Whether you’re tossing a few patties, handling deep-fried goodies, or plating some pasta, kitchen tongs can keep your hands safe in the kitchen. Although kitchen tongs have many uses, that doesn’t mean all models are equal. Depending on what foods you usually prepare, you may need to invest in a few tongs for the optimal results.
If you’re confused about all the different kitchen tongs out there, then check out the list below. In this post, we explain the benefits and drawbacks of the most significant kinds of tongs.
11 Types Of Kitchen Tongs—And What They’re Used For
1. Utility Tongs
The best all-around tongs you could buy are aptly the named “utility tongs.” Typically, these tongs have a comfortable non-stick handle, stainless steel design, and medium-sized pincers with scalloped edges. Utility tongs are excellent for general kitchen tasks like flipping meats on the stovetop, handling veggies like asparagus, and scooping food in your pan.
Look at these utility tongs put out by KitchenAid to get a better sense of this model.
2. Serving Tongs
Serving tongs are all about show. These smaller-than-average tongs are fantastic if you like sharing appetizers with friends and family. In restaurant settings, you might see waiters use these shiny, spoon-tipped tongs to put a dazzling herbal flourish on your dinner plate.
If you’re interested in learning more about serving tongs, then check out this hot design put out by SOLEADER.
3. Stainless Steel Tongs
Stainless steel remains the most commonly used material in modern cooking tongs. Many people swear by stainless steel models because they can get a fantastic grip on whatever food they’re working with. Plus, since steel is so durable, these tongs could last a lifetime. On the downside, steel conducts heat, so you can’t use these tongs for long when handling hot food. Also, stainless steel tips can easily chip away at non-stick surfaces.
Here’s what Hotec’s classic stainless steel tongs look like.
4. Barbeque Tongs
When cooking on the grill, you should put as much space between you and the flames as possible. It’s for this reason all barbeque tongs typically measure at minimum 16” long. While they might be a chore to store, these large tongs are ideal for handling BBQ meats from a safe distance.
For a super-long reach, check out Outset’s 22” BBQ tongs.
5. Scissor Tongs
It’s understandable why new chefs might believe scissor tongs have something to do with cutting food. In reality, scissor tongs have thin pincers great for grabbing bulkier objects. Most commonly, people use scissor tongs to grab corn on the cob, but you could also use these tongs to pick up deep-fried goods, toast, and pastries.
Here’s a typical example of scissor tongs put out by the company Hiash.
6. Silicone Tongs
Silicone is one of the hottest materials used in modern tongs—because it can handle the hottest temps! Nowadays, you’ll find many tongs with silicone-padded tips and a stainless steel body. Since silicone can usually withstand temps of as high as 600° F, they are a perfect material when working on sizzling cooking surfaces. Silicone-tipped tongs are especially good on non-stick pans because they won’t leave scratch marks.
HOT TARGET now offers a set of silicone tongs in a variety of sizes.
7. Cooking Tongs
For convenience, many shops divide tongs into two categories: cooking and non-cooking. In the cooking category, the most common varieties you’ll find are barbeque and utility. While there’s a lot of crossover between these two styles, BBQ tongs are longer than utility ones. Usually, cooking tongs have scalloped grabbers to help you get a good grip on whatever food you’re working with.
Here’s a typical example of cooking tongs that can be used for both BBQ and stovetop cooking.
8. High-Heat Tongs
The easiest and safest way to handle hot food is to use tongs with high-heat resistance. Usually, these “high-heat tongs” have a layer of silicone or nylon on the tips. You should add high-heat tongs to your kitchen toolkit if you frequently cook on a non-stick pan or handle deep-fried foods.
If you frequently deep-fry your food, then you’ve got to check out our previous post highlighting the many uses of a deep fryer.
StarPack now puts out a high-heat pair of tongs that can withstand 600°F.
9. Pasta Tongs
With their terrific teeth-like design, pasta tongs are the ultimate “spaghetti scoopers.” You could use these tongs to get a firm handle when plating, tossing and serving noodles. Although these tongs are designed with pasta in mind, some people also use them for tossing salads. If pasta night is almost every night in your household, then be sure to invest in some pasta tongs.
The company BIGSUNNY now offers stainless steel spaghetti tongs online.
10. Pom Tongs
Of all the tongs on this list, chances are you are the least familiar with “pom tongs.” No, these tongs have nothing to do with the famous pomegranate juice company. Usually made with steel, pom tongs have curved pincers with jagged edges to help you grab delicate edges. Many cooks say these tongs are fantastic for flipping bacon or serving salad.
Here’s a closer look at a standard set of pom tongs, this one by Update International.
11. Salad Tongs
We’ll end our list with one of the most famous tongs designs: salad tongs. Traditional salad tongs have one spoon and one “spork” to help you easily mix, scoop, and serve your salad. Since you never cook with salad tongs, it’s safe to use both plastic and stainless steel designs.
Here’s a classic example of plastic salad tongs in Chef Craft’s catalog.
If you’d prefer to use stainless steel salad tongs, then look at this design put out by Wexbi.