First-degree burns aren’t uncommon for people who often spend their time in the kitchen. Cooking is a process that involves dealing with the heat every now and then. Whether baking in the oven or cooking on the gas stove, you must carefully handle the hot pots and pans.
While oven mitts are usually available, many people don’t prefer to use them. Instead, they look for more convenient ways to keep their hands safe such as kitchen towels. But is that a good idea?
You can use a towel instead of the oven mitts if the towel is thick enough and is kept clean. However, you can find out what suits you best because it is also a matter of preference.
Oven Mitts Or Towels?
Oven mitts, also called oven gloves, are heat resistant and offer more coverage of your hands. Using oven mitts is like making your hands insulated against the heat. Furthermore, it also offers a good grip while holding the dish.
In addition, oven mitts can allow you to hold onto that 400 degrees Fahrenheit dish for up to 10 seconds. Isn’t that a big plus point? But maintaining oven mitts is another deal. Most people have only a single pair of oven mitts.
It makes it difficult for them to keep it clean for everyday cooking episodes. That is precisely when a towel helps you out! Towels are light-weighted and thin. The biggest reason towels are used so often is that they are tucked everywhere around the kitchen.
Kitchen towels are easily washable, and they also get dry quickly. The towel material is not high maintenance as the oven mitts, and hence, people avoid using oven mitts. On top of that, towels are cheap. Even if the towel gets dirty or burnt, you wouldn’t mind as much.
Sometimes the dish handle is difficult to get hold of with the oven mitt, but you can quickly wrap the towel around it. These are a few of the many advantages you get if you use a towel in place of the oven mitts. Since both the tools have their advantages, which one is better?
Which one is safer?
Chefs are professionals who have years of experience cooking and dealing with hot dishes. They are mostly seen using a towel instead of oven mitts while taking a hot pan from the oven. That does look like an easy move, but it isn’t.
Whether a towel is alright depends on how good you are at handling hot pots with them. Chefs have mastered the technique of safely holding hot objects without a safety tool. However, you should ensure your safety by choosing the right option according to your experience and convenience.
A towel might fail to protect your hand if you don’t make a good grip. It is also likely that the pot might slip if not held properly. Since an oven mitt can save you from all the possible risks of burning, it is always safer.
Proper Way Of Using A Towel In Place Of Oven Mitts
Although it is acceptable to use a towel in place of oven mitts, you should not go without some rules. Not appropriately using the towel can cause many issues.
To begin, ensure that you use a clean and fresh towel every time. Many people ignore how many times they are using the same towel. You should keep in mind that towels get dirty easily, and bacteria build-up can also be quick. Hence, you should not use them in that condition.
When you want to remove the hot dish from the oven, make two to three folds of the towel to make it the perfect size. The size of the towel matters because towels can easily catch fire or get burnt. It often happens when you use it on stoves.
Wrap the folded towel around the dish and ensure that your hands don’t touch the oven’s walls. This step is about practicing the technique of safely moving your hands around the hot objects.
It would be best if you do not hold a hot dish with a towel for too long. The towel will gradually start getting hot, and your hand can burn. Some people take this point lightly and walk to the dining table while holding a hot dish with a kitchen towel!
It depends on the quality and fabric of the towel for how long it can hold the heat within. It often happens that people overestimate that duration and get their hands burnt. So try to avoid such situations.
Should You Use A Damp Towel?
You should not use damp towels to remove hot dishes from the oven. If you think that a damp towel can cool the heat down, it is the opposite. That is because the water can get hot and quickly get your hand scalded.
Therefore, you have to make sure that the towel is completely dry. If you don’t have a dry towel, use the oven mitts instead.
Should I Use A Kitchen Towel Instead Of A Potholder?
You can use a kitchen towel instead of a potholder without a second thought. In fact, kitchen towels are way more comfortable and handy than big potholders. They don’t make much difference unless you are a novice in the kitchen.
A dry cotton kitchen towel can always beat a potholder with practical advantages. Using a potholder is not only time-consuming, but it also takes some space around. While cooking already makes a mess out of the kitchen, most people cannot afford to switch towels to oven mitts to potholders. That is because it’s just not practical in most cases.
The kitchen towel works fine in almost all situations if you get a hold of its usage. Talking about the potholders, they are too bulky to keep. Further, unlike cotton towels, you cannot tuck them in your pockets.
Usually, these cotton towels don’t come with a tag. Their versatility is the reason behind their popularity among the professionals too. You can use them in myriads of ways – wiping, holding pots, or drying vegetables.
What else can be used in place of oven mitts?
Any thick cloth to resist the heat can work well in place of oven mitts. If you are using a thin cotton cloth, don’t forget to make some folds to make it more heat resistant. Besides that, silicon mitts or cotton mitts are also good options.
Silicon mitts are preferable because they are safe to use and cannot catch fire. Further, they are also rubbery, making a solid grip on the dish.
Note: Do not use any random cloth for dealing with the hot dishes in the oven. It might not be a good insulator.
1. Are leather oven mitts good?
Leather oven mitts are good and also give a nice look. They do not catch fire easily and are preferred by people who love outdoor cooking. However, they are more expensive than regular oven mitts.
2. Can you use a kitchen towel instead of a potholder?
Yes, you can use a kitchen towel instead of a potholder. Kitchen towels are easy to clean and save a lot of space and time.
Kitchen towels are multi-purpose, and you can use them in several ways. The most popular reason people use a kitchen towel in place of an oven mitt is that it is at hand most of the time.
Although it is more convenient to use, it is not as efficient as the oven mitts are. Using towels does not eliminate the risk of getting burnt. Further, it is more important to be safe than save an extra 5 minutes. Therefore, choose wisely.