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Choose your weapon...

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Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 8:14 am
jeff raw
raw

Posts: 8
Location: Zürich, Switzerland

The time has come for me to make a very important decision... I need to purchase my first set of grilling utensils. It would be great if I could get some recommendations based on your experiences. I want a high quality set that I will not have to replace for many years, so I am willing to pay for it... Merry Christmas to me! I have no need for one of those 18 piece sets... just the basics. I have seen a wide variety of sets out there like: Hoffritz, Chicago Cutlery, Mr. BBQ, Williams Sonoma, All Clad, Cutco and tons more... how do they measure up??

Thanks for your product reviews!

Jeff

Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 9:57 am
Airfoils well done
well done

Posts: 1063
I have Williams-Sonoma. Best set I've owned.

Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 10:18 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
I don't own a set, but just the pieces I needed from the places that offered the parts I like. Many of them no names. I like a set of tongs with fork style points. Good for poking for doneness. I like a set with a rounded nose for more delicate stuff. Both must be long and strong enough to handle a roast. I like a long spatula. Long handle, long blade. I don't want one that swivels, or has forks or knives built in. I rarely use a forrk. I think the pigtail tools look cool but don't need one. I also just found a fish spatula. It has a long handle but a wide blade as to support the body of the fish. Works great. Although i still need 2 for a whole salmon. I ignoe the brushes, I'm still hoping to get my grand daddy brush for christmas. All the rest frankly stink. They never hold up or lead to the loss of hair.

Good Luck in your search, let us know your findings and what you end up with.
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Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:14 pm
Luke medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 89
Location: Texas

There isn't anything I haven't been able to do with a set of spring loaded tongs, a spatula and some skewers. My hands are made of steel so it doesn't matter to me if I have long handles.... so I just use the same gear I have in my house.
Live Different

Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 12:21 pm
Bob-BQN User avatar
well done
well done

Posts: 12904
Location: Texas
My main tool is tongs similar to the ones Steven is holding pictured above. They turn chicken, steak, dogs, burgers, fajitas, vegetables and just about everything else that goes on the grill, fish would be an exception. I've used these for years and like the control they afford to flip and turn food. The handles are a formed metal channel that has good strength and long enough to keep hands away from extreme heat.
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Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 2:08 pm
stripegrill medium
medium

Posts: 104
Location: St. Charles, IL
I use a long handled spring loaded set of tongs that I love. Also I have the Williams-Sonoma spatula with knife edge. I like the spatula part, knife doesn't matter. I don't use a fork for anything. I also have a fish spatula, 2-pronged skewers for shrimp and the like. Name brands don't matter to me, as long as the design works!

Post Fri Dec 05, 2003 11:44 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
My most frequently used grilling tool is a long handled tong. The food handling edge is folded inward slightly with a serated edge. This allows for easy turning without the fear of dropping the food. I also have a long handled "flipper". This one is capable of turning over 2 hamburgers at once (also has a bottle opener near the base of the handle!!). I do have a long handled fork that I never use. These three items came as a set, I think from the Great Indoors. There isn't a name on any of them, but they are sturdy and made to last.

Pete

Post Sat Dec 06, 2003 12:46 am
GrillGuy rare
rare

Posts: 22
Location: Midwest
i asked for and received a very nice set of grilling tools last christmas. they come in a briefcase-type thing that looks like it should contain plutonium or an automatic weapon or something. it's really neat, and i like to use it anytime i go camping.

That said, the one tool I use 95% of the time is a cheap $2 pair of wood-handled grilling tongs. I use them for everything--spreading out the coals once they come out of the chimney, flipping & handling any kind of food (except hamburgers--i use a spatula for that), and picking up anything hot.
The 2-pronged fork is the most worthless tool you could ever have (i have never ever used one).
I love the nice grilling-tools set, but probably use it 10 times a year.

