The 7 Best Kitchen Tongs of 2022

Tongs are among the most critical kitchen utensils, and our favorite, the OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads, are the best of the best.

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HINMAY Mini 7-inch Stainless Steel Serving Tongs
Courtesy of Amazon

Tongs are one of the most important kitchen utensils a resourceful cook can own. Flip chicken, vigorously toss pasta, grab a burger bun out of the oven, pluck a potato out of boiling water; the possibilities are endless. Tongs are extensions of your hands — that is, if your hands could withstand the heat of a hot oven or sizzling skillet.

Lisa Lotts, owner and publisher of Garlic and Zest, uses them as an all-purpose kitchen tool. "They're perfect for everything from lifting, turning, and adjusting items in a hot pan or on the grill or even for breading cutlets (flour, egg, breadcrumbs) so I'm not constantly washing my hands in between each step," she says. "I'll even use them to grab something from a high shelf that's out of reach." If you've ever been to a restaurant with an open kitchen, you may have noticed that professional chefs embrace this idea wholeheartedly. Tongs are often the only tool on a chef's station — they're that versatile.

The best kitchen tongs are ones that suit your needs best. Unlike professional chefs, you're probably not plating 300 pieces of branzino per night but still need something specialized for you. Favor nonstick pans and need something that doesn't scratch? Or maybe you're looking for some serving tongs for your next dinner party. Not to worry, no matter what you may need to use your tongs for, there's a perfect pair out there for you, starting with our favorite, OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads

OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Target and Macy's.

Pros: The nylon tips make this set perfect for nonstick and stainless cookware, while the grips make them easy to hold and maneuver.

Cons: The nylon tips are not ideal for high heat and grilling.

OXO is known for its high-quality and durable kitchen utensils, like these 9-inch tongs. Chef Michael DeLone of Nunzio in Collingswood, New Jersey, loves his OXO tongs. "Tongs are one of the most important and versatile tools in the kitchen," says DeLone. "They give you more control than a spoon or ladle ever could when plating a dish. While cooking at home, I prefer the OXO brand because they are durable, well-designed, and lock up well, so they fit neatly into drawers."

The tips and grips are flexible nylon mounted on a stainless steel body. This gives them not only the durability of stainless steel, but the versatility of nylon. Use these on your favorite nonstick cookware without fear of scratches. Also, unlike steel, they won't get slippery when wet or greasy, thanks to the nylon grips on the sides. The only downside of nylon is that it doesn't have the thermal capacity of stainless steel, so these are not the best choice for high-heat applications like hard searing or grilling.

Price at time of publish: $14

  • Size: 9 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel and nylon
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Value: Winco 12-Inch Stainless Steel Coiled Spring Utility Tong

Winco 12-Inch Stainless Steel Coiled Spring Utility Tong
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: These tongs are cheap and incredibly durable; they can be used for nearly any task.

Cons: They are basic without extra adornments like rubber grips or locking mechanisms.

These are the tongs you'll find in the hands of nearly every restaurant chef. Personally, I buy these ten at a time for both home and work. You might expect a super flimsy pair of tongs for just three bucks, but the metal is surprisingly thick and durable.

When deciding which tongs to buy, James Beard finalist, chef, and owner of Toups Meatery in New Orleans, Isaac Toups, likes these Winco tongs. He says, "Look for heavy-duty steel and aluminum tongs. I keep 6-inch pairs at the house for cooking and longer ones for grilling."

You can buy them in nearly any size, but the 12-inch is versatile and can quickly go from turning a chicken thigh in a cast iron to flipping a steak on the grill with ease. With no grips or locking mechanisms, these are just a standard set of tongs that works well.

Price at time of publish: $3

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best High-End: All-Clad Precision Nonstick Tongs

All-Clad Precision Nonstick Tongs
Courtesy of William Sonoma

Pros: Their sleek design prevents food from getting stuck, and they are heat resistant up to 440 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cons: These tongs are significantly more expensive than similar types.

All-Clad is a brand built on supreme quality, and just like their coveted pans, these tongs are made with usability in mind. They do have a hefty price tag — perhaps more than most would expect to spend on tongs. That said, unlike other capped tongs, there are no crevices or cracks for food to get stuck. The nylon is heavily bonded to the body of the tongs, so they won't come off or trap water and residue.

The large, paddle-shaped nylon tips are not only heat-safe up to 440 degrees Fahrenheit, but their size and shape make them perfect for stove tasks, tossing a salad, or even serving slippery things like buttery asparagus or saucy spaghetti.

Price at time of publish: $48

  • Size: 13.75 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel and nylon
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

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Best Silicone: Cuisinart Silicone-Tipped 12-Inch Tongs

Cuisinart Silicone-Tipped 12-Inch Tongs
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Walmart.

Pros: These tongs are perfect for nonstick cookware and are great for gripping food.

Cons: The silicone on these tongs is less durable than other materials.

Silicone tongs won't damage your nonstick cookware — and when you want a little more flexibility in the tips of your tongs. Silicone is exceptionally nonstick so no food residue will get stuck to the surface. And unlike other silicone tongs that can be extremely slippery, these are slightly matte, which gives them the perfect grip.

Jenna Moran, the founder of Whimsy and Spice, says this is the most crucial feature to look for: "The best options for this are products with silicone. These tongs are great at protecting hands when dealing with hot food, and they also have a great texture for gripping things!" Silicone's flexible nature does mean the tips will go through more wear and tear than stainless steel models and might have to be replaced sooner due to cracks or breakage of the silicone.

Price at time of publish: $24

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel and silicone
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best One-Handed: Rösle Stainless Steel 12-inch Lock and Release Tongs

Rösle Stainless Steel 12-inch Lock and Release Tongs
Courtesy of Amazon

Also available at Sur La Table.

Pros: These tongs are great for high-heat cooking, are easy to use, and are long enough to ensure safe reaching.

Cons: The shape of the paddles can cause the metal to bend over time.

Stainless steel tongs are ideal for any high-heat cooking, like grilling, but they can easily be used for nearly any other kitchen task, including serving or mixing a salad. Their 12-inch length allows for safely reaching into the oven or dipping into deep pots, and the handy locking mechanism is a small loop shape that can easily engage with one hand. This way, there's no need to stop what you're doing to lock them.

The paddles of these tongs are slightly curved, which is excellent for picking up sausages from the grill, but over time the metal can bend and warp.

Price at time of publish: $42

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best for Serving: Material Kitchen The Only Tongs

Material Kitchen The Only Tongs
Courtesy of Material

Pros: These attractive tongs have large paddles and angled heads for easy scooping and serving.

Cons: The angles of these tongs can be difficult to use for non-serving tasks.

Regular-sized tongs are great for cooking, but the small-sided paddles can leave much to be desired when it comes to serving. We love these Material tongs for their extra large paddles, ideal for grabbing a big scoop of salad or a hefty steak off a platter. They're perfect for plating and serving, and they will look at home with your other tableware and serveware on the table.

While the size and shape are ideal for serving, they can be a bit cumbersome for things like sauteing. The angled paddles will allow you to pinch a scoop of pasta easily, but they can be awkward and difficult to maneuver in a pan.

Price at time of publish: $20

  • Size: 12 inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

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Best Mini: HINMAY Mini 7-inch Stainless Steel Serving Tongs

HINMAY Mini 7-inch Stainless Steel Serving Tongs
Courtesy of Amazon

Pros: These mini tongs are great for serving and are easy to lock one-handed with the locking ring.

Cons: Mini tongs aren't handy for cooking close to the heat.

Nothing is worse than hosting a dinner party or big holiday meal and realizing you don't have enough serving utensils. Mini tongs are a great, hygienic solution for things like cold cuts or allow for a mess-free option for wetter condiments like sauerkraut or pickles. These have a convenient locking ring instead of the classic pull tab, so you can quickly scoot the ring up and lock them with one hand.

While they're great for serving and portioning, tongs this size don't have much use when it comes to cooking. Their size generally puts your hand too close to the heat.

Price at time of publish: $12

  • Size: 7 Inches
  • Material: Stainless steel
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Our Favorite

For the best all-around pair of tongs with the most versatility, we always reach for the OXO Good Grips 9-Inch Locking Tongs with Nylon Heads. If you're looking for a full stainless steel model that will give you the best bang for your buck, the Winco 12-Inch Stainless Steel Coiled Spring Utility Tong is the best choice.

Factors to Consider

Material

Most tongs are either metal or plastic, and the tong head or gripping section can either be of the same material as the body or can be encased in silicone. Metal-handled tongs will last longer than plastic, and most are dishwasher-safe. It can be useful to have both metal-tipped and silicone-tipped tongs in your arsenal since metal has extra grip for slippery and heavy things like steaks, while silicone will be gentle for more delicate items and safe for use with nonstick pans.

Length

Tongs come in every length from a 4–5-inch mini size to a full 14 inches long for use with grills. The length you choose should be comfortable for your grip and give you good control for moving things around. Longer handles are great for grilling and smoking when you want to keep your distance from the heat but are too long to be useful on the stovetop. 10-12 inches is a good length for use on stovetops.

Handle Comfort

Finding a set of tongs with a good solid feel in your hand is key to control with the tongs. Some have rubber, silicone, or wood handles for comfort, and a few have ergonomically designed grips. Choose tongs that sit well in the hand, are weighted properly, and preferably have some sort of non-slip finish on them for safety.

Pro Panel Q+A

We reached out to food blogger Sapna Dalal, The Vegetarian Tourist to check in on her thoughts regarding kitchen tongs.

What are the different types of tongs?

"Kitchen tongs come in many varieties, such as utility tongs (for general purpose cooking needs), serving tongs (to help with plating), barbeque tongs (longer handles for grilling from a distance), and salad tongs (to help scoop up salads) just to name a few," says Dalal.

What are the best kitchen tongs?

Dalal has her favorite. "I personally prefer tongs with silicone padded ends as I find it easier to cook with and have less food stick to the ends." The general rule is that the best kitchen tongs are the ones that suit your personal style of cooking. If you do a lot of home cooking, you may want a variety of sizes and styles to play with, if you are more of an occasional cook, one set of mid-size tongs will likely be all you need. If you have nonstick cookware, be sure to get the silicone-tipped tongs that Dalal loves to protect the surface.

How should you clean and store kitchen tongs?

"I clean tongs with dish soap and store them in the closed position in a drawer with other utensils such as spatulas, whisks, etc." Many tongs are dishwasher safe, and clean in the open position on the upper rack. If your tongs are all-metal and are not dishwasher safe, be sure to dry them carefully before storing to prevent rusting.

Our Expertise

Nick DeSimone wrote and compiled this list. They have been working in professional kitchens for nearly ten years. In their tool kit for work, they currently have 14 different pairs of tongs. DeSimone has tried nearly every size and brand of tongs on the market, and only the ones that performed well and fit a specific need have made it into their kit. Over the years, DeSimone has put almost every pair of tongs on the market to the ultimate test: Saturday night dinner followed by Sunday brunch service at a popular restaurant. Because of this, they know better than most which tongs are worth reaching for again and again. Stacey Ballis, a freelance writer, recipe developer, and product reviewer, also contributed to this piece.

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