Tongs, Spatula (Palette knife) or Turner?

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Joined Jan 21, 2011
I used to have a nice pair of tongs - until they were outlawed. They went into the trash.

I use a pallete knife or a turner now. But no tongs. :/

What do you use?
 
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
Depends on what I'm turning.

If it's pancakes I use a spatula, Tongs would be difficult in this case-though it might be fun to see someone try ;)

If it's a piece of beef filet, pork tenderloin, or chicken breast, I'd use tongs. It's hard to imagine how a palette knife or spatula would be of much use in this case.

This begs the question-why have tongs been outlawed?
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2011
I've worked in three kitchens that don't allow tongs. Not thinking it's just a house rule. Nobody else has experienced this, or demands it? Hmm..
 
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Joined Jan 1, 2001
Yeah, but...

Why are tongs disallowed?

And how do you serve string beans or asparagus without them? Two forks? One at a time?

How do you work a grill without tongs? Is it a strictly saute kitchen and you don't want people scratching up the pans with tongs? Seems like just as much damage could be done with palette knives or metal spatulas.

'Splain it to me.
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2011
Originally Posted by foodnfoto  
Yeah, but...

Why are tongs disallowed?

And how do you serve string beans or asparagus without them? Two forks? One at a time?

How do you work a grill without tongs? Is it a strictly saute kitchen and you don't want people scratching up the pans with tongs? Seems like just as much damage could be done with palette knives or metal spatulas.

'Splain it to me.
Tongs do too much damage to the meat. Not just fish, but anything that gets clamped between a set of tongs. You use your fingers a lot, but after a while, it's not too hard to turn, extract and balance a six or eight-ounce tenderloin/duck breast/beef tounge/whatever on a 10" palette knife.
 
 
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Joined Sep 18, 2008
Tongs do too much damage to the meat. Not just fish, but anything that gets clamped between a set of tongs...
 
Hm, it almost sounds as if someone is "blaming the tools", instead of finding the real cause of the problem?

I'd be looking at:
  • Why are the tongs "damaging the meat", i.e. teeth on the tong tips, stiff springs in the handle, too long/short, tong tips too narrow/wide, etc.?
  • Mishandling of the tongs
  • i.e. staff training?
before I'd "ban" any kitchen tool.

BTWTHDIK
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
Actually, in Europe they don't use tongs, spatula or palette knife for just about everything, and then cook's forks for a lot of stuff too.

Me?  Whatever floats the Chef's/owner's boat 
 
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Joined Feb 26, 2007
Outlawed tongs?

From a mere home cooks point of view - this does sound ridiculous.  So does one stick a fork into the meat and let all those juices out when you need to turn it?

And as mentioned above,  there are many tasks which are ideal for tongs.  Why else were they invented??

Sure you could use a fish slice etc, but the amount of control you have over the item becomes less, and guess what?  The item ends up on the floor, stovetop, burner etc, and has to be re-done.  An awful waste waiting to happen. 

Sure, whatever the boss says goes.  Not in my house /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
 
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Joined Jan 21, 2011
You can learn how to handle meat just as well without tongs as with them. A good palette knife will do just fine moving, turning, plating... I'm used to it now because that's all I have used in the last three years. I don't even own a set of tongs anymore. In my limited experience, all I need to cook just about anything on a flat top or buner is a slotted turner, 10" palette, plating or slotted spoon or wooden spoon. I have a long-handled, heavy "Ice tea spoon" in there as well, but that is my pan basting spoon and I'm probably the only person who has actually designated a specific spoon for such a thing.
 
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....all I need to cook just about anything on a flat top........

Trooper, I think this is a key part of your point. When I was short-order cooking I never owned a set of tongs either---not because they were banned, but because they are, indeed, unnecessary on a flat-top. There are no edges and sidewalls getting in the way of the spats, so there isn't too much you can't do with them in terms of flipping, turning, and even stirring.

Once you shift over to pans & skillets as the primary cooking surfaces, tongs can be much more efficient tools. Nor is there any reason I can think of for tongs to damage meat. The major exception, of course, being fish. But with fish, even a standard spatula can be the wrong tool.
 
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Flat top or burner meaning French Top, excuse me - and in a skillet or pan. I'll just have to post some pics I guess...
 

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