When I first saw these OXO bear paws meat handlers I wondered what they were. They look more like brushes than bear paws, with a long handle instead of a loop which other designs use. They come as a pair, of course, and are made from black nylon. The material is resistant to 450 degrees Fahrenheit according to the manufacturer, so they should be safe to use in the hottest parts of the grill. They’re quite sturdy, and heavier than they look.

The teeth are sharp, and shred pulled pork with ease, although they aren’t as good on firmer meats like chicken. The two BBQ meat paws are designed so you can interlock their teeth, forming a twelve pointed shredder for faster shredding. I didn’t get on with this function, as they aren’t so easy to hold in that configuration. The teeth can also interlock point to point, forming a shape like a two handed grip. This is supposed to be for moving your shredded meat around, but I never quite trusted it, particularly over longer distances.

The grips of these barbecue meat claws are comfortable, as advertised, and are adequate when shredding pulled pork or briskets. But I just couldn’t get as solid a grip as I can with the loop-handled kind. And using them, in effect, upside down is very awkward. I think it’s because with a loop handle you can hold your wrist straight, but with these you have to twist your wrist at an angle to use them. I certainly wouldn’t lift or carry larger pieces of meat with them, something I had no problem with when using other meat shreding forks.

I think the problem is they’re neither one thing nor another. Yes, they can be used to handle meat, and yes they can be used to shred meat, and even move it around, but they do none of those things as well as other BBQ meat shredder claws on the market.

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