Update on my baking experiment: “Ergo” oven gloves?

More gingerbread men marched through our oven on the weekend, and so I had an opportunity to complete the product trials that I had planned. After my last e-news entry, I ordered three new pairs of oven mitts, optimistic that I could avoid adding “indented belly buttons” to my gingerbread men. Alas, I have small hands, which turns out to be a challenge when purchasing mitts that fit.

I ordered the smallest sizes available, and, as you can see in the photos, they were all considerably bigger than my hand. I had the dreaded “finger flaps” at the end of each finger, and my thumbprint problem was not solved. And worse, a glove is much harder to put on and take off than a mitt. I realised, after analysing the task in a bit more detail, that I only use the gloves for the 30 second oven transfer task. The 6 minutes between these tasks can be productively filled with rolling and loading men to trays. The gloves are an impairment to this work. I also learned that, when the oven timer rings, I typically slide my old oven mitt on without holding it….the mitt lays flat on the counter and I push my hand into it, rather than picking it up and pulling it on. If I have one clean hand, I can transfer the cookie sheets without a full hand-wash. When I’m done with the mitt, I can shake it off.  This task becomes impossible with a glove – the fingers of the glove, or the band around the wrist, prevent the glove from sliding on and off.

Sadly, I didn’t find any of these products “ergonomic” for the task I was performing, although I’m sure they would be great for other applications. It turns out that my trusty old oven mitts are likely the best PPE for this task, for me.

Here are the products that I trialed, and what I found:

Lee Valley Oven Gloves, Small (EV272, red with black grip strips, $42.50 from leevalley.com) The rubber grips are only applied on one side, so you need to put the “right” glove on the “right” hand. The small size would probably fit a large female or average male hand, but it was big on me. If I could keep my hands clean and leave the gloves on all the time, and if they fit tighter, I think these would be my first choice.

SEAAN Premium Resistant Heat Gloves (black with red grip strips, $22 from amazon.ca). These fit on either hand (grips on both sides), but they are very large – the biggest hands in our house were still not nearly as big as these gloves.

Silicone BBQ Gloves Commercial Grade, Small Size (green, $17 from amazon.ca).  The fit was a bit better, and they can be used on either hand, but the silicone sticks to your fingers, so more effort is required to slide them on and off. They are thicker than the cloth gloves, so tactile feedback is limited, and precision is more difficult, so you really couldn’t continue to work between oven transfers, except on gross motor activities. They might work well if I could recruit someone to be dedicated to oven duty….hmm….

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