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Home / Tips and Tricks / 7 things you can do with your kitchen tongs, other than turning burgers around

7 things you can do with your kitchen tongs, other than turning burgers around

  kitchen tongs-lemon-orange

Citrus, meet kitchen tongs with silicone tip.

Jessica Dolcourt / CNET

Since the coronavirus lock began I've been stepping up my cooking, spending more time in the kitchen, and putting out many more meals in a row than ever before. It's a great feeling, especially now that I've found that a pair of silicone-tipped kitchen tongs can do a lot more for me than I realized.

Maybe you are a kitchen lover and you knew this all along. But for this amateur chef, I feel like a hero in my own home when I discover new ways to use tongs. Once I came across some new custom applications, I searched for more suggestions online, and now I use those too.

Read more : How to eat better and exercise more when coronavirus lockdown ends

Achieving top shelf items

At 5 feet 3 inches, it's fair to say that I am smaller than the average bear, but more importantly, I keep some less used kitchen ingredients, such as packets of dried mandarin peel and chipotle chili peppers, in a wall cabinet. I can reach the front from the top of a folding step stool, but often the items I need are in the back.

The wide reach of a 9- or 12-inch kitchen tongs gives me what I need – especially loose packages – and then puts the item back in its rightful place. Kitchen tongs are also great for grabbing an item and dragging it closer to the front of the cabinet like a can of tomato paste so I can reach it myself.

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Cleaning glass blinds

While researching how to quickly clean window curtains a chore that I want to do as little as possible, I came across an inspiring use for kitchen tongs: attaching sponges to the bottom of every grip and close the whole thing around every bar. Then you simply slide the tool from one end of the blind to the other and go to the next. Full disclosure: I used a vacuum attachment this time to clean my horizontal blinds because I can't reach the top slats without a seat, but I'm looking forward to trying this technique.

getting toast

If I can find a way to burn myself, I probably will. I'm the one who has to touch the hot thing with my bare hands, probably because the few seconds of discomfort seem like an acceptable tradeoff for getting my toast on a plate as soon as possible. Since I generally use my kitchen tongs, I now grab them when I want to grab toast. The favorite pair in my kitchen now, from Oxo is soft enough not to crush the bread.

Ultimate juicer

I wanted to buy a juicer ] because the old fashioned style I have requires a lot of shoulder work and never takes all the juice out. Instead, I placed a small mesh strainer over a bowl, quartered the citrus, and squeezed around a fork with my hands. Effective, especially in finding cuts in my hands. But also messy and ridiculous.

That all changed when I saw a tip online about using tongs like lemon, lime, and orange juice to cut the fruit, place it between the arms, and squeeze it with both hands. Very effective! Watch out for side spray and modulate your strength. At first I was squashing so hard that I had to fish the skins out of the grooves on the inside of the pliers.

Now I usually cut my citrus in quarters and gently squeeze it between the silicone ends, exactly over the bowl and fine mesh strainer. Since I usually only squeeze one lemon or lime at a time, I haven't felt the need to buy another specialized tool.

  juicing-with-kitchen-tongs.jpg "data-original =" https: // cnet3.cbsistatic.com/img/RaICZp_M_60Cx33mGMqBQl2dB2s=/2017/04/06/a9681a37-3954-46cf-91ca-5e01e0640215/juicing -with-kitchen-tongs.jpg & 2665902323juicing-with-kitchen-tongs.jpg19] Use kitchen tongs to squeeze citrus fruits. They work just as well as a manual juicer. </p>
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Alina Bradford / CNET

Best Hot Pasta Scoop – Listen To Me

This is my biggest revelation. I have always used a pasta scoop to take my boiled noodles from a pot of boiling water, or else I would throw the whole pot over a large strainer, which would sit on top of a bowl myself to catch the pasta water in case I wanted to add what back to my sauce or noodles.

The scoop always lets long noodles slip out, which is frustrating when the pasta starts to overcook. The dump-your-pot method is hot, heavy, and a bigger hassle than necessary. Now I just use my kitchen tongs right by the stove, grab long noodle hoses and drop them into a medium fine mesh strainer that sits over a bowl to catch all the draining water.

Admittedly, this technique probably works best for long pasta and also for blanched vegetables, even leaves. Don't crush at all. I still used the dump-it-all method for shorter pasta, like penne, probably more out of habit than anything, but maybe next time I'll try a kitchen spider style spoon strainer.

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Grabbing hot ramekins, baking trays, oven racks

Do you remember the toast? Once I realized that the kitchen tongs and hot toast go together like peanut butter and jelly, I absently started grabbing the tongs to grab other hot items in one hand and supporting them with a hot pad in the other.

Examples: removing a hot baking tray from the oven, pulling out or pushing in a hot oven rack, removing small bowls from the microwave, and trays from the microwave or oven.

Depending on the size and shape of the bowls and plates, this can be a risky maneuver, especially since the bowl can slip into the grip of the pliers and spill the burning contents over you, or fall to the floor and can break. So far this has not happened to me, but please, if you try this for yourself, be extremely careful and always keep a warm pad and a stable hand ready to support the item – the pliers should be used mainly to guide.

Cleaning the grill

There are special grill tongs for food and tools for scraping and cleaning the grill, but any tongs can also help you handle paper towels, an onion or whatever you use for light cleaning from the grill surface. It is better than using your hands and you get a surprising amount of leverage and maneuverability this way.

For the record, here's a tougher approach that CNET recommends for cleaning your outdoor barbecue and griddle plates .

If you have a paper towel like me, here are 21 cheap and easy meals to make for breakfast, lunch and dinner, 15 other essential kitchen tools all Instant Pots you can buy and the best juicers we've used .

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