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When it feels too hot to turn on the oven to make a meal, and you don’t want to spend time over a hot stove, cooking over an open flame outside always seems like the perfect solution—and it imparts all sorts of wonderful charred flavors to your food, too. While there’s no question that you need proper techniques for grilling, proper equipment is also imperative.
Yes, the vessel you choose for grilling and barbecuing is of chief importance. But really, what grill tongs you choose couldn’t be more integral. Grill tongs function as an extension of your arm, handling your food on your behalf. If they don’t have the right grip or strength, or they’re too tough to squeeze, your cooking and the food you make will suffer.
To help you choose from the abundance of options out there, I did the research and rounded up a list of the highest-rated and top-selling grill tongs. I then used each grill tong to prep, grill, and serve various types of meat and vegetables. I evaluated how easy and comfortable it was to use the tongs, how well they were able to grip and flip the foods, and more.
Read on to see my list of the best grill tongs, complete with my findings.
Best Overall: Weber Small Premium Tool Set
What We Love: Compact, grip doesn't get hot and is comfortable, easy to clean
What We Don't Love: Too short for some tasks, spatula is thin
If you’re looking for a one-and-done basic grill toolset, this Weber duo is the perfect choice: It’s large enough to use for flipping burgers, turning sausages, or any other basic grilling functions. The 14-inch length is long enough to be suitable for home equipment such as standard-size gas grills.
The grill tongs have rubber for gripping, which helps immensely when you’re handling hot foods or have to get close to the flame. The rubber acts as a shield between you and the metal tongs, which can heat up incredibly quickly when close to direct fire, and it also helps you to not drop them.
The spatula in this set is very thin. That means it was great for grilled foods like smash burgers, which are thinner in nature than regular hamburgers, though, in my testing, it worked perfectly well for those too. If you’re going to be flipping something incredibly heavy, like a T-bone steak, you may want to use a larger spatula. Overall, this is an excellent choice for building your grill tool arsenal.
"They make for a great set, along with the spatula. The name Weber is a trusted one, as well. ... They're a good price for a reputable set, and they work nicely. I had no issues with them." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel, rubber, silicone | Dimensions: 1.6 x 3 x 15 inches (tongs), 1.2 x 3.3 x 14 inches (spatula) | Heat Resistance: N/A | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best Budget: Daily Kisn 17-Inch Extra-Long Grill Tongs
What We Love: Lightweight, plenty long to keep you away from the flame, lock ring doubles as a hanging ring
What We Don't Love: The high grip on the tongs can feel awkward
At around $11, you’ll be hard-pressed to find 17-inch grill tongs for less. That makes these a solid choice for those times you want to stay further away from the flame, or if you need to pull out a food item that has fallen down into the grates or onto coals. The lock ring on top allows the extra-long tongs to be stored in a slimmer manner, and it also allows you to hang the tongs.
I found these tongs to be surprisingly heavy-duty considering their inexpensive price tag. They held up nearly as well working with heavy items as pricier tongs did, and I appreciated the structure of the head of the tongs that touches food, which also enabled me to pick up very small foods.
My only qualm with these grill tongs is the placement of the silicone grip. It’s very high on the tongs and feels slightly unnatural, and I found myself holding onto the tongs below that area, closer to the head. Provided you don’t mind spending a few minutes getting used to the placement of the silicone, you’ll be good to go with this budget-friendly choice.
"They're very light and thin and easy to work with, [but] I'd make the silicone grip go down further, as it's too high up to be intuitive." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel, silicone | Dimensions: 17.3 x 1.8 x 1.2 inches | Heat Resistance: 480 degrees F | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Best Silicone: OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Tongs
What We Love: Also great for kitchen cooking, sturdy
What We Don't Love: Too short for some grill tasks
For anyone who likes their kitchen tools to serve more than one purpose, these grill tongs with a silicone grip and head are an excellent multi-use option. I love that they have a silicone head, which makes handling sticky foods like glazed chicken wings a breeze. If you’ve ever had issues with your tongs getting messy as you grill, especially if they’ve gotten messy enough to contribute to your food having sticky spots, these tongs will be a big relief for you.
