Cookbook | Ingredients | Cookbook equipment | Kitchen tools

Cooking and serving tongs
Tongs removing an egg roll from very hot oil

Tongs are used to easily grasp and transfer food.

Cooking and serving tongs consist of shaped "jaws" attached to a pair of long handles equipped with a spring to open or 'release' them. The 'scissor' style with looped handles and smaller loops on the 'food' end is also popular.

The jaws or ends can have many shapes, ranging from a simple open loop on a bent-rod utensil shown here to gently scalloped and enclosed to grasp food without tearing or breaking the crust. A good pair will be easy to hold and have very little 'flex' when grasping things like chicken breasts or 6-8 ounce (170-130 g) steaks. Cheaper tongs will have very little 'hold' on anything of substance and are likely to create more problems than they solve. Avoid buying anything that cannot easily pick up and manipulate another copy of itself in the store.

They are commonly made from pressed steel sheet metal, steel rods or plastic. They offer mild protection from hot food mainly from the distance they provide from the cooking and can help a lot in preparing and serving a meal.

Tongs intended for handling food that is heavy or very hot can be made of steel rods, with a rubber-coated scissors-like handle for better control. Stronger versions of the pressed-steel tongs have proven very useful and adept in handling heavier and more cumbersome foods.