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Does owning 5 pairs of tongs sound over the top?

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I have only ever had one pair which is 24cm long, stainless steel, but as I am about to buy an enamelled Dutch oven I need a pair of non-stick tongs.

I also think I need a pair of 30cm stainless steel tongs for the bbq, and to make things easier I like the idea of having two of each of the new tongs so I can swap to a clean pair when the food is cooked.

This may be normal practise for most people, but it does still seam over the top to me.

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  1. A little excessive, perhaps, but I find tongs indispensable, so I understand your point of view.

    1. Doesn't sound over the top at all.

      Now about those non-stick tongs - I'm making the assumption that you are talking about the ones with the silicone ends? I have 3 or 4 of these that a manufacturer sent me to use on our cooking web video show... I hate them and refuse to use them on camera (or even off).

      The problem with them being no-stick silicone is that you can't grab anything with them. If you are browning chicken (beef, pork, veal, turkey, etc) in your Dutch Oven and need to turn it over; well good luck! Everything will slip right out, you have zero control.

      Stainless tongs in an enamelled Dutch Oven are fine. They won't scratch the surface, but some of the steel will be left on the enamelled surface.


      12 Replies
      1. re: legourmettv

        Get better ones. I have a pair (unbranded, I'm afraid) that work just fine. No problems with things slipping out of them. the silicone is textured, which might help.

        1. re: dscheidt

          I agree. My pair of silicone tipped tongs are from Sur La Table and work wonderfully. I use them more than the regular tongs because they seem to grab better. Also, I use them for removing jars from the uppermost shelves of my cabinets. Haven't lost a jar yet.

          1. re: tcamp

            The manufacturer who sent them to us, makes and sells these under 10-15 different names; some of which have been mentioned.

            I'll invite anyone over to set; so we can film you trying to flip a chicken breast, or veal shanks or anything for that matter that's being browned in the initial stage of a process that would happen in a Dutch Oven.


            1. re: legourmettv

              LOL, nothing about *my* cooking style is set-worthy but I'd love to see a demo.

              When browning a piece of meat in a dutch oven (mine is uncoated cast iron) or a saute pan, I would likely be using the regular, scalloped edge tongs. The non-stick get used for falafels in a large nonstick skillet, to move sauteing veggies around in the nonstick, and for grabbing pasta out of boiling water. And the aforementioned jar retrieval.

              1. re: tcamp

                Understood, but the OP asked about Non-stick tongs for use in an enamelled Dutch Oven, so I assume they want to do the sorts of things that one would do in a Dutch Oven.


                1. re: legourmettv

                  Yep definitely want the non-stick to use to lift and turn meat in the Dutch Oven, maybe I'll get one pair and see how they go?

                  1. re: snax

                    Practice, and you'll get the hang of it. You just have to squeeze a little more. I just sauteed two duck breasts for dinner using the silicone-tipped Messermeisters and managed to keep everything in the pan.

          2. re: dscheidt

            There is a big difference between the OXO, which have firm non-stick tips, and the Walmart variety, which are flimsy and are probably similar to the ones that have been an issue with slipping.

            My only complaint about OXO is the comfort grip along the tongs. These are black and are supposed to make holding them easier, but they get gummy after a couple of years of being tossed into the dishwasher. I wash a lot of things by hand, and I really don't want to add tongs to the list. For this reason, I have switched mostly to the all stainless variety. They are cheaper, and I keep them closed with rubber bands in the drawer.

            I personally do not like the Rosle, which depends on gravity to allow it to lock or unlock. I have had numerous instances of the darned thing springing open while sitting in a spoon rest, and falling on the floor or knocking a small item off the counter. Unfortunately, my favorite locking mechanisim is the OXO one, because you can bump it to open it and pull to close it for storage.

            I think I own about ten, in total, of all sizes and types. All good brands too.

            1. re: RGC1982

              Like I said in an earlier post - These are top quality, very expensive, brand name non-stick tongs that I've had trouble with slippage... Not down market knock off tongs.
              I won't give the manufacturer name b'cause I don't want to mud sling.

              Anyway, in my personal experience - non-stick, silicone tipped tongs have been poor performers.


