There’s a reason I have more kitchen towels than literally any other kitchen item: I use them the most. Turns out, a lot of you are the same way. When we set out to design kitchen towels for Five Two, our new line for kitchen, home, and life, we asked the Food52 community how you use kitchen towels—and what we could do to make this humble helper even more helpful. A casual 36,000 votes later, our game plan took a surprise twist:
Instead of creating one kitchen towel, we created two. Why? The more we read your feedback, the more we realized how many boxes kitchen towels check. Both are big (but not too big!) and prewashed (read: soft as heck). But each has its own, dare I say, superpowers. The thicker utility is plusher and extra-absorbent. The lighter flour sack is quick-drying and lint-free.
Here are some of our favorite oddball ways to use each of our brand new kitchen towels. (They're currently sold out, but we’re making more! Just click “Notify me when it’s back in stock.”) And do tell us in the comments below: What did we miss?
Oven mitt.Wait, where is my oven mitt? is a question I ask myself every time my oven timer goes off. Just fold a kitchen towel over a few times so it’s extra-thick, then use it to snatch whatever’s baking away in there.
Berry dryer. After washing fragile ingredients, like mixed greens or fresh berries, lay them out on the towel and let them air-dry. I love this method because it’s hands-off and smush-free.
Bread blanket. You can’t beat still-warm bread (with lots of butter, obviously). To serve this with dinner (and win dinner), toast in the oven until just warm to the touch, pile in a basket, and swaddle with a towel.
Corn-on-the-cob nest. Line a basket or bowl with a kitchen towel, then snuggle in some hot corn on the cob. Think of it like an insulator and stylish decoration all at once.
The Flour Sack
Mixing bowl anchor. You know when you’re whipping cream and your mixing bowl is wobbling all over the place? Kitchen towel to the rescue: Just lightly dampen, fold into a square, and set under your bowl. Or, do as our resident Genius Kristen Miglore does, and roll up the towel, then wrap it around the base.
Dough babysitter. Bread dough can’t be left alone. Uncovered, it’ll develop dry skin (happens to the best of us), which will prevent it from reaching its full potential. Covering the bowl with a kitchen towel (some even recommend a slightly damp one) is all you need.
Vegetable squeezer. After grating any watery vegetable—be it zucchini for bread, potatoes for latkes, or spinach for omelets—bundle in a kitchen towel and twist into oblivion over the sink, a bowl, or the trash can.
Lettuce “spinner.” Our Director of Partner Content Cory Baldwin learned this trick in Italy a decade ago and hasn’t stopped using it since. Roll up greens in a towel, bring the ends together, and fling back-and-forth out the window, into the shower, whatever works. And presto! dry greens, no salad spinner required.
What are some of the out-of-the-box ways you use your kitchen towel? Share your tricks in the comments!
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Emma is the food editor at Food52. Before this, she worked a lot of odd jobs, all at the same time. Think: stir-frying noodles "on the fly," baking dozens of pastries at 3 a.m., reviewing restaurants, and writing articles about everything from how to use leftover mashed potatoes to the history of pies in North Carolina. Now she lives in New Jersey with her husband and their cat, Butter. Stay tuned every Tuesday for Emma's cooking column, Big Little Recipes, all about big flavor and little ingredient lists. And see what she's up to on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.