Unitasker Wednesday: Toast Tongs

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy!

I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about posting this week’s unitasker selection. Last time I mentioned a toast-related unitasker, we got more than 80 comments defending the item. It was then I learned that Unclutterer readers are very serious about their toast.

Today’s selection is such a perfect contender for a unitasker, though, that I have decided to move forward with it. I’ll admit, if I worked in a restaurant that specialized in artisanal toast, this doodad might have a need if I didn’t want to wear sanitary gloves. But, for the daily home toaster, the Toast Tongs are overkill (well, unless you’re using a supervolcano to toast your toast):

If you are worried about your toast being a little toasty, you can let it sit in the toaster for a few seconds to cool before touching it. Five seconds is usually all it takes, though I have been known to grab toast directly from the toaster and live to tell the tale — as I’m sure we all have. Yes, the toast is warm, but it’s not so warm as to need a special device to handle it. Plus, if you wish to spread something on the toast, you’re going to have to use your hands anyway because these tongs won’t be of much use to you during that task. And, if you’re regularly having issue with large items getting stuck in your toaster, it’s time to get rid of the toaster and get a toaster oven. Toaster ovens are beautiful multi-taskers.

Back to the point: Toast Tongs are one more thing to wash, one more thing to store, one more thing to forget you own, and one more thing to eventually put into a yard sale or donate to charity.

53 Comments for “Unitasker Wednesday: Toast Tongs”

  1. posted by priest's wife (@byzcathwife) on

    ….off to make some “artisanal toast”….

  2. posted by Keith on

    We use these every day to remove items from the toaster oven, not a toaster, and for that they are indispensable.

  3. posted by Bill D. on

    This may be the first time I’ve disagreed with your choice of a product for Unitasker Wednesday! I don’t disagree that it’s a unitasker, per se, but we primarily use it for safety reasons. Our family does not use a toaster (that’s a unitasker) – we use our toaster oven to prepare toast/bagels/waffles/etc. We have always used toast tongs to allow our young(er) children to retrieve their toast without “as much” supervision. It allows them to be self-sufficient, and makes the morning go a little smoother. Of course, our youngest is 6, and I doubt she’ll need them for more than a few years, and we can definitely get rid of them! But, we also use a plastic version of the mini-tongs for retrieving items from jars (pickles, olives, etc), so maybe we’ll keep them. Love the site and book!

  4. posted by Scott Carlson on

    I have them, but I use them for flipping flat breads on the stove, and puffing my chapatis (putting the chapati directly on the gas grate and puff up) where I don’t want my fingers next to the flame.

    Flipping veggies burgers in the oven. Yes, I could use a turner, but the tongs means I can grab and flip. Way easier. Also good for turning roasted asparagus.

    And having kids using the toaster, it keeps them from burning themselves (again)

  5. posted by Tiara on

    I agree with the comments: not a unitasker. Tongs can be used for a variety of tasks, not just toast.

  6. posted by Jenn on

    I have to agree: these are a multi-tasker. We use them for toast, waffles from the waffle maker or toaster, as a serving utensil for green beans and french fries, and many other tasks. I love mine; I don’t have to worry about it scratching anything, it’s a nice size for smaller tasks, it’s not plastic, it stores easily, and looks nicer than metal tongs.

  7. posted by Alice on

    Yep, I’m on the pro-tongs bandwagon. 1. You can use them for other things. 2. If you’re not using them for other things, they aren’t “one more thing to wash,” because there’s no need to wash something that only touched your toast for 10 seconds. 3. Maybe I’ve only used defective toasters or freakishly shaped bread products, but taking something out of the toaster involves sticking your fingers down into the slot where the metal parts are, and they take far longer than 5 seconds to cool down. Toast would be room temperature by the time you could be certain of not burning yourself on anything.

  8. posted by Leslie on

    Ditto on the pro-tongs wagon. While it is a unitasker, it is a useful one. Particularly when retrieving toast when stuck in the toaster. Mine were sturdy enough I could use them to pull the rack out of the oven. If I was more deft with the cooking chopsticks, I’d use those, but I’m not so this is my tool of choice for grabbing hot food from the toaster oven.

  9. posted by ArJa on

    I have to agree with using this item for safety reasons, even though I use wood chopsticks for the same purpose. Also, if you go fishing for lost pieces in the toaster with it plugged in, this is also an insulator against electric shock. Don’t even think about doing this with a metal fork or knife!

  10. posted by NoAlias on

    These don’t go in the ‘unitasker’ category (although they may be), but rather in the ‘safety equipment’ category (similar to the unitasking fire extinguisher). If the toaster doesn’t pop up very high, or you are toasting short items, like bagels, you do not want to use a metal fork to lift the toasted item out of the toaster! I don’t want to find out if the cartoons are right and lightening zaps fly out of you finger tips and your hair get all fried and frizzy. And I disagree with it being just another something to wash. How dirty/sticky is your toast?

  11. posted by Carol on

    While the consensus is that tongs are useful (and I agree), do we need tongs specifically for toast? Won’t other tongs do? I agree that “Toast Tongs” are a unitasker in that these are specifally marketed for toast and only toast.

  12. posted by Dede on

    Hmm, I might have to look at getting these, even tho’ it may indeed be a unitasker. For years we have been using a fork to dig English muffins and fat bagels out of the toaster. No juries yet, but I have had to turn the toaster upside down and shake out a stubborn muffin. I also like the idea of using them to heat a tortilla on the stove.

  13. posted by ND on

    Does no one else own a pair of silicone cooking tongs? I can see why it might be useful to have something to grab out fiddly slices of toast (as I bake my own bread this happens fairly often), but why must they be *toast* tongs specifically?

  14. posted by EngineerMom on

    Usually I agree with the unitaskers, but not this time.

    These are a safety thing, like a fire extinguisher. They aren’t for grabbing hot toast out of a toaster, but for grabbing too-small things out of the toaster. Yes, you could use silicone cooking tongs, but unless the whole tong is silicone, you still run the risk of electrocution if the metal part of the tongs contacts the element in the toaster.

    I’d argue that a TOASTER is a unitasker, and that if you really want to eliminate this item from your kitchen, junk the toaster and get a toaster oven, which at least can also be used for reheating pizza and baking small batches of cookies! And you can use regular hot pads for grabbing hot things out of a toaster oven.

  15. posted by S on

    Love my wooden tongs and use them for lots of kitchen tasks! Please reconsider this item.

  16. posted by KAD on

    I usually love your unitasker posts, but really disagree with this one. I have burned my fingers numerous times trying to unstick toast that has become jammed in the side of the toaster. Metal tongs just won’t do — they are too big for the task and they conduct electricity. I had been struggling to use chopsticks or the back ends of wooden spoons for years, until I got some of these.

  17. posted by The Plaid Cow on

    I actually have a pair of these and they work very well for all things toast related and no more do I stick a fork into the toaster to try to retrieve a piece of stuck toast.

  18. posted by Jeanne Thelwell on

    @Carol – the reason we need *toaster* tongs is that most other tongs are metal, and therefore unsafe to stick into a toaster to grab a recalcitrant slice that refuses to pop all the way up. Toaster tongs are made of wood, and so don’t conduct electricity.

  19. posted by Liz on

    OK – this is the second of recent items that I have to disagree with you. I have a hot air popper and I love it, it’s on the counter and I use it often. I use the spray oil to get the little amount of salt I let myself have stick to it!

    I also have a small wooden tongs that are in the drawer by the toaster and convection oven. Sorry, English muffins and small bagels do not always like to be accessible and easy to get out. Metal forks or knives are not safe. I don’t wash the tong since it is not touching anything sticky. This is a good thing.

    Besides, the butter melts better when the muffin is hot.

  20. posted by infmom on

    Since I like to get the topping on my toast while it’s still, well, toasty, I’ve been using bamboo toaster tongs for so long I can’t remember when I bought them. As for retrieving things that have gotten stuck, am I alone in not wanting to stick forks in the toaster? :)

  21. posted by Darlene on

    I use my wooden tongs for all the above-mentioned tasks, but I really like to use them in my craft room to hold cards/paper that I am heat-embossing with the heat gun.

  22. posted by Anika on

    It’s a safety thing for me. I always toast bread that comes in small slices and they always get stuck in the toaster. To avoid getting shocked I have to unplug the toast every time and the outlet is hard to get to in my kitchen. Yes I only use these for toast, but they save me a lot of hassle and my skin.

  23. posted by LJ Earnest on

    After watching a college roommate get a good zap after fishing out a stuck bagel from a toaster (and we were both electrical engineers and knew better), I would not be without these. I actually store mine in the cooled toaster.

    (And it takes much more current than this across the body to make the hair go crazy. Both of us learned how to calculate exactly how much in one of our classes.)

    Unitasker? No. I agree it is a safety device.

  24. posted by Alicia on

    I too am going to have to disagree on foolishness of this unitasker. As tongs, yes, I suppose they do only do one thing: pick things up. But all a bread knife does is cut bread (and tomatoes!). And I bet you’d never dare to suggest putting a bread knife in a unitasker post.

    I swear by these awesome wooden tongs and use them literally every day – sometimes multiple times a day. We do not own a toaster (I agree with other posters that a toaster is a wasteful unitasker!) but instead have a toaster oven. These wooden tongs are great for pulling hot things out of the toaster oven. Metal tongs are an obvious no-no in the toaster oven, and these wooden tongs enable you to both pull out the little tray and pick up the bread (or pizza or whatever else you’re heating up).

