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Why do barbecue pitmasters wear black gloves?

We’ve got something new for you to blame your dry and underwhelming homemade brisket on.

Maybe it’s the gloves.

If you’ve noticed, barbecue pitmasters are often spotted wearing black gloves when handling and cutting meat. But what kind of gloves are these exactly? Why do pitmasters wear them? And how much of it has to do with them looking cool?

READ: New York Times gets in line for Franklin Barbecue a little late

According to Grub Street, the black gloves are made of something a little tougher and less medical than latex: nitrile. Nitrile is a slightly heavier material than other glove options, meaning they’re less likely to tear or puncture. Although not entirely heat resistant, their thickness does make handling hot, hot meat a little easier.

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But also, don’t they look so cool?

Texas Monthly’s barbecue editor, Daniel Vaughn, told Grub Street the gloves are “purely about aesthetics.” Because of their color the gloves don’t show unsightly sauce, grease and rub stains. And when you’re one of, as Vaughn says, the “few types of restaurants where you’re watching the people handling your food, right in front of you” that’s great news. 

If you’re opting to skip the line this weekend and make your meat at home, get yourself some gloves. Maybe there’s more to it than they say. And if not you’ll still look pretty cool. 

How long do people actually wait in these infamous Austin lines?

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