I have a pair of those welding gloves that go almost up to my elbows. Real heavy duty. I put them on and use a shovel like mentioned by Fossil . If I need a little more than the shovel I will use my hand as the gloves are so thick as momentary touching of a real hot piece of wood doesnt phase them. I have even picked up a piece of coal and flipped it back into the stove real quick no problem. Now I have a real comfort level with my stove welding gloves , they go back to 1990 when I was burning with my wood furnace. If I ever got new ones I would have to gain some trust with them. As they dont make things like they used too.