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The indispensable salad spinner

Updated on June 20, 2014

The indispensable salad spinner

The salad spinner is one kitchen gadget that I cannot live without. The spinner whirls excess water from the washed salad greens inside the strainer which fits inside a bowl. The lid comes with a crank, a pump, or a pull-cord mechanism to activate the spinning motion depending on the model.

Why use such a bulky accessory in the kitchen that takes up so much room? It is because the centrifugal force produced by the salad spinner removes more excess water from the lettuce leaves than drying them with kitchen towel or spinning them in a mesh bag over your head. Salad dressing and oil stick better to dry leaves than soggy ones. Rinsing and spinning salad greens also perk up pre-packaged and so-called pre-washed greens sold in the supermarket.

So why not take your salad greens for a spin before enjoying a bowl of healthy salad?

All photos were taken by me (Bakerwoman)

Take a moment to take this quick poll

Do you own a salad spinner?

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Start with a head of butter lettuce - Or romaine, spring mix or what have you

Imagine the dirt and grime hiding between the leaves of this butter lettuce. It was in a pile in the vegetable section of the supermarket and had just been misted with water to keep it fresh. It is wet and ready to be purchased by me to take home and be washed and dried in my salad spinner.

Cut or tear the lettuce to smaller pieces - I usually like to cut the leaves with a knife than tearing them apart with my hands.

Now these are ready to be put into the colander or strainer of the salad spinner to be rinsed.

Enter the indispensable salad spinner - A bit of retro in my kitchen but still works like a charm

The salad spinner is made of three parts: an outer plastic bowl, a strainer inside, and a lid with a spinning mechanism. Just grab the knob on the lid and crank in a circular motion to get the strainer inside to turn.

The outer bowl has a removal perforated strainer (yellow) inside - Water drains through the holes in the strainer into the outer bowl

Salad spinner lid internal gear - The white spinner has a lip that fits over the strainer when the lid is put on the bowl.

Add the lettuce to the strainer and wash under the faucet to thoroughly rinse the salad

Washing lettuce and salad greens reduces the risk of E. coli. It also removes grit and dirt from the leaves.

Place the strainer back into the bowl - Now that the greens had a good shower, it is time to dry off the excess water.

TIP: Insert a kitchen paper towel on top of bowl - This part is optional but has proven to be advantageous.

The kitchen paper towel will soak up excess water and creates drier lettuce leaves. It will also serve as a cover for the salad when this is temporarily stored in the refrigerator before it is ready to be used. The moist paper towel keeps the lettuce dry and crisp. The paper towel also keeps small pieces of greens from getting caught in the spinning lid.

Put the lid on securely, grab the knob and crank - Let the spinner whirl around until it stops

Since this is an older salad spinner and does not have the rubber grip on the bottom of the bowl, it has to be held down with my other hand to keep it from walking away from the counter when spinning. During the spinning motion, excess water is being flung to the sides of the strainer and drains into the larger bowl. The pump version of this salad spinner, which is a much improved mechanism, enables a one-hand operation. The spinning motion can be stopped by hitting the pump button on the lid.

Empty the water from the outer bowl - On the first spin, this much water was removed from the washed lettuce.

A second or third spin may be necessary to get rid of most of the excess water. A little bit of exercise will not hurt anyone.

Keep lettuce in the refrigerator until ready to be used - Keep the damp kitchen paper towel to keep lettuce moist and crisp

In the meantime, prepare accompaniments for the salad - Green seedless grapes, vine-ripened tomatoes, hardboiled eggs

This is a simple salad that is easy to make. Green grapes has always been a favorite of mine to add the sweet and tart element to the salad. Sometimes, I use seedless red grapes which are sweeter than the green ones. And then throw in in some chopped walnuts.

The cool thing about making a salad is that anything goes. Just toss and serve with your favorite salad dressing.

Transfer lettuce to a bowl and add everything else including onions and garlic-flavored croutons - Add your favorite dressing, toss and serve

The outer bowl of the salad spinner can be used to serve the salad itself if you wish. It can also be used to store the salad. I use a fancier salad bowl depending on the occasion.

How to clean your salad spinner

Salad spinner come in all sizes and colors - and spinning mechanisms

Xtraordinary Home Products Mini Salad Spinner, White
Xtraordinary Home Products Mini Salad Spinner, White

Smaller salad spinner, small enough for sprouts, locks tightly and spins effortlessly. The plus here is that it is easy to clean.

This model also comes in a lager size.

 
Excelsteel Cook Pro Inc Mini Salad Spinner, 1.4-Quart
Excelsteel Cook Pro Inc Mini Salad Spinner, 1.4-Quart

Use this versatile salad spinner to wash and strain your veggies and fruits. The bowl doubles as a serving bowl serving. Perfect size and easy to store especially for kitchens with limited space.

 
Prepworks by Progressive Salad Spinner with Handle - 2.5 Quart
Prepworks by Progressive Salad Spinner with Handle - 2.5 Quart

Good news for lefties or righties--this salad spinner has pour spouts on either side and a handle for extra control and stability. Don't be fooled by its small size--it is powerful and built well.

