NEW: Barbecue Gloves Rated And Reviewed

"If it doesn't fit, you must acquit." Attorney Johnnie Cochran, on the infamous glove in O.J. Simpson's murder trial

When it comes to barbecue and grilling, gloves are almost as important as salt and pepper. We use them to handle tongs, hot grates, hot food, and even burning hot logs and coals. There are literally dozens of gloves available. Some manufacturers (or, more likely, their marketing departments), claim their gloves can handle it all. Really? To find out, I put them to the test.

They tend to be made from three basic materials:

  1. Synthetic. A silicone or neoprene exterior, sometimes with a cotton or rayon lining. Synthetic gloves work best for handling hot food, grills, grates, pans, and pots, or for protecting yourself while deep frying. They’re also fairly easy to clean. Just put them on and wash with soap and water like you wash your hands.

  2. Leather Or Suede. Leather, suede, or a combination on the exterior, usually with a cotton or rayon lining are best for hot pans, grills, moving logs, lighting or moving charcoal, and handling hot chimney starters. They are the most comfortable gloves. If you handle food with them, they are difficult to clean. They can be washed with soapy water, but that tends to make them stiff over time.

  3. Fabric With Silicone Patches. Kevlar or Nomex-based fabric with silicone pads. Fabric-based gloves are best for hot pots, pans, grills, grates, chimneys, lighting charcoal, and moving burning logs, briquets and coals. They offer flexibility and moderate dexterity. They can be washed in a clothes washer. We recommend you let them air dry. But do not use them when wet, the water conducts heat rapidly.

Some gloves promote a their heat "rating", so I contacted several companies and asked how they determined temperature ratings for their gloves. Predictably, I ran into a bunch of stone walls. Either they didn’t know how the ratings were done, claimed they’d get back to me, or said that it was “proprietary information.” Their suggested ratings are given in the reviews below, but we think the heat tests we performed will be more accurate. One distributor of premium BBQ products, Man Law, did share the methodology behind their heat rating. Here it is, straight from their manufacturer:

  1. Check the temperature of the internal part of the glove.

  2. Set the testing cylinder to 572°F (300°C) and then press this apparatus down on the palm of the glove for 10 seconds.

  3. Check the temperature of the internal part of the glove again, the increased temperature should not be more than 54°F (30°C).

Our tests involved:

heat resistance testing

  1. Heat resistance. This is probably the most important test. After all, we pick up hot metal grates, pots and pans with gloves expecting the gloves to protect us from the heat. But for how long? To find out, I inserted a high quality digital thermometer probe in the palm of each glove and then heated a cast iron pan to 500°F. I placed the hot pan on the palm of the glove and measured how long it took for the thermometer to reach 113°F, the temperature at which NASA deems metal to be too hot for astronauts to handle. If that temp is good enough for astronauts, it’s good enough for pitmasters!

  2. Dexterity. While wearing the gloves, I picked up and used barbecue tongs as well as a knife.

  3. Comfort. I noted whether or not the gloves felt comfortable, tight, loose, or sweaty; whether the fingers were fully bendable; and how the gloves felt after being worn for 20 to 25 minutes over a hot grill.

  4. Food handling. For the gloves intended to handle food, I carried pork butts, a slab of ribs and a beef brisket directly from the hot grill to a holding box. This test was less objective but helped inform my overall opinion in real world performance.

Here are my glove ratings and reviews in each category. I will continue to use all of these gloves extensively and, if necessary, I will update the reviews as the gloves undergo wear and tear.


Synthetic Gloves

pitmaker gloves

Gold Medal Best Value Award

Pitmaker High Heat Meat Handling Gloves

These come in one large size that “fits all,” are said to be safe to 450˚F, and while intended for handling food, we have also seen them used to move charcoal and burning logs (briefly). While only 12" long they were by far the best fit of any of the synthetic gloves tested, with my fingers reaching the end of each finger, as they would in a high quality pair of ski gloves. The cotton lining on these gloves feels very comfortable against the skin, and the somewhat rough surface helps to grip slippery roasts and ribs. For cleaning, the gloves are easily wiped off or washed. We saw these gloves in constant use at the Operation Barbecue Relief kitchen in Houston, where pitmasters used them while cooking almost 200,000 pounds of pork butts, turkey breasts and chickens in 11 days to feed victims of Hurricane Harvey. Talk about a product test! As with several other gloves in this category, they are not intended for picking up hot grill grates or burning logs, but we performed these tests on the gloves anyway and they performed quite well.

