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When it comes to working in the kitchen, most of us think that we have all of the details we need. We may still be looking for some hacks here and there, but as long as we have our pots and pans and our oven mitts, we are ready to take on the culinary world.

Oven mitts are an interesting part of our kitchen environment. None of us would ever consider grabbing a hot pan out of the oven but when we put on an oven mitt, we don’t even think about the hundreds of degrees that are being held in our hand.

Photo: flickr/Nenad Stojkovic

If our oven mitt should happen to get wet, we might not even think much about it but it could be a disastrous mistake if we aren’t cautious.

The reason why you would not want to work with a wet oven mitt is because of the way they are made. There is a heat barrier of material inside of the mitt that protects our hands. If the fabric or even our hands are wet when we use it, the effectiveness of the heat barrier is lowered considerably. When you stop to think about it, water conducts heat, so it becomes a no-brainer at that point.

Photo: flickr/Mark Baylor

In order to further show how hazardous this can be, Oklahoma State University ran a series of experiments. They used researchers from their department of design, housing, and merchandising, who exposed a wet oven mitt to 350°. What they found is that it only took as little as one second for a third-degree burn to happen.

There is another issue when we are holding something hot in our hand, the heat transfers through the oven mitt faster where the mitt is stitched. This little bit of information is being passed along, not only to help us stay safe in the kitchen but to help oven mitt manufacturers build a better mousetrap.


If you are using a mitt with silicone, make sure that it is thoroughly dry on the inside and outside. They tend to transfer heat faster than a fabric mitt. You should also be cautious about some that may say they are waterproof but have a cotton lining.

Keeping them dry not only helps to keep your hand safe, but it may also keep the pan from slipping, which could be hazardous on more levels than one.

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