BBQ gloves are not created equal. They’re made of different materials which have their own strengths and weaknesses. With such a low barrier to entry, the market is saturated with manufacturers that produce cooking gloves. We gathered a dozen gloves (including welding gloves) to test heat resistance, durability, dexterity, and comfort. Here’s what you need to know about gloves, our findings on each of these BBQ gloves, and our recommendation for the best grill gloves for the kitchen, grill or smoker.
Not only did we want to discover the ‘best BBQ glove’, we also wanted to see if you could count on one type of glove for everything, or would you be better off getting a silicone glove for pulling meat and a leather glove for handling grill grates. Our roundup consisted of gloves made from materials like silicone, fabric with silicone, synthetic gloves with a combination of aerospace materials like aramid and neoprene, and classic leather gloves.
We started out by cooking whole chickens and using the silicone and neoprene based gloves to pull them off the hot grill and immediately started to pull the meat. The dexterity for the silicone and neoprene gloves all proved to be about the same.
For a controlled-heat test we pulled out the thermometers. We placed our top rated thermometer, the ThermoWorks One, inside the palm area of the glove and then placed a 13.5 pound Dutch oven heated up to 450°F on top of the glove for 45 seconds. We logged the temperature at 45 seconds, removed the Dutch oven, and logged the max temperature from the left behind radiant heat.
This is where we found that silicone and neoprene based gloves held their own when going up against leather gloves rated for 932°F. Our best glove reached 91°F while our worst one hit 144°F in the initial 45 seconds. The silicone/neoprene gloves also had less carryover heat than the leather ones. All the gloves maintained their integrity throughout this test.
For dexterity, with each of the gloves, we tried our hand at tying shoelaces. This seemed more like bobbing for apples than a task you’d perform while cooking. We found that some of the gloves were just too stiff or had too much extra material on the fingertips to make completing the task within reason.
In the end, we set fire to the set by lighting up some logs and handling them. This is where we were able to separate the men from the boys. Some of the generic brands heated up quickly and even burnt up. Others allowed us to handle logs for upwards of 15 seconds. We saw mixed results though with some of the lesser known brands performing as well or better than some of the well-known ones.
After playing with fire we washed the gloves with a soapy wet rag, but for the silicone/neoprene gloves we washed them just like you’d wash your hands with soap and water. They were respectable in their ability to come clean. As expected, the silicone/neoprene gloves required the least effort and looked as good as new.
TOP GLOVES: ROUNDED UP, TESTED, & RANKED
|#2 ARTISAN GRILLER|
|#6 AMAZON BASICS|
|#7 GRILL ARMOR|
|#8 PIT MITT|
|#9 G & F|
Which Material Fits Your Cooking Style
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, simple to clean, and totally food-safe. Leather gloves are great for handling hot grill grates, coals, and cast iron. However, neither silicone 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 silicone surface, and meat juices and sauce just 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 to harden and stiffen up.
Fabric gloves are usually made of a high heat-resistant fabric (think Kevlar or Aramid) and are 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, but they are excellent for handling grill grates, hot pans, utensils, and hot logs. 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 heat faster and lose their insulating abilities.
Synthetic gloves usually consist of a rubber or silicone exterior lined with fabric, either synthetic or natural (like cotton). These gloves don’t insulate your hands as well as leather gloves, but 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.
Consider the following
In the past, gloves marketed for grilling were glorified oven mitts offering little dexterity. Today, all of the top selling ones are designed with individual fingers. Dexterity is a factor that can’t be overlooked when selecting a set of gloves for the grill or kitchen. Our dexterity rating for each glove will help you find the sweet spot between high-temperature performance and usability.
Some gloves only come in one-size-fits all while others have various sizes and colors. Our dexterity and comfort ratings are based on gloves that fit your hand properly. If you have smaller hands you’ll need to take a close look at sizes as one-size-fits-all may not work for you.
For obvious reasons, a longer cuff is better for protection than a shorter one. All the gloves except for the Grill Armor had cuffs that extended beyond the wrist (some went all the way to the elbows).
When it comes to cleaning, some of the fabric based gloves say they are machine washable, while others state you should use a damp rag. Assuming you’re not going to throw a greasy glove in with your wash, you can expect to wash these gloves by hand, in fact with the silicone gloves, you literally wash them by hand just as you’d wash your bare hands. Leather and suede naturally don’t do well with water; they wear down and stiffen up over time.