My advice: don't go for an all-in-one set--find a store that has a lot of the separate tools, where you can hold them in your hand and see if they feel right, what kind of action the tongs have, if they feel sturdy, do they seem well made and rust-proof, etc. When you buy an all-in-one set who knows what you're going to get unless you can try all the untensils out first.

Post Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:08 am
ThrRoff well done
well done

Posts: 999
Location: Washington, DC

Some years ago my good wife bought me a fancy grilling utensil set from Williams Samoma. I mean fancy with big long handles on all the things. Heck, the knife looks like a small spear. The tongs were so strong it took two hands to close them. All came with a fancy apron with big pockets. When we remodeled our kitchen a couple of years ago, I put them all in a box, and haven’t been able to find them since. Good riddance. I now have a cheap tongs about 15 inches long that I use for about everything. I bought a big wide spatula to help to take cooked things off of the grill, and I have an old faithful hunting knife I use to nick meats to check for doneness. I get on a yearly basis it seems a cheap pair of leather gloves from the garden store to grab hot logs in the smoker, and I made a coal poker out of ½ inch steel pipe with an elbow and short piece for a handle. That is about it.

Post Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:52 am
dkirn well done
well done

Posts: 388
Location: St. Louis, MO
Basic and simple for me - a have a couple of no name cheapo tongs from Target, a stainless spatula that is about 6' wide (for the large burgers) and a pair of fireplace leather gloves and a fireplace poker for the smoker.

Post Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:33 am
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
Oh!, I forgot to add..A good meat thermometer, long handled basting brush, and a good quality brush to clean the grill.

Pete

Post Mon Dec 08, 2003 6:57 pm
MrMilk rare
rare

Posts: 24
Location: Destin, Fl
Check out brookstone.com. They have a professional set that looks good. I am getting this set for Christmas. I found them hid in my daughters house. :roll:

Post Mon Dec 08, 2003 11:23 pm
hickory pete well done
well done

Posts: 403
That Professional barbeque tool set sure does have a lot of nice things included. You sure are lucky to be getting that for Christmas.

Post Wed Dec 10, 2003 7:10 am
jeff raw
raw

Posts: 8
Location: Zürich, Switzerland

Thanks for all the feedback, sounds like most of you guys have a basic set of no-name tools that seem to do the job quite well. Unfortunately for me, I am in Switzerland where basic tools cost about 3-4 times what they would at your local Target…and that’s if I’m lucky enough to find a place that actually has grilling utensils in stock during the winter time.

I need to buy a set off the web (probably Ebay), and I want to get it right the first time. I don’t want to take a chance buying (and even worse, paying the shipping for) a “basic” set of utensils that might fall apart in 6 months. Of the stuff I have seen on the web.. The Williams Sonoma looks like the nicest, do they offer a guarentee? Anybody have experience with Cutco? What about the Hoffritz set? I had a look at the Brookstone set, and it looks good… does that lighted computerized fork really work?

Best,
Jeff

Post Wed Dec 10, 2003 9:28 am
Grand Scale BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 4272
Location: York, PA
Boy Jeff now that I understand you're situation I'll try to offer some more help.
Although I don't have experience with their particular grilling tools, Brookstone, and Hoffritz are quality suppliers. If it has their name on it you should be happy. I am also a big fan of Sporty's http://www.sportys.com/, I have lots of stuff from them and have never had a complaint. Cutco makes nice knives, I have many, but I don't like their grilling stuff. To small. Better suited for the tasks in the kitchen. I would avoid Ebay. Go to a more specialty BBQ store or website, not an auction. I am a big fan of http://www.amazon.com or if you're looking for a more specificly grilling site try http://www.grilllovers.com.
Remember: good tongs good spatula (long handle, long blade - you want 2 big burgers on that bad boy.
Durability shouldn't worry you too much. I'm using the cheapo stuff I bought 5 years ago and believe me I use/abuse it hard.
Good luck.

PS - any swiss bbq ideas to share with us?
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