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These days, it seems that everyone hopes to be a pitmaster. Whether your meat of choice is barbecued pork, beef, chicken, or lamb, separating the fibers and chopping and pulling the final product can be time-consuming and hard on the hands. But slip your fingers into a set of meat claws, and you can channel your inner grizzly. You’ll slash (pun intended) your final food prep time, and you’ll impress the diners. Here are three things to consider when choosing meat claws.

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Metal meat claws are slightly more rigid, and you can find them with sharper tines than plastic meat claws. On the other hand, plastic claws are virtually indestructible and a snap to clean and store.

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Many barbecue cooks are finicky about the texture of the final product. Meat claws vary both in the sharpness of the tines, the number of tines, and the distance between each tine. Think about how finely or roughly you like your barbecue and choose the tine design that will do the job.

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Meat off the grill or smoker is smoking hot, and slick with all that delicious rendered fat. You’ll want meat claws that won’t slip in your hands. Many models have textured handles for a great grip against your palm, while others rely on different grip styles to help hold tight as you claw your way to pitmaster status.

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