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Grilling season is almost here, which means the house chef needs to have the right equipment. At the top of the list is a good pair of sturdy tongs.

Tongs are an essential kitchen tool that can sometimes pose a problem. The metal tips damage pans, or the hinge weakens and falls apart, or the handles aren’t long enough, or the grip isn’t strong enough. But DUO Tongs by Ergo Chef solve a lot of these problems.

The first thing I like about these tongs is the dual-purpose head, which is made of stainless steel but is coated in silicone on one side. Use the metal side to pick up heavier items like bone-in steaks and chops from grills and cast-iron or steel pans. The soft silicone side is best for tossing and lifting more delicate foods, like sauteed vegetables, and it won’t damage nonstick or ceramic pans like mine.

Weak hinges mean a weak grip on foods, but DUO Tongs have a sturdy, durable spring with the right amount of resistance. They come in several colors and a few different sizes. The large version is 15 inches long, perfect for keeping a safe distance from hot grill flames or popping oil in a pan. When not in use, you can lock the tongs in a closed position so they won’t take up much drawer space.

I really like these tongs. The only other ones I own are much shorter, and they are too flimsy for serious grilling. DUO Tongs can withstand 500 degrees and supposedly can lift up to 20 pounds. I’ve only tested them on the stove top so far, but now I can’t wait to refill my propane tank and fire up the grill soon, knowing I can grill more safely and easily this summer.

Find the Ergo Chef DUO Tongs at ergochef.com for around $16.99, or on Amazon and other kitchenware websites for various prices.

Brooke Wilson can be reached at brooke.wilson@newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPWilson.