The Best Tongs For Our Kitchen
Many of our kitchen tools sit in cabinets or drawers, with only a precious few earning a spot in the utensil holder that rests right on the counter, next to the cooktop. This is the spot reserved for everyday items — the ones we couldn’t imagine living without. And probably no utensil gets more use in our kitchen than tongs.
We’re amazed by how many of our friends and family either don’t have kitchen tongs, or make do with inferior tongs that don’t perform like they should. While tongs are simple in design — two stainless steel arms with a hinge — our favorite pair acts as an extension of your arm, but able to go where no hand ever could.
Although this post focuses on tongs with stainless steel heads, we also like the model of our preferred tongs that comes with heat-resistant silicone heads. The silicone heads, while they offer slightly less control overall, are actually better at gripping smooth surfaces (like ramekins or pot lids), and are more appropriate for use with non-stick cookware. We use both types of tongs in our kitchen, but if you’re choosing only one pair, and you mostly use non-stick cookware, the silicone heads might be the better choice for you.
What They Are For
We Use Tongs To:
- Flip bacon in a pan, and remove it.
- Manipulate meat and veggies on the BBQ.
- Reach into hot oil to grab deep-fried food.
- Dredge items in flour.
- Remove spaghetti from a pot of water.
- Serve all kinds of food.
- Lift a lid off a hot pot.
Why They Are Great
12-inch tongs are best for most jobs, keeping your hands away from the intense heat of the oven, grill or pan, while still giving you a high level of control.
Tongs that are too stiff can be painful to use, especially if you are turning a lot of small items in a pan. It’s easy to squeeze the arms of the OXO tongs.
It’s easy to lock (and hang) these tongs with the large non-slip pull-tab. Unlike other tongs we’ve tried, these ones stay fully closed when locked.
The perfectly angled ends on these tongs get closer together until they meet at the end.
Wide Angle When Open
What's Not To Like
- The silicone version of the tongs simply aren’t quite as effective at gripping certain foods (example: bacon). However, they are heat-resistant to 600F, and will not damage non-stick cookware, so it’s a fair trade-off in some situations.
- Over time, the locking pull-tab can get bent, making it more difficult to push in. It can easily be straightened, and the problem can be avoided altogether if you take care to push it straight in when unlocking the tongs.
- Like most tongs, the inside of each steel arm is hollow, which can make it a bit difficult to clean. We don’t have trouble running our dish sponge through the groove (and we usually toss our tongs into the dishwasher anyway).
- We’ve seen reports online of users struggling with wobbly prongs that don’t always meet perfectly at the ends, but we’ve never had that difficulty.
Also Worth Knowing
Did You Know
Sam Farber founded OXO Utensils in the late 1980s when he noticed that his wife, who had mild arthritis, was having trouble holding a peeler. He decided to develop a more comfortable line of kitchen utensils. Mr. Farber sold OXO to the General Houseware Corporation in 1992, and it was later purchased by Helen of Troy Limited in 2004 for $273 million!
- About Us → Our Roots, OXO website
- Margalit Fox, Sam Farber, Creator of Oxo Utensils, Dies at 88, The New York Times, June 21, 2013
- Helen of Troy Limited Completes OXO International Acquisition, press release, June 2, 2004