Heat Resistance & Materials
While various types of materials have associated heat-resistance ratings, we didn’t find a correlation between the manufacturer’s advertised temperature ratings and performance. Several of the gloves we looked at are rated at 932°F but we have no idea how to quantify what that means. While we like our readers, it ends somewhere between firelogs and molten lava.
The most surprising discovery of our testing — silicone and neoprene gloves hold their own when it comes to thermal resistance compared to their leather glove counterparts. Meaning, they offer enough high heat resistance to be the perfect all-around BBQ glove. They also hold carryover heat for less time than leather gloves. But, they’re not without downside. Leather gloves offer protective qualities that silicone can’t. Some of the leather based gloves integrate cut-proof kevlar, making them an ideal multi-purpose glove. Fabric grilling gloves combine the best qualities of silicone and leather; they provide the dexterity of a silicone glove and the protection and heat resistance of the leather gloves. However, you won’t use them to handle meat directly; leaving them as a outlier when it comes to BBQ.
In the end, if you’re looking for a meat glove that you can count on for dexterity, handling meat, and reasonable heat resistance, silicone grilling gloves are the way to go.
best Value: Geekhom
107°F / 171°F
*Heat Test = Temperature recorded after 45 seconds in controlled heat test / Highest temperature reached after removing Dutch oven in controlled heat test
ResultsThe problem with silicone grilling gloves is they’re not as easy to put on and take off. The Geekhom gloves solve that problem with a thin heat resistant layer of cotton. The cotton is comfortable, helps with cutting down on sweaty palms that silicone gloves are known for. Since the exterior is easily cleaned by scrubbing them together with a little soap and water, you don’t have to worry about tossing them into your washing machine if you want to wash the inner cotton layer from time to time. Additionally, the cotton layer may have contributed to its superior performance over the Ecogrips in the playing with fire test.
The textured grip indentations on the glove’s exterior are not as prominent as the Ecogrips but there wasn’t a measurable difference in performance when pulling apart the roasted chicken or tying the shoelace.
If you wear a small glove size (a length under 6¾”, measuring wrist to tip of middle finger) these are going to be on the big side for you.
Coming in as one of the cheapest gloves in our testing and performing at the top of the list for the silicone and neoprene style gloves, we can’t deny this lesser-known grill glove as our top pick.
Best overall: Artisan Griller
This glove finished atop the charts in all of our testing. It took a little of a hit when it came to dexterity/comfort due to the fact that there was a little extra space in the fingers (even though I wear a size 10 glove and was using the size 10 glove). The fingers of the glove are preformed in a puffed-out cylinder, so your fingers sit loosely inside. This likely added to its ability to pass less of the high heat straight through to our fingers when handling the firelogs. The rubber-like exterior is conducive for gripping and they’re a little more flexible than the silicone gloves. The interior cotton layer is comfortable, especially when wearing them for extended periods.
Like the Geekhom, this glove is an ideal BBQ glove across the board — heat resistance, handling food, and cleanup: there’s nothing not to like here. It’s about $10 more than our top-ranked glove, the Geekhom, but offers all the identical benefits and performance -- you can’t go wrong with either. Artisan Grillers are made in the good ol’ US of A.
top Leather glove: Rapicca
While we wanted to stick with traditional meat-handling gloves like silicone or neoprene, we really liked the Rapiccas. As you guess, the downside is you won’t be shredding a pork shoulder with these. Aside from that, there’s nothing not to like. They're a heavy glove with excellent thermal resistance, comfort, and they even clean up fairly well with a damp rag and a little soap. The insulated layers kept our hands dry when we ran them under the faucet to give them a quick rinse.
The last straw that sold us was how well they performed when it came to tying the shoelace. These styles of bulky (basically welding) gloves are not known for their ability to handle small objects.
And hey, if you need a perch for your noble hawk, they’ll double as “animal handling gloves” according to the manufacturer’s listing when describing it’s cowhide leather qualities.
They finished right alongside the Ozeros as the best when it came to handling the fire logs.
Like the Geekhom, if you are small in glove size, these ones will be a little too big.
