Dish towels. Or tea towels if you live somewhere a little more colonial. Pretty innocuous right? Usually found hanging from the oven handle in kitchens all over the world. Perfect for drying dishes and wiping up spills. Potentially the understated MVP of the kitchen.
Or are they callous betrayers and the spawn of the goddamn devil?
Ever used a dish towel to get something you’ve just cooked out of the oven? Yeah, you know where I’m going with this. The timer buzzer goes off and you’re like “Yes! Time for some mother flipping cupcakes!” Or pie, or pizza rolls, or whatever. You’re keen as. It’s munching time! So you grab the nearest dish towel, pull open the oven and grab the tray.
Only to have the heat of the tray seep through the dish towel and burn your goddamn fingerprints off!
The worst part is that initially you think you’re fine. Every. Single. Time. I mean you’ve folded it, so you’re like, “This thin ratty fabric I’ve folded a few times and don’t even remember buying will make my hands impervious to any and all heat sources. Especially this metallic tray that’s been soaking in a purpose built food furnace for the last hour.”
So you confidently grasp the tray with your impromptu heat force field and all is well. That is until a few micro seconds later, after you’ve actually picked up the tray, when you begin to feel the heat slowly creeping through the fabric towards your fingertips. At first you think you can take it. “Eh, it’s not so bad,” you tell yourself, “I can totally take this until I get the tray to the benchtop.”
But that’s the thing, it doesn’t just stay at that temperature. Au contraire! The heat builds and builds until it feels like your holding onto one of Satan’s testicles. Or both of them. You want to let go but it’s too late, you’re committed.
Unless you want to drop the food you’ve just spent time preparing and anticipating all over the kitchen floor you have to hold onto this molten hot tray that has inexplicably broken through your fabric anti-heat defence system. At least until you can throw it onto the benchtop while cursing it with the curse of those who have intercourse with mothers.
But it’s too late. Your dish towel’s/tea towel’s treachery has consigned you to the ninth circle of hell. Your name is Dante and your hand is an inferno.
Even if you defy the laws of physics and fold the thing 17 times in some kind of Mythbuster-esque frenzy it still fails to retard any heat. Now I know they’re not made of Space Shuttles but Sweet Christmas!, they have all the heat diminishment properties of a cheap piece of thin fabric.
Perhaps you’re making dismissive wanking motions with your brain, and are all like, “Travis, you bloody savage, use an oven mitt!” Well man, I’m here to tell you that I’ve had the exact same experience with oven mitts. While I can possibly give dish towels a slight pass when it comes to heat nullification as it’s not their primary purpose, oven mitts on the other hand have no excuse.
They do such a flimsy job of the one thing they’re supposed to do it’s ridiculous. Nothing else on the planet could fail so utterly at its primary function and get away with it so unrepentantly.
Perhaps my problem is in fact with thermodynamics and not dish towels/tea towels at all. But still… They hang from the door of the oven. That is their natural habitat in almost every kitchen I’ve ever been in. Don’t tell me they’re not supposed to be used in conjunction with the oven. Or the hot things coming out of it.
Dish towels/tea towels, and oven mitts, are bad at what they’re supposed to do, give you a false sense of security and they suck.