1. What Are Kitchen Tongs?
Tongs set can be used for flipping vegetables or meat on the stovetop or grill. Tongs work as an extra set of hands to flip, turn, or transfer extremely hot or cold foods, making your time in the kitchen safe and convenient.
If you own a utensil set or cookware, you're probably aware of how essential kitchen tongs, also known as food tongs or cooking tongs, are. They're perfect for nonstick cookware like skillets, woks, or stock pots, as they wouldn't scratch the cooking surface.
A good pair of tongs can work as an additional pair of hands but without any burns and bruises. I consider kitchen tongs as the unrecognized heroes of kitchens just like a cutting board, apron, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife.
2. Why You Should Invest in A Tongs Set
Kitchen tongs can handle high temperatures, oddly shaped meats such as crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, eggplants, green beans, and more.
If you're all about buying kitchen utensil sets that call for easy cleanup and can be hand washed or put in a dishwasher, food tongs are an excellent addition. Here’s a brief idea of how kitchen tongs can help you in the kitchen.
Salad tongs or food tongs belong in your kitchen arsenal if you're big on serving salads at a family gathering or barbecue. This brings me to my next point.
Barbecue grilling is incomplete without a pair of tongs to flip and turn hot foods without dropping them or using a large spatula.
While it's fairly quick to use your hands to place hot toast on your plate, toaster tongs or food tongs help you do that without that extra pinch or burn from the toaster.
When you're stirring food in a mixing bowl, food tongs are a better fit than forks, spoons, or spatulas to get the job done.
3. What to Look for in Cooking Tongs
12 inch stainless steel tongs with rubber tips are the easiest to find and also the tongs set most commonly used. But, here's everything else you should check off of your list before making a purchase.
A heat resistant cooking tong set is what you should be on the lookout for. Silicone, aluminum, or stainless steel are materials that have heat resistant properties to make this kitchen utensil sturdy and durable.
They're often equipped with locking mechanisms, nylon heads, and rubber tips for a good grip. A stainless steel locking tong is perfect for nonstick pans to prevent it staining and scratching.
The size of the tongs is one of the most crucial aspects to look at before making your purchase. Small tongs run anywhere between 5" to 7" inches, and longer tongs measure between 9" to 13" inches. The smaller ones are used as toaster tongs or tweezer tongs.
The larger ones are mainly used for cooking barbecue or when you're grilling on charcoal or a pellet grill. However, keep in mind that a set of tongs that is longer than 12" inches means having less control and difficulty maneuvering.
A tong set with a stainless steel body and silicone or rubber tips is recommended by home cooks and chefs. Silicone or rubber tips are famous because they're extremely safe when cooking with a utensil set that has a nonstick coating. Tongs with silicone tips can be a complete gamechanger.
When using tongs, the handle is the body. So, always choose a handle that has a nonslip grip. This makes it easy to maneuver without applying much pressure.
Choosing tongs with locking mechanisms helps push the individual handles apart without much effort. Let's be honest, tongs with a rigid and stiff body can cause wrist fatigue. Choosing tongs with locking mechanisms helps with storage, too, since they won't pop open in the drawer and stop it from sliding open. They take up much less space when locked shut.
Tongs that can be hand washed, or encourage an easy cleanup after whipping up a storm are the best kind of tongs. Ideally, they should be easy to maintain and have removable tips for a deep clean. Lastly, having a tongs set that is dishwasher friendly is the cherry on top.
4. Types of Tongs – A Quick Overview
Utility tongs are some of the most commonly used tongs. They have a nonstick handle with a stainless steel body. Utility tongs have scalloped edges for flipping small to medium-sized meats and delicate veggies like mushrooms and asparagus.
The scalloped tips help pick up excess water, and oil and remove cooked foods. Utility tongs are compatible with nonstick pans, stovetops, and grills. Utility tongs can handle extreme temperatures, and are dishwasher safe, but can be hand washed too.
Serving tongs are smaller than utility tongs, made with stainless steel or wood, and are mainly used for show. You would find them at a buffet to help yourself to appetizers or used by a waiter to place pieces of cheese or meat on your plate.
Serving tongs are perfect for bulky foods like sweet potatoes, salmon, and corn on the cob. If you want to plate an elegant serving of noodles or spaghetti, serving tongs are perfect. Usually, serving tongs are dishwasher safe, and easy to hand wash, even if they aren't.
Tweezer tongs are much slender and taller than cooking tongs and can be stored easily. If you work with fish a lot, especially salmon, professional tweezer tongs are your best friend.
It helps get the tiniest bones out from any fish and its seam with the highest levels of precision. Tweezer tongs are made with stainless steel and are excellent for plating noodles, aside from serving tongs, as the sharp scalloped edge helps plate food without tearing it.