Ecogrips by Jolly Green Products
I feel a little bad about ranking these grilling gloves outside of the top three. After all, they were my go-to gloves for so long and they’re top sellers for a reason. They just didn’t perform well enough to offer the same value as some of the other gloves (but perhaps some of the problem was my high expectations for them).
The gloves were not the easiest to slip on, especially if you had any type of moisture on your hands. This is where the Geekhom gloves won a few comfort points with its cotton inner layer, not to mention how silicone makes your hands sweat after a short period. Additionally, the Geekhom gloves were more flexible than these Ecogrips. They Ecogrips were stiff, and almost seemed that some of the discomfort with the Ecogrips came from the fact that they were cut a little awkward since they seem to be designed to be worn interchangeably with no dedicated right or left hand glove. However, when it came to dexterity we had no problem tying the shoelace so regardless of our opinion of their comfort they were functional and the ‘one size fits most’ was a good fit for a size 10 hand. Any smaller and you’ll likely be purchasing the L/XL. It is nice that the Ecogrips offer a XXL option.
We received some conflicting results when it came to their high thermal resistance temperature rating we recorded (second best behind the Ozeros) in the controlled temperature test with the dutch oven, and how poorly we felt they performed when handling the firelogs. It seemed as if the Ecogrips were starting to melt when we were handling the logs, however, after closely examining the gloves after washing them, there were no noticeable signs of the gloves being compromised. It should be noted that they cleaned up the best/easiest of all the gloves we tested.
If you purchase the Ecogrips you’ll likely be happy with them as a veristale glove for the kitchen or out at the grill but for the same price you may be happier with the Artisan Grillers.
OZero Welding Gloves
The Ozero welding gloves were our best performers when it came to heat resistance, receiving the best rating in both the controlled-heat and firelog testing. One of the questions we wanted to answer in this cooking glove testing was; “Does a welding glove make a good BBQ glove?” The long and short answer is, kinda. Welding gloves are commonly leather based, with fire retardant coating on the exterior. While this is great for resisting heat and protection, they are not suitable for cleaning. After rinsing the gloves following the firelog testing, the gloves stiffened up in the fingers where they came into contact with the hottest parts of the coals on the logs. This isn’t great news as the Ozero gloves were less than satisfactory when it came to the dexterity test prior to the firelog testing and cleaning. In comparison, the Rapicca gloves, also leather based, maintained their integrity after the firelogs and cleaning — they also came cleaner than the Ozero gloves.
The Ozero gloves are a great pair of gloves for the money. If you are looking for gloves to handle grill grates, platesetters, pots, etc., and double as a glove for yardwork, then the Ozeros would be nice to have around; but you’ll want to pair them with one of the silicone or neoprene gloves above.
Amazon Basics Welding Gloves
The Amazon Basic gloves and the Acmind are the cheapest-priced gloves in our roundup. The Amazon Basics offers a reasonable value in proportion to its heat resistance performance. The glove seems to be constructed well. It is composed of several materials including leather, cotton, polyester and a touch of rayon, nylon and spandex. The stitching quality is fair.
The fingertips feature a little extra material which is reflected in its low dexterity rating. As for comfort, the interior of the glove feels luxurious, while the glove feels a little awkward. This may be due to the fact that the palm of the glove is wide, while the fingers seem to be placed tightly together in comparison. Also worth mentioning, the fingers are a little stiff to flex because they include more padding than the other gloves (except for the G & F).
This ‘one size fits all’ feels smaller than the others here in our roundup. It fits perfectly on my size 10 hands, while the other ‘one size fits all’ gloves were a hair bigger.
It’s the only glove in our roundup that does not feature some type of hook for simple hanging.
There was not any notable deterioration to the glove’s integrity after the firelog testing and quick cleaning.
If you're looking for a pair of gloves you can purchase in bulk, you can’t go wrong with these for the price per unit.
