Rarely a day goes by that I don’t put on exam gloves. Most days it’s at my job as a sonographer (ultrasound tech), but there are many days I use them in the kitchen where they are surprisingly useful.
I prefer exam gloves over food-handler gloves (the clear, one-size-fits-all kind you see in restaurants and schools). They fit more snugly and allow better tactile manipulation.
Where to buy gloves:
I buy them at Costco for around $10 for 2 boxes which will last me between one and two years. You can also buy them in the medical supply section of almost any drugstore or grocery store. Amazon also carries exam gloves.
1. Open stubborn lids
This is one of my favorite uses–especially as I get older.
2. Prevent burned fingers
Exam gloves have wonderful insulating properties…to a point. Don’t use them to remove hot dishes from an oven.
But if you are slicing hot meat, turning out hot muffins or baked goods, or handling hot veggies (perhaps hollowing out cooked potatoes or stuffing an eggplant), gloves will allow you to do it quickly and cleanly without burning your fingers.
The corn on the cob you see below was cooked in the microwave per the instructions seen here, so that cob is HOT! You could use hot pads to hang on to the shucks, but they are awkward. Exam gloves make the job easy.
By the way, if you haven’t seen this You Tube video about how to cook and shuck corn with no husks in the final product, you must! I’ve tried it and my life will never be the same. I’m eating more fresh corn on the cob than is probably good for a person.
The little tart shells in the picture have just come out of the oven and without gloves, they would be difficult to handle.
If you are slicing hot meat, turning out hot muffins or baked goods, or handling hot veggies (perhaps hollowing out cooked potatoes, stuffing an eggplant, or separating sweet potatoes from white potatoes), gloves will allow you to do it quickly and cleanly without burning your fingers.
The little tart shells in this recipe have just come out of the oven and without gloves, they would be difficult to handle.
3. Shield pastries or candy from body heat
When working with pastries that tend to be difficult as they get warm, e.g. pie crust or puff pastry, put on gloves to protect the food. If you are rolling cookie dough into balls or making candy, gloves will prevent your body heat from warming the dough and making it too sticky to handle.
Works with ice cream balls, too.
4. Protect from unsociable odors
If you don’t want your hands to smell like garlic or onions when you shake hands with the President after fixing his next state dinner, wear gloves.
5. Barrier against natural toxins
Ever chop a fresh pepper and then rub your eyes? Believe me. Wearing gloves is a very good idea. I don’t recommend making one of the most popular recipes on this blog without them.
6. No more discolored fingers
Peeling beets, squeezing citrus fruits, and extracting seeds from pomegranates or cherries are just a few of the times you might want to protect your fingers from food stains.
It’s also a good way to avoid black fingers when polishing your grandmother’s silver.
7. Give the slip to sticky, slimy or gooey tasks.
I’m sure you’ve already thought of this one but had to mention it anyway because it’s probably the number one reason I put these gloves on.
Some tasks are just better suited for hands. As we used to say at the Greenhouse (previous job), “Hands were made before spoons.”
But some jobs are ickier than bowls of mysterious substances in a Halloween funhouse. Filling pasta shells and mixing meatloaf or meatballs are just two of the many messy jobs made more tolerable with gloves.
P.S. My 3 yr. old grandson begs to put these gloves on every time he comes for a visit. I’m not really sure why they appeal but they seem to turn on his imagination.
SALAD-IN-A-JAR RECIPES that go better when you use gloves: