10 Best Kitchen Tongs For Serving Up A Hearty Dish
Good kitchen tongs are an essential piece of kit for any chef, regardless of your level of expertise. A reliable pair of tongs for kitchen use will help you in just about every cooking process. While they are a relatively uncomplicated tool, tongs not only protect you from burning your fingers but make even the most delicate cooking tasks easy to achieve.
Tongs have a universal design, with two arms connected by a hinge; however, their specific features and capabilities vary considerably. There are different models available depending on whether you will be handling hot or cold food, and if you want to use them for serving or for cooking.
Best Choice: Hotec Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs Set of 2
Premium Pick: HINMAY Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Scissor Tongs
Here, we review the best kitchen tongs made from silicone or metal, that will make many of your cooking and serving tasks a breeze to complete. We also give you a run-down of the key features to consider when you are choosing a model to handle your food safely. If you are in the process of upgrading your cooking tools for an easier life, then don’t forget to check out our reviews on salad spinners, splatter screens, basting brushes, and kitchen funnels.
The Best Kitchen Tong
Our best choice for metal or silicone tongs is the Hotec Stainless Steel Kitchen Tongs, which comes as a set of two. In this pack, you get nine-inch and twelve-inch tongs with scalloped heads for precision. You can use the shorter one for serving cooler items and one for grills and hot pans. They are heavy duty enough to lift and flip steaks and meat bones.
These tongs have rings at the end which you pull and push to lock and unlock, and this doubles-up as a hanging hook. The handles are ergonomically designed, with heat resistant silicone grip and ideal thumb placement to protect you from any burns. The Hotec tool is suitable for cleaning in the dishwasher, and this is the best way to clean them as the edges are a little sharp, which may cause injury if hidden in a bowl of soapy water.
The StarPack Basics Silicone Kitchen Tongs provide you with two utensils that are both made with extra thick stainless steel. Although they both have very high heat resistance, the 9-inch tong is ideal for handling items that are not in a hot pan or grill, so you can maintain a distance between your hands and the heat source.
The silicone tips are a scalloped shape for a better grip, they come in three different colors and are safe to use with all cookware without causing any damage or scratches. The StarPack tongs have a ring-pull locking mechanism and smooth silicone grips. While they are described as stain and odor resistant, over time, there will be a build-up on the tips.
If you are looking for large tongs that are suitable for use when cooking food with a barbecue or hot grill, then the Mountain Grillers Heavy Duty Grilling Tongs are worth considering. In addition to a standard 12-inch set of tongs, you also get a 16-inch version which is perfect for use on open fires as it allows you to keep your arms at a safe distance to the flames. You can confidently cook one-handed on the barbecue while holding a cold beverage in the other!
These tools are made from stainless steel and have a heat resistant non-slip grip with a hanging loop at the hinge. There is also a strong spring mechanism to help you grip bulky items directly from the grill. They are designed to hang perfectly on Weber grills, and while they can be used with any brand, you might find the loop a little too small to hang on models other than Weber. Of course, you can just lock them and put them away in a drawer for equally easy storage.
The OXO Good Grips 12-inch Tongs are part of the Good Grips range which offer user-friendly yet durable kitchen utensils and they are our best value choice for kitchen tongs. These tongs are made entirely from stainless steel and have removable silicone inserts for the handles. They can be locked closed with a simple push-pull level at the hinge and, once closed, they can be hung-up using the loop for easy storage.
As they are fully stainless steel, it is worth checking that your pots and pans are compatible, as certain non-stick surfaces can be damaged if they come into direct contact with stainless steel tools. The OXO Good Grips tongs are durable, easy to use, and easy to clean in a dishwasher. When cleaning it is recommended to remove the inserts on a frequent basis to give them a thorough clean and remove any bacteria that may be lurking in the crevices.
The Hiash 9-inch Stainless Steel Tongs are best used for buffets and as serving tools as they are shorter than utility tongs which are designed to handle food during the cooking process. With a scissor design, the rings are anti-slip and relatively comfortable to hold, but they have no silicone or rubber cushioning. The other end of the tong will securely grasp food, and the whole item is suitable for cleaning in a dishwasher without causing any rust or damage.
The Hiash is an affordable, compact and solid product, but not the best for handling large or hot food items. There is also no locking mechanism with a scissor design, and they take up a little more drawer or hanging space than regular utility tongs.
The Allwin-Houseware Two-Pack is an affordable option for silicone tongs. The 9 and 12inch tongs are made from FDA approved stainless steel, together with premium silicone to give you a heat resistant tool that can cope with 500degrees F.
These have pull-ring technology to prevent accidental opening and make storing easier; however, there are reports of this locking feature not being very user friendly. The tips are made from flexible silicone, so they won’t damage any of your cookware and are relatively easy to wipe clean. It is not recommended to wash these tongs in the dishwasher, and it is best to dry them straight away as they are prone to rust if left to air dry. The Allwin-Houseware tongs come with a lifetime guarantee.
The HiramWare tools are made of high-quality stainless steel and are designed to never rust. They have BPA-free food-grade silicone tips that are scallop-shaped and available in two different colors. The matching safe grip is soft to touch and comfortable to handle.
HiramWare Silicone Tip Kitchen Tongs have a pull-ring design to lock them and make them easy to control and easy to store. They are pretty durable tools, which are dishwasher safe, heat resistant to 480F, rust-free, and non-stick. There isn't much you can't do with these tools, especially as the two different sizes for use either in serving food or cooking. The HiramWare is a great value for money product that seems to last for a considerable length of time.
Our budget pick is ALLWIN-HOUSEWARE 304 Stainless Steel Kitchen Cooking Tongs. These 9inch and 12-inch tongs are made from stainless steel with a brushed steel finish and have a locking clip to keep them in a closed position when necessary.
They are dishwasher safe, corrosion-resistant, and have a silicone grip to give you better control when turning food. The metal ends are heat resistant up to 1500F and the silicone part is safe up to 500F. As the ends do not have a silicone cover, care is recommended if you use these with non-stick pans. As with the other Allwin-Houseware product, these come with a lifetime guarantee.
Our premium pick for the best kitchen tongs are the HINMAY Heavy Duty Stainless Steel Scissor Tongs. The heads of these tongs have a gripper etched directly into the stainless steel to prevent any food slippage and the material is rust and heat resistant up to 1112°F. To maintain durability it is recommended to clean them with stainless steel cleaner and air dry them immediately after use and then store in a dry area.
The Hinmay has handles made from black silicone and red plastic which are anti-slip and very comfortable to hold. The 10inch option will work well for serving and the 12inch can be used during the cooking process. Bear in mind that the measurements include the handles, so these are not a great choice if you plan to cook over an open flame or with very hot oils that may splash.
If you are looking for a versatile product then the Lavador Set of 3 Kitchen Tongs should be considered as it gives you three models, instead of the usual two. In this set you get 7-inch and 9-inch tongs plus the 12-inch utility tongs and they come either in black or multi-colors.
As they are made from premium stainless steel they are anti-rust, lightweight, and heat resistant and the silicone tips mean they can be used on any cookware. The locking mechanism and hanging loop make them easy to store. The Lavador does have an additional feature compared to similar products. The sharp edges have been modified and smoothed so they reduce the likelihood of any cuts when you grip and clean the handle. These are easy to clean and give you a range of small serving tools as well as the standard, sturdy, utility tong for cooking.
Features To Consider With Kitchen Tongs
There are two main purposes for kitchen tongs, and this will determine their design. Utility tongs on the most common and these are used during cooking to flip or turn food, and to handle hot food from frying pans or grills. Serving tongs are those that are used on buffets or to serve dishes such as salad or pasta.