              1. re: legourmettv

                As far as the silicone tipped ones go, I have the Cuisipro and Orka. The Cuisipro tend to be my faves.

                I have a couple of stainless as well. I looked at the gravity Rosle ones as well.. where nifty in the store just didn't seem like they were overly friendly to me either.

                1. re: legourmettv

                  Sorry I misread your post, I was scanning quickly.

                  Sorry you have had such a bad time of it. I haven't experienced any slippage with the OXOs, so I would recommend those to anyone worried about scratching the interior of their pans.

                  As for mud slinging, just about everyone here on CH politely gives his or her opinion about products, restaurants, and other people. That is why most of us are here. While I appreciate your reluctance, there is no need to be shy as long as your post is reasonable, but this is up to you.

                  1. re: legourmettv

                    I suspect that you either have crappy tongs (very expensive has zip to do with design quality) or simply don't know how to use them. I cooked my lunch yesterday, using two pairs of silicone tipped tongs. I used the tongs to do every part of the operation: open the cabinet, get out a skillet, put it on the stove, turn the stove on, open the fridge, get out butter, cheese, ham, open the zipper bags the ham and cheese were in, remove the twist tie from the plastic bread bag, remove the bread from the bag, take a knife out of the block, cut a hunk of butter with it, toss it in the skillet, pick up the melting hunk of butter and flip it over (to see if I could), get a different knife out of the block, get a tomato out of the bowl, cut it into slices, assemble the samwich, put it in the skillet, cook it. First time my hands touched it, or anything in it, was when I put it in my mouth. If you can't flip a chicken breast with yours, you've got a problem.

            2. i bought about a dozen when my local Edward Don outlet closed. They're my go-to utensil.

              1. I have 6 pairs. 4 stainless steel in varying sizes and two plastic with metal hinges of different sizes. They all have a purpose.


                1. When can there be too much of a good thing? I probably have 5 or 6 pair myself. I use 3 of those constantly. They also work great when you drop something on the floor!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Ambimom

                    Especially the long ones. Less bending over.


                  2. I have 3 or 4 and am sometimes left wishing I had another pair or two.

                    1. Not at all over the top. My 3 often don't seem like enough. The uses you have in mind make good sense to me. By the way, I do have some with stainless tips and one with the plastic grabbers. The stainless are certainly easier to use for some things but the plastic-tipped tongs work well when cooking delicate foods that need the "cushion" of the plastic grabbers, also when using non-stick. I find myself reaching for them often.

                      Have fun with your new kitchen toys.

                      1. it's like saying "i have 5 wooden spoons." or "i have 3 saucepans." or "i have six burners." or "i have 2 bowls for my mixer andor food processor." with some things, it's impossible to have too many of them.

                        if you have only one of each utensil, you spend your time cleaning it constantly for re-use, while the food is burning.

                        you need long-handled heat-proof tongs for the grill. the black-handled restaurant supply ones are fine. non-stick tongs are a good way to have partially-cooked hot foods slip out and fall/splatter exactly where you don't want them to, or wherever it will hurt you the most.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: soupkitten

                          "non-stick tongs are a good way to have partially-cooked hot foods slip out and fall/splatter exactly where you don't want them to, or wherever it will hurt you the most."

                          Well said soupkitten.


                        2. I have 3 (2 indoor, 1 long set for the grill) and would not mind having another 2 indoor.

                          I don't worry about the "non-stick" tongs. If I need to scrape the pottom of the pot/pan I'll use something else.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jzerocsk

                            2nd that. The dozen I have are the 12" metal, spring-hinged with scallops along the grip edges. Excellent control on the grill, in a pan, flipping hot items on a baking sheet. Absolutely indispensable.

                          2. I guess ultimately, if you have a need for that many tongs, then no, it's not over the top.


                            1. I love tongs, 12", 18", 24", wood, stainless, plastic, silicon, and several other variations. My favorite though are the OXO 12" stainless. I'll bet if I totaled them all up I'd have 10-12 sets.

