This is what happens when you’re a cookware nerd: you grab a pan in a department store, and suddenly get super angry.
A cookware handle has one job: to allow someone to maneuver a hot pan or pot, safely and comfortably. So it really annoys me when I grab a cookware handle that is clearly super uncomfortable or makes lifting or pouring a pan difficult.
Designing a comfortable handle sounds pretty simple, right? Well, the reality is that you can actually get reaaaaaaallly nerdy about it — you betcha we did just that! 🤓 For example, did you know there are at least four distinct ways you can grab a skillet, and that one of those ways is significantly easier on your muscles than the others?
We strapped people into sensors, conducted comfort surveys, did heat flow tests, studied physics calculations, and more to uncover the secrets of handle design. Here are some of our findings.
Meyer Labs presents:
The 4 Signs of Terrible Handle Design
- The handle digs in at key contact points
- Like the index finger and the palm
- The handle design makes the pot feel too heavy
- Grip zone is too far from center of gravity
- Grip design creates an awkward grasping angle
- The design makes it really difficult to pour out from
- Curvature overextends weaker muscles
- Slippery finish or awkward shape provides poor grip
- The handle is too thick or too narrow for comfort
All of these findings went into the design of the handles on the Accent Series. Our special silicone grip is soft in all the right places, and the shape of it guides your hand to the optimal grasping position. Its grippiness and ergonomic geometry make it super easy to lift and pour.
We’re sure that 99% of our customers won’t even notice how comfortable these handles are, but that’s kind of the point. As our hero, Dieter Rams said, “Good design should be invisible.”
Too hot to handle?
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned anything about handles getting too hot. Well, here’s the deal: If you put something over a fire, or in a hot oven, at some point, it will get hot (yes, even silicone). End of story — that’s physics, folks! (So please, don’t be daft — use a rag or an oven mitt when handling hot cookware.)
While some designs can stay cooler while others will get blazing hot, there are other trade-offs to consider along the way.
At the end of the day, if you’re more concerned about not burning fingers, silicone is best. If you’re more concerned about high-temperature oven usage and a handle that will last you decades, all-metal handles are better. Still, they will get super hot (like I said — physics!)
For the Accent Series, based on our research with real families, we heard y’all who said they wanted to cook with their kids, but only with safe, silicone handles, and those of you who actively said, “Hey, these metal handles get too hot.” For those who love to finish steaks, frittatas, and stews in the oven, we chose a special high-temperature silicone that can take the heat.
To be honest, we could talk about this all day, but we have other fish to fry at the moment. Till next time, get a grip!
— The Meyer Labs team