Best Kitchen Tongs
While tongs should feel comfortable, the handles shouldn't become too stiff or heavy to hold. Ideal grabpers should have enough precision to pick up strands of pasta easily, while still being able handle heavier tasks like lifting chickens or using ramekins without causing damage or falling. The tongs should not accidentally squeeze your skin. We researched extensively before setting mandatory standards and testing tongs in various sizes and styles.
12 inch-long tongs work best in general kitchen usage. The tongs have enough length to shield your hands from the heat and oil spattering, but are not too large to handle indoors. The longer tongs are more suitable for high heat applications such as grilling. However, the smaller ones can be used in practical ways beyond just serving. In this review, we only looked at 12-inch tongs.
Unlike in a commercial kitchen, where tongs are often slung over oven-door handles when not in use, home cooks tend to stash them in crocks or drawers despite the ubiquitous loop on the end for hanging which means we consider a locking mechanism mandatory for home use. This ruled out almost all commercial-grade, unlockable tongs.
While silicone-coated tongs may be a little more cumbersome than stainless steel plain, they won't scratch nonstick surfaces or any other fragile surfaces.
Many tong makers offer models with scalloped ends made of stainless steel, silicone or nylon. These are for nonstick and enameled cookware. Since silicone has a higher melting point and a tackier grip than nylon, we excluded nylon from testing. The nylon tongs we tested were used previously and have shown no resistance to melting and deforming when they are exposed to high heat.
Gimmicky designs that attempt to integrate a spatula/whisk into the design are excluded. We also excluded any gimmick versions that try to incorporate a spatula or whisk into the design. To narrow down our selection of tongs to test, we reviewed reviews and compared them to other trusted brands like America's Test Kitchen. There were 32 tongs we could find that fit our requirements. Half of them never passed our initial testing. Some tongs pinched the skin painfully when squeezed; others had sloppy, inconsistent locking mechanisms. One of the most serious flaws was the lack of hinges. It caused too much movement as we lifted the tongs up and turned the arms in different directions. This is a recipe to disaster and not for deliciousness.
To find the perfect pair of tongs, we had to test them on a variety of cooking tasks. To test each model, we used them to grab items as varied as small, delicate ramekins or large, moist chickens.
Lifting Large Foods Lifting a large steak or moving a roasted chicken from one vessel to another is not when you want to discover that your tongs feel less than secure. To test how well each model gripped large foods, we first lifted a six-and-three-quarter-pound raw whole chicken by sticking one arm of the tongs into the cavity and clamping down on the breast with the second, then shaking the bird to see how secure it was; we then practiced moving the bird from the countertop to the oven, just to see if any problems emerged. We repeated the test by pulling a cooked chicken out of a cast iron pan in the oven and setting it on the countertop, then examining it for any damage to the crispy skin.
Our research showed that scalloped grabbers more closely matched each other than those with angled ends made it less secure. Tongs made with sharp, pointed or too-sharp scallops can easily tear the skin of chickens, which makes them more dangerous than helpful.
Tongs for picking up thin, wet foods We often use our tongs to grab some green beans or a spaghetti strand from a pot of boiling water. Both were tested by removing precooked, cold green beans to ensure consistent doneness. Then, each tong was used to fetch individual pieces of spaghetti and tangles.
Then we placed three beans together on a plate, like planks, and tried to pick them up without disrupting the order, the goal being to see which tongs were agile enough to accomplish such a delicate job.
In nearly every case, stainless steel grabbers were nimbler than silicone-coated models in the bean and single-spaghetti-strand tests, but less so when pulling up clumps of pasta. This makes sense because the silicone coating, while being grippy adds bulk to the heads of tongs, and they're less suitable to detailed work.
Precision is a high priority criteria when choosing tongs for small food preparation. Two or three failures to get something in the saucepan is enough to cause us all look for alternatives.
Our Top Kitchen Tong Picks:
OXO Good Grips Food Network TUX Silicone Tongs Best Tongs Set:
Tested by Richmond Flores for Food Network Kitchen The importance of having a good set of tongs should not be overlooked. Tongs can act as an extension to our hands.
Shopping for tongs can make it difficult to know the set's performance before buying. Also, there are many things to take into consideration when selecting your tongs. So we did some testing, and chose our three top picks.
While these were the heaviest of the bunch (weighing in at 6.3 ounces), OXO's Good Grips tongs felt lightweight, balanced and sturdy in our hands. You can use them for both grilling or searing because they offer comfort and confidence when handling food. Tong arms were thicker due to a stronger spring. This made them more sturdy without adding arm strength. These attributes gave tongs the feel of having good control over heavy and delicate foods. Plus, as an added bonus, they are dishwasher safe for easy clean-up.
Best Silicone-Tipped: Food Network TUX Silicone Tongs Kohl's
There are two options when you decide between stainless steel or silicone-tipped tongs. Here are some things to remember. There are many benefits to choosing silicone. They can be used on all nonstick cookware. They must be capable of withstanding high temperatures. While these are Food Network's brand, we can assure you that they stood out in testing due to their high temperature resistance of up to 500 degrees F and strength. The tongs are heavier (6 oz), but they were still solid. We found them to be more comfortable than lighter and flimsier alternatives. They also have flat and broad tips, making it much easier to grab food.