We Tested 7 Pairs of Grill Gloves to Find the Best, Most Heat-Resistant Ones

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a pile of grill gloves in a circle against a brick background
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

The first time I baked sourdough in a cast iron combo cooker the potholder slipped and I burned my wrist so badly I have a permanent scar. Later that summer I purchased a charcoal grill and dropped the tongs onto the grates when trying to turn a sausage. I had to run inside and grab a second set of tongs to retrieve the first pair so I wouldn’t burn my fingers. Finally, acknowledging that I’m perhaps too clumsy to be around such high heat unprotected, I was given a pair of grill gloves on my birthday. 

Most heat-resistant grill gloves are made from aramid (a type of fiber used for firefighter suits and ballistic protection, amongst other things) or neoprene rubber. They have heat resistance ratings that start at 932ºF and go up to 1472ºF. In order to find out which ones could take the heat, we put seven different pairs to the test. 

The Winners, at a Glance

With the best heat protection of the bunch, the Grill Armor gloves let us grab pans, squeeze tongs, and stick our hands directly into a fire pit without feeling the burn. We loved how comfortable they were, too, and they easily fit hands big and small. 

These gloves performed almost as well as our top picks and featured a longer cuff for added protection. They’re a great choice for people with bigger grills or deep ovens. 

Made from neoprene rubber, these gloves are waterproof (unlike their aramid competition). They had great heat resistance and extra-long cuffs for added protection. 

The Tests

two hand in rubber grill gloves held over hot coals
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub
  • Cast Iron Pans Test: We preheated two cast iron pans to 500ºF in the oven and timed how long we could hold onto each one while wearing the grill gloves before the heat was intolerable. We also noted how well each pair of gloves gripped the pans. 
  • Charcoal Grill Test: We held our hands over a charcoal grill to see how long it took before the heat became too much. 
  • Flexibility Tests: We lifted a charcoal grill cover and picked up a pair of tongs to see how flexible each set of gloves was.
  • Firepit Tests (Winners-Only): We placed a log into a burning firepit to see how well the winning pairs could grasp a large log and how heat-resistant the gloves were. 
  • Usability/Cleanup Tests: We noted how well each set of gloves fit both small and large hands, how comfortable they were to wear, and how easy it was to make a fist. We looked for signs of discoloration and ran each set of machine-washable gloves through the washing machine; we also hand-washed the non-machine-washable pairs to check for durability.

What We Learned

Heat-Resistance Ratings Were Inconsistent

a hot cast iron pan held by two hands in heat resistant grill gloves
The best grilling gloves allowed us to hold onto hot cast iron pans for at least 10 seconds.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Though most grill gloves often have high max heat ratings of 932ºF or 1472ºF, that doesn’t mean they’re heatproof. Those ratings are also based on time—their max heat capacity can only be endured for a few seconds, while lower temperatures might be tolerable for up to a minute. In our testing, however, we found those max heat ratings were inconsistent with our real-world results. 

The Semboh Extreme Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves are rated to 932ºF but performed the worst, allowing us to grasp the 500ºF cast iron pan for only five seconds before it became intolerable. In contrast, the Cuisinart Heat Resistant Grill Gloves are only rated for 572ºF but let us grip the pans for a full 10 seconds. The Grill Armor Gloves were rated for 932ºF and gave us 15 comfortable seconds—the best performance of the lot—but we only lasted nine seconds with the 1472ºF-rated Grill Heat Aid BBQ Gloves. These results were similar when testing the gloves over the charcoal grill. 

So, while all of the gloves provided some heat protection, we weren’t able to tie how much heat protection they gave according to their max heat rating.

Silicone and Neoprene Retained Heat

a set of waterproof grill gloves in the sun
Just a few minutes in the sun made the exterior of rubber grill gloves hot—so be careful about even where you store/place them (and about removing them).Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Grill gloves rely on silicone coatings or neoprene rubber for their heat protection, but those materials get hot—real hot. Even minutes after removing a pair of gloves from over the grill, every pair of gloves was still hot enough to make us wince. The more silicone on each pair (like the total coverage on the Cuisinart pair), the harder it was to remove them without burning ourselves. 

