The Best BBQ Gloves of 2021

Protect your vulnerable hands from painful burns while manning the grill with one of these top pairs of gloves.

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The Best BBQ Gloves Option

Photo: amazon.com

Given that grills routinely reach temperatures of 500 degrees Fahrenheit with some charcoal grills capable of pushing the 1,000-degree mark, burns are a constant risk when it comes to grilling. Since the hands and lower arms manipulating the grill tools are the most vulnerable to burns, it makes sense to protect that skin with a good pair of barbecue gloves.

Barbecue gloves come in a variety of heat-resistant materials including leather, neoprene, silicone, and heat resistant fabrics such as Kevlar and Nomex. Some BBQ gloves can provide protection for temperatures that reach more than 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit while still remaining thin enough for the wearer to manipulate a pair of tongs or flip a spatula.

With so many different materials and styles to choose from, selecting the right pair to protect one’s paws can be confusing. Keep reading to learn about the important factors one should consider when shopping for the best BBQ gloves, and check out some of the top sets on the market below.

  1. BEST OVERALL: GRILL HEAT AID BBQ Gloves
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: EUHOME 3 in 1 BBQ Gloves, Grill Brush, BBQ Bear Claws
  3. BEST SYNTHETIC: RAPICCA BBQ Oven Gloves, Neoprene Coating
  4. BEST LEATHER: RAPICCA Leather Mitts for BBQ
  5. BEST SILICONE: GEEKHOM Grilling Gloves, Silicone Oven Mitts
The Best BBQ Gloves Options

Photo: amazon.com

What to Consider When Choosing the Best BBQ Gloves

While selecting a pair of gloves that can withstand intense heat is key, it’s also important to consider how easy it is to work the grill while wearing them. Ahead learn more about glove materials, heat resistance, fit, and other features crucial to consider when shopping for a pair of BBQ gloves.

Material

Barbecue gloves come in four different types of materials, including silicone, fabric, leather, and synthetic. Ahead, learn about the pros and cons of each.

  • Leather barbecue gloves are some of the most durable and heat-resistant, making them ideal for handling hot grill tools. They’re also comfortable to wear. However, leather gloves are also among the most expensive and can be difficult to clean and maintain, given that water can damage leather.
  • Synthetic gloves typically consist of a neoprene or silicone outer with a cotton or polyester inner. They offer excellent heat resistance and are inexpensive. They will absorb grease and other liquids but are relatively easy to clean.
  • 100 percent silicone gloves have a smooth, hard exterior that resists fluids, making them the ideal choice of smoking gloves when users need to handle hot foods directly. Since silicone resists oil and water, they’re easy to clean when the grilling is done. Silicone BBQ gloves are inexpensive but can be a little stiffer than other gloves. Silicone also doesn’t offer the same level of heat protection.
  • Fabric gloves for barbecuing typically consist of either Kevlar or Nomex. They provide high levels of heat resistance while remaining thin enough to be comfortable and to allow for a wide range of movement. In fact, you can even use them to rearrange burning coals or chunks of wood. However, the fabric isn’t ideal for certain types of grilling as they will absorb grease and sauces.

Dexterity and Comfort

Whether handling tongs, flipping a basket of veggies, or cutting meat on a grill side table, barbecue gloves need to allow for enough range of movement that the operator isn’t fumbling to hold tools and knives. This is especially important given the inherent danger of grilling, where slips can result in burns.

A comfortable grill glove should fit snugly around the hands and be thin enough to allow for dexterous movements while at the same time being thick enough to resist intense heat. The flexibility of the material is key to dexterity. A glove that’s stiff will restrict movement, making it more difficult to grab barbecue tools or get a handle on shish kebab skewers, while flexible material will conform to the hand, allowing for more freedom of movement.

Heat Resistance and Thickness

When it comes to heat resistance, typically thicker gloves offer more protection than thinner gloves. Most barbecue glove manufacturers list the heat resistance of the glove with most ranging from around 400 degrees Fahrenheit to more than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

The best way to determine what level of heat resistance is necessary is to consider the max temperature of the grill. Most gas grills can generate heat as high as 500 to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, and a charcoal grill can reach more than 1,000 degrees if using certain types of lump charcoal. Look for a glove that can handle the level of heat that will be used.

Size and Sleeve Length

A good barbecue glove should conform around the hand without being so tight that it’s difficult to remove quickly in the event of an emergency. Some barbecue gloves come in size options while others are one size fits all.

When sizing a glove, also consider the length of the glove’s sleeve. The length of the cuff needs to extend long enough to provide protection for the wrists and lower forearms when working over a hot grill. While some gloves will only provide protection for the wrist, others will extend halfway to the elbow. These longer gloves may restrict movement more than shorter ones, but they can provide better protection.

