This Glorious Oven Mitt Is an Example of What All Kitchen Products Should Be
Faith DurandNov 13, 2018
Your hands need this oven mitt!
When it comes to kitchen gear, we all love products that deliver on the promise to #buyitforlife — products that last, can be washed over and over, and contribute less to landfills and more to our own enjoyment and use.
But they also have to work, right? A long-lasting product that doesn't do its job is useless. I would add extra points if it's reasonably good-looking, as a long-lasting, hardworking product that is also beautiful is truly a holy grail.
Today I have one of my all-time favorite long-lasting, hard-working, gloriously perfect products for you — good for gifting or just buying for yourself right now.
$58 for two
Meet the greatest potholder I own: the Jane Domestic Suede Oven Mitt.
Wait, you say — a potholder? All this buildup for a potholder? Something I can buy at IKEA for $1.99?
Yes, but do you know where most of those cheap potholders go in six months? The landfill. You know what those cheap potholders do to you, the second they wear down a bit? Burn you. I still have scars to prove that, from crappy potholders and oven mitts.
Finding the perfect potholder is weirdly difficult — some are too thin and let heat through. Others are too thick and stiff and don't let you get a good hold on your pan. Some are tough to clean or fall apart in the first wash (Anthropologie, I wave in your direction). And many are just downright ugly.
The owner of Jane Domestic, Jane DePaolo, ran into those same frustrations as a cook for years, and loved one pad alone — a suede hot pad that lasted for over 10 years. So she designed and made her own, tinkering with the design until it was practically perfect.
I've had a pair of these Jane Domestic potholders for about five years now, and they have been hard at work in a very busy kitchen and still look good as new. I fill up with love every time I reach in the drawer for them. When they get dirty I just throw them in the washer and then let them dry on the countertop. (Confession: They've been through the dryer a few times too and they're still FINE.)
But more importantly, these mitts just work. They are thin and flexible enough to gently mold to any pan, but strong enough to hold up to even a screaming-hot cast iron skillet under the broiler. They have pockets on both sides, so whichever side you grab you can slip your hand in to make it a mitt, or just use it as a regular potholder. They beautifully work as trivets too.
I've bought maybe half a dozen of these now, but not for me — for friends and fellow food-lovers as gifts, because who doesn't need a new beautiful, luxuriously soft suede oven mitt that actually does its job perfectly? Everyone! Except me, because mine have never worn out. I expect to get years and years of use out of these beautiful mitts. Of course they're beautiful too, offered in shades of black, rich brown, slate blue, and more.
And I swear I didn't get paid to write this review — I just love these. The Amazon reviewers back me up (the first review has a typical headline: Finally, something that works).
At $24 to $30 each (depending on the color) they certainly aren't $2 IKEA mitts, but the utility and the longevity are deeply satisfying and worthwhile. In fact, I think that when it comes to purchasing things for the kitchen, priorities can get a little mixed up. We often think that the most basic and everyday of our tools should be cheap and nearly disposable in their cost. But isn't that backwards? Shouldn't the things we use every day, the ones that shield us from heat and pain, be the ones we invest in? So there's a little philosophizing for you to go along with your product recommendation of the day.
Guys, just buy these mitts. You'll thank me — about five years from now.