Oh boy, it’s finally here: good ol’ summer. Well, it’s not technically summer, but we did just finish celebrating Memorial Day, the unofficial start of summer. Brands were already kicking off their summertime celebrations earlier this month. Hard seltzer brand Lunar released a trio of new flavors in collaboration with some of the best restaurants in New York City; Brightland released a barbecue collection to get you primed for all of your summer backyard BBQs; and Coway’s new air purifier isn’t exactly a fun purchase, but it will keep the seasonal allergies at bay so you can enjoy yourself instead of sneezing and wheezing. Here are the best home releases we found in May.
Work Sharp Electric Kitchen Knife Sharpener
If the dad in your life is a tool guy, plan to make his time in the kitchen much more enjoyable with a gift that keeps on giving. Its flexible abrasive belt sharpening technology uses high-quality abrasives for cleaner knife sharpening, and a flexible backing to create a superior convex edge. Plus, its elegant design looks great on a kitchen counter or can easily be stored in a drawer or cabinet to free up valuable counter space. You know, for other tools.
Misen Nonstick Cookware
Misen has entered the nonstick cookware chat. The direct-to-consumer cookware brand launched its nonstick cookware project on Kickstarter last year, when it earned $1.4 million across 6,000 backers. Now the line is available through the brand’s website, with products ranging from a classic nonstick fry pan to a nonstick stock pot.
The PFOA-free nonstick surface, like any nonstick coating, won’t last forever, but the brand trusts that its offerings will last between four to five years.
I will never stop raving about expensive olive oil, especially when it’s from Brightland. The pantry staple brand has a new Paragon collection, in which Brightland offers small-batch olive oil from small craft producers.
The first launch of the collection is Castelvetrano, which is made of handpicked, estate-grown Nocellara del Belice olives, which come from Paso Robles, California. There are fewer than 1,200 bottles of this, so you better scoop up one (or many) as soon as you can.
Craighill Match Striker
Ditch the ugly Zippo lighter for Craighill’s new match striker. Made of cast iron, the match striker serves as a both a vessel for our strike anywhere match and a place to strike your matches (hence the name).
Material Kitchen The Forever Peeler
Anyone who’s ever had to peel a potato knows that the vegetable peeler you use can mean the difference between a horrible time and a not-so-horrible time. Material released a new vegetable peeler, which has a replaceable blade so you don’t have to toss the whole thing when it’s lost its edge. And it comes in three exceptional colors, so you’ll really never want to throw this thing away.
There’s a new chili crisp brand in town, and I’m hyped. Bowlcut, named after the haircut of the same name, was donned by each of its three Asian-American founders, Crystal Ung, Adrian Ng and Will Kang. Inspired by their parents’ cooking, the trio have come up with a way to evoke the flavors from their childhood through its first three products: Chili Crisp, Spicy Chili Crisp and Char Siu. The former two are filled with crispy bits of onion and garlic, which work well on practically everything, while the Char Siu sauce brings sweet and savory flavors to meats and vegetables.
Crate & Barrel Haldeman Pine Wood Desk by Leanne Ford
As part of their ongoing partnership, designer Leanne Ford and Crate and Barrel have teamed up on a very nice (and very pricey) desk. The Haldeman was inspired by one of Ford’s vintage tables, with this take utilizing the natural look of the desk’s pine and birch.
Steelport 10-Inch Slicing Knife
Portland-based Steelport makes one of our favorite chef’s knives, and its latest addition to its cutlery collection is the 10-inch slicing knife. You’ll probably want to whip this blade out when the turkey needs carving for Thanksgiving, but it’ll also make an impressive tool for your daily meat butchering, big or small.
Steelport 10-Inch Bread Knife
Another new addition to Steelport’s line is its 10-inch bread knife. The serrated blade makes light work of cutting through loaves and loaves of sourdough bread (or even the humble tomato), plus it’ll look good doing it. The serration on the knife is wavy — versus the standard pointed serration — which the brand says results in a “finer, sharper edge which requires less of sawing motion and can slice, rather than saw.” That means you’re less likely to butcher whatever you’re cutting and you’ll get nicer slices of whatever you’re hacking into.
Holy Grail Steak Co. Ogata Farm Maezawa Beef
Holy Grail Steak Co. — one of the best places to buy meat online — is bringing Japanese Maezawa beef from Ogata Farm in the Iwate prefecture in Japan to the U.S., marking the first time ever Americans will be able to get the rare beef stateside. This incredibly rare beef is among the most limited wagyu beef in the world, so it’s a huge deal Holy Grail Steak Co. is carrying it.
The heavily marbled beef has an unbelievably buttery taste, thanks to the fact that the Maezawa cows are fed a diet of beer, whiskey, tofu, honey and soy. Head over to Holy Grail Steak Co. now to choose from three cuts of Maezawa beef: a filet mignon, a New York strip and a ribeye.
Coway Airmega Icon
As Coway puts out more and more air purifiers, they seem to become nicer and nicer. It started with the Coway Airmega 150, and the trend continues with the brand’s latest Airmega Icon.
This latest air purifier was designed in collaboration with fuseproject, a world-famous design firm, which applied its design sensibilities to the Icon. The air purifier uses an easy-touch display, which sits atop the air purifier, and through its real-time air quality indicator, you can easily tell how clean your air is with the color coded display that illuminates from the top of the unit. (Perhaps the most interesting part about the unit: that the touch display also doubles as a wireless charger.)
As to its actual air-purifying capabilities, the Icon has a room area coverage of 649 square feet through its three-step filter system. The brand clocks its clean-air delivery ratings as 173 for smoke, 194 for dust and 235 for pollen. Don’t know what any of that means? No worries, because you can set the Icon to smart mode and let it do all the work.
Material Kitchen Bowls
After a successful launch of ceramics earlier this year, Material Kitchen is adding two new bowls to the lineup. First is the Bap Bowl (bap is Korean for rice), which, as its name implies, serves as the perfect vessel for rice. The second bowl is the slightly larger Breakfast Bowl, which is good for, well, practically anything. The new bowls are hand thrown by the brand Soil Baker, founded by Hye Rin Yang, who also fashions all of Material Kitchen’s other ceramics.
Burrow Vesper Lounge Chair
If you buy one of Burrow’s new lounge chairs, called the Vesper, you might never want to get up again. Burrow may have started making sofas but every furniture launch since then has been a winner. The Vesper, which comes as a standalone chair or with a complementary ottoman, is an armless reclined chair, made with a molded plywood body (very mid-century modern like everything else Burrow does). The chair, as the brand says, is reclined to the perfect position to avoid putting too much pressure on any one part of your body, and the ottoman follows suit so that your knees don’t bend too much. The chair ships in a single box and comes together in, quite literally, no time.
Lunar Hard Seltzer Heritage Line: Sunset Edition
Lunar is making some of the best hard seltzers around (sorry, White Claw, Truly and the rest). The brand takes common Asian flavors and infuses them into the hard seltzer, with its original lineup including flavors like yuzu and lychee. As part of AAPI Heritage Month, the brand’s founders — Sean Ro and Kevin Wong — are revisiting their Heritage Line, in which Lunar develops exclusive flavors made in collaboration with iconic New York City Asian restaurants.
This time around, Lunar worked with Jeju Noodle Bar, a Michelin-starred restaurant; Win Son, a James Beard Award finalist; and Bonnie’s, currently one of the hottest new restaurants in the NYC. For Jeju, Lunar developed Mint Omija, which Lunar calls “a summertime twist on the traditional Korean omija-cha (schisandra berry tea) using a hint of fresh mint;” for Win Son, there’s the Teresa Tang (named after a Taiwanese singer and known as Asia’s Queen of Pop), which is a blend of cranberry juice, cucumbers and spices; and for Bonnie’s, there’s Salted Kumquat, which brings that sweet-and-savory flavor of salted kumquats into the form of a hard seltzer.
Great Jones x Molly Baz
New York Times-best selling cookbook author Molly Baz partnered with the cookware brand Great Jones to add her own touch to the brand’s Dutch ovens, both the 6.75-quart Dutchess and the smaller 3.5-quart Dutch Baby. The enameled Dutch oven — a cheaper take on Le Creuset’s most popular piece of cookware — is now decked out with a modernist art motif featuring primary colors and squares. The Dutch ovens are made to order, and presale ends on May 31.
Parachute Canvas Bolster Dog Bed
Parachute might be known for its bedding (and more recently, its bed frames), and now it has some new beds for your furry best friend. The square dog bed is enveloped in a removable machine-washable microfiber — because we all know this thing is going to need a wash every now and then — and it’s durable enough to stand up against claws and drool.
Higher Standards The Flower Kit
Higher Standards makes some of our favorite weed gear, from its popular bong to its sharp-as-hell weed grinder. Its latest release is an ash catcher, which the brand is calling the Flower Kit. The kit attaches to any water pipe, providing “added filtration, bigger smoke clouds and smoother draws.” It’s a small purchase that can drastically improve your next bong session.
Brightland The Summer BBQ Capsule
Olive oil brand Brightland has you prepared for all your summer barbecuing needs. Its new Summer BBQ capsule includes a variety of products to make sure you’ll get the most of your grills from a pair of gold tongs to the brand’s popular Awake extra-virgin olive oil. Also included is Brightland’s Rapture black berry balsamic vinegar and a spice blend made in collaboration with Burlap & Barrel. If you’re having trouble deciding what to cook, the capsule includes a booklet of barbecue recipes from chef Will Coleman.
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