Pot Holders greatly improve life in the kitchen. Not only do they protect you, but also your kitchen. Here are five more reasons why you should get Pot Holders.
No, Pot Holders and Oven Mitts are not the same things. And yes, you need both.
What Are Pot Holders?
Pot Holders are insulated pieces of textile used to cover our hands when holding and moving hot kitchenware around, usually from stovetop to stovetop or to the dining area. Most Pot Holders are around 8” x 8” in size, made from 100% cotton, and feature a convenient hanging loop.
Makeshift Pot Holders, such as folding a Tea Towel over a few times, isn’t exactly good enough. Sure, this technique has worked for you in the past, but it’s only a matter of time until something slips and someone gets burned.
Reasons You Should Get Pot Holders
There are some kitchen gadgets and gizmos you probably don’t actually need. We know the kitchenware aisle is always highly enticing, and it can feel like being a kid in a candy store, but save your money. We promise you don’t need every last specialty tool. That being said, one area we never want to skimp on is safety. In fact, Pot Holders are a form of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and are designed to protect your body from injury. And they do a marvelous job at it.
Kitchens are the heart of the home, but they can also be quite the battleground. Sizzling cast-iron skillets, scorching splashes of oil, searing casserole dishes, and more are all accidents waiting to happen. Your kitchenware should work as hard as you do. Here are five ways Pot Holders stand up to the challenge and why you should get a pair if you don’t have them already.
1. To Handle Hot Dishes
The primary function of Pot Holders is to protect your hands while moving hot pots, pans, and dishes around. For example, moving a Sauce Pan between stovetops or from stovetop to dinner table.
Pot Holders are essentially a piece of cloth, usually in a square-like shape, with a slit for our hands. They’re designed to be quick and easy to slip onto your hands when you need to handle hot dishes. Needing to grab hot handles, casserole dishes, cast-iron skillets, serving plates, and more are all examples calling for Pot Holders.
Pot Holders are not meant to be used for reaching into the oven. This is because, unlike Oven Mitts, Pot Holders only cover your hand and perhaps a little bit of your wrist, but not your forearm. Reaching into a blazing oven with your wrists and forearms exposed is a recipe for disaster (one of the only recipes we wouldn’t suggest everyone try at least once). A good rule of thumb is if the oven is being opened, you need your Oven Mitts. If the oven is staying closed, you probably only need your Pot Holders.
To lift a pot or pan using both hands will require two Pot Holders, which is why any decent set comes with at least two. In addition, some Pot Holders are created with a rubber surface on the cloth’s inner palm side, which provides extra grip and creates an anti-slide section of the holder. There are pros and cons to having Pot Holders with or without a rubber surface, but the difference usually comes down to whether or not you feel comfortable and confident with your hot-dish-handling skills.
An advantage of having Pot Holders with a rubber surface is that this surface can help pots and pans stay in place when using your Pot Holders as hot pads underneath dishware or cookware. With the rubber surface face down on the dining room table, there will be no slipping, sliding, or getting shoved. In other words, nothing’s getting accidentally knocked over when one of your guests reaches over to grab the salt shaker.
2. To Protect Countertops and Dinner Tables
As we just alluded to, Pot Holders can also be used in place of hot pads to protect countertops and dinner tables from hot dishware and cookware. One of the best ways to keep your counters, dinner table, coffee table, and other surfaces in their best condition is to protect them from potentially damaging heat.
With summer right around the corner, many kitchens are gearing up for barbeque season. Barbeque season means hot serving dishes coming in from the back porch, stacked high with hot dogs, sizzling burgers, steaming corn cobs, and more. When it comes to setting up a buffet-style barbeque night for family or friends, the last thing you should be worrying about is damaging the countertops. This is where your Pot Holders come in handy.
Perhaps you’re thinking something along the lines of “I don’t have to worry about this problem because my countertops are made of ____.” Not so fast. Yes, different countertop materials handle heat differently, some better than others. But no matter what they’re made of, countertops, dining room tables, coffee tables, and other surfaces are expensive. Better safe than sorry, if you ask us. Granite, quartz, quartzite, marble, laminate, wood, and ceramic material are all susceptible to heat damage.
Heat damage can lead to the weakening of sealants, staining, discoloration, slight softening, cracks, chips, scratches, warps, and deformations. We promise it’s much easier to quickly pull out your Pot Holders before placing down that hot serving dish of fresh, sizzling burgers than it is to replace a countertop or refurbish your dining room table. We also promise Pot Holders are much more affordable than any potential repair or replacement work too.
3. Stand-in Tea Towel
Sometimes we find ourselves mid-recipe with sticky fingers or small splatters of run-away pasta sauce on our hands. But small messes like these aren’t always enough to warrant a hand wash. These are the types of messes where all we need is a simple wipe on a Tea Towel, and we’ll be on our way.