Easy Cleaning

Since grilling often involves cooking foods that release a fair amount of juices or are slathered in marinades and sauces, there’s a good chance that gloves will come into contact with food. With this in mind, a good pair of gloves should be easy to clean.

Gloves with 100 percent silicone or neoprene outers that are oil- and water-resistant are the easiest to maintain. Typically all that’s needed to clean this type of glove is to run them under a sink faucet when the grilling is complete. Fabric gloves that can soak up juices will typically need a trip through the washing machine to clean. Leather is more difficult to clean, as water will damage it. A special leather cleaner is required for maintaining leather barbecue gloves.

Our Top Picks

The list below was selected based on heat resistance, comfort, and flexibility, among other factors, to narrow the field of grilling gloves to some of the best by type. Any of the gloves below will help protect the grill operator from burns, and one of these may be exactly what you need to safely barbecue for family and friends.

Best Overall

The Best BBQ Gloves Option: GRILL HEAT AID BBQ Gloves
Photo: amazon.com

Grill gloves tend to either be too thick to handle grill tools or not thick enough to endure high heat. This set of gloves from Grill Heat Aid appears to have found the sweet spot. These high-heat gloves are made with aramid fabric to give it a heat resistance of up to 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit, well above what most grills and smokers can reach.

Despite a high heat tolerance, the fabric is stretchable and thin enough to allow one to grasp handles and tongs easily. The glove sleeves extend nearly to the middle of the forearm, providing comprehensive protection whether leaning over a grill or grabbing a flaming log. Grill Heat Aid’s gloves come in a broad range of styles for those who like to coordinate their outdoor kitchen accessories and tools.

Product Specs

  • Heat Resistance: 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Material: Aramid fabric
  • Size Options: One size, X-small, and small-to-medium

Pros

  • High heat resistance
  • Snug fit for good dexterity
  • Long cuff for extra protection

Cons

  • One of the most expensive options


Best Bang for the Buck

The Best BBQ Gloves Option: EUHOME 3 in 1 BBQ Gloves, Grill Brush, BBQ Bear Claws
Photo: amazon.com

Outfitting a barbecue with all the essential tools can quickly become a costly affair. This set of gloves from EUHOME makes adding gloves to the arsenal affordable. Despite their low price, these gloves are no slouch, with three layers of heat-resistant fabric that resists temperatures as high as 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit with a stretchable inner wool and cotton liner.

Long wrist guards keep the lower forearms protected whether reaching over a hot grill or rearranging burning charcoal, while a stylish bone design in the silicone padding on the gloves adds flair to one’s grilling attire. This set of gloves also comes with some useful extras, including a set of bear claws for pulling apart briskets, chickens, and pork butts, and a silicone basting brush for applying sauces.

Product Specs

  • Heat Resistance: 1,472 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Material: Silicone
  • Size Options: One size fits all

Pros

  • High heat resistance
  • Affordably priced
  • Bear claws and basting brush included

Cons

  • Wrist guard is a little shorter than other gloves
  • Will soak up liquids


Best Synthetic

The Best BBQ Gloves Option: RAPICCA BBQ Oven Gloves, Neoprene Coating
Photo: amazon.com

When it comes to handling hot food directly, be it a whole chicken slathered in barbecue sauce or a brisket dripping with juices, fabric and leather gloves don’t cut it. The former can leave fibers in the meat, while the latter can stain. This pair from Rapicca is a better option, thanks to an oil-resistant neoprene coating. A textured palm helps the user to get a grip on slippery meat. The inside of the gloves consists of a soft double-layer cotton for comfort.

Of course, a good pair of BBQ gloves need to have the heat resistance to stand up to high temps, and this pair does with a heat rating of 932 degrees Fahrenheit. An extra-long 14-inch-long sleeve provides additional protection for the arms when reaching inside a grill or smoker.

Product Specs

  • Heat Resistance: 932 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Material: Neoprene outer with cotton lining
  • Size Options: Medium and extra-large

Pros

  • Neoprene coating resists oils
  • High heat resistance
  • Long sleeves for added protection

Cons

  • Stiffer than other materials


Best Leather

The Best BBQ Gloves Option: RAPICCA Leather Mitts for BBQ
Photo: amazon.com

Multiple layers of protection help make this pair of leather gloves one of the best means of protecting one’s hands while grilling. The gloves consist of a reinforced Kevlar double padding on the outer layer. Beneath that are three extra layers of protection, including flame-retardant cotton, air-isolated aluminum foil, and a cotton lining.