  25. posted by Karin B on

    We use ours every day. Definitely a worthwhile unitasker.

  26. posted by Carla on

    Wow! Erin was right; readers truly are serious about their toast. I can’t say that I’m a heavy user of the toaster/toaster oven, but I never even knew toast tongs existed. I’m happy for the people who seem to enjoy theirs, but I don’t think I will be purchasing them any time soon.

  27. posted by alfora on

    Definitely not a unitasker.

    As already have been written here by others you can use broad wooden tongs for various things, like turning over food in the pan.

    I use mine also to stir noodles that are cooking in a pot. The broad surface of the tongs also makes it easier to pick one noodle in order to taste it without getting in danger of squeezing it too hard.

    I don’t use them to get toast expect when a small piece got stuck in the toaster. And then it is much better to stick something that is made of wood instead of silicone or metal into a toaster that is very hot on the inside (not talking about getting electrocuted too).

  28. posted by Sabrina on

    I’m slightly offtopic but I’m surpised reading many people have trouble getting the toast out of the toaster. Here in Italy most toasters have removable racks like this one:

    http://shop.imetec.it/shop/med.....ine_ts.jpg

    So there is no such thing as a stuck toast… Or maybe I understood something wrong? English is not my mother language.

  29. posted by Anna on

    I have toast tongs and can’t live without them. As many have pointed out, they can easily be a multitasker. Even if used only for toast, they prevent electric shock if the toast is stuck (oh, get a toaster oven instead? Go to more expense?) and they allow one to snatch the toast out and butter it while it is still hot.

    (Someone mentioned fire extinguishers; when can we see a Wednesday feature on them? They are definitely unitaskers.)

  30. posted by Stacey on

    I’ve never commented before, but you set this one up almost expecting comments…so why not pile on. Like others, we love these tongs, but not for pulling toast out of a toaster or even touching any food. We just use them to pull the rack out of the toaster oven so we can grab the toast with our hands. Having said all that, it is a unitasker for us…we primarily use it to pull out the toaster oven rack.

  31. posted by Barbara T on

    Toast tongs! Incredibly useful – I like my toast hot, so tongs keep my fingers from getting burnt. They also keep me from getting electrocuted when said toast gets snagged in the toaster (often). Also handy for flipping flatbreads or tortillas in a cast-iron skillet. It’s hard to find wooden tongs here in the US – I got my mine on a visit to the UK. There are a lot of silly unitaskers out there to disparage – tongs may be old-fashioned but they are an eminently sensible implement.

  32. posted by AinOakPark on

    @Sabrina – No toasters like that in the USA, at least not what most people buy.

    I gave up my (larger than the toaster) toaster oven when I downsized but kept the toaster, and I don’t even make toast that much. I just don’t make/eat the types of things a toaster oven is useful for, I guess, and it was harder to clean than other choices for heating/baking/cooking.

    I do have, and use, toast tongs, but for me they are not unitaskers. Serving bread and rolls at the table, for veggies at the table (asparagus, long beans)and any number of other things. If they are handy, they get used more. I can’t imagine using silicone tongs to get toast out of the slot, especially a stuck bagel – the tongs are too bulky.

    I have a wooden ruler that was notched so that I can pull and push oven racks, and I love it. On the flip side of the ruler are suggested food “doneness” temperatures. Use.it.all.the.time.

  33. posted by G. on

    Sometimes I wish I had this unitasker. There are times when unplugging the toaster and sliding a knife or fork in beside the item doesn’t work to well. Sometimes the pastery/bagel/muffin breaks apart or slips off the knife. Regular tongs (at least the ones I have) are too thick to fit into the slot. And I really don’t want to tip the toaster upside down.

  34. posted by G. on

    @Sabrina – that’s an awesome toaster! No, I’ve never seen removable racks, at least not in modern toasters. The closest thing is that you can lift up on the lever and get a *tiny* bit more lift. There are antique toasters that had some interesting options though much less handy in the actual toast-making task – often you needed to turn the toast to get both sides toasty, and no auto-off either.

    And now that I’ve read the rest of the comments for other uses, I think one of these is going on my shopping list.

  35. posted by San on

    This are a hard-working member of my Kitchen. Critical for extracting the Pop-Tarts. Mine have a magnet , they are on the toaster so no one uses metal.

  36. posted by Jen on

    “one more thing to wash, one more thing to store, one more thing to forget you own”

    Mine mostly just get wiped clean, because they’re touching dry toast; they have a magnet, so I store them right on my range hood – that makes them visible, so I never forget I own them. Plus, I bought them from a crafter, so they’re pretty in addition to being functional.

    Sorry, I usually chuckle at the crazy unitaskers, but I have to disagree on this one.

