If you have done any amount of backyard barbecuing, you know how easy it is to get your hands in the wrong place and suffer a nasty burn.
Sometimes you may just wish you could get your hands in there to handle that unruly piece of meat. BBQ gloves let you do just that. You no longer have to depend solely on those unwieldy barbecue tools; instead, you can stick your hands right in and get the job done right. But before you do, make sure you choose the right pair.
Basic BBQ Mitts
BBQ gloves need to fulfill two basic requirements: they must have enough pliability to allow a fair amount of dexterity, and they must have enough heat resistance to protect hands from burning. Manufacturers have come up with all kinds of different materials to accomplish these goals including leather, rawhide, treated cotton, neoprene, Kevlar, Nomex, and silicone.
Materials that focus solely on heat protection often sacrifice pliability. This results in mitts that are hard to maneuver and can lead to accidental dropping or smashing of food. On the other hand, a focus on pliability can sacrifice heat resistance, resulting in uncomfortably hot temperatures, sweating, and burns. The best mitts are those that successfully meet both criteria.
What to Look For in BBQ Mitts
- Flare-Up Protection–BBQ grilling invariable involves unexpected flame flare-ups. It is important that the BBQ gloves you choose not only resist the radiant heat of extended periods close to the flame, but also withstand actual contact with the flames. If they fail to do so, they may ignite and cause serious burns to the hands. Cotton gloves tend to be the least flare-up safe, but watch the stitching material on other gloves. Some stitching can be flammable.
- Length–Many BBQ gloves are relatively short (around 12 inches). This length may protect the hands, but it doesn’t cut it for active grilling. Many grills are up to 35 inches deep. Reaching across a grill that deep with 12-inch gloves will leave areas of the arm exposed to pretty intense temperatures. Fifteen-inch gloves are better, but the 17 or 18-inch lengths seem to offer the best protection without sacrificing maneuverability.
- Washable–An often overlooked factor in BBQ gloves is their ease of cleaning. BBQ is messy, from the cooking to the eating, and while it may be easy to wash up your hands after enjoying a nice meal, cleaning some of the gloves may be a chore. Choose gloves that can be easily washed up with soap and water, both inside and out. There are always those times when you forget and stick your raw-meat covered hands into the gloves.
Ready for the Grill
BBQ mitts may revolutionize your outdoor cooking experience. Hands-on ability really improves cooking dexterity and ensures the finest cooked meals, the kind that will impress your friends and family. Choose your mitts well and enjoy your days of grilling!