The Ingenious $17 Gadget That Will Make You Feel Like a BBQ Pro

published Jul 8, 2022
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Credit: Joe Lingeman

There are few times I’ve been prouder of my husband than when he mastered my side of the family’s signature (and secret!) pulled pork recipe. We’re pretty proud of the smokey, sweet concoction and over the past several decades it has become a staple dish at family holidays, BBQs, and more. Learning how to make it correctly is pretty much a rite of passage for any new member marrying into our crew — sort of a test of skill, if you will.

While we’re sticklers for tradition over here, new inductees to the family are allowed to improve upon the recipe — within reason. Over the years, we’ve tweaked some measurements, adding a bit more chipotle here or a touch more sugar there, the recipe evolving over time as our extended family grows. Ever the BBQ enthusiast, my own spouse’s improvement centered around not the recipe, but the technique itself, providing a long-awaited improvement to the (sometimes daunting) task of shredding the meat.

Making quick work of a five-pound pork shoulder or butt is no easy task, and it became clear that our dinner fork strategy of shredding the meat into stringy, juicy pieces just wasn’t cutting it. It was messy and slippery; your hands got hot from being so close to steaming meat; it was impossible to pick up all the shredded meat afterward without it falling everywhere… the list could go on. Enter, my husband’s addition to the pulled pork game: OXO’s Meat Shredding Claws, the serious-looking tools that have seriously upgraded our pork prep and grilling game.

Designed — like all OXO products — with ease and functionality in mind, this set of tools boasts tons of ergonomic features that make shredding meat super easy and quick. The durable nylon design is heat resistant up to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and features extra-long handles to keep your hands safely away from the meat you’re shredding. The claws themselves are reminiscent of bird talons, with six sharp teeth that interlock when crossed to effortlessly pull brisket, pork, chicken, and more into tender pieces ready to sop up sauce. Each claw is also a bit curved at the tip, so you can team the two together to easily scoop up your shredded meat and return it to the slow cooker for the finishing touches.

With almost 700 five-star reviews on Amazon, it’s clear that my family isn’t the only ones that have come to rely on these handy dishwasher-safe shredders. Says one happy customer, “I love these! I used to use two forks to shred slow-cooked meat, and it would hurt my hands and wrists. I bought the OXO Shredding Claws and used them for the first time yesterday. First, they worked brilliantly to scoop (and drain) the chicken breast out of the slow cooker and place it on the cutting board. Then I was able to very quickly and easily shred the chicken and get it back into the sauce. I can’t believe I’ve been struggling with dinner forks all these years. I’m so glad I bought this set.” Other reviewers note their ability to reduce everything from finger burns and hand cramping to the greasy mess that can result from dropping one too many pieces of slow-cooked meat onto your countertop.

Needless to say, these meat shredding claws are now an essential part of our family’s pulled pork process — and a signature wedding or holiday gift for any new entrants into the family. Whether you want to shred meat like a pit boss or make quick work of a weeknight rotisserie chicken, these are one sharp staple your kitchen should never be without. Take our word for it.