                              1. I've got one stainless pair that I like the most, and then a pair of Messermeister stainless tongs with the red silicone tips that I use in my nonstick and tin-lined copper, which are slippery but have become manageable with practice. I've also got a long pair of surgical tweezers for more delicate food styling tasks and three pair of little tongs that are designed for removing fish bones and stray feathers, but are handy for serving things on a buffet that call for little tongs.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                  Do actually buy fish with bones and then remove them before cooking? lol I have seen those tongs but to me it didn't make sense as I always ask if the fish has bones and only buy if it doesn't. How long does it take to debone a piece of fish or two for dinner?

                                  1. re: snax

                                    I actually bought the little ones mainly for serving, but they are handy for removing odd bones that don't come out when you just fillet the fish. I usually prefer to buy whole fish and bone them myself, unless of course they are very large fish.

                                    1. re: snax

                                      It's pretty easy to pin bone fish. I have a set of hemostats that work perfectly for the task. I'm sure you can pick up a pair for under $10. It takes only a few minutes to pin bone most fillets.

                                      1. re: Fritter

                                        Hemostats are very handy. I've got a few of those too.

                                        1. re: David A. Goldfarb

                                          Especially for small fish. I really don't like Whitefish that has been machine boned and has the V-cut all the way down the fillet where they take the bones and flesh out.

                                  2. I used to do competition bbq, I probably have two dozen stainless ones. I like lots of extra long ones, they get left out at the bbq or the pit and never get cleaned immediately. Need more clean ones for the next cook.

                                    1. I love *tongs* too but I will be honest.....I have one pair of tongs that are, well, shall we say, low-end...a piece of bent metal with some "teeth" at each end...that's it; and then I have these other longer tongs with a non-stick coating at each end and some kind of lock-un-lock gizmo at the joint...guess what??? I LOVE my cheap-o bent metal tongs more than anything...I need to give my others away--they are too long for my little hands and just too bulky! there...I've said my piece. For YOU, 5 pairs may be appropriate...for li'l old me, just give me my little old cheap tongs!

                                        1. I think the overwhelming answer on this board is no, it's not. It's over the top having lots of one type of thing IF you do not use them. If you do, well, then they're meeting a need, which is what utensils are supposed to do.

                                          The more important issue probably is storage: I find tongs get tangled up with other utensils. It's a good idea to have some hooks you can hook them to the wall or a cupboard door to. Keep you sane when trying to extricate a spatula from your utensil drawer/jar!

                                          I have silicone tongs with rounded ends. I use them, but I'd rather go with the scalloped edge ones people are describing here. I use them mostly for rotating chickens in le creuset dishes, and mine are useless (slippy, break the skin, etc).

                                          We found our wooden tongs (another good choice for nonstick pans, enamelware, etc) broke too quickly. We have a cheapo pair of fine tipped plastic tongs which work well for flipping delicate small things in nonstick pans (little falafels, pieces of bacon, etc)

                                          And as a preserve maker, the best thing for preserve making are those cheap barbeque short-armed tongs with the red plastic insulated handles and the triangular tips - great for picking up hot jars. They never slip!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: Gooseberry

                                            Yeah I'm going to have to look at storage and to make it harder I like to store my tongs open so the spring doesn't weaken.

                                          2. http://www.crateandbarrel.com/family....

                                            I have some stainless and this inexpensive nylon-tipped one from OXO. Works fine for the way I use it. So far the dog has never made off with a fallen chop.

                                            1. you maybe could get by with less, but why should you? go for it.

                                              I have had crappy silicone tongs I had to give up on--pretty colors, the ends were a series of loops, but I couldn't grab anything. I know have non-stick tongs that are more of a hard plastic at the ends, but very heat resistant. I love them, and very easy to use springs.

                                              as to preserves, I use a specialy jar lifter,which i got at the local hardware store and makes my canning life much easier.

                                              1. I don't think it's over the top at all. I own 2 pair of 12" tongs for just the reason you cite, having a clean pair. I do NOT want to use the same tongs to pick up the finished chicken that I used to drop them into the pan. Also have a long BBQ pair. So that's 3 for me. 5 seems ok.

                                                But I once owned 7 sofas (don't ask), so may not be the best judge of what's "over the top".