Tongs are tools every well-stocked kitchen should have. Much like your chef’s knife, you’ll use tongs so frequently they’ll quickly become an extension of your hand. Think of them as giant tweezers. They’re used to grip and turn foods while keeping your hands safely away from the cooking surface. They also help keep your hands germ-free since you can add raw meats or poultry to your pot or pan without touching them with your hands. Usually made of stainless steel, some tongs have heat-resistant silicone handles or tips to keep them cool and to protect your pots and pans from scratches.

Tongs usually have a scalloped edge to make gripping slippery foods a breeze. The scallops also make it easier to turn or flip delicate foods, like fish, without ripping or tearing them. Some tongs are built with a latch that locks them closed, making it easier to store them.

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