Orka Silicone Oven Mitt

June 13, 2007
What it is: A silicone oven mitt that is heat resistant to 480°F.
How it comes: 7 colors (charcoal, translucent, blue, tangerine, lemon, plum, red), 11-inch regular or petite glove
Where it is: In housewares stores and departments or at
Who it's for: Anyone who uses an oven or a grill
Suggested retail price: $18
Nutrition notes: NA
Category: Kitchen Counter, Drawer & More

Bonnie: It’s true. Outfitted in these awkward but useful silicone mitts you can carefully turn meat or chicken on the grill without getting burned. I know, as I’ve tried it.The mitt maker also claims that you can reach into a pot of boiling water or vat of ready-to-fry oil without getting burned (although why you’d want to do that is beyond me). I didn’t try that.

I’m always sporting a big smile at the ease—and fun—of grabbing and turning racks of ribs while wearing these mitts. That’s something I do whenever Eric’s home.

“Ribs,” Eric always replies when asked what I should make when he’s home. He never cares what I serve with it; he’s just happy with ribs, with meat that falls off as you pick up a bone.

To have your rib meat do so, prepare the racks before cooking. Use baby backs for sure. Carefully peel (yes peel) the thin papery membrane along the underside using your fingers or a sharp knife. (My preference is my boning knife.) Sometimes the membrane comes off easily; other times it’s a more of a struggle. But removing it is key to the meat falling off the bone.

The next step is truly optional. Rub the racks with a blend of brown sugar, ground cumin, dry mustard, salt and peppers (chili, black, cayenne, paprika) and let them stand on the counter for 20 minutes, refrigerate for longer or just bake right away. Or just season with salt, pepper and any favorite seasonings.

Place the racks in a pan with deep sides, large enough to hold the ribs in a single layer, meat side up. Depending on the number of racks, you might need two pans.

Cover the pans with foil and either bake at 250-degrees F in the oven or cook over indirect heat on the grill for at least 3 hours. Then slather them with your favorite BBQ sauce and bake or grill (still over indirect heat) another 30 minutes.

Using the silicone mitts, I grab the ribs carefully so not to burn my unprotected skin and also not to let the meat fall off the bones in transit. And when I’m done, I toss them into the dishwasher with all the sticky dinner plates.

Bryan: I’m from a food family and restaurant background, so flaunting my ‘hot hands’ is just par for the course. Working kitchens for many years gives me the feeling, though sometimes not the reality, that I can claim any food from the fire sans mitts. In my years now, out of the commercial kitchen, I stick to using mitts for the oven (the grill is still my playground). Though an awkward looking tool, the Orka gloves are unique in their ability to be washed while remaining impenetrable to the perils of the scorching, scalding kitchen.

Eric: I still am leery every time I put on these gloves, but after a few years of use I can easily say that as awkward as they look—with their somewhat neon tinge—they are a durable pair of gloves that work in the oven, on the grill and as a nice chew toy for a small dog*.

*We are not suggesting this. It’s just Eric’s humor.

5 Comments on “Orka Silicone Oven Mitt”

  1. Diane Says:

    Loving “Bite” more and more, especially now that Eric’s sense of humor shines through. Great fun to be able to write and work with family, not to mention it adds a slightly different perspective to each reviewed item.


  2. aram Says:

    This mitt is worth it just for it’s delightful color and unusal design. I don’t think it’s ugly. And, I’m going to look for one in my area. I can’t wait to flip my own ribs and not have the messy metal turnover, the spills and the other mess associated with my attempts to bbq.

    Big bonus is that I can chase my husband around the house with it! He hates blue crab claws.

  3. Karen Says:

    My husband purchased 2 of these silicone okra mitts and they ripped! Right in the thumb grove! They just started coming apart! Does anyone know the manufacture so I can shoot them an email? I am shocked this happened.

  4. Bonnie Tandy Leblang Says:

    I suggest returning them to the store for a replacement. I emailed the PR person who we worked with on this, but learned she no longer represents the company. She forwarded your concerns to the person who currently does rep them… So hang tight — as we’re still trying to get a response from the company for you…

  5. linda bridges Says:

    I have used these gloves for over 5 years. My son gave these me a pair because I was always burning myself when takiong thing out of the oven. I enjoyed them so much I purchased another pair for our 5th wheel to use when we so camping. I recoommend them to everyone.
    I enjoy cooking and give these to newly weds and as house warming gift.

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