The Best Grill Tongs for Barbecuing in 2021 – [Buying Guide]

Grill tongs are indispensable for any pitmaster. They will allow you to handle safely and flip your burgers, steaks, turn skewer, shuffle vegetables on the grill without burning yourself and without dropping or piercing the food.

A good pair of grill tongs should provide a comfortable and stable grip and should keep your hands and arms at a safe distance from the hot grill. They should feel like a natural extension of your arm.

Here are the best grill tongs we found and tested on the market in 2021.

Best overall

OXO 16-Inch Stainless Steel Locking Tongs

Pros

  • These are among the top-rated grill tongs on the market, with 4.8 out of 5 ratings given by more than 8,000 users
  • They come in mini, 9-inch. 12-inch and 16-in size options
  • The tongs are made of durable brushed stainless steel
  • With the non-slip and soft handles, you will be able to grip any piece of food securely and comfortably, even if your hands are greasy or covered with marinade
  • A thumb rest will allow you to use the tongs without effort during the long grilling sessions
  • The tongs are designed to be springy and yet provide ease of use with minimal struggle
  • They have scalloped pincer clamps which can grip slippery meats and foods without piercing them
  • A lock on the top allows for easy storage and hanging of the tongs
  • You can wash them in a dishwasher after use
  • Backed by the OXO replacement or repair guarantee

Cons

  • They can be a tad stiff and will need some breaking in at first

The runner-up

GRILLHOGS Stainless Steel + Oak Wood Tongs

Pros

  • One affordable pack includes two BBQ tongs
  • Available in 9 and 12-inch sizes
  • Scallop edged clamps for a firm grip even of larger meats
  • The tongs are made of rust-proof stainless steel
  • A natural oak wood handle will keep your hands safe from burning
  • Easy lock for convenient storage, which is also a hook for hanging the tongs by your grill
  • They are very stylish looking
  • GrillHogs offers a money-back satisfaction guarantee

Cons

  • Due to its triangular form, the lock tab may not fit on all traditional hooks

Editor’s choice

Weber Original Stainless Steel Tongs

Pros

  • A sleek design by Weber
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • The 18-inch tongs are dishwasher safe
  • There is a locking mechanism that doubles as a large hanging tab, which can fit all types of hooks
  • Non-slip, stay-cool soft-touch handles
  • A unique design of the clamps allows for picking up and handling all types of food, large and small

Cons

  • Due to their design, the pincers may pierce more delicate foods

Budget pick

Joinkitch Set 2 Stainless Steel Tongs 

Pros

  • An inexpensive pack of two cooking tongs – 12 and 9 inches long
  • It costs a lot less than most tongs on this list
  • Both tongs in the pack are constructed of stainless steel with heat-resistant, and slip-resistant TPR handles
  • The smaller tongs have two different clamps – one is a regular scalloped one, and the other is a spatula
  • Suitable for grilling, cooking, and serving
  • Both tongs have locking mechanisms that can be used for easy hanging on hooks
  • They are dishwasher safe
  • Backed by a 30-day money-back guarantee and a 12-month warranty

Cons

  • The tongs may not be long enough for some users who prefer to keep their hands and arms further away from the grill’s surface

Best multitool

BBQCroc 3 in 1 Barbecue Tool

Pros

  • The 3-in-1 grill tool can be used as tongs, like a flipping spatula, for scraping the grill and even as a bottle opener
  • It comes in a version with a removable bright flashlight for easy and safe use even in low light conditions
  • The large-sized spatulas have beveled edges for easy grabbing even stuck food
  • The handles are designed to open and close like scissors allowing for a secure grip of any kind of food, even a whole chicken or roast
  • An 18-inch long handle will keep you safely away from the cooking surface
  • Made of premium grade, food-grade aluminum alloy
  • It is a light tool
  • Backed by a 1-year warranty

Cons

  • It is heat resistant but only to temperatures of up to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

Premium pick

Rosle 17-inch Stainless Steel Tongs

Pros

  • Premium quality, sleek stainless steel tongs
  • Designed to be easy to unlock and lock with one hand only
  • Made of 18/10 stainless steel with a length of 16 inches
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • Since there is no rubber, silicone, or wood on the handles, the tongs can get hot if used in close proximity to the grill

The rest of the best

DRAGONN Set of Stainless-Steel Locking Tongs

Pros

  • Another inexpensive set which includes one 9-inch and one 12-inch pair of grill tongs
  • Made of brushed stainless steel
  • The handles are soft, provide a good grip, and made of stay-cool silicone
  • Scalloped heads of the clamps for secure and easy handling, flipping and maneuvering of the food
  • A locking mechanism doubles as a hanging loop
  • Dishwasher safe

