or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Meat fork vs tongs???

post #1 of 48
Thread Starter 
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around that one. Anyone have a preference over the other?
post #2 of 48

Tongs.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #3 of 48

Tongs, but just to complicate the discussion, have you considered a pigtail?

Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
Palace of the Brine -- "I hear the droning in the shrine of the sea monkeys." Saltair
Reply
post #4 of 48
Thread Starter 
I have always used tongs. I have a pigtail at home, I just don't see having as much dexterity with the fork.
post #5 of 48
I work in a strict no tong kitchen. I think Gray Kunz was the first to do it? It's because tongs are dirty (you ever look at all the food that builds up inside during a busy service), and they crush food. I don't care how awesome you are, tongs crush all fish. Period.

I swore by tongs for a long, I had a ton of tricks- pasta, soup, sticky pans. And learning to use the fork can be tough, but now I can do anything tongs can with a fork faster, cleaner more efficiently. F.Dick is the best brand I've found so far. They also make the best fish spat bar none, although I prefer a full palette knife instead but that's a discussion for another thread.
post #6 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

I work in a strict no tong kitchen. I think Gray Kunz was the first to do it? It's because tongs are dirty (you ever look at all the food that builds up inside during a busy service), and they crush food. I don't care how awesome you are, tongs crush all fish. Period.

I swore by tongs for a long, I had a ton of tricks- pasta, soup, sticky pans. And learning to use the fork can be tough, but now I can do anything tongs can with a fork faster, cleaner more efficiently. F.Dick is the best brand I've found so far. They also make the best fish spat bar none, although I prefer a full palette knife instead but that's a discussion for another thread.


Who said anything about using tongs for fish?

 

They're dirty if you use dirty tongs, which is why kitchens are usually equipped with plenty of them, and like everything else, they get washed and sanitized. I guess you could say the same thing about forks, or any other kitchen utensil if you use it for everything throughout service without properly replacing, washing, and sanitizing it.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #7 of 48

No one perfect tool.

 

Forks are good for heavy items like roasts (bound with string, of course) picking up whl chickens by the cavity, and the like. Great for some things like spinach and pasta.  Downright sh*tty for steaks and snausages.

 

Tongs are great for a lot of items.  Yes they do get dirty.  That doesn't mean you should let them get dirty.  They are cheap and you should have a bunch of them for service. Still the best thing for picking up a pie-pan of Fr. onion soup from under the salamander.

 

Palette knives are best for fish and other delicate items....   

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #8 of 48


Ya beat me to it, Polly... I was one minute behind you posting....

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #9 of 48
Heard chef
post #10 of 48
Chopsticks baby.
post #11 of 48

I personally don't use tongs often. I don't necessarily use meat forks all the time either, but I use meat forks more than I use tongs. 

 

I did use tongs when I worked the grill at a high end restaurant...not really a better tool for flipping and cross-hatching meat on a really hot grill than tongs. Most kitchens I've been in, tongs have been forbidden for most things. I say, tongs have their place, but in most cases I wouldn't use them. 

 

A lot of it has to do with finesse and mentality. Tongs are rough on your food. Everyone has had tongs tear up a protein, or mash some veg, or something similar. They scream "bang it out" mentality and a lot of chefs forbid them because they lack finesse and consistently get abused (I've seen cooks grab china to plate with dirty tongs) and mis-used.

 

Like I said, they have a place. Working a crazy hot grill? You need tongs. My meat fork wouldn't cut it there. If I'm grabbing roasted veal bones and moving them to the stock pot, I'll use tongs. 

 

No one has said it yet, but the whole "juices escape from the holes" BS is bunk. Yes, a small amount of juice will come out, but it hasn't been proven to effect the juiciness of a steak or protein in any real way. 

post #12 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post

 

No one has said it yet, but the whole "juices escape from the holes" BS is bunk. Yes, a small amount of juice will come out, but it hasn't been proven to effect the juiciness of a steak or protein in any real way. 

 

 

Mmmm..no....not really.   Maybe with steaks and chops, sure, yeah.

