Not only do the Bear Paws make you feel like a superhero, they save effort.

What: Bear Paws meat shredding claws

Where: www.thegrommet.com, www.amazon.com and places that sell grilling equipment

Cost: $12.95

I've been eyeing these — and similar brands of them (somebody didn't get their patent in time) — for years. But my kitchen-maven brother frowns upon what he calls "single-use" kitchen tools: gadgets you only use for one thing clogging up your drawers.

I'm not saying I follow his preaching all the time. I own (and use) a garlic press, herb scissors, a mushroom brush, ice cream scoops, etc. But for some reason, I couldn't shell out the 13 bucks for these things. This is true even though there are few kitchen chores I hate more than shredding meat with two forks. And I do it a lot. Pulled Pork and my Salsa Chicken recipes are tasty, but always have me standing for what seems like eons ripping ineffectually at the steaming hot animal flesh while my forearms and wrists start complaining, to say nothing of my hungry family. But a distributor recently offered to send me a pair to try for free, which seemed like fate. I took her up on it.

For anyone who is on the fence about whether these things are worth the money and space in the utility drawer, my opinion is an emphatic yes. First of all, they're a blast to play with: Holding one in each hand can make you feel like Hugh Jackman in "The Wolverine." But after your family rolls their eyes and you head back into the kitchen, they are also invaluable for shredding meat. I hope I never have to do it without my Bear Paws again.

Bear Paws are embossed with the words "The original," but there are many similar claw-like products (Bear Claws, Cave Tools, Wolf Claws and EZ Shredding Claws, which have the distinction of being made of stainless steel vs. rigid plastic) that you can find at Walmart, Amazon, Tractor Supply and all over the internet.

In fact, there are so many versions, you can find a Top Five review of, well, five of the best-selling versions at http://bit.ly/2m0LPQ2.

Also, to speak to the single-use gadget issue, the claws are helpful in a number of others ways (besides Halloween costumes, for which I reluctantly admit they might be a little dangerous). But they're also helpful for lifting a heavy hunk of meat (whole poultry, ham, brisket, pot roast, etc.) out of a deep pan, or just for tossing a salad.

Bottom line is I say if you're tired of burning your hands and messing around with two forks on pulled pork/shredded chicken nights, it's time to invest in some claws.

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