Behind many professional stoves, tongs are pooh-poohed as bad technique, a lazy and even disrespectful way of cooking. But the truth is that tongs are advantageous for just about anything you'd do in a home kitchen.
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Turn to tongs for stir-frying noodles, dressing salads, flipping steaks without puncturing them, pulling hot dogs out of a beer bath, roasting vegetables over a flame, even coaxing out bread that's been stuck in a toaster (note: you want a plastic coating for that!).
In addition to their foremost function as a heatproof pair of hands, locking tongs are also great for a lesser-known set of tasks both inside and outside the kitchen. While prepping food, tongs can do double duty as a citrus reamer (push the cut end of a citrus half into the scalloped edges of a pair of closed tongs), or, in a pinch, a beer opener (use the long arms of the tongs). They're also an excellent way to get a better grip on lemons before juicing.
Beyond the kitchen, use them to grab things from hard-to-reach shelves, to go after for something that's fallen into a hard-to-reach place, or to toss things you're too grossed out to touch with your bare hands. Oh, and hey: back scratcher, anyone? We can hardly say the humble kitchen tong doesn't deserve respect.