Unitasker Wednesday: Fingertip oven mitts

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

The first time I saw hand-only oven mitts, I thought they were a little ridiculous. I prefer to use long oven mitts so that I only need to own one pair (I can wear them while grilling, reaching into a pot of boiling water, or simply removing a pan from the oven), but the hand-only ones at least appear safe.

Let me show you what doesn’t look safe:

That’s right, fingertip oven mitts do not look safe. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they look unsafe. And, all you can do is grab a hot plate with them. You certainly couldn’t use them while grilling, reaching into boiling water, or removing a pan from the oven.

I declare that reader Peg sent us a fantastic unitasker!

41 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Fingertip oven mitts”

  1. Profile photo of

    posted by kbfenner on

    I might suggest that learning to use plain old-fashioned square potholders is a good idea. I have a lot more dexterity with my hands out in the open, and with very little experience, you don’t burn your knuckles on the oven rack above. I can then use them as trivets under the hot thing by just leaving them there. I have black ones that I leave on top of my microwave and thus no visual clutter, either.

    I don’t grill, so maybe that’s a limitation, but when I did, I used long handled utensils and no hand protection whatsoever.

    I don’t understand why I would be reaching into boiling water.

  2. posted by Diane on

    actually these would be fantastic for servers in restaurants. the plates are ridiculously hot and servers don’t touch more than that much of the plate.

  3. posted by Andrew on

    to be fair, these arn’t oven mitts, they are for the microwave and are only good to 284F. they come with magnets so you can stick them on the microwave itself.

    A dishtowel would work just as well so it is still a uni-tasker as I cannot think of another use for this thing.

  4. posted by Jacki Hollywood Brown on

    These particular fingertip “mitts” look unsafe.

    When I was working in a lab, I used to take silicone tubing and cut it into one inch pieces and slit them lengthwise. I used to then slip each piece over my finger tips. With my special fingertip covers, I could then remove small delicate glassware from the WARM drying oven. You just can’t do that with arm-length oven gloves.

    However, in the cooking ovens (350F-550F) and furnaces (over 900F) I used full length oven gloves for large pieces of glassware and tongs for small pieces.

    @kbfenner – You may need to reach into boiling water if you’re canning or sterilizing stuff. I suggest full length silicone gloves or tongs.

  5. posted by KeRRi on

    Oh dear! These do not look safe at all. Danger! I love uni-tasker Wednesday. I always get a great laugh! Thanks, Erin!

  6. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @kbfenner — Jacki is 100% right, I dip my hands in boiling water when canning. I find it so much easier than using jar tongs, and as an added bonus I don’t have to store a cumbersome set of jar tongs.

  7. posted by Ruth Hansell on

    Hmm. Trying to think of a way to attach small metallic bits to the fingertips, to make a set of castanets. (I think that’s what they’re called, flamenco dancers use them.)

    Short of that, or maybe using them to crimp the edges of pie crusts. . . oh, dear, I’ve turned them in to multi taskers . . .

    Still wouldn’t buy them, I’d forget what they were for in the first place.

    Ruth

  8. Profile photo of

    posted by opadit on

    @Erin — You can have my canning jar lifter when you pry it out of my hot, scalded hands, LOL. Different strokes for different folks, I guess, but I just store the lifter in the canner itself, along with my other canning-only tools (jar rack, foley food mill, candy thermometer, and canning funnel), on top of the fridge. I’ve tried out those silicone mitts before, but my hands are so small that they’re terribly big on me. I fear that I would drop wet jars left and right and spill hot water everywhere if I tried to use them for canning.

    Agreed that the fingertip mitts look not just useless but also frankly unsafe. That would have to be one very light plate of food for a person to hold a hot, loaded dish with just their fingertips.

  9. posted by Amy on

    The fact that these are only for the microwave only further limits their use and makes it worse! Imagine forgetting that these are for hot microwave plates ONLY and trying to pick up someing really hot from the oven??? I see a recall in this products future!

    The website says “Don’t fumble with bulky potholders or dishtowels” but who fumbles with a potholder (vs trying to get these on your fingers just right)??

  10. posted by Joy on

    I dunno….I think I could use them. My plates get very hot in the microwave and I have burned many a finger when nuking something. Only good for a single use? To be sure. Small and easy to store? Yes. It’s a toss-up.

  11. posted by Jennifer Ryan on

    I actually have one of these – not this exact one, but similar. It’s great for getting hot plates out of the microwave. I know it’s a uni-tasker, but it doesn’t take up much space and holds onto the plate since it’s silicone and has grippies (yes, that’s a technical term lol).

  12. posted by Kate! on

    Haha! I guess this is a unitasker, never really thought of it because they are in such high demand. I work at the Container Store and we are completely sold out – have been for weeks – and people come in looking for these EVERY DAY!

  13. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Kate! — These are in high demand? That is so many levels of awesome.

  14. posted by Dawn F. on

    YIKES!!!

    Maybe you could use them to pick up used Kleenex tissues left in the car (by husband or kids).