Heat resistance. 45 seconds

Dexterity. Easily picked up and used tongs and small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable, like loose ski gloves

Food handling. No problem and gloves merely got warm

Click here to buy on the Pitmaker site


man law gloves

Gold Medal Best Value Award

Man Law BBQ Products High Heat Gloves

The most unique-looking gloves we tested, these gloves look like something astronauts would wear on the moon. They come in three sizes, are said to be heat-resistant up to 572°F, and are 13" in length. The gloves are lined with 100% rayon/cotton for a comfortable feel, and the exterior is constructed of food rated silicon. While the sleeves of the gloves are smooth and easily cleaned, the fingers and palms have thick ridges to help hold items, and the ridges easily trap food and grease. They can be hand washed with soap and water and laid out to dry.

Heat resistance. 54 seconds

Dexterity. No problem using tongs, but some difficulty using a knife

Comfort. Slightly uncomfortable and awkward at first

Food handling. No problem and gloves merely got warm

Click here to buy the L/XL size on Amazon

Click here to buy the M/L size on Amazon

Click here to buy the S/M size on Amazon


rappica gloves

Silver Medal Best Value Award

Rapicca Griller BBQ Heat Resistant Insulated Cooking Gloves

The flexible waterproof neoprene coating on these gloves makes them resistant to flame, grease, oil, and water. The gloves are lined with double layer of sweat-absorbing cotton and are 14 inches long to protect your forearms from heat and flame. They come in one large size and are said to be heat safe up to 450°F. The fingers and palm feature a rough non-slip surface which helps to pick up slippery objects. The gloves can be washed with soap and water, and a handy loop allows them to be hung to dry. They were the easiest to use of this variety.

Heat resistance. 22 seconds

Dexterity. No problem using tongs as well as a small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable, although the fingers were slightly stiff at first

Food handling. No problem and the gloves merely got warm

Click here to buy on Amazon


mr bbq gloves

Not recommended

Mr. Bar-B-Q Insulated Barbecue Gloves and Steven Raichlen’s Best of Barbecue Insulated Food Gloves

These are the least expensive gloves we tested and both appear to be from the same manufacturer. Mr. Bar-B-Q’s gloves are shiny black (above) while Raichlen’s are shiny grey. Both are intended “For Food Handling Only and Not Intended for Hot Grills.” Both are 9.5" in length, have a thin layer of insulation inside, and are said to be heat safe to 248°F. Although not intended for hot grill grates and pans, we put these gloves through the heat test anyway.

Heat resistance. 12 seconds and the gloves began to melt

Dexterity. No problem with tongs but a bit slippery with a knife

Comfort. Somewhat stiff, rubbery feel and slippery during use

Food handling. No problem and the gloves merely got warm

Click here to buy Mr. Bar-B-Q on Amazon

Click here to buy Steven Raichlen on Amazon


Leather Or Suede Gloves

G&F Gloves

Gold Medal Best Value Award

G&F 8115 Premium Grain Leather Gloves

Made from genuine grain cowhide and suede with a 100% cotton lining. Prolonged contact with direct flame is not advised. The gloves have 14.5" sleeves to protect your forearms, can be washed with soap and water, and have loops so they can be hung to dry. They are also available in suede only.

Heat resistance. 23 seconds

Dexterity. Easily used tongs and a small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable

Click here to buy on Amazon


ozero leather gloves

Silver Medal Best Value Award

Ozero Leather BBQ Gloves

These gloves are said to have a whopping heat rating of 662°F. They have a thick 100% insulite cotton lining, 16" sleeves, and are constructed of cowhide with double patches of leather in sensitive areas, with double thick leather in some locations. The only size is large, so these gloves may not be suitable for small hands. They are available in grey or black, can be washed with soap and water, and have loops so they can be hung to dry.

Heat resistance. 23 seconds

Dexterity. Easily used tongs and picked up a small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable, nice feel, with room to move all fingers easily

Click here to buy on Amazon


raichlen leather gloves

 

Silver Medal Best Value Award

Steven Raichlen Extra Long Suede Gloves

These great looking gloves have two contrasting colors: A smooth black suede upper, and a rougher textured tan colored glove and fingers. At 17.5", these gloves are the longest ones we tested. They are lined with cotton, said to be heat safe to 475°F, and recommended by Cook’s Illustrated magazine, although their reviewers griped that the gloves are not machine washable. As with other leather gloves, you can wipe them off but washing is discouraged. Pitmaster Club member Steve B likes these gloves and comments, “So far I have no complaints. They seem well constructed, comfortable and they do fit my rather large hands. And they do reach up to my elbow.”

