selecting the best bbq glove for your kitchen
Everything you need to know about purchasing a trusted kitchen glove for your oven to your BBQ. It starts with understanding which type of material suits your cooking style. We have hand picked (no pun intended) our #1 glove for each type of cooking glove.
Every MeatGeek knows that barbecue gloves are an important part of their cooking arsenal.
Whether you’re adjusting logs in the flame and stirring the coals, moving hot grates and pans, or even picking the brisket right off the flames with your hands, a trusty set of gloves is a game-changer for adding ease and convenience to your BBQ game.
Like most other smoking accessories, BBQ gloves come in almost any shape, material or size – long sleeved, short cuffs, silicone, leather. You name it, you can probably find it. And you could spend as much or as little as your budget will allow.
To help make sense of all these options, we’ve rounded up, tested, and selected the best BBQ gloves available to keep your hands guarded. Read on to see which one is best for you.
Which Glove is Best for the Way You Cook?
First things first, there are four types of barbecue gloves:
Each glove material has its own strengths and appropriate uses. For example, silicone is excellent for handling food directly, as it is non-stick and simple to clean, and totally food-safe. Leather gloves are great for handling hot logs, coals and grill parts. However, neither silicon nor leather does well when it comes to handling utensils such as knives,as they are just too bulky.
Silicone gloves make it easy to handle your briskets and ribs with- you know - your actual hands. They don’t provide as much insulation as other gloves, and may not be as form-fitting as synthetic or fabric, but they are very easy to clean; Nothing sticks to the silicon surface, and meat juices and saucejust come wash right off with a quick rinse.
Silicone gloves are usually made of pure, food-grade silicone. Some are even 100% BPA-free, which is great if you wish to minimize your food’s exposure to chemicals.
Leather gloves are the most old-fashioned of barbecue gloves, but also some of the most versatile. They do their best work handling hot parts of the grill, moving hot pans and tools, or shoving flaming logs and fire starters. They’re very thick and protect your hands well. But, they aren’t as good for handling hot food, as they aren’t very dexterous,are hard to clean, and would just get your food dirty. After a lot of use, they also tend harden and stiffen up.
Fabric gloves are usually made of a high-heat resistant fabric (think Kevlaror Aramid) and often lined with silicone inserts or strips on the palms for extra grip. They're not meant for handling food directly, as they aren’t as non-stick and easy to clean as silicone gloves are. But they are excellent for handling grill grates, hot pants, utensils, hot logs, and they are dexterous and comfortable on your hands. Sometimes, they’ll even be machine-washable. Like synthetic gloves, however, you can’t use fabric gloves when wet; water causes them to conduct heatfaster and lose their insulating abilities.
Synthetic gloves usually consist of a rubber or silicone exteriorlined with fabric, whether synthetic or natural fabric (like cotton). These gloves don’t insulate your hands as well as leather gloves, are nimbler and allow you to handle tongs and utensils easily.You can even handle food directly. They’ll feel similar to a pair of dish gloves, but much thicker and higher-quality. They’re also easy to clean thanks to the rubber exterior; just soap and wash like you’re washing your hands. Keep in mind that you also can’t use them when wet, as water causes them to conduct heat.
Things to Pay Attention To When Choosing Barbecue Gloves
- Dexterity = You’re looking for a solid grip on your tongs, tools and grates, and thick, stiff gloves make that much harder. You want to be able to use a knife or pair of tongs with ease, and grab logs and move coals around with one hand. Dexterity often comes at the sacrifice of thickness and heat-resistance, but if you’re a very hands-on smoker, might be worth the trade-off.
- Cuff Length = Barbecue gloves come in different lengths, from wrist length to gauntlets that run all the way up to your elbow. The longer the cuff, the more it protects your arm over hot, flaming coals, when reaching over a large grill, and when grease starts to splash around. Cuff length can be a matter of personal preference, but if you have a large grill or smoker or like to cook over open flame, longer sleeves are worth it.
- Heat-Resistance and Thickness =
If your gloves aren’t rated to withstand high heat, they won’t do much good. They could melt, you could burn your hands, and all manner of bad things could go wrong from there. Temperatures in smokers and grills easily get up to 500-600 degrees, so don’t skimp on this one.
Silicone gloves (1 of 2)
The Ekogrips BBQ Oven Gloves are a quality, affordable pair of silicone gloves that you’ll find useful for more than just meat-geeking.
- Come in three sizes: One Size Fits Most, L/XL and XXl
- Have longer sleeves that come up past your wrist to your mid-forearm; this makes them useful not just for reaching into a hot grill, but also for dealing with boiling water and ovens
- Silicone build is 100% waterproof, unlike fabric or leather gloves, which keeps steam and hot juices out.
Build quality is excellent, and gloves even feature reinforced seams between the fingers for more durability
As they are made of silicone, the Ekogripsare an excellent for handling food directly. They are both non-slip and non-stick – a unique strength of this glove- and you can count on an easy cleanup. No matter what crud, grease, or grime gets on them, just toss in the dishwasher.
They’re comfortably thick and insulated, rated to withstand temperatures up to 425 degrees, and the silicone is BPA-free and FDA food grade.
Unfortunately, the Ekogrips aren’t very comfortable. They’re thick and floppy, and are designed for picking up large roasts and moving hot items, as opposed to using knives and slicing meat. Even using tongs over the grill can be difficult. And like most gloves, they aren’t meant for holding hot items for more than a few seconds before heat comes through. Ekogrips even warns not to grip items too tightly, as this will cause heat to transfer through the glove faster.
