Labor Day usually means a cookout here, hot dogs with chili, bratwurst or burgers with beans. I actually made this quick project last summer, and then got busy. I am so easily distracted by shiny things and thrift stores. I realized that I never posted it, so here goes, just in time for the last cookouts through autumn. It is a simple idea, quick to make, and yet so very useful – a handle pad!! Since I have a glass top stove, I cannot use my cast iron on it. Using a cast iron skillet on the grill means the handle is too hot to pick up, but more important, when set on the tile table, you forget that the handle is hot. Having a pad on the handle keeps hands from burning, reminding you to be careful and that the pan is hot. This one is heat resistant enough so you can actually pick up the pan with it, not like some hot pads that don’t insulate enough. But, I usually have a hot pad in my other hand as the pan is heavy, especially full of food.
I experimented with the design and filling of the pads, and found the combination of heat resistant fabric, batting, Insul-Bright batting with a cotton cover worked the best for heat control. I had some scraps of heat resistant fabric left over from my project of Re-covering An Ironing Board but you can buy this by the yard at most fabric stores. Just 1/4 yard is more than enough for several handle pads. Cut your pieces 5-1/2 inches square. Note – I made the first one with a charm square and it was too small. That 1/2 inch makes a difference.
Arrange your layers like this, heat resistant fabric right sides together with your cotton fabric, Insul-Brite with the silver side facing the heat resistant fabric’s wrong side, and regular batting behind that.
Sew through all layers, about 1/2-inch from the edge, leaving an opening for turning.
Clip the corners, and clip some of the fullness out of the seam allowances.
Turn so the cotton fabric is right side out, with the heat resistant fabric on the other side.
Fold in half, with the opening on the side, and topstitch down the side about 1/4 inch from the edge (closing the turning opening) and across the bottom.
Easy, done in mere minutes. You can make smaller ones for smaller skillets, but this size will work for most.
Just slide it onto the handle for lifting the skillet off the grill.
Then leave it on the handle to prevent burning a hand while serving. I use it inside as well, when I start a meal by browning some chicken or pork then putting the skillet in the oven to finish.
I like corn on the grill, but sometimes I don’t have fresh ears ready for a grilled meal. I’ll use canned corn with a few dots of butter and still get that lovely grilled corn flavor. Marvelous with grilled pork and some grilled zucchini.
One note on cast iron, I season mine with olive oil after every use. I’ll clean the pan, then oil it so it doesn’t dry out.
Another tip on grilling, heat your grill first, then use a paper towel soaked in canola oil to wipe the grates. Food won’t stick to the grates. Remember hot grate, cold oil, no stick.
Your meats will have those wonderful grill marks like a great steakhouse restaurant. Yum!!
Burgers and bratwurst are great on the grill too. We like cooking out, can you tell?
Picnics have to have some deviled eggs, right? Maybe try the last recipe you’ll ever need for Perfect Deviled Eggs. I have enough variations in that recipe to keep you interested for years.
The handle pads would make a great guy gift for the man who likes to grill. Of course, picking a more guy-friendly print would be good. Pair it with a cast iron skillet, and my homemade seasoning mixes.
Are you grilling for Labor Day?