Friday, February 27, 2015

Tongs are possibly the greatest kitchen gadget ever!

Image from: Bed Bath and Beyond's website:

Okay, extreme exaggeration aside, I really love my tongs. So much so that I am devoting my first post about kitchen equipment to talking about why they are awesome! If you are like me, there are times while cooking that you just wish you could reach in and do the next step of the recipe with your fingers. Maybe you're trying to flip a bunch of chicken tenders. Maybe you just can't get whatever you're making onto the spatula. The bottom line is: resist the urge to reach in to the pan! Instead, reach for your tongs!

Some uses for tongs:
  • The usual:
    • Flipping meat
    • Tossing a salad with dressing
    • Making a stir fry
    • Putting something into a hot pan (especially if there's hot oil or grease in said don't want to just drop your food in and make a splash!)
    • Serving food--see the spaghetti serving suggestion in the video below!
    • Grabbing hot food from a hard to reach place
  • The "less usual:"
    • Use tongs to juice citrus! You can do this two ways:
      • Use the tongs as leverage to squeeze the juice.(left, top)
      • Pinch the tongs shut, and use like a citrus reamer (left, bottom)
    • When slicing cooked food, use tongs to get a firm grip on the meat without burning your fingers.
    • When I cook the bagged minute rice, I use tongs to make sure I've squeezed out all the extra water from the rice before I open it
    • You can use tongs as a bottle opener (watch the video to see how!)
  • The uses I've never needed:
    • I am very tall (6 feet in bare feet) so I've never been faced with this, but when researching unusual uses for tongs, I found that some people use tongs to help reach things off the top shelves of their kitchen cabinets!
    • There are special tongs made of wood specifically for getting toast out of a toaster.
This video from the Food Network is a bit silly at times, but it illustrates some great uses for tongs: 

If you have another use for tongs in your kitchen, I'd love to hear it! Leave a comment below :)

Things to consider when buying tongs:

  • If you use nonstick cookware, you should purchase tongs with nylon or silicone tips so you don't scratch the coating of your pans. My tongs are the ones from the top of the page and they have nylon heads (the link is to the picture source on the Bed Bath and Beyond website--at the time of writing they were about $13). I love them!
  • Tongs can either lock (like the ones I have...see the little loop?) or not (see the blue tongs used to juice lemons). I like the locking tongs. They are SO much easier to store!
    • Sometimes I use my tongs in the "locked" position, because they are a little open, enough to grab smaller items, and you can squeeze them closed. It seems like I can be more delicate with smaller things when the tongs are "locked."
  • Stainless steel tongs are long lasting and very utilitarian.


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