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Best choice for hot pads

Jonathan asks: How do you feel about silicone hot pads?  What is your preferred hot pad of choice for removing hot bakeware from the oven?

Baking S.O.S. says: I actually had not tried the silicone hot pads until recently when I got a set of square ones as a gift for my birthday!  Now that I have used them, I have to say that I do not find them to be very functional as hot pads.  (Perhaps they might work better as “trivets” for protecting counter surfaces from hot pans and dishes.)

I find the silicone hot pads to be difficult to manipulate because of their texture and shape.  They do not conform to my hands well enough to grasp hot bakeware easily or effectively.  I have also found that the heat still transmits through the silicone hot pads to my hands, so they are not the most effective protection.  The one advantage silicone hot pads provide over traditional cloth hot pads is that if you are working with hot water, cloth hot pads, when wet, will burn you more easily.  I imagine the silicone hot pads would reduce that risk–as long as you use the silicone as a barrier between you and the hot water.

But my preferred hot pads are the old tried and true: I like high quality all-cotton oven mitts that cover your hands AND your arms like this one on amazon.com.  I bought mine at an independent retail store that sells culinary equipment.  These types of oven mitts are durable, provide lots of coverage and protection, are flexible enough to handle lifting anything out of a hot oven, and do not transmit heat to your hands in most instances (except when they get wet, as I mentioned).

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