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Thursday, January 13, 2022

Next Practical Gift -- Silicone Oven Mitts

A few years ago, I wrote about patching and relining my cheap and worn oven mitts. Those repairs kept my oven mitts in service for a good 2 additional years with no issues, then hobbled along for a 3rd year with the occasional burn. Oven mitts simply wear out.

When my son and daughter-in-law asked what I'd like for Christmas, I said a new pair of oven mitts. Here they are. They chose silicone oven mitts, which I'd never used before. I've now used them on both pyrex baking dishes and metal baking pans, and in the oven up to 400 degrees F. (I haven't needed to bake anything at a higher temp, yet, but have read silicone is safe up to near 500 degrees F.)

Although I simply asked for oven mitts, not necessarily silicone ones, I read a little on the benefits of silicone. If the mitts are lined with fabric (in addition to a silicone exterior), they're not only insulating but easy to slide off and on. Some folks say the silicone-only mitts are a bit difficult to get on and off (skin sticking to silicone as you pull them on/off). The ones my son and daughter-in-law gave me are lined. Silicone blocks moisture from reaching your hand and causing a steam burn. That will be a good thing, as I've burned my hand with a damp mitt on numerous occasions. Not only is silicone water-proof, but the surface is bacteria-resistant. If I spill something yucky on the surface, I can simply wipe them off. And they offer a better grip on pots and pans. Whether or not they will outlast a cloth pair is yet to be seen. I'll update you later on that. The downsides to silicone oven mitts -- no cute or fun patterns/designs, and they can be pricey. 

Just sharing. Have you had any experience with silicone pot holders or oven mitts? Please share. Anything I should be aware of as I use my new mitts?


  1. Hi Lili, I hope you're doing well. I don't have silicone mitts. but I do have 2 small pot holder that I use to keep the kitchen towel in place ;D. I like the fabric ones and I think I won't replace them with silicone ones when they wear out.

    1. Hi Farhana,
      Thanks for your input. You know, I'd planned on sewing a new pair of fabric oven mitts this winter before receiving a pair of the silicone ones. That's another component to the decision between fabric or silicone. A handy person can sew a pair of oven mitts made from cloth, even using fabric scraps (which I did with a potholder last winter -- my denim potholder that I blogged about, I think). So fabric oven mitts could be virtually free.

  2. I love silicone potholders. Like most random kitchen items, I have collected mine from church basement sales for tiny prices. I have always found them in matching sets. I didn't know at first whether or not I would like them, but I do. I prefer silicone to fabric, mostly because it is so easy to keep clean. If an edge of the pad dips into a cheesy casserole, it is easily rinsed off. The potholders also work well as hot pads, so are in use every day in one role or another.

    There are a couple of downsides, though:

    If the potholder is thin, you can experience some heat transfer. In that case, you want to be able to pull your pan out of the oven, then quickly get to the place you plan to safely set it down. If you have to walk to a dining room with a hot casserole, let's say, you have to be cognizant of the fact that you can't dawdle. Maybe that's true of cloth hot pads, as well? I haven't used one in so many years that I don't remember.

    The second downside is that at one point I noticed that the potholders all seemed to be covered in a cloudy film that I could smudge with a finger. It was similar to having smeary windows. I did a web search to figure out why the silicone seemed so greasy. Turns out that silicone is oleophilic (attracts grease) and hydrophobic (repels water), so I periodically toss them into the (front loading) washer when I'm washing towels to remove the filmy layer that accumulates. There is no fabric to shrink or color fading.

    Since your mitts appear to be a combination of fabric and silicon, I don't know how they will wash up, should you want to clean them that way. I would try it, but I like the ease of tossing things in the washer and am willing to take a risk sometimes.


    1. Hi Christine,
      Thank you for your detailed input. That's especially good to know about heat transfer with thin, unlined silicone potholders or oven mitts. In the package with the oven mitts there were 2 square potholders that are unlined. I'll keep the heat transfer issue in mind. I may use the 2 potholders as hot pads and the mitts for taking things out of the oven.

  3. I have used silicone pot holders, but don't have any. However, when I have used them I find them bulky and a bit awkward. Are you finding that? Although, it sounds like that's not a problem for Christine.

    1. Hi Live and Learn,
      I think that's a good point on bulkiness and lack of flexibility. Silicone, while a flexible material, is not as flexible as quilted fabric and may prove to be awkward for some folks. Also, sizing may be an issue. My new ones are big enough that my husband could use them, but I'm wondering how my very petite daughters will do with them, given that their hands are so much smaller than mine. We'll just have to see. I'm not sure I've noticed any more awkwardness in my new mitts, yet. Mostly, I'm just glad to not be risking a burn at this point, so may not be noticing the extra bulk. I'll have to see on that issue, too. All important things to consider.

  4. I was using a tiny cast iron pan, ( think single egg ) on my stove. The burner was still too big and frequently I’d scorch my cloth oven mitts. I remembered my silicon mitts when using this pan and it sure helped. Yes, they are a tad bulky but the ones I have are nice and long up my arm so they are great for removing anything from the oven. I had great heavy cloth ones but had burned up my arm before using these.

    1. Hi Teresa,
      Thanks for your input. I have now found the silicone mitts to sometimes feel bulky and awkward (I had to grab onto a thin edge of a baking sheet the other day and that was awkward). But I am more thankful for them keeping my hands and arms safe from burns that I'm willing to put up with any extra bulk. I was burning my arm at least once a month with my old cloth mitts that were shorter and my fingertips where the cloth mitts were thin or damp.

  5. I guess there are pros and cons to both options. I have fabric ones that are long and come up my arms which I like, but I've already burned a hole in one thumb. I have a pair of silicon only mitts, but due to their bulkiness and stiffness I feel like my grip on dishes is sometimes awkward and not secure. Lili, maybe your option of fabric plus silicon is the ticket!

    1. Hi Lynn,
      yes, the bulkiness makes for awkward moments, like trying to grab onto something like a thin edge, or in a tight fitting of pans in the oven. I think these silicone mitts would be better if they came in sizes. But then I'd need to keep several pairs for all of the differently sized hands in my family. You're absolutely right, there are pros and cons, with both cloth and silicone oven mitts.


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