 

But I dare you you to move around sausages on a grill or from a pot of hot water with a fork with sharp tines.  You know, stuff like blood and liver sausages, Bratwurst, Schueblig, Teewurst, Knackwurst, etc, etc.  Do it once, and if  the Chef hasn't whacked you over the head with an open palm, the (deleted) thing will burst open and squirt you good....

 

As the Germans sing when they get very drunk:

 

"Alles hat eine Ende, nuer die Wurst hat zwei....."

 

 

(everything has an end, but the sausage has two...)

...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
...."This whole reality thing is really not what I expected it would be"......
Reply
post #13 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by foodpump View Post
 

 

 

Mmmm..no....not really.   Maybe with steaks and chops, sure, yeah.

 

But I dare you you to move around sausages on a grill or from a pot of hot water with a fork with sharp tines.  You know, stuff like blood and liver sausages, Bratwurst, Schueblig, Teewurst, Knackwurst, etc, etc.  Do it once, and if  the Chef hasn't whacked you over the head with an open palm, the (deleted) thing will burst open and squirt you good....

 

As the Germans sing when they get very drunk:

 

"Alles hat eine Ende, nuer die Wurst hat zwei....."

 

 

(everything has an end, but the sausage has two...)

 

Yeah, I'll give you that one. My statement certainly wasn't meant as a complete blanket, since with cooking there are exceptions to just about every rule. But I wouldn't use a fork while grilling something anyways. 

 

But that also has to do with the pressure inside the casing and things like that...a piece of protein like a steak or a chop has no such casing, obviously. 

post #14 of 48
Yeeaaah..... No. Foodpump, pollopicu, have you ever actually practiced using a small fork over tongs for a service? You say they're just as dirty? We all keep a bane Marie full of spoons a fork and a spat on our stations and the one utensil that never gets dirty is the fork. Also I rinse my bane out way more often than I've ever seen people replace tongs on the line.
You guys have dishwashers come and switch out tongs every twenty minutes? Maybe a box of clean tongs in the corner? I doubt it. Also I've worked at a lot of tong loving places and in every one of them I've seen that same food buildup. Every one.
'Who said anything about fish?' Generally people who use tongs, use them for EVERYTHING.
Sausages? We do a super delicate boudin blanc and once your meat is cooked the fork still does less damage than tongs. Sausages are not balloons, they won't just explode.
You're right there isn't one single perfect tool, and I myself use tongs on occasion, like for moving my logs around on the grill.
All this prejudice aside essentially you should probably work with whatever your kitchen is used to. If everyone on your line has tongs and the boss says an ideal cook should always have tongs in one hand and a folded towel in the other than do that. Act accordingly
post #15 of 48
And any chef who tries to 'whack me over the head' is getting stabbed. Probably with a meat fork.
post #16 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by alaminute View Post

Yeeaaah..... No. Foodpump, pollopicu, have you ever actually practiced using a small fork over tongs for a service? You say they're just as dirty? We all keep a bane Marie full of spoons a fork and a spat on our stations and the one utensil that never gets dirty is the fork. Also I rinse my bane out way more often than I've ever seen people replace tongs on the line.
You guys have dishwashers come and switch out tongs every twenty minutes? Maybe a box of clean tongs in the corner? I doubt it. Also I've worked at a lot of tong loving places and in every one of them I've seen that same food buildup. Every one.
'Who said anything about fish?' Generally people who use tongs, use them for EVERYTHING.
Sausages? We do a super delicate boudin blanc and once your meat is cooked the fork still does less damage than tongs. Sausages are not balloons, they won't just explode.
You're right there isn't one single perfect tool, and I myself use tongs on occasion, like for moving my logs around on the grill.
All this prejudice aside essentially you should probably work with whatever your kitchen is used to. If everyone on your line has tongs and the boss says an ideal cook should always have tongs in one hand and a folded towel in the other than do that. Act accordingly

 

 

Please do not presume to guess what the sanitation practices of my kitchen are. I've seen many unfortunate situations take place in quite a few kitchens, that's true, but I can assure you those details don't get by me.

It's not to say that forks aren't a great tool, I have a few of them at work, as well as at home. and to humor you..I'll probably explore using them a bit more to see what the hysteria is all about, but tongs, if used properly, (meaning, with common sense) are a great tool as well, and I don't see them disappearing anytime soon.

