For flipping, grabbing, and fishing tasks of all kinds, you can’t beat a good set of tongs—they’re like a heatproof, extra-long extension of your thumb and index finger. But not all tongs are created equal. The only kind we use in the test kitchen are spring-loaded locking tongs. They come in a variety of lengths, from about 8 to 18 inches. We find the 12-inch tongs to be the most versatile. They’re not too long for flipping shrimp in a sauté pan and not too short for manning the grill.
Oxo 12-inch tongs, $8.95 at Cooking.com.