Given most Pot Holders are made from 100% cotton and feature a hanging loop - and thus will be close by - Pot Holders can serve as a stand-in Tea Towel when all you need is a simple wipe. Now, Pot Holders are relatively small compared to other kitchen linens and, of course, won’t be sufficient for tasks much larger than a small wipe.
We’re talking about when the tip of your finger has gotten a little oily, some sauce jumped out of the pot and landed on your wrist, and other small events like these. The cotton material of Pot Holders is not only heat-resistant but highly absorbent, too. This means when all you need is a quick wipe or dab, your nearby Pot Holders can do the job when you’re in a pinch.
Maybe your Tea Towels are in the laundry, or perhaps they’re just out of reach. Pot Holders can double duty as a small, stand-in Tea Towel when you need them to.
If you’re wondering whether your Pot Holders can also stand in place for your Oven Mitts, mmm, kind of, but not really. Recall that Oven Mitts are specifically designed to offer better protection when more of our wrists and forearms will be exposed to high heat. Using your Pot Holders to reach into the oven is a little risky and likely to be slightly uncomfortable, but when they’re all you have available, they may suffice.
4. Kitchen Aesthetic
When it comes to a wonderfully designed kitchen - picture the kitchen of your dreams - functionality, and aesthetics go hand-in-hand.
Imagine your guests are gathered around the kitchen island, enjoying wine, snacks, and banter and eagerly awaiting your almost-ready main course that’s finishing up on the stovetop. Messily crumpling up a Tea Towel to help you move the pot or pan from the stove to the dining table isn’t very appealing or pretty. But seamlessly slipping on your Pot Holders for the job? Now that it looks like you know what you’re doing and signals your kitchen is well-equipped and in shipshape. It also helps you look less like a miser, just saying.
Everythinglooks better and feels better when we have the proper tools for the task at hand. You don’t have to be a culinary wizard to have the proper tools for tasks you’ll be repeating over and over again - they’re way worth it! A well-equipped kitchen not only makes life easier (and safer) but creates an overall appearance of a high-end, sophisticated kitchen.
Another small change that can contribute to this stocked-and-ready kitchen aesthetic is thoughtfully designed storage for your Set of Cookware, such as Magnetic Pan Racks and a Canvas Lid Holder. Let Magnetic Racks house each pot and pan perfectly while their respective lids hang nearby in their organized and space-conscious Canvas holder.
With the proper tools, organization, and functionality, your kitchen will be the talk of the town.
5. Add Color to Any Setting
Color is a great tool to help brighten up a tired kitchen, but knowing when, where, and how much to use can be a little tricky. Pot Holders - and all kitchen linens, really - pose an excellent opportunity to get creative with decor and add some personality.
Not all Pot Holders are created equally, and by this, we mean some Pot Holders are, well, ugly. (Because yes, we know most are, but not these ones, though). With so many colors, styles, patterns, and designs to choose from, it’s easy to find a nice set of Pot Holders that will serve you well and look great doing so.
Using kitchen linens to add a pop of color also leaves you the option to change up your accent color whenever you feel like it (for a much lower cost than, say, repainting an accent wall). Pot Holders, Tea Towels, Oven Mitts, and Aprons are fun and easy ways to play around with color without too much commitment.
For an extra challenge, match your linens to your cookware for the extra joy that comes with living an intentional life.
Pot Holders vs. Hot Pads vs. Oven Mitts vs. Trivets?
We’ve already dipped our toes into this comparison, but let’s continue to paint the whole picture, shall we?
Pot Holders and hot pads are not the same item. Hot pads are a piece of material to be used under hot dishes to protect surfaces, while Pot Holders are pieces of textile used to cover hands when holding and moving hot kitchenware around. The most significant difference is that Pot Holders will usually have some sort of slit for your hands to go in, whereas hot pads are simply a slab of material meant to be left in one place and act as a ~hot pad~. Like Pot Holders, hot pads may or may not have a rubber or slip-resistant surface on one side to provide extra support for staying in place.
Oven Mitts, as we’re all experts on by this point, are padded mittens for handling hot dishes and pans. Remember the rule? If the oven is being opened, you probably need your Oven Mitts.
A trivet is a small plate that is placed between a serving dish and a dining table. They’re kind of like coasters, except for larger dishware rather than glasses, and with heat-resistant properties. Trivets can serve the same function as hot pads, but their intended use is more general, not specific to being a heat protector. Trivets protect from scratches from stainless steel appliances and other cookware and often come in more varied designs since they work more as a barrier than a vital heat protecting layer.
Is Your Kitchen Well Equipped?
For everything you do in the kitchen, a little extra support never hurt anybody.
The world of kitchenware is far and wide, and while there are some tools you can do without, Pot Holders aren’t one of them.
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