Aug 30, 2023
The Best Grilling Gloves, Tested and Reviewed (2023)
By Noah Kaufman All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. If you’ve
By Noah Kaufman
All products featured on Epicurious are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
If you’ve ever tried to work over a hot grill using a standard pair of oven mitts, you know that it doesn’t go very well. There are a lot of grilling-related tasks that are difficult, if not impossible, without the full use of your fingers: adjusting hot grill grates, moving cooked proteins from grill to cutting board and trying to slice them, and pulling metal grill baskets off the fire, to name a few. The surefire solution for this is a pair of the best grilling gloves you can get.
A good pair of grill gloves should give you the ability to operate around a searing-hot grate as if you are some lesser character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe whose one and only power is touching hot metal. But that is a power you shouldn’t dismiss. Being able to comfortably handle a grill’s heat makes the whole process smoother and choosing to forgo protective gear is downright dangerous.
Our top pick is Weber’s pair of Premium Gloves. They offer a slick, safe choice for grillers that feel as comfortable as a pair of mid-weight winter gloves. Skip down to read our full review of the Weber gloves.
For more on how we tested the grill gloves and which ones left our hands feeling scorched, scroll further down.
Do I need grill gloves? I already have a pair of oven glovesBest grilling gloves overallBest budget grilling glovesHow we testedFactors evaluatedOther grill gloves we testedThe takeaway
We actually included a pair of Ove Gloves in our testing to see how they compare to gloves designed specifically as grilling tools and there are two reasons to own both. The first reason is that glove-style oven mitts like the Ove Glove tend to lack the long cuffs good grilling gloves have. That means that if you use them over a hot grill or open fire there is a real possibility of singeing some arm hair. The Weber gloves that came out on top in our testing, for example, had cuffs that came well up the forearm.
The other reason is cleanliness. Outdoor cooking is a messy business, especially if you’re using charcoal or wood, and we think you’ll be happier if you aren’t using the same gloves to take bread out of the oven that you’re getting covered in charcoal when moving chimney starters around. Using the same pair of gloves in the kitchen and at the grill will require a frequent and intense cleaning regimen.
If you’ve read our other grilling reviews this is the point where you go “Weber again? Really?” Yes, really. Like a number of the Weber grills that we’ve ranked highly in the past, these gloves are not particularly flashy, though they do have a cool black-on-black “could be used in a bank robbery” thing going for them. According to Weber, it really is just the thickness of the cotton that provides most of the protection from the heat. Of all the gloves we tested, they felt the most natural—the most like an extension of our hands. They feature a fairly long cuff that reached far enough up our arms to be effective, but not so long as to make it hard to move our hands. It was easy to grip hot grill grates, move chimneys of charcoal, and hold delicate, falling-off-the-bone ribs steady for slicing without crushing them.
They didn’t come out at the very top of our high-heat-resilience test, but they were pretty close, especially considering how much dexterity they offered. We subjected them to heat much higher than the 482°F Weber lists as their heat resistance. They protected our hands both while adding wood to a smoldering fire and while gripping a heavy cast-iron pan. Still, repeated long-term exposure to the kinds of 600°F (or over) heat we used will probably wear down the silicone nonslip grips.
Some commenters on Weber’s site complained that the gloves were too big. Our testers didn’t have particularly large hands and didn’t find an issue with the L/XL size, but we could see issues for someone with much smaller hands. And even though Weber lists dimensions for a S/M size, they currently don’t seem to offer them for purchase. Also, these are hand-wash only, so keep them away from the washing machine.
Sizes: S/M (unavailable at the time of writing), L/XLMaterial: Cotton with silicone gripsMachine washable: No
The BBQ Guys house brand of gloves are a bargain—$15 at the time of writing—and while they didn’t perform quite as well as the Weber’s they were also a third of the price. They are slightly stiff to wear (that extra material is what gives them a lot of their heat resistance), but still felt comfortable on our hands. The cuffs come just past the wrist, affording some additional protection, and the silicone grips on both sides make the gloves reversible.
They performed in the middle of the pack in terms of the high heat resistance test, but that test really pushed the limits of what anyone could fairly expect from grill gloves. When it came to handling chimney starters or rearranging grill grates, we never felt any heat coming through.
Like we said, they are a little stiff. This was most evident when trying to cut ribs: We had to be particularly careful not to apply much pressure while we were holding them to avoid mangling the meat.
Sizes: One size fits allMaterial: Cotton with silicone gripsMachine washable: Yes
We subjected the gloves to a number of common grilling tasks performed with and around fire. First, we took a fully grayed-over chimney of charcoal, carried it about eight feet, and emptied it into a cowboy grill. Though most chimney starters are designed so that you only need to hold them by the handle, we tried carrying it with two hands using a bare metal side of the chimney as well, to see if the heat from the chimney would penetrate the gloves.
Next, we wore the gloves as we adjusted the grates on the cowboy grill after letting it heat up for 15 minutes. We picked up both a heavy grill grate and a cast-iron plancha and rotated them around the grill.
Then we opened the metal door of the charcoal grill, reached in, and added wood chunks to the hot coals—a task that is a regular part of both smoking and open fire cooking.
