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Air fryer tongs are one of the first accessories you should purchase after purchasing your air fryer!
Once you have an air fryer, it doesn’t take long to figure out just how beneficial a good pair of tongs can be. You may be wondering how we can dedicate an entire article here to tongs. But the truth is, there is plenty to know and choosing the right pair can really help you out in the kitchen, as well as with your air fryer.
Why Do You Need Tongs For Air Frying?
A good pair of tongs are indispensable in air frying. Regardless of what type of air fryer you have (paddle, basket or toaster oven), there will always be a need to reach into your air fryer without burning yourself. You’ll either need to flip your food, rotate it, or remove it from the air fryer (we even use ours to pull out the hot shelves of our toaster oven air fryer part way to do things like flipping food or checking food temperatures). When it’s hot, a pair of tongs are needed to accomplish this. But you can’t use just any type of tongs. Why?
Not All Tongs Are Created Equal
There are different types of tongs on the market, and not all of them are great. In fact, a good number of them aren’t worth the few dollars you spend on them. There are plenty of places to save money when buying kitchen gadgets, but it’s never a bad idea to pay a little extra for better tongs.
Metal Tipped Tongs Won’t Work
Okay, technically, they will work. However, the majority of air fryers on the market have shelves or baskets that are coated in non-stick coating. And if you haven’t yet heard, a scratched non-stick surface should be thrown out due to the toxic chemicals that leach into your food through these scratches. As with any non-stick pan, you should never use metal kitchen tools on non-stick surfaces. For most people, this is common knowledge. But for some, this is still new information.
NEVER COOK ON A SCRATCHED NON-STICK SURFACE!
You should check any non-stick surface before every use. Depending on what air fryer you have, some companies offer replacements if a piece gets scratched. But many do not, so that’s something you’ll want to check on before purchasing your air fryer. Replacement parts can be important! You want to make sure they are available.
What Tongs Work Best In An Air Fryer?
Simply put, any tongs with silicone tips. What should you be looking for in a good air fryer tong?
- Springs – Good springs that feel firm and stable when grasping something.
- Hand Grip – A good grip that feels comfortable in your hand (no sharper edges that will be uncomfortable when you pick up something heavier like a steak)
- Length – You’ll want tongs that are a bit longer than the furthest you have to reach. So for example, you’ll want tongs a bit more than a hands-width longer than the deepest part of your basket.
- Food Grip – The end of the tongs should grip your food well. You can test this simply by picking something (unbreakable) up in the store.
- Silicone Tips – Any tongs you use in your air fryer should have silicone tips. This will keep your air fryer’s non-stick surfaces from getting scratched and they will give you years of service beyond your air fryer as well.
- Lock – Good tongs should have a locking mechanism at the end. These are easily unlocked by pressing the lever against anything. Even yourself! Locking will mean easier storage because the tongs will be held in a closed position and won’t spread out in your kitchen drawer.
What Tongs Should You buy?
We’ve had ours for years. But when it comes time to purchase new ones, these are the tongs we’ll be buying. We love the comfort grip that comes with the silicone tips and they have a good locking mechanism.
Only want one? We love the OXO brand for both durability and grip.
Tongs are pretty much a necessity with air frying. But they have to be the right type of tons. The good news is, tongs appropriate for using in your air fryer are not hard to find. In fact, almost any place that sells tongs should have some that are appropriate for air frying and/or using on surfaces with non-stick coating. So the real test becomes, do they feel good in your hand, do they give a firm grip on whatever you are picking up and are they long enough to get the job done. And some folks like to check to make sure they are dishwasher safe too, although we usually hand wash ours to avoid too much wear and tear on the silicone.