The 5 Best Kitchen Tongs

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From dressing salads to moving a chicken breast from the pan to a vat of sauce, these little pinchers are an essential kitchen utensil and can make everyday cooking tasks a whole lot easier — as long as you get the right ones. The best kitchen tongs keep your hands and your food safe and whole.

While your needs at the grill are a little different from when it comes time to serve a casual salad lunch, the basics are the same. First and foremost, a great pair of tongs will grip on to your food tightly. As Cook's Illustrated reports from its tests, when it comes to holding on to everything without tearing: "Scalloped edges won, hands down." Next, you'll want to find a pair that feels good in your hands, with the right amount of tension that also won't get too hot. And then, you'll need it to stay closed when you're not using it so some sort of locking mechanism is key and bonus points if it's easy to set.

After that, you should examine what you'll be using it for. If most of your pans are nonstick and you don't want to be bothered with switching to a plastic spatula when stirring or moving food off of your cookware, consider silicone- or plastic-coated tongs. Or, if you need a pair that will look and perform great over the grill, look for a longer handle so worrying about flames will be a thing of the past.

Whatever you use it for, let the best kitchen tongs help make dinner happen easier.

1. The Best Overall Kitchen Tongs

Beloved by Cook's Illustrated, Serious Eats, and the more than a thousand people who gave it a five-star rating on Amazon, OXO's Good Grips are the gold standard of kitchen tongs. Sturdy enough for multiple washes but delicate enough to handle sautéed vegetables, the scalloped ends hold on tight while the rubberized handle is comfortable and cool in your hands.

"I never knew my tongs were horrible till I tried these," one reviewer says of the brushed stainless steel model with an easy-to-use pull-up lock.

2. The Best Kitchen Tongs For Nonstick Pots And Pans

While uncoated heads are better at gripping slippery stuff like pasta in a pot of water, those heads can also scratch nonstick coatings. If switching between your tongs and a non-metal spatula is just not for you, OXO's coated tongs will do the trick.

The silicone coating is safe up to 600 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can flip those meats and veggies even when the nonstick or enameled cast iron pan are hot — all while still enjoying features like the comfortable OXO handle and reliable locking mechanism.

3. The Best Kitchen Tongs For Serving

If you're looking to dress your salad and then proudly to serve it at casual gathering, try these colorful tongs. The set includes three of varying sizes (7, 9, and 12 inches) so you can plate the appetizers and serve them, all without making extra dishes.

With a 4.8 rating after more than 500 reviews, customers have been happy with the quality and performance of these silicone-coated tongs. "I use these every day! The sizes are just right for cooking and serving, and they are comfortable to use," one review says.

4. The Best Kitchen Tongs For Grilling

When it comes to the grill, you'll want a longer handle to keep you safe from flames and heavy-duty construction to pick up those hearty meats and vegetables. These stainless steel tongs from Grillhogs can be used up to 600 degrees and fit the bill.

Oak handles offer comfort while looking ruggedly stylish. With tight gripping, scalloped ends, and an easy-to-activate locking feature, they're a great dishwasher-safe choice for the grill. "They are super sturdy and not flimsy when picking up heavy pieces of meat," one customer says, "I like that they are very easy to clean, and the length is great so you are not burning your arm hair off getting things on the back of the grill."

5. The Best Budget Choice For Kitchen Tongs

While you won't get features like a rubber grip or silicone coating and the locking mechanism here is a simple hoop of metal, these are quality tongs that have gotten a 4.5-star rating overall on Amazon. With two sizes in each pack (9 and 12 inches), you also get variety. The best part is that by buying a pack of four, each tong comes out to less than three bucks. "I believe this is actually be the best deal of my life. Cheap, sturdy, and can't beat [the] quick delivery!" one happy customer reports.

Even if you already have a pair of more expensive tongs, this would be a great choice for those who need to cook or serve food at a potluck or other gathering but don't want to worry about losing a pair.

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