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What are Kitchen Tongs?

Buffet servers use kitchen tongs to serve food.
Kitchen tongs can be used to remove hard boiled eggs from water.
Kitchen tongs can be used to grab ice cubes.
Article Details
  • Written By: Deborah Ng
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 20 July 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
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Every well-stocked kitchen needs at least one pair of kitchen tongs. These versatile grasping devices are something no chef should live without. The handles are shaped almost like those on a pair of scissors, while the bottoms are flat so they can firmly grab a hold of food without causing any damage. Among other uses, these tools can do the following:

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  • Protect hands from burns — With a pair of kitchen tongs, hands are given a longer reach. They can flip meat on the grill or vegetables cooking in a pan. Because they grip, the food won't slide off as it does with a spatula. These tools can also pull a hot dog, spaghetti, corn on the cob, lobster or a hard boiled egg from a pot of boiling water. By using them to turn pies and cakes when they're in the oven, you're ensuring your hands won't get burned. You can use tongs to turn or remove food from a hot fryer too.

  • Buffet servers — If you're having a buffet, consider using kitchen tongs to serve certain foods. They grip salads wonderfully and work well when serving sliced cuts of meats. Tongs are also useful for certain noodles, such as spaghetti or Lo Mein. If you have a couple of pairs handy in the bread basket, guests can use them to pick up rolls and bread rather than touching the food with their hands.

  • Extend your arms — Kitchen tongs are indispensable any time people will be serving themselves. On the kitchen or dining room table, they can be used for salad, meats, certain types of roasted or baked potatoes and other foods. Tongs can also be used to pull cans and spice jars off high shelves and to grasp plastic bowls and plates that are just out of reach at the top of cabinets.

  • Keep hands warm — If you hate having numb hands after rummaging around in the freezer, you'll probably appreciate this use for tongs. Use them to grasp packages of frozen vegetables or boxes of frozen food. Grab ice cubes from the bin or an ice pop from its box.

If you don't have a set of kitchen tongs, consider adding a pair to your utensil drawer. Use them to take hot muffins or toast from the toaster oven or to lift waffles from the iron. After a few weeks, you'll wonder what you ever did without them.

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Discuss this Article

GiraffeEars
Post 3

@ genevamech- The best tongs really depend on what you will be using them for, and the type of pans you will use them with. If you have coated pans, you definitely want to have a pair of silicone kitchen tongs, but these may not be the best choice for other applications.

If you grill or fry a lot of food, you should keep a pair of long handle tongs available for using on a hot grill and in your fry pot. Short tongs are better when you are working in sauté pans or with delicate items like fish. You get a better feel for the amount of pressure you are putting on your food, and they do not take up as much counter space.

Regardless of the type of tongs that you purchase, you should always look for tongs with a locking mechanism. They are much easier to handle and set down if you can lock them in a closed position when not in use.

GenevaMech
Post 2

What are the best type of kitchen tongs to buy?

Alchemy
Post 1

My kitchen tongs are one of my most essential kitchen items. My kitchen survival kit would include a whisk, tongs, spatula, chef and fillet knife, a spoon, an ovenproof sauté pan, and a lid. With these few kitchen utensils, you can prepare almost any dish with ease.

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