What Are Tongs Used For

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Tongs are used to pick up foods that you cannot touch with your bare hands. This kitchen tool allows you to handle and flip hot food items. It can also be used as a serving tool for salads and other dishes. Some tongs are even made to handle cool things like ice cubes. What are tongs used for? They are used for many tasks in the kitchen to make things easier.

Different Types of Tongs

There are several types of tongs, each with a different purpose. Some are equipped with heat-resistant materials intended for grilling, barbecuing, and other high heat cooking. Other tongs, however, are made from plastic that should not come into contact with heat. The clip ends of tongs also differ from one another depending on what they are utilized for.

Knowing what tongs are used for should depend on their type. If you understand what it is for, then you can use it accurately and easily. Here is a list of the different types of tongs that you need to familiarize yourself with:

  • Ice Tongs. Used to transfer ice from a container to a glass
  • Pom Tongs. Used for serving delicate produce and salad toppings
  • Utility Tongs. Used as an all-around tong that can accomplish many tasks
  • Salad Tongs. One side is a spoon, and the other resembles a fork for effective mixing and tossing
  • Buffet Tongs. These tongs have triangular ends often used to transfer varied dishes
  • Serving Tongs. Best known for a presentable aesthetic finish, these tongs are often used in restaurants
  • Bar Tongs. Used to pick up citrus slices and other garnishes intended for bar drinks
  • Locking Tongs. This pair of tongs has a lock mechanism that allows it to close and stay close
  • Snail Tongs. These tongs are specifically used to hold a snail shell so that the meat can be eaten conveniently
  • Gripper Tongs. Used for frozen burger patties; the tongs have flat ends with scalloped hands
  • Paddle Tongs. These tongs are made from wood, mostly bamboo, and have flat ends; used for aesthetic purposes when serving dishes
  • Scissor Tongs. These are best used for bulky and heavy items
  • Spaghetti Tongs. Also known as pasta tongs, they have teeth-like ends that can hold noodles better
  • Pastry Tongs. The flat ends of these tongs handle fragile pastries while ensuring that the coating and texture is not damaged
  • Flat Grip Tongs. Flat ends and grip used for delicate dishes
  • Plating Tongs. These tongs look like over-sized tweezers; used to decorate dishes on a plate
  • Grill and Fry Tongs. They are usually made from metal or covered with silicone. These tongs can handle intense heat from grilling, frying, or broiling
  • Turner Tongs. The flat and wide ends of this pair of tongs are great for turning patties and steaks

What Are Tongs Used For?

You now have an idea of what tongs are used for after learning their various types. Categorizing them under these types gives a precise idea of what each of these tongs looks like. To maximize the use of tongs in the kitchen, you can further utilize them through the following ways:

  1. Use the tongs to pull something from a pan without the risk of touching the pan
  2. The long handle of the tongs allows you to turn a dish inside the oven without taking it out
  3. Taking out foil-wrapped potatoes from the oven after baking
  4. Is something out of reach? You can use your tongs as a grabber
  5. Mixing salad
  6. Turning corn cobs when cooking and when taking them out from the boiling water
  7. A pair of tongs works well when mixing and tossing stir-fried dishes while frying
  8. When handling dangerous items that may irritate your hands, you can use tongs
  9. Small tongs are a great substitute for chopsticks for little children to practice with

silver tongs

Random Facts: Tongs Trivia!

After knowing what tongs are used for, this amusing and smart trivia section will give you more reason to love your tongs and make them your favorite kitchen tool. After all, what is there not to like?

  • A myth from the Jewish text Pirkei Avot said that God himself made the first tongs before He rested on the 7th The blacksmiths needed a pair of tongs to create a new one. Hence, God gave the first pair of tongs to humans to use.
  • Evidence shows that in 1450 BC, Egyptians used metal rods with tong-like tools to hold things above fires.
  • Tongs were made from wooden sticks before metals were used. The upgrade to metal tongs probably occurred sometime in 3000 BC when people started to use them for handling things over a fire.
  • The word tongs come from the Old English word, “tange” or “tang,” which is translated to “that which bites.”

Tong FAQ

Still have questions? Check out our brief FAQ below for answers to some of the more commonly asked questions regarding tongs and their use.

What are laboratory tongs, and how are they used?

Tongs aren’t just limited to their use in the kitchen. Other tong types are used for other applications. Laboratory tongs, for example, have large pincers used for grasping and lifting vessels of heat-resistant material in experiments and labs with high-temperature chemical reactions.

Laboratory tongs come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate a number of different lab items, including beakers, crucibles, and dishes.

How do you clean tongs?

Depending on the materials used in the construction of the tongs, they are typically easy to clean. If you have grill tongs with some rust, remove the rust and then wipe down the tongs. A mixture of water and vinegar can be used to soak your greasy tongs and get them clean.

For most other cooking tongs, you can use mild dishwashing detergent, and some can even be cleaned easily and conveniently inside your dishwasher.  You can clean your stainless steel tongs in the same way as your other cooking tongs. Once you remove the grease, use a brush to cut through any other residue and use warm water and dish soap to clean them off.

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