reasons. With a loop for hanging, they take up less space in your kitchen.