Grill Armor Oven & Grilling Gloves
It looked like all our fabric grill gloves, with their limited heat resistance and poor food handling qualities, were predestined for the bottom of our list, but Grill Armor makes the top of these lower rankings (for whatever it's worth). There are several problems here when it comes to the Grill Armor gloves, and it’s more of its name, Grill Armor, which is the problem and less about how this glove fared in our testing. We’ve learned that fabric, combo, and silicone gloves don’t do well with intense heat but since Grill Armor has made a name for itself in the BBQ circuit as a reputable brand they can charge accordingly. These gloves, while constructed well, were the highest priced in our grill glove roundup. Non-related, but while I’m complaining, their advertised range of 1400°F+ is an insane overreach of its practical capabilities in a real world scenario. However, with it's aerospace material composition it has a EN407 certified rating but the EN407 certifed rating is listed as 100°C to 500°C (932°F). Here's a little more information on how the gloves that advertise a heat resistance of 932°F quantify their rating.
Moving onto the good stuff. As previously mentioned, fabric based gloves are unmatched when comparing their ability to grab, grip, and complete minuscule tasks.
The ‘small lady size’ fits snug around the fingers on a small-glove-sized hand, but has extra material at the fingertips and the palm area is wide leaving excess material on the little finger side of the palm. I have a size 10 hand (large glove size) and this ‘small lady size’ glove seemed to fit snugly, and while a little tight, I didn’t mind how it felt when trying to grab and handle things. However, the tight fit is not conducive to heat resistance.
In conclusion, if it weren’t for their amazing ability to come clean when scrubbing with soap and water (they are machine washable as well) I wouldn’t recommend these grilling gloves. But, they're comfortable, come in multiple sizes/colors, and can be used for multiple purposes aside from out at the grill. They would be ideal in the kitchen as an oven mitt, pot holder, etc. When it comes to fabric gloves, these are the real deal (we know because we tested a generic knock-off that looked and felt identical, but the hot coals burnt a hole in the finger).
Ultimate Barbecue Pit Mitt Glove
Tied with the G & F gloves for the worst performance in the firelog and controlled-heat testing, we do not recommend the well-known Pit Mitt barbecue gloves. I used to own (a pair) of Pit Mitt gloves years ago and I remember them being better. But that was before I had much to compare them to. In this testing it is evident that the Pit Mitt glove has fallen off from the established quality it was known for (CC5165 Pit Mitt Pro BBQ Gloves). It’s possible this glove is no longer owned by the original company and shares a similar fate to Schwinn bicycles. Did I mention for the mid/high price point you only get one glove? They burnt us, don't let 'em burn you.
G & F Leather Gloves
Of all the testing I’ve done, nothing had me fooled more than these G & F “Premium” Leather Gloves. Opening up the packaging, the smell of genuine leather filled the air. The construction quality looked top-notch. For a modest price point of $20, before the testing had even begun, I was certain I had discovered our ‘value buy’, and quite possibly our ‘best leather cooking glove’.
The honeymoon period quickly came to halt in our first test when the thermometer inserted into the palm of the G & F read 144°F after 45 seconds (see testing description above). It didn’t get much better when we decided to try our hand at firelogs. It performed slightly better here than the Pit Mitt. As for cleaning, well, that wasn't great either, and its suede finish was more or less seared from the logs. Coming into contact with water also isn't the best for a leather glove with a suede finish. They look nice, but that's about where it ends.
One thing to note, it’s possible it’s poor performance had something to do with the factory treatment/material of the glove. It just seemed there was a lot of moisture being emitted from the glove in both the controlled heat test, and when we were attempting to play with hot coals in the firelog test.
Other Gloves We Tested
As part of this roundup and cooking glove testing, we also tested and reviewed the following gloves, which are either discontinued, or not worth featuring in the list:
There is no shortage of “generic” outdoor cooking gloves on the market. Some of these gloves burnt or melted when put up against hot coals. Many of them are mass produced for pennies on the dollar, many of them manufactured for bulk purchase as throw away gloves or to be given away by manufacturers of grills, or other high-end grill related gadgets/accessories. It’s best to pass on these gloves, easily spotted by their $10 price range. Spend the extra $10 and get yourself a real pair.
Thanks for sharing. I appreciate the way you talk about things to pay attention to when choosing barbecue gloves. It was very helpful to me. thank you!
This list is outdated most of the items are unavailable now
We currently have 10 of the top selling gloves in the pile for testing to update this article.
This is such good advice! And it gives me comfort to know another writer who doesn’t write systematically same amount of time each day.