Why You Should Only Use Tongs To Flip Your Steaks

There are many factors that go into a well-cooked steak — from the cut of meat you chose at the butcher to how long it should rest after it's cooked. A relatively controversial component in the culinary world is how often you should flip the steaks while the meat cooks off on the grill or stovetop. But whether your method is to flip steak multiple times like Tom Colicchio from "Top Chef" or you go for a one-and-done technique, it's important to use tongs — and not a fork.

You might use a fork to flip steaks because it's already on your counter. However, the main reason tongs are the preferable utensil is all about the juice inside your steak. See, when the fork breaks into the top layer of steak to flip it, some of the juices seep out. Of course, you want all of the juices to stay inside so you have a juicy, tender, and flavorful steak to eat or serve. That's also why it's essential to allow your steak to rest before you cut into it. And who wants a dry, flavorless steak?

Using a fork to flip steak might cause a mess too

The most important factor when it comes to tongs is to keep that juice inside so it's tender, but there's also another thing to consider. When the juices seep out, the liquid has to go somewhere. For a steak on the stovetop, that means it will go into the pan and create a bit more of a mess to clean up. If a grill is your go-to tool to cook your steaks, the fats in the juices will congeal and you will have to put a little more effort to brush the cooking grates clean.

To be fair, some professionals claim that a fork is fine to flip your steaks — as long as you don't repeatedly stab it in different areas during the process. So if you do like to flip steaks more than once then the tongs are certainly the way to go. Meanwhile, if your tongs aren't clean, carefully using a fork when it's time to flip the steaks won't completely ruin all of your effort. However, a sturdy pair of tongs does make it easy to flip large steaks and other meats like chicken breasts on the grill. And if you need new tongs for your indoor (or outdoor) kitchen, check out these 11 types of cooking tongs so you have the proper ones to flip your steak — and keep all of those precious juices inside.