What are the Different Types of Tongs? (with pictures)

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen
There are tongs specifically for serving sugar cubes.
There are tongs specifically for serving sugar cubes.

There are many different types of tongs used for preparing or handling food in a kitchen or while serving a meal. These include ones that are made for use outside on a grill, which are often quite long to allow a user to keep his or her hands away from heat, and smaller but similar ones used for indoor cooking. Both can come in several different basic shapes. There are also some types designed for more delicate purposes, such as serving foods, and these are often somewhat smaller and may be made of silver or plastic.

When shopping for barbecue tongs, be sure that the tongs seem durable.
When shopping for barbecue tongs, be sure that the tongs seem durable.

Tongs are kitchen utensils designed to allow a user to grab and manipulate food without using his or her hands. They are used for one of two reasons: to prepare and cook food or to serve food. Into these two basic categories, there are a number of specialized utensils designed for a variety of purposes.

Some of the most common types of tongs are those intended for use while grilling. These are usually made longer, to allow the user to keep his or her hands safely away from the heat. There are also indoor tongs similar in design and appearance to those meant for grilling, though they are often shorter and may be tipped with heat resistant plastic or rubber for easier gripping and to prevent scraping of nonstick surfaces.

Tongs might be used at a potluck to grab different finger foods.
Tongs might be used at a potluck to grab different finger foods.

Both of these types of tongs are often found in one of two basic styles. One type has long handles running from the gripping end, meeting at the base, and is used by holding the base of the handles in one hand. The other type is designed more like a pair of scissors and is joined below the handles.

Wooden tongs are available for a number of different purposes, from removing hot toast from a toaster to tossing a salad. These types of salad tongs can also be made from plastic, and are often shaped at the gripping ends with one side being like a spoon and the other resembling a pasta spoon. There are also a number of serving utensils commonly made from silver, including tongs for serving sugar cubes and others designed for serving fish from a platter.

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    • There are tongs specifically for serving sugar cubes.
      There are tongs specifically for serving sugar cubes.
    • When shopping for barbecue tongs, be sure that the tongs seem durable.
      When shopping for barbecue tongs, be sure that the tongs seem durable.
    • Tongs might be used at a potluck to grab different finger foods.
      Tongs might be used at a potluck to grab different finger foods.
    • Tongs may be used for tossing a salad.
      Tongs may be used for tossing a salad.