    Maybe you could use them to unscrew a hot lightbulb, although I can’t think of a reason why you would unscrew a hot lightbulb.

    Is it obvious that I’m bored at work?

  15. posted by Christine on

    The amount of rubbish we (as humans) produce is frightening.

  16. posted by Courtney on

    Wow. I picture going a little too fast with these, and accidentally burning the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. Or burning any one of the other three fingers that aren’t protected. (Look at the picture again – if that plate was truly hot, don’t you think her other fingers will get burned??)

    I’m a klutz. I already get burned when I use a pot holder because not all of my hand/arm is covered – I can’t imagine how many more accidents would happen with the tiny surface area this protects.

    I had accident a few months ago where I was pulling a bowl of steamed vegetables out of the wall-counter microwave. I pulled the bowl out too fast and it spilled. The superheated water caused a huge 2nd degree burn on my chest. It caused a rather embarrassing episode at work when the skin broke and dripped blood all over my white shirt. It looked like I had been stabbed. (Sorry, off topic.) I’ve wondered since then if it is truly safe to have microwaves at that height. Are there any guidelines about microwave placement, or safety devices that can prevent someone klutzy like me from repeating that disaster?

  17. posted by Karyn on

    Ha! I don’t own a microwave, so what the hey would I do with these?

    Nada. Nichts. Nut-ding. And these look pretty nutty and dingy, all right. If you need to grab a hot plate from your microwave, just use a freakin’ potholder, cloth or silicone, square or glove. It’s really quite easy to do.

    Ever notice how marketers of Unitaskers try to make the simplest, most ordinary tasks–like lifting hot objects with a pot holder or cracking an egg on the edge of the bowl–look as if you need a combination of Olympic-caliber athleticism and a Noble prize in physics to be able to perform them? Hence the “demand” for their “innovative” products! :P

  18. posted by Karyn on

    That would be “Nobel.” Ahem.

  19. posted by Jenn S. on

    My mother put one of these in my stocking last year (I’m rather notorious for burning myself while cooking), and yes, they are a bit dangerous. I used them once before putting it in the giveaway pile and going back to my preferred dishtowel method, even though I still sometimes end up grabbing something with a damp towel.

  20. posted by Jane G. on

    Sometimes I don’t pay attention to the fact that something is a Unitasker. I looked at this and thought, “Why would anybody waste their money on something like this?” – then I looked at the heading – “Unitasker” – and thought, “Oh. OK.”

  21. posted by gypsy packer on

    Any good Dixie cook will recognize that you cannot pull a cast iron skillet full of cornbread from a hot oven, utilizing this little multitasker. Down here, we set critters like that under our table legs to keep from scarring the floor.

    Most glove ads lie and claim that they are good to 500 and it’s still necessary to use a glove plus a potholder to remove that skillet. Get honest, manufacturers.

  22. posted by Ginger on

    I can see someone has already said this but can I reiterate – would be perfect for waiting tables and less slippery than linen napkins when carrying plates for long distances.

  23. posted by Suz on

    My mom received a homemade pair of these as a gift. I think someone was trying to use up scraps of leftover fabric. Mom’s never used them but she keeps them in the kitchen because she’d feel too guilty if she threw them out.

  24. posted by knitwych on

    That thing would become a cat toy in my house.

  25. posted by sharon on

    I just bought something similar and I love it! I use it to lift the lid on my glass pan which gets warm. Today I used it to hold a glass bowl while melting chocolate over a pot of simmering water. And when I got chocolate on the silicone, I threw it in with the rest of the dishes didn’t have to do the whole laundry thing.

  26. posted by Linda on

    I absolutely love mine. They have saved my fingers countless times when removing hot things from the microwave. They don’t take much room and are dishwasher safe. Maybe not a multi-tasking wonder, but they do deliver for their intended task.

  27. posted by Andy on

    I can see a use for like holding a bowl of chocolate over a pan but being safe for other things, I just can’t see it. Give me a folded tea towl any day.

  28. posted by Charlotte K on

    For that matter, pot holders are unitaskers. Why not just use a towel?

  29. Profile photo of Erin Doland

    posted by Erin Doland on

    @Charlotte — You can’t wrap your arm in a towel and stick it into boiling water, and it’s unsafe to use a towel as an oven mitt if you have a gas range/oven.

  30. posted by Andy on

    Sometimes the Unitasker is a worthless, amusing bit of clutter to laugh at, but other times it seems like you are having a hard time finding things that qualify and get as close as you can just to make the weekly post.

    While specific in its function, it misses the “ridiculous pointlessness” that I expect to be associated with a unitasker. As someone who frequently needs to remove a hot plate that is covering a bowl in the microwave, the precision granted from just the finger tips would be much easier and more sanitary than trying to use bulky potholders.

    I’d say that this is about as Unitaskeresque as a knife, since a knife only has one function and can also be dangerous if used improperly.

    Uh… that said, I do like this site. :)

  31. posted by Christine on

    This is the first time I have disagreed with a Unitasker post.

    Yes, this item does one thing (so does a pencil or a knife) but I do think I could fill a need in my kitchen.

