The smooth flow of a grilling session has its peaks and valleys. To ensure that these ups and downs are related to the timing of food being prepped, cooked and finished, outdoor chefs use a variety of tools and gadgets to keep the food flowing. But timers and holding trays (and hands holding outstretched plates) can only do so much. When would-be eaters stand around waiting for their food to finish cooking, they become inpatient. And when the hungry become impatient, burnt fingers and tongues are the result.
It is easier said than done to resist the allure of hot food, but patience has its rewards. For those who can't wait, perhaps there is a compromise. The De-Skewer Tool at Williams-Sonoma ($30) won't keep eaters from popping too-hot food into their mouths, but it will at least keep anxious fingers out of harm's way.
To use, cooked kabobs are placed horizontally into the tool. The tongs hold everything in place while the wood or metal skewer is removed. Food slides off and into the waiting catch basin just like using your fingers, but without the burning (or sticky) fingers. The catch basin acts as a scoop, making it easy to transfer the morsels wherever they need to go -- but don't forget the requisite waiting time to save those tongues from getting burned.