Forget The Viral Wine Cork Hack: Just Use An Oven Mitt To Hold Pot Lids

Lifting pot lid with oven mitt
Lifting pot lid with oven mitt - Lielos / Getty Images

Do you ever wish for an easier way to handle pots and pans that become increasingly hot during cooking? Whether you're making another bubbling pan of Italian tomato sauce or one of your favorite skillet dinners, clever hacks to streamline meal prep are usually quite helpful. If you're used to whipping up meals on your stove, you know just how helpful a lid can be, but these kitchen tools tend to get hot quickly. When they do, some folks online suggest wedging a cork under the handles of metal lids for easy access.

According to comments on a TikTok video from the channel @abouttoeat, which shared the trick, Eastern European households have been doing this for years. As your pot or pan heats, the cork doesn't, allowing you to squeeze the ends for easy lid removal. Unfortunately, not every home chef has leftover corks lying around, and not all corks fit snugly under the necessary handles. This can lead to accidental burns and other safety hazards. While this hack may be useful for some, the easiest at-home way to remove hot lids is to use a heat-resistant oven mitt.

Read more: French Cooking Tricks You Need In Your Life

Consider Leaving The Cork-In-Lid Method To Trained Chefs

Bordeaux cork by corkscrew
Bordeaux cork by corkscrew - Brycia James / Getty Images

In @abouttoeat's video, host Andrew Ilnyckyj describes learning about the cork-in-handle method while witnessing the culinary talents of well-known chef Motokichi in Kyoto, Japan. Footage shows the chef handling several hot pans, one of which has a cork wedged neatly under its handle. After explaining why the trick works, Ilnyckyj points out that corks from sparkling wines work best, as they seem to be the right size for most metal lid handles.

This hack may be helpful if you work in a kitchen or high-profile restaurant and frequently juggle several pans at a time. But while leftover corks have many uses (like possibly tenderizing the meat in your pasta sauce), cork-filled pot lids may not be worth the additional effort. Oven mitts are an essential tool for your kitchen, and they're especially ideal for everyday home chefs who are only working with one or two pots at a time. They provide guaranteed protection for your entire hand and wrist, and in contrast to a cork's tiny surface area, they also give you proper space to grip pot lids with more than two fingers. Stick with oven mitts for a reliable kitchen product that you know is effective and that will keep your hands safe.

Read the original article on Daily Meal