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Types of Kitchen tongs, tips and techniques

Updated on May 28, 2011
Spring loaded kitchen tongs
Spring loaded kitchen tongs

Kitchen Tongs

When it comes to kitchen utensils, one of the most used in our kitchen is the kitchen tongs. Last Christmas, when I asked my husband what he wanted for Christmas, he said, "I want a pair of kitchen tongs that are comfortable and won't scratch any non stick pans." I was thinking, seriously now? You need to know though, that he loves to cook.  Kitchen gadgets are like toys to him, so now maybe it makes a bit more sense.

One of the best brands for kitchen tongs we found, is Oxo. The particular one I got for him, won't scratch a non stick surface, and is comfortable to hold. They are very comfortable to hold, and can even heat up to 400 degrees I believe. It's a heavy duty kitchen tong, great for both cooking and serving things. I see it out in the kitchen all the time. It was a good present for him, and don't worry, that wasn't all he got for Christmas.

A couple more varieties of tongs
A couple more varieties of tongs

2 main kinds of kitchen tongs

Overall, there are 2 main kinds of kitchen tongs. Well, we can technically say there are 4 kinds, if we count those little bamboo ones that people use to take hot toast out of toasters with, and spaghetti tongs. I got a pair of the shorter bamboo tongs at a Pampered Chef party years ago, they are nice to have on hand, even though I don't use them often. The little bamboo ones, are neither spring loaded or the scissor design.

I am sure we all can probably recall those tongs in the kitchen that were kind of like scissors in the middle. We still have one or two of those laying around, but they aren't tight in the middle, so they are flimsy to use. Still, these are favored by many people, as it is what they are used to and grew up with. I find them hard to have a firm grip on with my fingers, personally, so Iike the second kind of tong, better.

The second type of tong, is where you have two pieces of metal, often light metal, joined together. There usually is a spring, and it is near the end where the two pieces are joined together. The pair I got for my husband, is like this second design, and it has a comfort grip that makes using it feel really nice. Some have said that these kinds of tongs can pinch them, and if that is your experience, I could see why you wouldn't like that. I have not pinched myself with mine though.

Tongs come in different lengths, depending on what you will be using them for. If you have a huge pot of hot boiling liquid, then you need the long tongs to really get in there and get something out, without risking getting to close to the heat. The ones we use the most, are at least 12 inches long. These are good to use when cooking bacon or something similar, as there can be splattering grease.

Plastic tongs are my least favorite, because they eventually may either crack and break, or fall too close to heat in the dishwasher, or are left too near a burner, and melt. They are not expensive though, and can still come in very handy.

A favorite use of tongs!
A favorite use of tongs!

When you are looking for tongs to purchase, consider getting a pair that has a locking mechanism at the end, so that your storage of the tongs is easier.   Otherwise, I will grab something else out of the canister that holds our utensils, and the tongs will come falling out as well.  My husbands, has a nice easy lock on his, and they take up way less space in a drawer or on the counter top in your "kitchen gadget holder". 

Every set I have seen for griling outside, includes a set of kitchen tongs.  Obviously, these are indispensable to the person grilling outdoors, whether for meats, seafood,  or vegetables. 

Other than just handling your foods, the technique of using tongs can actually help your food to taste better.  For instance, instead of grabbing a fork or knife, so that you can turn your steak or other means, just use tongs instead.  The benefit is that your meat isn't pierced while hot, which is when all its juices will flow out otherwise. 

It can help in presentation too of course, as more fragile foods such as fish and seafood, and certain fruits, and even burgers sometimes.  When those kinds of things are pierced or punctured, they start to break apart. This ruins your presentation.  

Other reasons to use tongs:  By using tongs, you will have greater ease in serving up a plate of pasta, or pulling boiling corn on the cob out of the water.  Some people use tongs instead of two serving utensils in salads.  If you like to make little donuts, or onion rings, then tongs can come in handy. 

Finally, if you have all metal tongs, they can heat up if left on or near a heat source and become very hot.  Like I said before, plastic ones can melt, and the wooden ones can become blackened or burned.  Just be aware of even your little kitchen investments. 

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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Glad to hear that!

    • PhoenixV profile image

      PhoenixV 6 years ago from USA

      Very helpful.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Pamela, I appreciate you stopping by and your comment too. Thank you

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      oceansunsets, Very good instructions concerning tongs.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Hello Judydianne, I appreciate you reading my hub and your comment :)

    • judydianne profile image

      judydianne 7 years ago from Palm Harbor, FL

      Good common sense information. So many uses, so little time!

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Thank you OnlineHub!

    • OnlineHub profile image

      OnlineHub 7 years ago from Fresno, CA, USA

      Excellent instruction and great information about kitchen tongs, tips and techniques. Thanks for sharing, 5* plus recommendation!