Utility tongs are usually made from stainless steel or other metal, with a spring-loaded mechanism for easy use, and should be approximately 12 inches long. They may have silicone tips to help give you a stronger grip and to prevent damage to non-stick cooking surfaces. If you want a splash of color in your cooking, then these tipped or covered tongs often come in a variety of colors to brighten things up. Utility tongs are designed to withstand very high heat without melting or burning, some are resistant to over 1000degrees Fahrenheit so can be used safely with barbecues.
Utility tools will also have a strong spring mechanism in their construction, which is designed to make them easy to use, with very little effort from the holder. This is essential when you are working in a hot environment and only have one hand spare to flip your ingredients!
With serving tongs, the designs will vary more, depending on their intended use. Buffet tongs will have a scalloped or triangle tip to make it easy to pick up food more precisely. Salad tongs will have a fork and spoon tip to help serve leaves and vegetables one-handed, so you can keep a plate in the other hand without struggling to grab a slippery tomato. Scissor tongs have a pivoting motion just like regular scissors and have paddle-shaped tips designed to pick up large items such as potatoes.
As serving tongs don’t need to be as resistant to heat compared to the utility ones, they may be made from wood, plastic, metal and may even be available as disposable items.
Ease Of Cleaning
Even the best kitchen tongs have ridges and cracks that can make a comfortable home for bacteria to rest in, which is why it is important to ensure that they are always cleaned thoroughly.
The easiest way to achieve this is to select tongs that can go in a dishwasher, but this is not always possible according to the material and manufacturers' instructions. Plus, not everyone wants to use a dishwasher regularly.
If you plan to handwash your utensils, then it is best to avoid the models that have very sharp edges. While the sharp edges are on the inside of the tongs, so won’t cause you any problems when using them, they can be a hazard when you are cleaning them in soapy water.
Detachable tips or silicone covers may contribute to the build-up of bacteria. They will be more difficult to clean in comparison to those that are made from one continuous piece of material.
In most home kitchens, tongs will tend to be stored in kitchen drawer organizers, or possibly placed on hooks on their walls so a locking mechanism will be key for easy storage. This feature will ensure the tongs stay securely closed so don't lie splayed open taking up lots of space.
If you plan to use a pair of tongs in a commercial kitchen, where there is the option of resting them on an oven-door handle, then a locking mechanism is less critical.
There are a few options when it comes to the material used for the best tongs.
Stainless steel is the most common, as it is highly durable, works at very high heats, is rust-resistant, and can be easily cleaned in a dishwasher. However, they aren’t suitable for nonstick pans as they can scratch the surfaces.
Silicone covered options are usually made with stainless steel but have a silicone cover on the pincers or tips so that they can be used on any surface. Nylon coated tongs work in the same way. The challenge with these is that they may be a little too smooth to work well with slippery food so are not always easy to use.
Bamboo or plastic tongs are also available, but these are best suited for serving food, not for cooking with high heat as they will not be as durable. If you are planning a dinner party or a buffet then these are a good option, and if you want to minimize the washing up you can find serving tongs that are disposable and made from recyclable material.
Some of the best kitchen tongs will have a non-stick coating that usually comes in the form of nylon or silicone heads. This means that while the pair of tongs are probably still made from stainless steel, they have silicone tipped tongs to help prevent any food from sticking to the utensils.
Such a design will also make them safe for use in nonstick pans without causing any scratches or damaging the cooking surface. However, if you are going to be dealing with food that tends to be quite slippery or oily, then these silicone heads are not always the best choice. Metal tips will allow you to get a better grip on such foods.
For most kitchen uses, a pair of tongs that measure 12-inches are the perfect size as they keep your hand far enough away from heat, but not far enough away to be difficult to use precisely. If you are looking for tools that work best for grilling, barbecuing, and high heat cooking, then a longer length would be better.
There are many 9 inch tongs available and these will work fine for serving food items like salad but are not recommended for moving hot items directly from a pan or grill.
Bear in mind that when you read the product descriptions for a pair of tongs, you should look closely at what the measurements include. Some of them state that it includes the hook at the end, some don't. With scissor tongs, the length may or may not include the handles, so it is worth checking this.