Handling food—hot food, specifically—is another important feature of any cooking glove. To test that, we slow-cooked racks of baby back ribs until they were practically falling off the bone, then used the gloves to move the racks, hold, and slice them.
Finally, we heated a pellet grill to 600°F and placed a cast-iron skillet inside for 15 minutes to preheat (the actual temperature of the skillet as measured by a laser thermometer fluctuated between 595°F and 615°F). We chose the pellet grill because it offered the best combination of temperature control for consistency and high heat. We used each glove to pick up the skillet by the handle and hold it for as long as we could. As we noted above, the temperatures here actually exceed the heat ratings on several of these gloves, but we wanted to see how they would respond to searing situations. As it turned out, the gloves that had the highest listed heat ratings did not, in fact, handle high heat the best.
Grilling gloves’ ability to keep your hands cool and comfortable in high heat situations is their most important attribute. If they don’t do that, they are basically worthless.
The note about heat resistance notwithstanding, it doesn’t really matter if you can stick a glove inside a volcano if it doesn’t fit well enough and offer enough flexibility for you to actually work. Ultimately, this is why, of all the different materials we tried, we ended up preferring gloves primarily made of cotton, like the Weber and the BBQ Guys models. They were much more comfortable and offered much more dexterity than full silicone, neoprene rubber, or suede and leather gloves.
We were looking for gloves that included some cuff for additional forearm protection and good grips in the fingers and palms. We also wanted a pair of gloves that were cut resistant, but all the gloves tested here were thick enough to provide some protection from cuts.
We were quite excited about the Rapica gloves because, frankly, they look badass (this company also makes serious welding gloves and animal handling gloves). The long black neoprene rubber gloves look like the sort of thing a firefighter could wear into a blaze and walk out carrying a puppy in one hand and a firehose with the other. And indeed, they proved very heat resistant. We were able to hold a 600°F pan for eight full seconds, longer than either of our top two picks. The cotton liner also felt almost cozy on our hands. So why didn’t they get the nod? The super long sleeves—even the smallest size went almost to our elbow—made them a bit harder to move in than the Weber gloves. And while we were surprised at how well we could grip things with the neoprene material (the extra sticky palms helped), it still didn’t offer quite the same freedom as the heavy duty cotton did. These are very good gloves and we recommend them, especially if you’re primarily concerned with intense heat protection—they just aren’t the easiest to manipulate.
In perhaps the most surprising result of this testing, Cuisinart’s gloves performed the best in the high heat test. We held the pan for 8.5 seconds to the Rapicca’s 8.1. However, the thing that makes them so heat proof also made them really stiff and tough to work with. If you never had to handle any food with these (i.e. you only used them to light fires, fuel fires, and move grill grates), they could be a good choice. But ultimately they didn’t offer the versatility we wanted.
The Ove Gloves would be a top choice for an indoor glove. We’ve used them in the kitchen to move hot pans in and out of the oven for years. But outside they didn’t quite measure up. While they do have good protection from high temperatures and have an outer layer that includes aramid fibers (the heat resistant fabric used in firefighter gear), they weren’t that much better than the Weber gloves and they didn’t have any cuff to speak of—they stop at the wrist. Really what we recommend is one pair of Ove Gloves for inside and a pair of dedicated grilling gloves for outside.
The first of several pairs of gloves tested here that advertise in giant print that they’re heat resistant to 1,472°F, these gloves which also claim to include aramid in their exterior composition and a cotton lining, don’t deliver quite what the enclosed paperwork says they do. The label says they can handle 662°F for 16 to 18 seconds before becoming uncomfortable. We used them on temperatures slightly lower than that and they made it a little more than five seconds. Other than that, they performed fine on all the other tasks and they are machine washable.
These were the one pair of entirely silicone gloves we tested and ultimately we just can’t recommend this type of glove. They’re less heat proof than the other materials—they were the only gloves that couldn’t handle grabbing the charcoal chimney. They also lack any cuff whatsoever and offer limited gripping ability.
This is a pair of gloves made by one the “random assortment of letters” brands that are very popular on Amazon; we tested them because they had so many positive reviews. But as we found when testing Amazon-first brands in the knife space, they seem to be of a lesser quality. They fit well and performed solidly in the rib cutting test, but gave the weakest performance in terms of heat protection. That was particularly disappointing considering they were another pair that claimed 1472°F heat resistance.
If you see claims of 1,472°F heat protection you should probably disregard them. Geekhom barbecue gloves also promised that, and while they were better than the gloves above, they still rated in the bottom half in our testing. In fact, almost all of the top performing gloves make much more humble claims of heat resistance between 472°F-572°F. The Geekhoms fit well and could handle all the other tasks adequately, though.
The best barbecue gloves should provide both freedom of movement for your hands and fingers, and as much heat protection as possible. Weber’s Premium Gloves strike the best balance of those two important factors. If you’re looking for perfectly serviceable gloves at a much lower price, the BBQ Guys Signature Silicone Grip Gloves deliver.Sizes:Material:Machine washable:Sizes:Material:Machine washable: