"I love metal tongs," Perelman says. "I've had my pair for about 15 years and I'm going to cry when they break because you can't buy them anymore. You can open and close it with one hand. You can flip your wrist back and it locks. and you can flip it down and it opens. This is my hand in the kitchen. I use it for everything. Flipping sausages and meat and on the grill too. I've used it even to flip pancakes—they're sturdy enough."

Provisions, the retail side of Food 52, has a handsome version with wood handles for $38.  Search "staircasetread--metal" from Simple Ways to Upgrade Your Rental Kitchen