Nothing says summer like cooking in the great outdoors. On most weekends, you’ll find me flipping burgers and brats on the grill (probably with a cool beverage in my hand). It’s all fun and games until I find myself without a good set of tongs. A top-performing set—like our winner the OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Grilling Tongs(available at Amazon for $15.99)—makes grilling a joyful experience. A flimsy or tightly spring-loaded pair, on the other hand, turns the experience into a frustrating act.
Yes, a good set of tongs really feels like an extension of your arm. You’ll move with ease whether you’re rotating tiny skewers or turning a large roast. To help you achieve this nirvana-like grilling bliss, we put eight 16-inch grill tongs to the test to find the best of the best. After flipping enough vegetables to feed a small army, we found a few that we’ll happily add to our collection of grilling tools (including our favorite grill spatulas).
These are the best grill tongs we tested ranked, in order:
Even before we started testing, I knew I was going to like the OXO Good Grips 16-Inch Grilling Tongs. The scalloped pincers—a design that aligns the edges all the way around—created the perfect surface area for gripping a variety of foods and textures. It flipped heavy, saucy chicken with ease and was able to grip even the tiniest sprig of asparagus. OXO’s signature non-slip grip make the handle extremely comfortable, and the tongs have the perfect amount of springiness and tension that didn’t tire our hands at all.
Between the comfort-forward design, the versatility, and its grip, this set was definitely our favorite throughout the testing. It really did feel like an extension of my arm as I used it, and the price is definitely right on this model, too. All of that came together to earn the OXO our top spot as Best Overall.
The Weber 6610 Original Tongs are by far the most heavy-duty design in the group, and yet they didn’t feel too hefty or tire out our hands. Their well thought-out design features a long, textured handle and a functional storage ring. While the large pincers were slightly better suited for larger foods than precision detail, they were able to flip the small asparagus spears well enough for our liking. In the end, it's their lightweight springiness and comfortable feel that vaults these tongs up in the ranks.
Depending on the deal of the day, the Weber might come in around the same price as our winner. At the time of our testing, this model was a few dollars less expensive than the OXO, earning it our pick as Best Value.
Hi, I’m Lindsay Mattison, a trained professional chef and grilling enthusiast. Rain or shine (and, a few times in the snow), you’ll find me outside cooking on the grill or firing up the smoker. I love manning the grill, but I’m kind of picky about the tongs I use. I’ve been known to bring my own pair over to the neighbor’s backyard barbecue! A poorly-designed set will make your job harder, but grilling’s supposed to be about having fun. I’d love to help you reconnect with that joy by finding your new favorite set of grilling tongs.
We put eight top-rated grilling tongs to the test. Each set was 16-inches long, the perfect length to keep you in control while still featuring nice, long handles that protect your hands from the heat of the grill. We designed our tests to evaluate usability, durability, and comfort.
Basically, we were looking for tongs that could grab, lift, and turn food without piercing it. After all, who wants all the tasty juices from meat spilling out onto the grill? The tongs had to be strong enough to handle those large cuts of meat but they also had to be deft enough to flip thin-profiled vegetables, like asparagus.
To make sure that the tongs felt comfortable and were up to a variety of cooking tasks, we flipped food of all sizes and shapes on the grill. We assessed if the tongs could grab tiny sprigs of asparagus and tested their ease of use as we flipped corn on the cob. To see if they could handle heavier items without bending (like roasts and rack of ribs), we spatchcocked a few chickens and flipped them back and forth using one hand.
In the end, it was about more than just pure performance—the tongs really needed to be comfortable, too. We opened and closed the tongs 100 times to decide if the springiness caused hand fatigue. If the springs provided too much resistance or the tongs accidentally locked while using them, we knocked a few points off their final score.
Other Grill Tongs We Tested
Rösle 40 cm Locking Tongs
The Rösle Stainless Steel 16-Inch Locking Barbeque Grill Tongs were the most expensive pair of tongs in the group, but they're also the sleekest looking. Not only that, but they feature a unique, gravity-fed locking mechanism. Point the pincers down and give them a light squeeze to unlock the set using one hand. Guess what happens when you hold ‘em pincers up: they lock! I can’t say the feature is enough to vault this set into the winning circle, but they were heavy-duty enough to handle the bulky foods and the pincers aligned perfectly for the smaller items. I would have no problem using these tongs on the regular in my backyard.
While I’ve never used their long, 16-inch tongs, I’ve long been a fan of Edlund Company kitchen tongs for a while. It’s not at the top of our list because the storage ring isn’t large enough to hang on the grill, but these super-springy tongs had our favorite scalloped pincers of the group. They come fully together all the way around, creating a perfect grip on any sized food. They definitely don’t look fancy, but we’d happily own a pair of these for our grill.
The long, skinny Mountain Griller Cooking Tongs for Kitchen Grill & BBQ were well suited for almost any task we threw at them. While they were a touch on the light side, struggling to pick up the heavy chicken, we loved the way they handled the lighter foods. The textured, non-slip grips are super comfortable, and this set is actually a great value considering it comes with a second pair of 12-inch tongs!
Winco UT-16HT 16" Stainless Steel Utility Tongs, Extra Heavyweight
We were pretty happy with the performance of the Winco UT-16HT 16-Inch Coiled Spring Extra Heavyweight Stainless Steel Utility Tong and we loved the scalloped pincers. But, they had one major flaw against them. Not only did they lack a locking mechanism (the only one in the group without one), but they don’t have any loop or ring for storage. That might seem like an aesthetic feature, but it was enough to knock this pair down in the ranks.
We don't mind a long and skinny design when it comes to grill tongs, but we worry about super lightweight models like the Cuisipro 16-Inch Stainless Steel Locking Tongs. They didn't feel substantial as we held them and they lacked the same control of the other tongs, making it difficult to flip heavy items. Since the pincers didn't align perfectly, this set also struggled to flip the thin asparagus stalks.
The Grillhogs Luxury 16-Inch Barbecue Grill Tongs were the least versatile of all the tongs we tested. They did just fine with the large chicken but struggled with more precision-based activity. This might be because the pincers don't align well and have a large gap between the scalloped edges, or it could be because the springs are loaded extremely tightly, hurting our hands.
We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.