We work around a lot of fire and heat in the outdoor cooking game. Protect yourself with heat-resistant BBQ and grill gloves. They’re cheaper than a hospital visit!
Grilling gloves are a must-have item. They protect you when you’re working around so many high heat items.

The best grill gloves will allow you to manage the hot charcoal or grill grates without looking like you’re trying to perform a circus act. They keep your fingers from burning when you’re flipping burgers. They help you to more easily handle grilling baskets and pots that hold your food.

But as with all things in life, some BBQ gloves are better than others.

Before going into a buying guide that explains how grill gloves are different from oven mitts, the difference in fit and heat resistance between different fabrics, and ultimately why we believe these are an essential item.

Why Do You Need Grilling Gloves?

You can’t get away with using the pot holder your grandmother knit you when you’re working at the grill. Even some oven mitts designed for use in a kitchen can ignite when they’re exposed to open flame or the heat of a grill.

One of the benefits of grilling gloves over oven mitts is they have separated fingers. This allows you to be more agile when handling hot items or holding tools over a hot grill. Mitten-style pot holders are bulky and can be dangerous when you’re moving hot, heavy items.

When you’re cooking in a kitchen, your hands and arms aren’t usually exposed to hot surfaces for long periods of time. A pot holder will suffice when pulling baking pans out of the oven or touching hot handles.

When you’re grilling, your hands and arms are often working directly over the fire. One wrong move could lead to serious burns. Plus, it can get uncomfortable holding your arms over such a hot surface.

Grill gloves are designed to protect you from this type of heat. You’ll be able to move food around on your grill leisurely without having to withdraw your hands repeatedly. Some types of grill gloves even let you handle hot coals or grill grates without additional tools.

Do You Need Gloves Specifically Designed for BBQ?
Not necessarily. However, they must be designed to withstand a certain amount of heat.

For example, some grilling gloves are made from thick leather. They’re made differently than those you wear to shovel snow. Don’t assume that your regular leather gloves can withstand heat just because they’re thick and durable.

On the other hand, gloves that are made for working with heat in other ways can double up for use in grilling. Some people choose to use welding gloves for instance.

The experts at Baker’s Gas and Welding Supplies explain that welding gloves come in a variety of materials. Thick suede being the most heat resistant.

Welding gloves may be the best option if you want to touch hot coals or grates. They’re designed for coming into contact with hot metal and can handle this type of heat better than even most bbq gloves – And they are far cheaper too!

What Are BBQ Gloves Used For?

A person wearing BBQ gloves moving sausages around a hot grill.
Some of the situations in which you might use grilling gloves are:

  • Grasping hot handles on pots, pans and grill baskets.
  • Turning the coals out of a chimney starter.
  • Reaching over a large grate to flip burgers.
  • Shifting grates to add charcoal or wood to a grill.
  • Moving logs in a campfire.
  • Grabbing hot food from the grill.
  • Turning skewers without fiddling with tongs.
  • Reaching into a smoker.


Do the Best BBQ Gloves all Have the Same Heat Resistance?
Grilling gloves have different designs. Some are meant to protect your hands and arms from radiant heat. Others are designed to be used as pot holders.

The manufacturer usually describes the degree to which they are are heat resistant. Char-broil explains that the temperature near the grates of a grill can get up to 550 degrees Fahrenheit while you’re cooking.

The actual grates can get even hotter than that, depending on the type of grill or smoker you use. Not all grill gloves are designed to come into contact with hot metal, charcoal or wood. Some should not be exposed to open flame.

Does It Matter If They Are Waterproof?

Someone brushing off hot grill grates while wearing gloves for grilling
Even though you’re not planning to submerge your hands in a pot of boiling water, the water resistance of grilling gloves makes a difference. Wet surfaces conduct heat better than dry surfaces. If your gloves absorb moisture, they won’t provide the same level of heat resistance.

In other words, if it’s raining, or your gloves absorb some oil or grease, some types of fabric won’t protect you anymore. If absorbent and they get wet or oily from handling foods, you could get burned, because heat transfers through moisture faster than through dry material.

The same consideration should be made if you’re working with hot oil. Oil can get through woven fabric in much the same way as steam. If it’s absorbed by the fabric, it can burn your skin inside the glove. However, hot oil can also melt certain molded materials. Check the manufacturer’s recommendations if you’ll be working with hot fats and oils.

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