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I recently obtained* my first cast iron skillet with a lid. I cleaned it up, seasoned it and am so far happy with the cooking results.

However, it has rapidly become obvious that I need some kind of handle cover, as juggling oven mitts and towels is not really cutting it.

I see that covers are generally made out of one of:

  • leather
  • fabric (like oven mitts)
  • silicone

Which of these materials is best for everyday cooking? Unsurprisingly, leather seems to be the most expensive. I also like the look best, though that's not a deal breaker. Does leather justify its higher price here?


*My neighbor was moving and was about to throw the skillet in a dumpster!

  • I contacted a local volunteer fire dept. and bought an old pair of firefighter gloves from them and cut the fingers off. It works great! – J Crosby Jul 15 '19 at 15:34
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    The best cast iron is always found in the trash. Good work! – Scribblemacher Jul 15 '19 at 17:01
  • The leather would cost more to produce and therefore it is higher in price. I can never justify the high price of leather since some hand bags made of leather cost thousands of dollars – Huangism Jul 16 '19 at 18:00
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I would go with silicone or leather. I used fabric mitts before and the one I used became brittle with the heat.

If you can "obtain" a silicone sleeve for the handle, that would save you the effort of putting on mitts every time you need to handle it. Test the silicone before you purchase it by putting a fire to it. If it burns, it's not real pure silicone.

Good luck!

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    How does one put fire to a silicone sleeve before purchasing it? – Rob Jul 13 '19 at 12:45
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I've never used leather handle covers, but I have used the fabric and silicone ones.

I will say that I am not a fan of the silicone ones. For the 'helper' handle on larger pans, they're the only thing that you can get, and so for that, I'd say they're okay.

But for the main handle? They're too slippery. If you try to hold a larger pan so that the pan is dangling (it's a trick to make it easier on your wrists when scrapping food out of them), the pan starts to slip from out of the cover.

You might assume that I'm using a generic cover that's not properly sized for my pan, but this is a Lodge 12" skillet and a Lodge silicone handle cover.

I've been using the fabric covers for well over a decade, and I've never had a problem with them, even with off-brand ones that seemed like they would have been too large.

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