They also tend stick to your hands; even the inside is quite grippy and will actually grip your skin, making them difficult to get on and off, and the thickness and lack of breathability means your hands sweat easily, adding to the problem.
The Ekogrips BBQ Oven Gloves are durable, versatile silicone gloves that provide excellent grip when handling roasts and briskets directly, opening and closing and moving hot grill parts, and are stain-resistant and super easy to clean.
SILICONE GLOVES (2 OF 2)
Man Law BBQ gloves are the perfect combination of heat-resistant and heavy-duty.
- Heat-resistant up to 572 degrees (not as heat resistant as the Grill Armor gloves but more so than the Ekogrips)
- Good for reaching into the grill, moving your brisket around, grabbing hot pans for up to a minute before heat leaks through.
They have a food-grade silicone exterior with thick deep ridges that provide extra grip on hot items and are seriously tough; simply putting them on your hands is an instant confidence booster.
The cuffs extend a total of 13” down your forearm, adding extra security when you’d like to reach into the smoker. They are also lined with cotton on the inside, which prevents them from sticking to your hands and comfort against the hot rubber.
And despite the thickness, these gloves remain quite dexterous and nimble, and you can use your tongs, forks and knives with ease. Great for such a protective glove.
These are another awesome pair of silicone BBQ glove; they keep your hands cool when handling very hot metal and hot meat directly. They’re comfortable, nimble enough for utensils, and easy to clean. What’s not to like?
Our pick for best fabric gloves are the Grill Armor 932F, which, like the Pit Mitt, are constructed using aramid fibers.
- Rated to withstand a whopping 932º F (far hotter than any smoker or grill should ever get)
- Heat resistant enough to make you feel invincible in the face of a raging inferno (though we still don’t recommend sticking your hand directly into the fire)
- Only comes in two sizes: one size fits most (regular), and ladies (small)
- Comes in four different colors (blue, black, red, grey)
While we haven’t tested these gloves at 500ºF plus, you won’t have any problems grabbing hot meat, moving grates and logs around, or even picking up hot pans and carrying them to the table. They are only designed to stand up to intense levels of heat for about 25-30 seconds.
They’re thick, but not too thick, with a cool cotton lining inside that keeps them flexible and useable and lets you use utensils easily. The silicone texture on the palms and fingers add extra grip for a firm handle on your food.
One thing we don’t like about the Grill Armor gloves is they only have two sizes (regular and small). This makes them too loose and bulky on smaller hands, and hard to get on and off larger hands.
And, like other fabric gloves, you can’t use these when wet. Luckily, they air-dry well and are machine-washable.
There isn’t much not to like about the Grill Armor. They are supremely comfortable, dexterous, and practically bulletproof at protecting your hands from intense, high heat. Grill Armor gloves are our pick for the best fabric gloves, and they come in 4 different colors, so you can find a pair you like.
These extra-long suede gloves from Steven Raichlen are our pick for the best leather barbecue gloves.
- Feature 18-inch long gauntlets that run up to your elbow, providing total protection from hot coals and flames and splashing grease
- Interior is lined with cotton for comfort
These gloves are not intended for prolonged exposure to high heat. They are supposedly rated to about 475 degrees, but they won’t insulate your hands from extremely hot items and grates, as they are not actually insulated. You can feel the heat go right through them. They work better for things like lighting coals, using tongs, poking around inside the smoker, but not grabbing hot metal.
Where these gloves shine is in just how comfortable and nimble they are, especially for a pair of leather gloves. They’re pliable, and you can easily handle utensils, tongs and even knives without much trouble – something that can’t be said for all leather gloves.
They are also not machine-washable, which means oil and grit gets easily stuck in the fabric.
These are solid leather gloves for cooking over the grill and doing basic tasks. They provide ample protection up and down your arms, while stilling letting you handle tongs or knives with ease. And the large, roomy arms allow airflow to keep you cool.
These gloves are very popular in the barbecue world, and for good reason. They’re made from aramid fiber, commonly used by the military and aviation industry thanks to its ultra-durability and heat-resistant properties.
- Rated to withstand temperatures up to 475 degrees comfortably
- Dose excellent job at blocking heat and keeping it from seeping through the fabric.
- Lets you pull hot pans out of the oven and move hot grill grates and logs, often for as long as 20-25 seconds.
The aramid fiber means these gloves are resistant to high heat of up to 475 degrees. Impressive for such a thin glove. You’ll be able to move pans, grill grates, logs with ease.
Remember, however, that despite the name – these are not oven mitts. They aren’t meant for carrying a large hot pan from the pit to the kitchen.
The Pit Mitt is also especially dexterous; the palm features silicone texturing to add grip, and the fit is very comfortable, thin and pliable. Using tongs and utensils is very doable and feels almost like not having gloves at all.
The cuffs are not full-length gauntlets, as you might find on the Steve Raichlen leather gloves, for example. But they come down over your wrists and onto your forearms, giving extra protection and comfort should you need to reach into the fire or deal with splashing grease.
Unfortunately, the Pit Mitt is not waterproof or water-resistant in any way. And when the gloves do get wet, they lose much of their insulating ability, which makes handling hot metal dangerous.They’re also not machine-washable, and are one-size fits all, so if you have especially large or small hands like some of us, it might be hard to find the right fit.