Because they’re 12 inches long, you can’t employ these tongs for extremely high flames that you need to stand far back from. But if that isn’t part of your grilling repertoire, you’ll never notice the shorter length of these. And while you might be worried that they aren’t as heat-resistant as others due to the silicone, they’re actually safe up to a whopping 600 degrees Fahrenheit. What's more, these tongs are the top choice for chef and educator Carla Contreras: “They can withstand the heat from the grill and have a great grip.”
"They could be used as regular kitchen tongs too, which was great. I liked that they worked for the grill or inside. [Add] another inch or two and they'd be perfect." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel, silicone | Dimensions: 14 x 1 x 2 inches | Heat Resistance: 600 degrees F | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Grilling Tools
Best Wood: Traeger Pellet BBQ Grilling Tongs
What We Love: Heavy-duty, attractive, head has two types of perforations, has leather loop for hanging
What We Don't Love: A bit challenging to squeeze
Pellet grill maker Traeger is known for quality equipment, and these grill tongs fall right in line with that reputation. I love how the head has a different-sized perforation of teeth on each side, which enables you to grip different foods in different ways. One side is larger, while the other is smaller, each with an appearance similar to a serrated knife. You won’t want to use them for cutting, but you can rest assured that no grilled food will be outside your scope of grabbing.
These tongs are best used by someone with strong hands, as they can be a touch challenging to squeeze for long. Provided you’re up for that, you can’t get a better-looking or more sturdy set of tongs. Unlike most grill tools, which aren’t much to write home about in the looks department, the wood on these gives them a high-end appearance. At just shy of $30, they’re quite affordable for how nice they look. Just be sure to avoid the dishwasher so the wood can stay looking new.
"They're so good-looking! They are also very durable. [But making them] easier to grip would be great; they can be challenging." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel, teak wood | Dimensions: 16.5 x 2 x 3 inches | Heat Resistance: N/A | Dishwasher-Safe? No
Best Heavy-Duty: Grille Perfect Extra Long Stainless Steel Tongs
What We Love: Three-sided grip, durable, thick
What We Don't Love: Challenging to squeeze
There’s no mistaking you for a grilling novice when you’re holding these tongs! Everything about them says you’re serious about your grilling tasks, from the multi-dimensional silicone grip to the intense teeth on the head. These tongs are a great option for anyone who wants to be able to grill all summer long without worrying that their tools will break down. Because these are dishwasher-safe, you’ll be able to easily pop them into the wash after every use.
Like the Traeger tongs, these are made for stronger hands. They aren’t heavy at all, but you’ll need a bit of strength to be able to squeeze them for long. That said, once you master the squeeze, as I did, you can use these for practically anything. Plus, because the grip on them is three-sided, I found them the easiest possible to hold onto of all tongs I tested.
The brand claims that these tongs have the ability to flip or move a nine-pound pork shoulder without dropping it—and I found that fully believable based on how well these behave and how strongly they grip. Furthermore, their extra-long length means you’ll never have to get too close to the fire, and their incredible strength will have you grilling like a pro.
"Like the Traeger, they can be hard to squeeze, [but also] just like the Traeger, they're a good choice for anyone who is serious about grilling." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 17.8 x 2 x 2 inches | Heat Resistance: Not listed | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
Related: The Best Grill Thermometers
Best for Beginners: Cuisinart Locking Grill Tongs
What We Love: Easy to use, lightweight, good length, sleek-looking locking mechanism
What We Don't Love: Small head
Cuisinart has been a mainstay in the world of home culinary equipment for decades, and whether you choose the brand for its iconic food processor or a simple grill tool like these tongs, it’s a brand name you can trust.
These incredibly lightweight grill tongs are a wonderful choice for beginners because they couldn’t be easier to use, and their silicone grip extends low enough to be comfortable for nearly anyone. They have a hanging lock as well, and it’s easy to pull it closed.
