Cooking is all about community: it’s about learning things from one another so we can improve and refine them even more. One of the largest food communities online is Food52. They have done an excellent job of utilizing their community to help refine and enhance the products they create. Pretty much everything in their Five Two line, whether it’s a mixing bowl, an apron, or even just something as simple as a drying rack, has input from online community members. It’s what has led them down the path of adding oven mitts to their apron and a pour spout to all of their mixing bowls: things you wouldn’t think you’d need, but that you definitely do. We love Food52’s Five Two line so much, that we’ve tested most of it out. To help you upgrade your kitchen, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite items from their line.
FOR KEEPING YOUR CLOTHES CLEAN
Five Two Ultimate Apron
When you get into the kitchen, you have to have an apron. If you never saw yourself as an apron person, that’s OK. I didn’t either. This apron “has built in pot holders on the bottom, so you’ll never need to run around looking for an oven mitt, it comes with a conversion chart in one pocket to help you calculate those difficult baking equations, and of course, the fabric protects you from splashes, spills, and stains, no problem. It has a few extra inches of fabric in the front and the back so you’re covered all over, extra pockets, and if you were worried there was too much going on, don’t be. The design is simple and elegant, and it comes in five lovely tonal colors: pick your favorite.”
FOR SLICING AND DICING
Five Two Essential Knives
I wrote about the Five Two paring knife, but honestly you should get the whole set. Their line is made with Japanese stainless steel and comes in a set of three that includes a paring knife, serrated knife and a chef’s knife, which is really all you need. The handles come in four different colors so you can have a matching set of knives that will make your kitchen feel more organized and special. Plus, all of the knives are well sharpened, balanced, and styled with vintage brass rivets to make them stand out even more.
FOR SAUTEING, FRYING, AND COOKING
Five Two Essential Skillets
I really, really like Food 52’s Skillets. Each skillet has an ultra-sturdy base so it won’t slip around on your stovetop, and the highly conductive aluminum core helps distribute heat evenly so there are no hot spots or cool spots to be found. The handle never gets too hot, even when I’m cooking at extreme temperatures, which is a plus, and the coating has yet to blister or peel as other non-stick pans tend to. They come with glass lids so you can steam things, which is a subtle but necessary detail, and best of all, the handle feels great in your hand so you can sauté away.
Five Two Mixing Bowls
It’s time to upgrade your mixing bowls, specifically to these ones. Made from stoneware, these mixing bowls have a “rounded interior, which is a subtle detail that allows for easier mixing, and they are coated with a non-stick and scratch resistant finish that holds up to any utensil. They come in a set of three, but best of all, they stack. Before getting these, I had a few bowls that barely fit inside one another, and so pulling them down to do some cooking was always laborious and annoying. Now, I have three bowls I love that fit easily into one another, look good on the table together, and can be tucked away with ease. Plus, Each one has a pour-spout to make pouring batter, dressing, and other sauces a piece of cake. Honestly, why don’t all bowls have spouts?”
FOR DOING THE DISHES
Five Two Over-The-Sink Drying Rack
If doing the dishes is your least favorite chore, I can’t recommend this drying rack enough. Not only does it fit on the smallest of sinks, “but it rolls up so it takes up space only when I need it to. Don’t think for a second because it rolls that it’s flimsy either. Because it’s made out of silicone coated stainless steel, it’s able to support all of my hefty pots and delicate glassware, too. I love it so much that I even wash my fruit vegetables on it, and sometimes use it as a cooling rack for hot pots, pans, cookies, or whatever else I might be baking. There’s a utensil caddy so knives and forks aren’t scattered everywhere, and pro-tip, it’s also excellent to wash berries in.”
FOR DOING THE DISHES, PART TWO
Five Two Compostable Sponge Cloths
I never thought I’d use reusable sponge cloths, and then I came across these. They have “a unique grid design that puts them above the competition, nudging them closer to dish towels than paper towels.” They’re “made with cellulose and will sop up just about anything, and their smart gray coloring is designed to hide gnarly stains that you’d think would appear.” But best of all, you can throw them in your compost bin once they’re overused.
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