Cons

  • They do not seem as durable as some of the more expensive tongs

Smart Cook Store 16-Inch Stainless Steel Tongs

Pros

  • They are a budget-friendly pair of grill tongs
  • Made of premium stainless steel with a length of 16 inches
  • The handles are made of plastic rubber for a secure grip and safety
  • Scalloped edges for a secure grip
  • Easy to lock and unlock with a locking mechanism that doubles as a hanging loop

Cons

  • Not as durable as some of our other top picks

Cuisinart Locking Grill Tongs

Pros

  • Offered at an affordable price
  • A length of 16 inches to keep the hands safely away from the cooking surface
  • Made of durable stainless steel
  • A tong locking mechanism and loop for easy storage
  • Plastic rubber easy-grip handles with a thumb rest
  • Scalloped clamps for easy and precise food handling

Cons

  • They are not dishwasher safe

Related: Essential Grill and Smoker Accessories

Things to consider when choosing grill tongs

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Photo credit: which 

Length

The grill tongs need to be long enough to keep your hands and arms away from the grill and yet not be awkwardly or uncomfortably long.

The most suitable length for your grill tongs depends on the size of your grill, what you are planning to use them for, and your personal preferences, hand size, and arm length.

For most people, the recommended length for cooking and grill tongs is from 12 to 16 inches. Anything less will lead to a risk of burning, and anything longer may be overkill for most average users.

Of course, if you have a vast cooking area, and will be grilling multiple items at once in the different heat zones, a pair of longer tongs may be more suitable for you and will help keep your hands and forearms safe from the heat.

Keep in mind that longer and larger tongs are harder to handle and maneuver, especially if you have small or weak hands.

Thankfully, there are grill tongs available in all lengths and sizes, and some even come in sets of 2 and more, so you can buy several and use them for different cooking and serving tasks.

Handle material

The material used for the handles is essential because it has to be comfortable to hold, provide a secure grip, and stay cool even after prolonged use of the tongs.

With a well-made ergonomic and secure-grip handle, you will ensure that the barbecuing experience is much safer, more enjoyable, and without any frustrating incidents of dropping food or letting the tongs slip from your hand.

The top-rated tong handles are made of silicone, rubber plastic, wood, and Bakelite. Some of the tongs lack any covering for the handles, which makes them easier to wash and more durable as well.

The silicone handles provide a secure grip and remain cool throughout use.

The all-metal handles are easy to keep sanitary but can become dangerously hot during a long grilling session. They are also more slippery, especially if your hands are greasy.

Wood handles are very good-looking and comfortable, but wood will wear over time, so they may not be as durable.

As for the tips of the tongs, all of the products on our list have metal clamps and pincers, but there are other cooking tongs with silicone tips, which are suitable for cooking on delicate surfaces such as nonstick or enameled cast iron cooking surfaces, which can become scratched.

Metal tips provide a better grip on the food and are more durable than silicone ones, but in some cases may damage or pierce more delicate foods.

Silicone will prevent the cooking area or pans from being scratched, but silicone is not as heat-resistant or as durable as metal.

Grip

The grip of the tongs is essential, as a good grip allows for effortless maneuvering and flipping over of food on the hot grill.

A good pair of tongs should enable you to pick up all types of foods – from tiny pieces to large cuts of meat with minimal effort and without damaging or piercing the food and without dropping it in the process.

The top-recommended grill tongs have scalloped clamps which are highly efficient even when handling slippery marinated meats.

Locking mechanism

The locking mechanism of the tongs is essential for easy and safe storage when they are not in use. In most cases, the locking mechanism doubles as a hanging loop as well.

But look for tongs that have stainless steel solid locking mechanisms, with fewer elements that can break or become loose over time.

Na easy to lock and release mechanism is recommended, especially when using the tongs with one hand only.

Some BBQ tongs have stronger springs and thus provide more resistance, making them uncomfortable to use for long.

But tongs without a locking mechanism are more difficult to access and to use when you are busy grilling and taking care of your food.

Many of the grills have convenient hooks on the sides, front or bottom, where you can hang the tongs and other tools for easy and neat access and storage.

Special features

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Photo credit: reviewed 

While grill tongs are relatively simple tools, many of them have some special features worth noting.

Some are designed to be easy to lock and unlock with a single hand.

Others have storage hoops for easy hanging on hooks.

The tongs with scalloped edges provide better precision, and some come with a side that is similar to a spatula, so they can be used for the easy and safe lifting of food stuck to the cooking surface.

There are multifunctional grill tongs that can also be used as spatulas, bottle openers, and even as grill scrapers.

Final thoughts

Overall, no matter whether you use a grill occasionally or you enjoy cooking on the grill almost daily, you will need a good pair of grill tongs. They are much more suitable and safe for use on the grill than other tools such as forks or spatulas.

With a good quality grill tong, you can flip, move and remove the food just in time for the perfect doneness, and without the risk of dropping that beautiful steak on the ground or burning yourself on the scorching hot cooking surface.

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