While the neoprene rubber of the Grill Armor BBQ Waterproof Gloves and Rapicca BBQ Gloves didn’t hold heat as much as their silicone competition, they still became unbearably hot when left in the sun. On-deck pairs waiting for testing absorbed so much heat from sunbathing that we had to move them into shade with a pair of tongs. The takeaway: be wary when removing these gloves—and of where you place or store them.

Stiff Gloves Made It Hard To Grab Grilling Accessories

a hand tries to grip a set of grill tongs in stiff grill gloves
Squeezing tongs was a chore in stiffer gloves.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

There was no doubt the Rapicca gloves were fully waterproof, but their molded neoprene rubber fingers were stiff, and we struggled to open and close grilling tongs while wearing them. We also found the slightly shorter fingers on the Comsmart model restricted knuckle movement; it took extra effort to make a closed fist or pick up a grill lid by the handle. While this might not seem like a huge dealbreaker, no one wants to be fumbling to grab the lid of the grill and risking dinner overcooking.

All of the Grilling Gloves Were All Easy To Clean

a pair of grill gloves with reddish singe marks
Grit and grime wash away easily, but singe marks can be forever.Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Most gloves were machine-washable, and after running them through the washing machine on the gentle cycle, they all came out unscathed. Some of the aramid gloves were lightly singed from the extreme heat of the charcoal, however, and that discoloration was permanent (but didn’t hinder performance). The two neoprene sets were also easy to clean off in the sink with warm, soapy water. 

Most Aramid Gloves Were Cut-Resistant, Too

a hand in grill gloves places a log into a firepit
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

Most of the aramid gloves we tested had Level 5 cut resistance, which means that they can deflect a knife’s edge while slicing on a cutting board or protect your fingertips while using a mandoline. Though the cut resistance was an added bonus, all of the gloves we tested were a little too bulky for prep work, and we wouldn’t recommend them for regular kitchen use. Also, pointy objects (like a sharp thermometer or a splinter on a log) can still poke through these gloves by going between the weave, so it’s best to still exercise caution when wearing them.

The Criteria: What to Look for in a Pair of Grill Gloves

a graphic showing all the best attributes of grill gloves
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

A great set of grill gloves should protect your hands from high heat for at least 10 seconds and be comfortable to wear while doing so. They should have a universal fit that accommodates large and small hands and give the user a full range of motion. Lastly, they should be easy to clean, as working with cast iron or over a charcoal grill can pick up a lot of char and soot. 

What we liked: Flexible, comfortable, and with the best heat resistance of the bunch, we immediately liked the Grill Armor gloves. They’re great for both large and small hands and allowed for a full range of motion. When grasping cast iron pans, we had 15 seconds before needing to let go, and we could hold our hands over the 1000ºF charcoal grill for 12 seconds, too. They made it easy to grab tongs or the grill lid, and we could even grab full-sized logs and nestle them into a burning fire without any discomfort. Even though they had the least amount of silicone, they still had plenty of grip and we felt confident navigating high temperature environments.

What we didn’t like: We wish the cuff was a little longer for better protection, and because we could hold our hands over the charcoal for so long, they were the only gloves that singed around the fingertips. This didn’t affect their heat resistance at all, it just caused some discoloration that was disconcerting, at first. 

Price at time of publish: $30.

Key Specs

  • Materials: M-Aramid, P-Aramid, silicone, cotton
  • Weight: 9.3 ounces
  • Total length: 12 inches
  • Cuff length: 5 inches
  • Palm width: 4 inches
  • Heat resistance rating: 932ºF
  • Cut resistance rating: Level 5
  • Waterproof: No 
  • Care instructions: Machine-wash gentle; air dry
a pair of grill armor grill gloves on a brick background
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: With an extra-long cuff and great heat resistance, this pair is a great choice for people who have wider grills or find themselves reaching deep into ovens. They gave us 12 seconds of comfort holding the cast iron pans and 10 seconds over the charcoal grill, putting them clearly in second place for heat resistance. We also liked the dotted silicone pattern, which seemed to cool down quicker than gloves with thicker silicone.

