Every well-stocked kitchen needs at least one pair of kitchen tongs. These versatile grasping devices are something no chef should live without. The handles are shaped almost like those on a pair of scissors, while the bottoms are flat so they can firmly grab a hold of food without causing any damage. Among other uses, these tools can do the following:
- Protect hands from burns — With a pair of kitchen tongs, hands are given a longer reach. They can flip meat on the grill or vegetables cooking in a pan. Because they grip, the food won't slide off as it does with a spatula. These tools can also pull a hot dog, spaghetti, corn on the cob, lobster or a hard boiled egg from a pot of boiling water. By using them to turn pies and cakes when they're in the oven, you're ensuring your hands won't get burned. You can use tongs to turn or remove food from a hot fryer too.
- Buffet servers — If you're having a buffet, consider using kitchen tongs to serve certain foods. They grip salads wonderfully and work well when serving sliced cuts of meats. Tongs are also useful for certain noodles, such as spaghetti or Lo Mein. If you have a couple of pairs handy in the bread basket, guests can use them to pick up rolls and bread rather than touching the food with their hands.
- Extend your arms — Kitchen tongs are indispensable any time people will be serving themselves. On the kitchen or dining room table, they can be used for salad, meats, certain types of roasted or baked potatoes and other foods. Tongs can also be used to pull cans and spice jars off high shelves and to grasp plastic bowls and plates that are just out of reach at the top of cabinets.
- Keep hands warm — If you hate having numb hands after rummaging around in the freezer, you'll probably appreciate this use for tongs. Use them to grasp packages of frozen vegetables or boxes of frozen food. Grab ice cubes from the bin or an ice pop from its box.
If you don't have a set of kitchen tongs, consider adding a pair to your utensil drawer. Use them to take hot muffins or toast from the toaster oven or to lift waffles from the iron. After a few weeks, you'll wonder what you ever did without them.