Kitchen essentials | tongs

Click to follow
Indy Lifestyle Online

The wrong reason to buy these kitchen tongs is that you've seen Brian or Gary - or whoever happens to be the current hyped-up chef - using them on TV. The right reason to buy? Tongs rank among the indispensable kitchen items. Yet I'm amazed at how many British kitchens lack a pair. In the US, cooks would no more be tong-less than knife-less.

The wrong reason to buy these kitchen tongs is that you've seen Brian or Gary - or whoever happens to be the current hyped-up chef - using them on TV. The right reason to buy? Tongs rank among the indispensable kitchen items. Yet I'm amazed at how many British kitchens lack a pair. In the US, cooks would no more be tong-less than knife-less.

Why do you need tongs? Imagine that you're frying chicken pieces in hot oil. You don't have tongs, so you're using a fork. Every time you spear a piece juices come bubbling out. As they hit the hot fat they spatter, burning your forearm. The fork can't grip the pieces - cue splash of oil, another burn. And because you can't easily turn the pieces cooking is laborious. None of this occurs with tongs. They grip without piercing, and they allow easy manoeuvrability. That's why you need a pair. Or two or three.

Tongs come in many guises. Avoid the versions that resemble an elongated U, a single piece of metal or plastic with the U-bend forming the "hinge". Another common design is two pieces of stout steel wire, bent at one end to form handles and at the other to form gripping heads, and connected by a pin that serves as a pivot. These can be excellent, but make sure the steel is stainless. Chefs usually use the variety with scalloped gripping heads (left) that won't let go of anything. Available in any shop selling kitchen gear, and in a range of sizes. Can't live without 'em. And neither can you, whether you know it or not.

Comments