Not the First Thing I Reach For: KitchenAid Silicone Pot Holders
Feb 4, 2008 (Updated Feb 11, 2008)
Review by lyagushka
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Dishwasher safe, highly insulating. Can be used as trivets.
The Bottom Line: Your mileage may vary, but I don't care for them.
A pair of these KitchenAid Silicone Pot Holders showed up under the Christmas tree a few years ago. Generally, I have a high opinion of KitchenAid cooking tools, but I haven't been impressed with the pot holders. At first glance they seem like a good idea. Indeed they have many good attributes. Ultimately I don't use them because I don't feel that I have a good grip on pots and pans when I try to manipulate them with these pot holders.
Recommend this product?
The design really couldn't be much simpler. The pot holders are silicone squares (black in this instance, though they come in other colors), about 1/4" thick, with slightly raised bumps spread over both sides, presumably to improve grip. There's a hole near one corner so you can hang them up if you so choose. The silicone is comfortably soft in the hand and it transmits almost no heat whatsoever. In terms of insulating, they're top notch. Also, they're dishwasher safe, which makes them considerably easier to clean than most pot holders. And the pot holders in my kitchen tend to get dirty pretty quickly.
The problem then is that the silicone material has a resistance, a stiffness to it that I don't like. When I grab a hot baking sheet out of the oven, I want to feel like I have a firm grip on it. A cloth hot pad may not insulate as well as the silicone, but it wraps itself very well around the rim of a sheet or a pot handle. The silicone doesn't mold itself uniformly between my fingers and whatever I'm trying to grip. It's hard for me to feel the pan through the pot holder. And that bothers me a great deal.
After a few unsatisfactory attempts at using these pot holders, they got buried under others of the cloth variety and the kitchen towels. I rediscovered them not long ago and tried to give them a fair shake again, but I just haven't felt comfortable using them. I've never actually dropped anything while using them, but there have been times when I've felt like I was about to. I really don't like dropping hot things in the kitchen, especially when it's food I've spent some time preparing.
In short, I don't like the KitchenAid Silicone Pot Holders, at least as pot holders. They can also function as trivets, and they do just fine at this job, being able to withstand direct contact with heat in excess of 600 degrees Fahrenheit. But I have a large collection of wrought iron standing trivets, so these aren't really useful to me in that way either.
I know that a lot of other home cooks like these pot holders. And it's nice that they're a multiple use product. I just haven't found them useful for me. If you find these in a kitchen retail shop, I would urge you to really test drive them carefully before making a purchase. Maybe you won't have the same reaction I did. But I think you would benefit by attempting to pick up various baking sheets, muffin tins, pans, etc, and evaluating the grip for yourself. I didn't spend a dime to find out I didn't like this tool. I hope you won't either.
Some great kitchen tools I can recommend:
Oxo Good Grips Kitchen Tongs - sturdy and safe to use with non-stick pans
Oxo Good Grips Offset Bread Knife - does its job well and safely
Swing Away Can Opener - the one I kept after trying all the others
Taylor Instant Read Pocket Thermometer - the most necessary tool for cooking roasts of any kind
KitchenAid Professional Standing Mixer - a versatile, high-performing, and durable cornerstone of my kitchen
KitchenAid Santoku knife - a nice intersection of a chef's knife and a utility knife
Cuisinart Mini-Mate Food Processor - grind those spices or make pesto in a trice
Endurance Precision Pierced Colander - drains like a dream, and made of stainless steel
Black & Decker Rice & Vegetable Steamer - takes a licking, keeps on ticking
Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven - ideal for stews and no knead bread
Bron Mandoline Slicer - the Cadillac of the kitchen
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