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Derrick Riches

Tong, Spatula, or Fork?

By May 15, 2013

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I've watched a lot of people cook at the grill or smoker over the years. One thing I have noticed is that most people have a favorite BBQ tool and will use it most all the time. Sometimes it might not be the most appropriate tool for the food, but people stick with it anyway. Personally I have a good pair of tongs that I use most the time. Anyway I thought I would ask what you like so this weeks question is:

POLL: Tong, Spatula, or Fork?
1) Tong
2) Spatula
3) Fork
4) Something Else (please specify in the comments)


April 23, 2008 at 8:39 pm
(1) Paul B says:

Spatula- Used for Burgers, fillets ,
things that flip…check

Tongs- Everything else… check

Fork- fork?…hmmm…fork… what is this thing you call a “fork”? And why would it be anywhere near your grill? Are you in the wrong “About” section?

April 27, 2008 at 11:42 am
(2) Robert P says:

Ditto to Paul B’ comments !

I have a custom built heavy steel pipe smoker; a 4 burner Jenn-Aire( from Lowes)& a Solaire Anywhere Infrared grill. All require different length tongs & spatula configurations but NO forks allowed !

April 28, 2008 at 1:13 pm
(3) Scott says:

I agree NO FORKS allowed. Save the prize, use tongs and spatula only…

April 30, 2008 at 1:45 pm
(4) John C says:

I will say after years of experimenting with nearly every utensil, there is NO DIFFERENCE! I’ve used forks,tongs and spatulas forever and the only thing I’ve noticed is that direct or indirect heat makes the difference. My new favorite tool is the “Fork it Over” from Backyard Warriors. After reading about it on Derrick’s BBQ page I bought one and it works great with NO JUICES LOST! Paul B., Robert P., and Scott should read Derricks insight to using the Fork it Over and take the challenge for themselves.

May 17, 2009 at 12:37 am
(5) Paul McGuire says:

I use a pig tail food flipper and it is the best and only bbq tool I use. Chicken, fish chops, riubs, whatever. The very best tool made!!

May 12, 2010 at 9:42 am
(6) Philip says:

Haven’t used a fork in 20 years

May 15, 2010 at 10:21 pm
(7) phil perrin says:

Isn’t the fork what you use to keep the hungry hordes at bay?

May 19, 2010 at 1:48 pm
(8) Jim says:

I use a pig tail too except w/ smoked salmon & burgers.

May 19, 2010 at 2:50 pm
(9) Neil says:

Anybody else use a ‘pokey-stick’?

Tongs work great for flipping and moving the food around, but a pokey-stick made from a nice piece of apple branch is perfect for moving the coals around when necessary. I use a Char-Griller Smokin’ Pro and my pokey-stick is always at the ready.

May 19, 2010 at 7:32 pm
(10) Gary Littleton says:

I found at Fred Meyers here in Washington a spatula-tong combo. Especially good for burgers since you can hang on to them with out busting them up!

May 20, 2010 at 1:49 pm
(11) Mary says:

I bought Thegrillspatula that Derrick has listed in his top ten grill utensils.Works great for sticking foods….Mary

May 11, 2011 at 1:05 pm
(12) El Gato Gordo says:

Most of the time I use a pair of extra long tongs, except for burgers and fish fillets.

May 18, 2011 at 1:05 pm
(13) Donna says:

My favorite grilling tool is half spatula/half tong :) I can turn even delicate foods with it, i.e. fish, veggies.

May 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm
(14) Donna says:

My favorite tool is half spatula/half fork. It’s good for burgers, hotdogs, fish, chicken, veggies, and more!

May 18, 2011 at 1:51 pm
(15) Steve Burdick says:

Use a combo spatula/tong works really well on most things.

May 18, 2011 at 3:28 pm
(16) coaster says:

for grilling thicker meat like chops steaks etc. the pig sticker rules. Burgers then a spatula is best. For the smoker, butts, ribs, brisket, turkeys etc, rubber gloves.

June 7, 2011 at 3:21 am
(17) tom says:

tong tong tong, use spatula to flip fish and burgers, forks for table use to deliver product portioned for my mouth.

May 9, 2012 at 5:36 am
(18) ShakenBlake says:

Tongs, forks, knives, and in some cases chop sticks but only for eating with. Large skewers that automatically rotate themselves for cooking with nothing else. Turn it don’t burn it!

May 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm
(19) Dave says:

If you clean your Barbeque before and after use you will always have fresh tasting food, only idiots and morons don’t clean, a little bit of oil will ensure that your Barbeque will always look clean.

Never wash with water as with cast iron it will rust. Most cooking on the Plate or Grill is done with a Spatula/Tongs. A Fork throw it away.

May 15, 2013 at 12:45 pm
(20) Shadiws says:

I use a combination tong/spatula, it is both.

May 16, 2013 at 11:33 am
(21) David says:

Pigtail food flipper – the only way to go.

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