If you’re just starting out with grilling, you’ll want a set of tongs that are both long enough to keep you away from the heat and simultaneously light enough to hold for moderate periods of time. These tongs are just right for that job. My only quibble: The head is kind of small, which means I couldn't move or flip anything very large with ease.
"They're incredibly light and easy to use, and the locking part is sleek." — Ariane Resnick, Product Tester
Material: Stainless steel | Dimensions: 17.7 x 1.1 x 2 inches | Heat Resistance: Not listed | Dishwasher-Safe? Yes
We chose the Weber Original Portable 2-Piece Stainless Steel Tool Set because it’s a durable set of both grill tongs and a spatula, compact enough that you could easily take it camping. If you’re a fan of aesthetics and don’t mind handwashing your tools, the Traeger Pellet Grills BBQ Tongs won’t disappoint. It has two different-sized sets of teeth on the head, as well as a lovely wooden handle.
How We Tested
Writer and product tester Ariane Resnick searched through scores of highly rated grill tongs, closely examing user reviews and available manufacturer information, to choose her top picks. Then, we purchased those tongs for Ariane so she could put them to the test in her home kitchen. We first had her test the tongs by grilling both steak and sausage, as well as small pieces of a variety of vegetables—sliced onion, bell peppers, and zucchini. She then tested how easy it was to use the grill tongs to transfer the grilled foods to serving plates, and how easy it was to lock and unlock them. Finally, she noted how easy it was to clean the tongs according to manufacturer instructions.
After testing, Ariane gave us her feedback about what she liked and didn’t like about each grill tong and rated each one on the following features: Ease of Use, Durability, Heat Resistance, Ease of Cleaning, and Overall Value. Learn more about how we test products.
What to Look for When Buying Grill Tongs
Chef DuVal Warner of Ranch 45 Local Provisions tells us that stainless steel material is key, and to opt for heavy duty tongs over ones that are thin and light.
Ease of Cleaning
Good grill tongs should be easy to clean, and you have plenty of choices that are dishwasher safe. Chef and educator Carla Contreras recommends that you “clean them as soon as you use them,” and avoid storing tongs outside.
Grill tongs have to be heat-resistant enough to withstand the temperatures of your grill. We tested grill tongs that were able to withstand heat of up to 600 degrees fahrenheit.
Warner notes that “a good quality pair of grill tongs will not rust or bend,” and strongly warns against ever using plastic tongs on a grill.
Can I use silicone or plastic tongs on a gas grill?
You can use silicone tongs on a grill provided that they clearly state they are heat resistant. Some silicone tongs are even more heat resistant than metal! You should not ever use plastic tongs on a grill, or anywhere that they can get hot.
How long should grill tongs be?
Grill tongs should be long enough to keep you away from the heat of a flame, but not so long that you can’t easily use them. The shortest grill tongs are about eight inches long, and the longest are seventeen inches. Chef Warner says to choose the length based on how long your arm is, noting that proper length is key to preventing burns, and Chef Contreras suggests a minimum of twelve inches. If you have the option of trying a couple different pairs out in person, that will help you decide which length feels like a match for you and your current grilling skills.
Should I clean my grill tongs after each time I use them?
Absolutely! Any piece of equipment that touches food should be cleaned after every single use. Additionally, you need to clean your tongs if you’re handling raw meat, prior to them also handling cooked meat. Otherwise, you risk transferring the germs and bacteria of the raw meat onto your cooked items, which can lead to food borne illness. Chef Warner tells us that clean and dry tongs will have a longer lifespan than those that aren’t as well taken care of.
Why Trust Simply Recipes?
Special diet chef and certified nutritionist Ariane Resnick has been working creatively with produce for over two decades. Tasked with turning simple whole foods into complex-tasting meals by private clientele, she has been in the kitchens of countless mansions and has used nearly every brand of culinary equipment on the market.
Read Next: The Best Portable Grills