 

Salad spinner bowl is a multitasker - Multi-purposed and a must-have in every kitchen

  1. The salad spinner is used to wash and dry salad greens and herbs.
  2. The outer bowl can be used to serve the salad itself.
  3. It can be used as a colander to wash and rinse other fruits and vegetables.
  4. The outer bowl can be used to make your dough rise.
  5. It can be used as an ice bucket to chill your drinks.
  6. You can serve large quantities of popcorn in it for a party.
  7. Store smaller kitchen items inside the bowl to save space, like measuring cups, ramekins, etc.

Let duke it out here

Do you think the salad spinner is truly an indispensable kitchen tool?

Salad spinner with a pump action - Easy one-hand operation

Great for folks with arthritis. This spinner is a winner.

OXO Good Grips  Salad Spinner
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner

This salad spinner operates with a pump action of a cylinder that pops up from the lid that you press with the palm of your hand to get the spinning motion. Press again to stop the spinning. This salad spinner is stable and stays put and does not walk away from the counter. It is dishwasher safe and easy to clean. The knob locks down for easy storage. Be practical and nest smaller kitchen items like ramekins in it to save space. It is ready for action whenever it is needed.

 

Do you think the salad spinner is a cool kitchen gadget? - Thanks for stopping by.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      You had me imagining the dirt and grime on those lettuce leaves, what a fun and enthusiastic presentation...you could sell these!

    • victoriahaneveer profile image

      victoriahaneveer 5 years ago

      I only got mine this year but use it several times a week. It also doubles as an extra bowl or emergency colander!

    • Elyn MacInnis profile image

      Elyn MacInnis 5 years ago from Shanghai, China

      My favorite is your last one - the OXO Good Grips Spinner. It works really really well. Thank you for your thoughtful presentation! Angel blessings to you!

    • profile image

      Ruthi 5 years ago

      The salad spinner is a great kitchen gadget, though I do not have one and just prefer to wash my lettuce the old-fashioned way. I have used salad spinners commercially in restaurant work and food service.

    • profile image

      friedspices 5 years ago

      love the spinner. It's such a time saver when making salad.

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      Yep, it's great! I love your tip about the paper towel. I'll have to try that.

    • Close2Art LM profile image

      Close2Art LM 5 years ago

      Angel Blessings****love this spinner!!!

    • marlies vaz nunes profile image

      Marlies Vaz Nunes 5 years ago from Amsterdam, the Netherlands

      Great lens. Blessed!

    • Merstarr profile image

      Merstarr 5 years ago

      I have had one forever and love it. One tip. Do not spin your spinach or other SOFT microgreens. They breakdown and become mulch. Blech. Otherwise, spin away :)

    • VspaBotanicals profile image

      VspaBotanicals 5 years ago

      Thank you for this information! Great lens!

    • xriotdotbiz lm profile image

      xriotdotbiz lm 5 years ago

      Been wanting a salad spinner for awhile, maybe this Christmas...

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you for including other uses of the salad spinner. I have not thought of putting ice in it but it is perfect for that.

    • thememorybooksh1 profile image

      thememorybooksh1 5 years ago

      Yes, In my thoughts this salad spinner is a cool gadget for our kitchen.. easy to use.. thanks for the lens..

    • Linda Pogue profile image

      Linda Pogue 5 years ago from Missouri

      I usually spin my lettuce and greens twice. I get about half as much water the second time as the first. Greens that have been washed and spun dry will last much longer in the refridgerator than those that have not been spun dry. Blessings!

    • Nanciajohnson profile image

      Nancy Johnson 5 years ago from Mesa, Arizona

      A very well done lens on describing how and why to use a salad spinner.

    • sharonbellis profile image

      Sharon Bellissimo 5 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, Canada

      Absolutely! I love my salad spinner.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Who would have thought there was so much to say about a salad spinner!

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      The salad spinner is cool. I am always amazed at what people invent for making our lives easier (and less messy).

    • BunnyFabulous profile image

      BunnyFabulous 5 years ago from Central Florida

      I like our two, and definitely prefer the one with a crank mechanism as opposed to the one where you push the top part down.

    • BillyPilgrim LM profile image

      BillyPilgrim LM 5 years ago

      I'm sold, too! Well done x

    • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

      Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

      You've sold me! Blessed.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very cool lens.. Loved reading your lens.. :D

    • profile image

      miaponzo 5 years ago

      I use mine every single day... can't live without it!!! Blessed!

    • anne mohanraj profile image

      anne mohanraj 5 years ago

      Interesting! I need to get one too!

    • Cari Kay 11 profile image

      Kay 5 years ago

      I've thought of getting one but now I really want one. Thanks and blessed!

    • profile image

      pawpaw911 5 years ago

      Yes it is a cool kitchen gadget. We have one, and we love ours too.

    • profile image

      DigbyAdams 5 years ago

      Yes I do think that a salad spinner is very cool. I don't throw out much lettuce and other greens when I use it. That saves lots of money

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 5 years ago from Topeka, KS

      I love mine and won't make a salad without it. :)

    • Trixiesmom2u profile image

      Trixiesmom2u 5 years ago

      It's cool, indispensable? Not so sure, but I don't eat a lot of salad.