Bamboo toaster tongs or stainless steel tongs are the most common types of toast tongs. These tongs are designed to safely remove toasts and bagels. They can also be used to toss salads. However, if you place bamboo toaster tongs in the dishwasher, they will distort over time. They also warp when handling hot foods.
Salad tongs are made with stainless steel, plastic, wood, aluminum, and nylon. One end of the handle has a wide spoon shape, while the other has a fork. This design helps grips croutons, veggies, and olives.
However, they aren't equipped with a non-slip handle and are slightly difficult to store due to their odd shape – This also makes them difficult to clean.
Barbecue Grilling Tongs
Stainless steel locking tongs are called barbecue grilling tongs. These tongs have steel tips for grip and can handle high temperatures.
Barbecue grilling tongs can range between 9" to 16" inches, and help you transfer food without burning yourself from the hot oil.
5. Stainless Steel Tongs vs. Plastic Tongs
- Stainless steel is non-toxic, durable, and compatible with high temperatures.
- Plastic tongs chip and break quite easily. Plastic is also a toxic material that isn't heat resistant, which causes them to melt. The toxins produced by plastic can cause serious diseases if ingested.
- Stainless steel tongs are dishwasher safe, easy to clean, and can be hand washed. All you need is a soapy mixture and hot water to scrub off any stuck-on food particles.
- Plastic tongs are far tougher to clean. Scrubbing them can snap them into two pieces. Over time, plastic utensils develop rough edges which can become a bridge for bacteria to enter your body.
- Stainless steel tongs are rightfully priced higher than plastic and wood as they have qualities that other materials don't offer, such as their heat resistant and non-toxic nature.
- Plastic tongs on the other hand are quite cheap.
Compatibility with Non-stick cookware
- As long as your stainless steel tongs have silicone or rubber tips, they can work tremendously well with nonstick cookware like nonstick pans and pots.
- Plastic tongs are fairly compatible with nonstick cookware as the material rarely damages the cooking surface.
- Stainless steel tongs can become quite hot if they don't have a heat resistant handle.
- Plastic tongs can melt from high temperatures of heat.
6. Dalstrong’s Recommended Tongs
These food tongs are the perfect set of extra hands. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, you can make the most of this kitchen utensil. Don’t fret anymore while you hover cuts of meat and veggies over hot grills and stovetops.
- These food tongs allow you to transfer heavy cuts of vegetables and meat.
- The size of these tongs is perfect to keep you away from the flame.
- The stainless steel scalloped edges can damage nonstick cookware, so if you are using nonstick cookware, I suggest opting for tongs with silicone tips.
- If you’re looking for a larger size, check these out.
Made with high-carbon steel and a premium G10 grip, these food tongs are the perfect size for a pitmaster, home cook, or a professional chef that works in temperatures of high heat.
- Maneuver easily with these 12” inch long food tongs.
- Keeps your fingers and hands safe from splatters of grease.
- The stainless steel edges can damage nonstick cookware.
- If you’re just starting out in the culinary world, I suggest tongs that smaller in size, such as this set.
These tongs have a scalloped silicone tip on each handle to give you an extra set of hands when working with heavy cuts of meat, veggies, and soft or delicate foods.
- The size of these tongs improves control and keeps you away from burns and bruises.
- It is compatible with nonstick pans, and nonstick cookware in general.
- If you’re just starting as a home cook, the size of these tongs can make it slightly difficult to gain control. I suggest these instead.
- It has a slightly higher price tag due to its size.
A personal favorite, these 9” inch food tongs have scalloped silicone tips for an easy extension of your hands, while protecting them from hot splatters of grease. This locking tong can be stored easily and encourages easy cleanup.
- These tongs are perfect for stacking, stirring, and flipping oddly shaped veggies or meats.
- It gives you maximum leverage and strength to reach above hot grills and stovetops.
- The silicone tips are designed to protect your nonstick cookware.
- If you prefer tongs that have scalloped tips made with stainless steel, I suggest this set.
- If you’re ready to take it up a notch in the kitchen, I suggest a larger version of these tongs. Check it out here.
7. Frequently Asked Questions
What are the three types of tongs?
There are more than 3 types of tongs, but the famous 3 are stainless steel tongs, utility tongs, and serving tongs.
What are the different types of tongs?
There are a variety of tongs out there such as utility tongs, serving tongs, tweezer tongs, toaster tongs, salad tongs, and barbecue grilling tongs.
What is a tong used for in the kitchen?
A tongs set is a kitchen utensil used for tossing, flipping, and turning meat or veggies without burning or hurting yourself from the high heat of your stovetop or grill.
What tongs are best for cooking?
Stainless steel tongs are the best for cooking as they have a tremendously high tolerance for extreme temperatures of heat and cold. They’re also lighter in weight and more durable than other materials.