A tongue press is used for pressing cooked, skinned tongue into a tube shape. This results in a more uniform appearance to slices of tongue sliced for luncheon meat.
You put the tongue while still warm into the press, and when the tongue has cooled, it will retain the shape of the press.
The presses can also be used to mould loose pieces of meat into a consistent, firm shape.
The presses are often metal cylinders perhaps 20 cm (8 inches) wide by 30 cm (12 inches) tall, to give the pressed meat a loaf shape, but they can also be circular-shaped. You adjust the pressure with the springs on the handle, causing a press inside to apply the pressure to the meat. The bottom is removable.
A tongue press can hold up to 5 kg (11 pounds) of tongue at once.
These presses have been made since the start of the 1800s. You can still buy them, though often only by special order now. Demand for home versions of them dropped off when already-moulded canned tongue became affordably available at stores in tins.
See also: Tongue