The result is a pair of gloves that is fire resistant and capable of withstanding temperatures up to 932 degrees Fahrenheit. A 7.5-inch-long sleeve provides additional protection. The wide cuff promotes airflow to keep hands from getting sweaty while also making it easy to pull the glove on or shake them off.

Product Specs

  • Heat Resistance: 932 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Material: Double Kevlar leather outer with cotton lining
  • Size Options: One size

Pros

  • Multiple layers of protection
  • Durable leather construction
  • Easy to put on and take off

Cons

  • Not as form-fitting as other gloves
  • Only one size option


Best Silicone

The Best BBQ Gloves Option: GEEKHOM Grilling Gloves, Silicone Oven Mitts
Photo: amazon.com

While fabric and leather gloves may offer better heat protection, the silicone outer shell of these gloves makes them ideal for handling messier demands. The gloves consist of a 100 percent silicone outer shell with a comfortable cotton liner that’s heat resistant up to 446 degrees Fahrenheit.

The silicone construction makes the gloves waterproof, and washing them is easy. Simply rinse the gloves in the sink to clean them. Their textured nonslip design makes them ideal for handling hot food directly or gripping grill tools, while sleeve extensions provide additional protection for the wrists. A loop on the sleeves is convenient for hanging the gloves on a storage hook so they’re ready when needed. This pair of gloves is available in five color options.

Product Specs

  • Heat Resistance: 446 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Material: Outer shell is 100 percent silicone, and the interior has a cotton lining
  • Size Options: One size

Pros

  • Waterproof outer
  • Easy to clean in the sink
  • Nonslip grip for grill tools

Cons

  • Lower heater resistance than other gloves
  • Only one size option


Our Verdict

For their high temperature resistance and use of a stretchable material that allows for plenty of freedom of movement, the Grill Heat Aid BBQ Gloves are a great all-around option for serious grill masters.

If you’re after a more affordable similar option, then consider the Rapicca BBQ Oven Gloves. These gloves offer ample protection for the hands at a fraction of the price while including a few nice extras.

How We Chose the Best BBQ Gloves

We used several factors to narrow the field down to our top five selections. Since gloves are used to protect hands, heat resistance ranked highest on our list of performance needs. Gloves that offered better protection at higher heat levels ranked highly, along with those with long sleeves that offered protection for the forearms.

Since it’s important to be able to capably operate a pair of tongs, turn shish kebabs, flip burgers, and perform other grilling tasks while wearing gloves, size options and material thickness as it pertains to freedom of movement were also important factors in our selection process. Finally, a good BBQ glove should be easy to maintain even if used to handle food directly, so ease of cleaning was also a factor in each evaluation.

FAQs

Finding the right gloves for grilling can take some time and careful consideration, since hand size, food preferences, and grilling techniques can differ. If you’re wondering about the kind of gloves the pros use or whether it’s worth it to wear gloves while grilling, then read on for answers to some of the most popular questions.

Q. What gloves do BBQ pitmasters use?

BBQ pitmasters typically use nitrile gloves. This material is sterile enough to handle meat directly while still offering enough heat resistance to prevent burns. The gloves are typically black so they don’t show stains from grease and sauce.

Q. What gloves are used for BBQ?

Since cooking barbecue involves handling greasy and saucy meat directly with the hands, most barbecue chefs use black nitrile gloves, which are a little heavier than latex gloves. They sometimes wear these nitrile gloves over thick black cotton gloves for better heat insulation.

Q. Can I use welding gloves for a BBQ?

Yes. In fact, welding gloves, with their ability to resist heat above 500 degrees Fahrenheit (and short periods of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit) and their long cuffs, are a popular choice for BBQ gloves. Many welding glove manufacturers market their products for BBQ use.

Q. Should I wear gloves when grilling?

While it isn’t necessary, it’s a good idea to wear gloves while grilling, given the amount of heat a grill creates. Grills can reach temperatures upward of 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit, so they are capable of causing second- and third-degree burns fairly quickly. Since the hands and lower arms are the parts of the body in closest proximity to a grill, a good pair of gloves is crucial to preventing painful burns.

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Tony Carrick is a freelance writer specializing in home improvement, landscaping, and design. A recipient of a degree in journalism and a Master of Arts in English, he spent ten years writing for a variety of local newspapers and business publications before becoming an English teacher. Mr. Carrick now works as a freelance writer from his home in North Carolina. When he isn’t furiously typing away on his laptop or working on his latest home improvement project, he enjoys spending time with his family and cycling through the beautiful North Carolina countryside.