    Removing a plate or bowl from the microwave using an oven mitt is difficult for me partically because the microwave is above my head. Usually I end up soiling my oven mitt in the food or soup that I have just heated up. I can foresee that using this I might have more precision to touch only the edge of the plate or bowl thus enabling me to remove it safe and sound from the microwave.

  32. posted by Vanessa on

    Some people are too funny. I love all the unitaskers, they crack me up every time, but the thing I look forward to the most is the comments. I completely understand that people have unitaskers (I have a few myself that I wouldn’t want to give up), but I just don’t get when people try to justify their unitasker by pointing out USEFUL unitaskers (like when people try to say a fire extinguisher is a unitasker that can be compared to the unitaskers on these posts!).
    @ Andy- Knives are useful- you can’t cut certain things without them. This little unitasker here isn’t very useful. You can use pot holders, towels, or over mitts to take out hot things from the microwave (I do it all the time and I’ve never burned myself).
    Unitaskers are subjective- just because you think this is useful, doesn’t mean Erin (and a bunch of her readers) can’t think this is ridiculous. These unitasker posts are supposed to be fun, not something to analyze :)

  33. posted by Tim on

    Christine- I don’t know if trying to take a plate or bowl out of the microwave above your head with your fingertips is a good idea! I’d rather soil an oven mitt than tilt the bowl a touch (not having a whole hand to sturdy the bowl) and spill on myself.

  34. posted by Rue on

    @Dawn F: I actually find myself removing more hot lightbulbs than cool ones, lol. Usually I notice mine are out when the light is on and suddenly it blows out. Since I like a lot of light, I replace the bulb immediately – and of course it’s still hot from when it was on! I also had a lamp or some kind of fixture once that the bulb got lightning hot really quickly, and the room was too dark to change the bulb with the fixture off. =\ But if I’m changing a hot bulb, I just wrap a dishtowel around it while I unscrew it, then set it on a counter until it cools off enough to throw it in the trashcan.

    As for the unitasker! I actually find it really difficult to remove a plate from the oven or microwave using a potholder or oven mitt…they’re usually too bulky for me to fully recognize by touch just how much of the plate I’m grasping. So either I grasp the very edge of the plate and nearly drop it, or I grasp too much of the plate and end up sticking the mitt or holder into the food! So while I can see the point that it’s a unitasker, I could see use for it for some people (including myself…although I’m not going to jump up and buy one, either).

  35. posted by Shalin on

    Cute/clever/tidy: +5 points
    Compelling enough to buy: -3 points
    Overpriced to solve the issue: -3 points

    I have to admit though, I’m tempted to buy and use some firefighter gauntlet gloves that go about half-way up your forearm. But…I was a volunteer FF a few years ago so… ;)

    –S

  36. posted by WilliamB on

    I can’t tell from the pix or website: how big is the underside, the bit where one might put four fingers? If it’s comfortably big enough for all four, then it might be useful for warmed or nuked plates. If not, then no way! I’d also be concerned about the weight of the plate compared to the strength of one’s fingers.

    I think version 2.0 should be made of high-heat silicone so we could use it for more things. It should also be hand and palm liners, covering the palm and palm-sides of your fingers. Then you could use your whole hand for the plate.

    Till them I’m sticking with my mid-forearm length oven mitts. They hang neatly by the oven, suspended by their loops on the 3M removable hooks.

  37. posted by Mary on

    My Orka silicone mitts are Teh Awesome. This, not so much.

  38. posted by Charlotte K on

    I have never had anything but gas ranges & ovens and I use towels all the time. My oven doesn’t have exposed gas flames and I turn the stove off before picking up items. Just how safe do we have to be?

    I don’t stick my hands in boiling water, and I agree, a towel certainly wouldn’t work there, but neither would these little doodads.

  39. posted by Emma on

    Erin, please clarify: what kind of potholder do you use that lets you stick your hand/arm into boiling water? Sorry I’m not up on the latest potholder technology :), but the only thing I can picture is the kind that’s just heavily padded fabric, thus completely useless when wet. Thanks!

  40. posted by Christina on

    I have something similar, and I love it for removing the tray from the toaster oven. It’s the perfect thing and fits easily in the utensil drawer right by said toaster oven. A mitt would not. Nor would it allow enough dexterity.

  41. posted by Mike on

    This may be a unitasker, but it does its one job better than the multitasker alternatives being suggested, it takes up almost no space in a drawer, and it generally costs less than $5. The particular model I have is also a bit wider than the one pictured, allowing you to grasp it with your thumb and the large knuckle of your index finger, rather than the fingertips, providing a more stable grip.

    It is perfect for picking up a hot plate or bowl from the microwave with one hand, leaving the other free to close the microwave door.

    Using a towel often results in a corner dipping into the food. A thin towel would not be as heatproof as the silicon gripper, especially if it was a little damp, and a thicker towel would not provide a secure grip. Most potholders, being basically mittens, do not provide the necessary dexterity to pickup a bowl with one hand.

    So, unitasker it may be, but it does its one job well and with minimal clutter.

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