The Best Oven Mitts Were Designed for Barbecue Pitmasters

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The neoprene material is more flexible than silicone.

I still remember Thanksgiving 2014. Our flailing attempt to remove a stuffed, 25-pound turkey from the oven was an accident waiting to happen. My family and I tried using traditional oven mitts, covered in Ziploc bags, which struck me as an ingenious invention to flip the bird over, until the intense heat of the turkey started to melt the thin plastic. Forget slotted spatulas, wooden spoons, carving forks, or other implements not suited to the task — they’re no match for the weight of a fully-loaded turkey.

The gloves are lined with cotton.

The right tool for the job? Artisan Griller pit gloves, which my mother discovered in time for Thanksgiving 2015. At first, I made fun of her for her enthusiasm about ordering a hostess gift “guaranteed to make you feel like a real pitmaster,” but the highly reviewed gloves (4.8 stars and 807 reviews) are the ultimate kitchen utility player.

The cotton-lined gloves are coated with neoprene rubber and designed for true-blue barbecuers who have to handle hot meat on the smoker — that means they’re also waterproof, stainproof, and (most importantly) greaseproof.

Obviously, they’re not just for Thanksgiving, either. You can shred pulled pork with abandon, lift a cast-iron skillet filled with dense cornbread from the oven, or just use them to lift a sheet pan of broiled potatoes. Their astronautlike feel takes getting used to (they’re like a raincoat for your hands), but they’re a snap to clean, and you’ll soon wonder how you cooked any kind of meat (on the grill or in your apartment) without them.

More Strat-recommended kitchen accessories

Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

You’ll need heatproof and waterproof gloves for dishwashing, too. Try these Korean versions, as recommended by writer Rachel Khong: “Never shall a dish slide from Mommy Hands. And the gloves are thick, meaning you can get the water incredibly hot. Case in point: Once I turned the water on so hot that I warped a takeout container. My hands, sheathed in my Mommy Hands, remained protected, intact and unburned.”

Writer Foster Kamer is a huge fan of these Japanese pot scrubbers: “On first glance, its angry little brown fibers look like they’ll do more damage to your hands than your pots. But fear not: Those fibers, made of hemp palm, soften under water, enough for you to get a cozy, ticklish hold on. And then they will proceed to absolutely obliterate any grime you’ll come across, on any surface. They clean easily.”

The well-regarded and best-selling Shark Tank inventions are just about the best sponges you’ll find for clearing grime from your dishes.

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The Best Oven Mitts Were Designed for Barbecue Pitmasters