Not sure what a tong ever did to you, but you seem traumatized by it. I'm happy you're having fun with your fork, tho. At the end of the day that's what it's all about, having fun, right?

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #17 of 48

I'm not pointing fingers here.  There is no need to be negative.  I'm sure there are many ways to do things properly and I feel if highlighted those methods we'd be much better off than saying one way is better than the other.

post #18 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by Someday View Post
No one has said it yet, but the whole "juices escape from the holes" BS is bunk. Yes, a small amount of juice will come out, but it hasn't been proven to effect the juiciness of a steak or protein in any real way. 

 

Then why do we rest proteins before slicing them?

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #19 of 48

Dirty tongs are merely a sign of sanitation habits that need improving, just like dirty cutting boards, dirty pans, etc.

Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
Reply
post #20 of 48
I sincerely apologize for my belligerent tone here- uncalled for in retrospect. It's obviously a subject I'm passionate about. You're all right 'at the end of the day it's all about having fun' and there's a million different ways to do everything, better to explore various techniques. I've never used chopsticks but I here that those are truly some of the best and most versatile tools- if you know how to drive the damn things.
post #21 of 48

I use chop sticks to construct certain kinds of appetizers and hors d'oeuvres. I find fillings are much easier to handle with chopsticks than with spoons or bare fingers.

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #22 of 48

What about tweezers?   Tweezers are great for plating.

post #23 of 48

Kuan, I meant I use them to place the shrimp stuffing onto the wonton for potstickers before sealing. It works like charm.


Edited by Pollopicu - 5/9/14 at 6:22pm
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #24 of 48

Cooking chopsticks! They take some practice, but very versatile and delicate. 

post #25 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheflayne View Post

Dirty tongs are merely a sign of sanitation habits that need improving, just like dirty cutting boards, dirty pans, etc.

Was thinking the same thing.
post #26 of 48

In my years I have seen cooks use their tongs for everything from stirring food in a pot to pulling pans out of the hot oven NEVER once cleaning that tong at all.

It stays in their back pants pocket along with their dirty rag hanging out like they were a mechanic at a garage.

post #27 of 48
Doesn't seem like anyone is going to give much ground here. For what it's worth I keep a sidetowel for handling hot items in my apron string, neatly folded and changed four or five times per serviced, paired with a rack of tongs which are run through the dishpit constantly, clean pair as soon as I soil one.

Decent tongs can handle trays, manoeuvre and transport hot pans, pickup delicate items with absolutely zero pressure, touch temp steaks. Invaluable.

I lik the idea of chopsticks for small items, I'm clumsy with them however. A tweezer action set would be very helpful.
post #28 of 48

On a busy grill/broiler it is Tongs & Spatula with a fork being reserved for the Carving Station at the Buffet! Tongs are very select with heavy duty being proffered and often used as a spatula! Thats my story and I am stickin to it! Just gotta learn how to cook and when the release of the meat happens so you dont shred it! And should I say Duh! Doug..

The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
The two most common things in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity !
Reply
post #29 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef xto View Post

Doesn't seem like anyone is going to give much ground here. For what it's worth I keep a sidetowel for handling hot items in my apron string, neatly folded and changed four or five times per serviced, paired with a rack of tongs which are run through the dishpit constantly, clean pair as soon as I soil one.

Decent tongs can handle trays, manoeuvre and transport hot pans, pickup delicate items with absolutely zero pressure, touch temp steaks. Invaluable.

I lik the idea of chopsticks for small items, I'm clumsy with them however. A tweezer action set would be very helpful.


I go through utility towels like they're going out of style. I keep 2 folded on the counter to use as mitts. I have one folded on my side, one in sanibucket, and a couple to dry utensil and bowls etc.

 

 

I've met the men with the tongs in their back pocket...:confused:

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations.”
Oscar Wilde

 

 

Reply
post #30 of 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by chef xto View Post


Decent tongs can handle trays, manoeuvre and transport hot pans, pickup delicate items with absolutely zero pressure, touch temp steaks. Invaluable.

 

 

I agree.  If you need to work a double stack broiler or a wood oven you really need long tongs.  

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Professional Chefs