Heat resistance. 21.5 seconds

Dexterity. Easily used tongs and easily picked up a small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable

Click here to buy on Amazon


texas irons gloves

Bronze Medal Best Value Award

Texas Irons Personalized BBQ Grilling Gloves

Texas Irons gloves are some of the best-looking gloves I tested. They feature full grain leather in a soft suede finish with an “air-cushioned” soft cotton lining and 16 inch sleeves. To dress them up even more, the manufacturer offers a nice touch of optional free etching of three letters of your choice, plus a choice of four optional leather patch labels: Steakhouse & Barbecue, Vineyard, Longhorn Bar & Grill, and Ranch House Premium. The gloves can be wiped clean with a wet cloth, hung by leather loops to dry, and come in one size that is suitable for large hands.

Heat resistance. 20 seconds

Dexterity. Easily used tongs and picked up a small paring knife

Comfort. Very comfortable

Click here to buy on texasirons.com


Fabric Gloves With Silicone Patches

grill armor gloves

Gold Medal Best Value Award

Grill Armor

Among the fabric gloves I tested, Grill Armor gloves came out on top. I was initially skeptical of the manufacturer’s heat safe rating of 932ºF, so I tested them on hot briquets and burning cedar logs. The outer layer of these gloves is insulated with M-ARAMID & P-ARAMID fabric (the same as DuPont Nomex & Kevlar) and the manufacturer claims the gloves “Will Not Catch Fire Or Melt When Exposed To An Open Flame.” The inside layer is a cooling 100% cotton blend. And, bless my soul, these gloves are also machine washable. Like other fabric gloves, they cannot be used when wet. These gloves have a lifetime replacement warranty, and there are two color choices, white or black.

Heat resistance. 20.5 seconds

Dexterity. Took some effort to use tongs and a small paring knife

Comfort. Comfortable but slightly tight like a pair of thick winter wool gloves

Click here to buy on Amazon


armor grill beast gloves

Gold Medal Best Value Award

Grill Beast

On the exterior, these gloves are constructed of a thick fabric layer of 1313 Aramid (a Kevlar fiber) covered with a design of silicon patches, and on the inside they are lined with polyester (45%) and cotton (55%). The manufacturer claims that the gloves are heat safe to 662°F. The gloves are 12" long, heavy in weight, and tend to get hot inside due to the thick insulation. They are machine washable and have a 100% money back guarantee and lifetime warranty. Pitmaster Club member Ovi-Dan comments, “I’ve had a pair of Grill Beast gloves for more than a year and I really like them. I’ve been able to move lit coals around. While that impresses friends I rarely need to do that. But I can move the rebar from my Pit Barrel Cooker without the glove heating up like my regular BBQ mitts did. Also, I like it being a glove vs. a mitt. They are great gloves for moving hot things. What they are not is waterproof.”

Heat resistance. 25 seconds

Dexterity. Took some effort to use tongs and a small paring knife

Comfort. Comfortable but slightly tight like a pair of thick winter wool gloves

Click here to buy on Amazon


pit mitt gloves

Silver Medal Best Value Award

Pit Mitt Pro

Like other fabric gloves, these gloves can only be used on dry items and therefore cannot be used to handle food. Once they are wet, you can get burned or scalded. However, with dry items, they are said to be heat safe up to 450°F. These gloves have a soft cotton lining and use Aramid Fibers (used in aerospace and military applications) in the outer fabric layer. Like others in this genre, the exterior sports a design of silicone lines. The gloves are 12.9" long, which is long enough to protect the wrist and lower arms. Our moderator Spinaker says “I have put The Pit Mitt through the BBQ wringer. I have grabbed burning logs, hot grates, cast iron pans, griddles, grill pans, Dutch oven, etc. you name it. You can still burn yourself but I can hold a cast iron pan in my gloved hand for about 20 seconds when I take it out of a 450°F oven.”

Heat resistance. 25 seconds

Dexterity. Took some effort to use tongs and a small paring knife

Comfort. Comfortable but felt a bit like a pot holder with fingers

Click here to buy on Amazon


weber gloves

Bronze Medal Best Value Award

Weber Premium Gloves

These gloves are 13" in length and come in two sizes, S/M and L/XL, which is helpful for those who have extra small or extra large hands. They are made from 100% Aramid with silicone strips on the palm of the glove to aid in gripping hot cooking pans, pots and implements. The lining is 80% cotton and 20% polyester. While Weber declined to give me a heat safe temperature, one online customer claimed he has used them at temperatures as high as 600°F. As with the other gloves in this genre, these gloves cannot be used wet. However, they can be hand washed and air dried.

Heat resistance. 23 seconds

Dexterity. Took some effort to use tongs and a little more to pick up a small knife

Comfort. Comfortable

Click here to buy on Amazon

bbq gloves

Please read this before posting a comment or question

grouchy?

1) Please try the table of contents or the search box at the top of every page before you cry for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can't help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

Moderators

  Max
  Clint
  Jerod
  Huskee
  Henrik
  Browne
 Click to Show Comments or Add Your Own