Brad Orrison

Eric Vitale Photography

Why Do Barbecue Pitmasters Wear Black Gloves?

Editor
We’re asking the tough questions here at The Daily Meal

If you’ve been keeping tabs on de rigeur accessories for barbecue pitmasters these days, you’ve probably noticed that just about all of them, when they wear gloves, choose to wear jet black ones. We’ve never seen anyone wearing black gloves except for those working with barbecue, in fact, so… what gives?

There are actually a few different reasons why pitmasters wear black gloves. First of all, yes, they look cool. Barbecue is really messy stuff, and the black color does a much better job of hiding all those grease, sauce, and rub stains than standard foodservice gloves.

Also, barbecue cooks prefer to use nitrile gloves (made out of synthetic rubber) instead of the latex or vinyl ones, for a wide variety of reasons. They’re a lot tougher than latex or vinyl, can be worn for a long time, don’t contain any powders, and are tested for durability by the FDA. Nitrile gloves tend to come in two colors, blue and black, so the wearer can immediately see if there’s a puncture. Most people associate blue gloves with dentists and surgeons, so black becomes the obvious choice. Also, unlike latex and vinyl gloves, nitrile gloves come in varying thicknesses. Many pitmasters choose to go for the heavy-duty ones, like these, which are more resistant to heat and sharp things like knives, bones, and cartilage.

Also, did we mention that they look cool?

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