what are tongs used for

Tongs are some of the most useful but underrated kitchen tools available. They serve so many purposes and significantly enhance kitchen safety. In this article, we’ll look at the various types of tongs, their uses, and how to pick the ideal set for your kitchen.

The Different Types of Tongs Explained

You may not know this, but there is a wide range of different tongs. Understanding the different types will help you understand how you can use them. We have listed five of the most common plating tongs below.

Utility Tongs

First, we have utility tongs. These are named as such because they are versatile and have great utility. These tongs are typically made from metal and may have silicone tips. Their shape is usually oval, and they may have bobbled edges like a leaf.

Utility Tongs are used for various tasks, including flipping burgers, serving food, and tossing salad. These can also be used as ice tongs.

BBQ Tongs

Next, we have BBQ tongs. These are specially designed to cook food on your BBQ and serve it afterwards.

Cooking meat on grill outdoors

The tongs are usually much longer and can be up to 18 inches in length. This is to help keep your hands from getting burnt whilst still being able to handle the meat properly.

Many BBQ tongs also have holes in the clamps to allow oil and meat juice to drain off. They also usually have heat-resistant handles and an excellent degree of heat resistance for picking up hot meats or corn cobs on your BBQ.

Pasta Tongs

Pasta tongs are primarily used for handling pasta and noodles without breaking them. Due to their design, they are also great for handling delicate food items, like asparagus spears.

These tongs usually have shorter handles, and the clamps look similar to a comb. Each clamp has a series of teeth that allow you to gently grip the pasta or noodles and scoop it without breaking them.

Pom Tongs

Pom tongs are another specialist type of tong. These are usually made from plastic or wood, as opposed to metal.

This is because this kitchen tool is used mainly for handling delicate items like salad.

Pong tongs have a different design. On one clamp, there is a spoon/scoop; on the other side, there is a fork. This combination allows you to easily grip delicate foods securely but safely.

Scissor Tongs

grilled corn

Lastly, we have scissor tongs. These are usually made from metal and have two-finger handles like a pair of scissors.

On the end, they also have a pair of thin metal clamps. Scissor tongs are best used for handling large food items or single items like potatoes and corn on the cob. However, they should not be used for tasks like serving vegetables or groups of food items.

Typical Uses for Kitchen Tongs

As you can see, the variety of kitchen tongs can help you make popular recipes in the kitchen. The above should have given you a clear idea of what you can use kitchen tongs for. To help further, we have made a list of specific uses below:

  • Flipping food
  • Turning meat
  • Pulling items out of the oven
  • Extending your reach
  • Picking up hot items from the grill
  • Tossing salad
  • Handling delicate foods

They are incredibly versatile items, and we feel that every kitchen should have at least one pair!

How to Choose the Best Kitchen Tongs

Hopefully, you are not too confused by all the different types of tongs available. If you are, we have provided some simple information below on choosing suitable kitchen tongs.

Considerations you should make include:

  • Length
  • Good Grip mechanism
  • Handle shape and design
  • Hanging capabilities
  • Heat resistant properties

The length is important. This determines how far you can reach into your oven or bbq, for example. Some tongs, like pasta tongs, are generally shorter and don’t have a long reach.

Next, the actual gripping mechanism is incredibly important. As shown in the above sections, the grip determines what you can use the tongs for. For example, bbq tongs often have holes in the grip to help meat juices drip through.

The shape of the handle is also important. Most tongs don’t have a large handle as such due to their design. Usually, the tongs simply have a curved end where the two prongs join together. However, some tongs, like scissor tongs, offer a more comfortable grip.

The storage and hanging capabilities of tongs are something to consider too. Many tongs have hanging holes so you can clip them onto hooks on your kitchen wall, for example. Others you may be able to simply hang using the curved end of the handle. Think about how and where you want to store them.

Lastly, look at the ability to resist heat. If you want a pair of tongs for grilling, BBQs, boiling water, or taking hot items from the oven, they must have heat-resistant handles.

Kitchen Tong FAQs

Can You Use the Same Tongs to Handle Raw and Cooked Foods?

No! Unless you want to contaminate your food. Always use separate serving tongs for raw meat and cooked food. You should also wash the tongs you used to handle raw meat immediately after finishing with them.

How Do You Keep Your Tongs Clean?

Tongs are easy to keep clean. The important thing is to wash them after each use. It is natural to spill juices and food mess on them. However, you can clean them simply using a wet cloth in warm soapy water.

Can You Get Salmonella on Kitchen Utensils?

Yes. A prime transmission mode for Salmonella is via kitchen appliances and tools. It is therefore important to cook food recipes properly. Also, always wash your tools, dishes, and kitchen objects thoroughly after every use.

Tongs Make Cooking Food Easier!

As you can see, there is more to kitchen tongs than you expected! You should now have a clear answer to the question, “what are tongs used for?”.

Also, you should understand the different types of kitchen tongs. These are invaluable tools to have. They improve kitchen safety and also make cooking and serving food easier.

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