I consider kitchen tongs one of the most essential kitchen tools but due to a lot of moving around recently I no longer have a pair. Rather than just picking up a cheap pair at the corner store I figured I would ask the experts and get something worth holding onto this time. I'd like to know more about the following:
What material is best and why? I'm familiar with metal tongs but would there be any advantages to other materials such as wood?
I have some non-stick pans. If you recommend metal tongs, are there any available that have some kind of plastic on the tips or some other coating that would not damage the teflon? Cleaning would be a consideration. I don't want something that food is going to get stuck under.
What should I be looking for in a latching mechanism? I've seen types that you can just tip upside down and close which makes closing them very quick, but have also experienced faulty ones that won't open right (usually when you really need them and have only one hand free!)
Is there an ideal length? Obviously too long is going to be awkward and too short gets you too close to the heat, but what I'm wondering here is if I'm missing some advantages to having a certain length, for example, if shorter than X inches it's good for the stove top but dangerous for the oven.
Any comfort factors I should consider such as grips at the top or just go bare?