- Extensive blog
- Hotline for live Q & A
- Over 36,000 recipes
- Easy to use filtering system
- Ability to share your own recipes
- Shop and contests
Food52 has an extensive blog feature which is great for users and includes numerous categories including everyday cooking, holiday, vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free, as well as menu ideas. These blogs contain a large amount of helpful tips and techniques for home cooking as well as what to do with left over ingredients and links to their shop.
The shop itself can be broken down into sections: kitchen, table, home, outdoors, one-of-a-kind, and pantry. The shop offers items to help a cook stay organized, cooking utensils and pots, food items, as well as table linens, cutlery, and serving items.
The recipes, including the great filtering system, include numerous options for a variety of tastes and dietary needs and they are very easy to navigate. The filtering system allows users to look at recipes based on those special requirements as well as type of dish, main ingredient, season, and holiday.
Finally, the Hotline section offers users real-time question and answer help to address their concerns when cooking one of their recipes or when cooking in general. This is a unique feature and is very helpful for those home cooks who are just starting to develop their skills.
- Difficulty level
- Prep and cook time
As a whole the site was very well put together and easy to use, however to improve the ease of use a bit we believe the site needs to include the prep and/or cook time for each recipe at the top of the page, instead of solely in the directions. Often users need to know if they have enough time to prepare the item a head of time. By including the prep/cook times at the beginning of the recipe, users will be able to tell right away if they are able to complete the recipe without having to read all the directions first.
The other addition to the website that we recommend is to assign a difficult level to the recipes. The website mentions that it is not trying to be quick and easy because they are focused on quality and while this is a great aspect of the site, the addition of a difficulty level on the recipes will help users to understand what they are getting into. On occasion, beginner cooks will want to choose a recipe to attempt which they feel comfortable with while on a separate occasion they may wish to choose a more difficult recipe. When there are levels assigned to the recipes, the filtering system can be used to help speed up the search process and ensure that users are only seeing those recipes with the appropriate difficulty level.
The Bottom Line
We recommend using this website to every home cook both beginner and advanced. There are numerous types of recipes which can be made for each dietary restriction and the combination of a live Q & A and a place to shop makes Food52 especially unique and helpful for home cooks and entertainers. The extensive blog also adds to the unique style of the website and provides users with ideas, inspiration, and answers to basic and more challenging cooking concerns.