  37. posted by Han on

    have to disagree with you here – these are used every single day in my house and I only wish I could get some for my office – the amount of metal knives I’ve seen shoved in that toaster is terrifying.

    I have gluten free bread which is TINY even if I lift the handle as high as I can manually theres still no hope of reaching that toast unless I have these, or dump all the crumbs over the counter turning the toaster upsidedown!

    Also my ones have a little magnet on the back so they attach to the back of the toaster, hidden and out of sight but easy to find!

  38. posted by Anita on

    I’m actually in the market for these!! I have a 7yo boy who loves his toast, but we are gluten free and those pieces are a lot smaller than normal bread. I’m much rather have something extra in the house for his little fingers then have him burn himself or electrocute himself using a fork or something else. They are so very handy!!

  39. posted by Gamer Girl on

    I wonder if it will over 80 this time, too! I agree not a unitasker. I use mine for toast/bagels yes, but also for steamed asparagus, etc. Also, fried items like, wontons (I make them in a skillet who needs a deep fryer)and bacon!! Yum!

  40. posted by Emily on

    And where could I possibly fit a toaster oven in my tiny kitchen? Toast tongs on the side of the small toaster take up no room – a toaster oven would make it impossible for me to cook anything.

  41. posted by Michele Laughlin on

    I have a couple of sets of these wooden tongs (large and small) that I bought from Pampered Chef. They fold flat and are used daily at my house; from tossing a small salad to flipping muffins in the toaster oven. I also use them for cooking in Calphalon pans and cooking while camping. This is one ‘unitasker’ that is in reality a multitasker at my house!

  42. posted by English Girl on

    I’m glad these tongs were featured because I’ve been thinking of getting something like this for a while now as I either burn the tips of my fingers or else dig the toast out with a metal knife. No I do not want a bulky toaster oven I just need a small two slice toaster.

    I have ordered them http://www.lakeland.co.uk/1423.....oast-Tongs and for only £1.99 can’t go wrong. The reviews on the website are brilliant and no they are not one more thing to wash and store as my toast is not dirty and they will fix on the toaster.

  43. posted by Marie on

    In general I would like to have wooden tongs, since metal can scrape things and dent the food, but I agree that marketing them for toast only is silly. That would be like painting scissors green and saying they’re only for cutting lettuce.

  44. posted by Linda on

    Another vote pro-tongs. Ours don’t look exactly like these, but we’ve had them, and used them, for years. They have a magnet, which allows them to be fastened directly to the toaster (we also have a toaster… another unitasker) and they take up virtually no space. We don’t use them on a daily basis, but as someone stated above, when a piece of bread breaks off inside the toaster, they’re much safer than trying to fish it out with a fork.

  45. posted by Lyn on

    Love my little bamboo tongs. Use them to keep from toasting myself digging bagels or odd sized toasted stuff out of the toaster with metal. My son used them as a toddler before he could keep up with mom and dad’s chopsticks on asian food nights. They are great to serve small dishes; olives, pickles, crudite, roll-ups, cookies, even work well on long noodle dishes. Gets the food to the plate much better than forks or spoons. Very stylish with my collection of bamboo spoons, cheese knives and spreaders.
    Love the site and usually laugh out loud at the unitaskers, but this one time I have to disagree. Keep up the good work!

  46. posted by Ruth on

    I’ve used mine countless times. You don’t want to stick a fork into a toaster!

  47. posted by Emmers on

    I agree with the commenter above — the toaster *itself* is a pointless unitasker! The toaster oven is a much better appliance, in every way. Sometimes it is helpful to use standard tongs (you don’t need special ones, for heaven’s sakes – the ones you already own will do just fine) to remove items from the toaster oven. Fin. :-D

  48. posted by Paula on

    Same here – I know not just one person who fears to be electrocuted by his/her toaster.

  49. posted by Erin on

    My 2yo thinks they are chopsticks so they are multi-tasking at our house!

  50. posted by Mike on

    Safety – check
    useful – check
    storage/forgetting: get one with a magnet on the handle end and it sticks to the toaster, no storage problem, always available and never goes on the yard sale pile.

  51. posted by Victoria on

    I’m with the others that wooden tongs can be a multi-tasker, but I use chopsticks to get toast out of the toaster.

  52. posted by LeeAnne on

    Ditto to most of the above. We have these in my office kitchen, and they are invaluable. The toaster is very deep, and there is no way I’m sticking in a finger or a metal utensil!

  53. posted by Shannon on

    These are a unitasker, but a unitasker that I think is worthy of a spot in my kitchen. I use these every day for bagels and toast. I want to retrieve the breads while they’re still at their hottest so I can spread them with whatever and manage to eat while the bagels or toast are still warm. And my fingertips are delicate and burn easy, so bamboo toast tongs it is. They are used so frequently that they don’t even live in a drawer — they sit on a tray that also holds my toaster.

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