What we didn’t like: The fingers on these gloves were just barely shorter than the competition, but this limited flexibility when grasping tongs. They also weren’t quite as heat-resistant as our top pick.

Price at time of publish: $16.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Aramid, silicone, cotton
  • Weight: 9.8 ounces
  • Total length: 13.5 inches 
  • Cuff length: 5 inches
  • Palm width: 6 inches
  • Heat resistance rating: 1472ºF
  • Cut resistance rating: Level 5
  • Waterproof: No
  • Care instructions: Machine-wash gentle; air dry
a pair of Comsmart grill gloves on a brick background
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

What we liked: For added protection, these waterproof gloves from Grill Armor also have an extra-long cuff. Aramid gloves are porous and have a cotton liner, which can absorb hot liquids and put them in direct contact with your skin. The neoprene rubber on this pair is fully waterproof, making them great for things like giant backyard crawfish boil or deep frying a turkey. And to clean, just give them a rinse with a hose or in the sink. They had identical heat resistance to the Comsmart pair—12 seconds on the pan and 10 seconds over the grill—tying for second place. We also really liked how long the cuff was, and how the looser fit made it easy to slip them on and off. 

What we didn’t like: While the looser fit and extra-long cuff were bonuses when working over a grill, they were more cumbersome and not as flexible, making them less ideal for indoor use with an oven. 

Price at time of publish: $30.

Key Specs

  • Materials: Neoprene rubber, cotton liner
  • Weight: 10.8 ounces
  • Total length: 14 inches
  • Cuff length: 6 inches
  • Palm width: 5.5 inches
  • Heat resistance rating: 932ºF
  • Cut resistance rating: N/A
  • Waterproof: Yes
  • Care instructions: Wash outsides with warm, soapy water; air dry
a pair of Grill Armor Waterproof grill gloves
Serious Eats / Jesse Raub

The Competition

  • Cuisinart Heat Resistant Grill Gloves: These gloves had narrow fingers and were difficult to pull on. And even though they performed better than other gloves with a higher max heat rating, they were only officially rated for 572ºF—almost half that of the rest of the competition.
  • Rapicca BBQ Gloves: The neoprene rubber fingers on these gloves were too rigid to get a good grasp on a set of tongs or a grill lid, and they had some of the lowest heat resistance we experienced.
  • Semboh Extreme Heat Resistant BBQ Gloves: Despite their high heat resistance rating of 932ºF, the heat of the cast iron pan became unbearable to hold after just five seconds, making these the worst-performing gloves we tested.
  • Grill Heat Aid BBQ Gloves: These gloves performed okay, but the outer protective layer and inner cotton layer often separated, making them tricky to pull on and off. 

FAQs

Do grilling gloves work?

Grill gloves are designed to protect your hands and wrists from extreme heat, and yes—they do work. Most grill gloves are made from aramid fiber (which used in firefighter suits), and have a heat rating of 932ºF or 1472ºF. While these gloves are only resistant to high temperatures for a few seconds, they can allow you to endure lower temperatures for longer periods of time. There are also waterproof grill gloves made from neoprene rubber that are heat resistant up to 932ºF.

How do I choose heat resistant gloves?

The best way to choose heat-resistant gloves is to read comparative reviews—most gloves will have the same heat-resistant ratings, but not every pair of gloves performs to expectations. We found that some gloves that were rated only to 572ºF gave us more comfort in high heat situations that some gloves that were rated to 1472ºF. 

Do you need gloves for a charcoal grill?

While a long set of tongs might make it seem like you don’t need gloves while grilling, a set of heat resistant grill gloves make it a lot easier to dump a chimney of charcoal out, reset the top grate over burning coals, or reach over a hot grill to move food around. It’s an extra layer of protection, and they’re also great for indoor use when roasting or baking in the oven.


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