The right barbecue fork can not only help you remove meat when cooking on a grill, but also hold it steady while you slice it. This utensil should have very wide and long tongs. Those made from steel are generally preferred over other materials. While the tongs might be steel, many models have wooden handles, and these can be easier to hold onto than metal ones are. A barbecue fork may also have a built in thermometer, and one of these can be useful because you will be able to tell when your meat is done.
Look for a barbecue fork that has two or three widely spaced tongs that are at least 8 inches (about 20 cm) long. That way, the fork will be able to penetrate very thick cuts of meat such as chicken or steak. The tines should be somewhat sharp, but should not pierce the skin whenever you touch the tips lightly with your finger. Steel tines are typically sturdier than those made from aluminum, so you can be sure they will not buckle under the weight of heavy foods. Avoid plastic forks, because these are likely to melt when exposed to high temperatures.
You may use a barbecue fork to turn food while you are cooking on a grill, and if this is the case, you may need to hold onto the handle for some time. When you are holding a barbecue fork near high heat, it can sometimes get too hot for you to touch if the handle is made from steel. Look for a fork that has a wooden handle if possible because this material normally stays cool longer than metal does. If you are able to find an ergonomic handle, this could be an added bonus.
It can be difficult to tell when some foods are done, which often means it is necessary to use a meat thermometer when cooking on a grill. If you regularly use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of foods, you may want to choose a barbecue fork that has a built in thermometer on the unit's handle. Some utensils produce a digital reading, while others may have a traditional thermometer on them. A digital model could be easier to read, but this type may not be as accurate as a barbecue fork with a regular thermometer and may also require you to replace batteries from time to time.