What is a Salad Spinner?

The question “what is a salad spinner?” seems to stump the uninitiated. A salad spinner is basically a plastic or stainless bowl of a particular size equipped with a removable strainer of either material as its bowl and a lid that fits securely on top which can spin the strainer while it is inside the bowl. A salad spinner is a godsend for those who love salads but find the washing and drying of salad greens too tedious.

Preparing Salad Greens: Manual vs. Spinning?

Preparing Salad Greensbuy1

However, this is the manual way of preparing salad greens; we want to show you the difference between this procedure and using a salad spinner. Let’s start with the all-time favorite salad green: the lettuce.

Remove the head from the root with a sharp knife or pull leaves apart with your hands.

If you are using iceberg lettuce, remove its core first with the use of a paring knife; some iceberg lettuce heads may be firmer so get your hands ready to break one apart with your hands. Fill a bowl with cold water and give them a gentle once-over swish as you drop each one into it. Let the leaves float in the water to get rid of any dirt, grime or other small particles on them.

Using the Salad Spinner

Shake water gently off each of the leaves. Place them on a clean dish cloth or paper towels one at a time and blot each dry. If that sounded tedious to you, let’s use the salad spinner. Most spinners are reasonably priced, well below $50, and are a good investments if you are transitioning from a nutritionally-insufficient diet to a healthier lifestyle. Spinners are great for removing excess water off the leaves of greens.

Besides doing a more thorough job of washing these leaves, a salad spinner can also remove any excess water or moisture off them. A spinner will have the lid, bowl, and colander-style strainer basket. You do the same procedure of cutting off the root and then separating the lettuce leaves. This time, you place those leaves inside the strainer basket which sits inside the spinner’s bowl.

How a Salad Spinner Works

You fill your salad spinner with enough water to remove dirt, sand, debris, and other particles from your lettuce leaves which should sink to the spinner’s bottom. Lift the strainer basket – that contains the leaves – out of the spinner bowl, pour out the water, replace the strainer basket in the spinner bowl, and secure the lid on it. Spin the leaves according to the technology of your spinner.

The spinning action forces the water off the leaves and helps them to dry. When not properly washed and dried, salad greens can be potentially harmful because of the presence of E. coli, listeria, and other types of bacteria which can cause food poisoning. The rise in outbreak of food borne diseases has, in fact, been one of the reasons why salad spinners have become increasingly popular.

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Leaves that have been dried thoroughly will make salad oils and dressings stick better. Moreover, greens that have been left in water for a length of time will become limp. Fragile greens are also more easily damaged and bruised when not handled gently during the processes of washing and drying. The Oxo salad spinner, for instance, can wash and dry greens quickly and efficiently without causing damage to them.

Other Benefits from a Salad Spinner

Most spinners are considered convenient and easy to use but some of them have been criticized for their bulk, the amount of space they occupy, and their difficulty for storage. When you consider the other ways of using your salad spinner, you will find this kitchen accessory more of an asset than a liability. The salad spinner you thought was just another kitchen tool can become a multi-tasking device if you consider:

  • Benefits from a Salad SpinnerWashing and/or drying of your herbs: herbs require thorough washing and drying like vegetable greens. Your spinner can wash and dry them as efficiently as it would your salad greens.
  • Removing excess water out of your pasta: your spinner can remove the excess water out of any kind of pasta, especially the tubular varieties like penne and rigatoni, to prevent pasta salads from becoming watered down.
  • Rinsing and/or draining canned beans: get the water out of garbanzos and give navy, pinto, and white beans a thorough rinse prior to draining them in your salad spinner.
  • Washing delicate berries: fill your spinner with a sufficient amount of water and let your berries soak in that for ten minutes and just lift the strainer basket out to drain them gently; you get berries without cuts or bruises.
  • Removing seeds from tomatoes: place whole tomatoes – canned or fresh – into your spinner, manually break them gently, and spin several times to remove those tiny bitter seeds without difficulty.
  • Cleaning leeks: these have a lot of grit and sand trapped between their layers. Cut them in half, soak in water in your spinner, lift strainer basket, and separate leeks from dirty water. Repeat until all the dirt is gone and then just spin dry.
  • Proofing dough: if your dough needs proofing, use your salad spinner. Just place a small ball of the dough on your kitchen counter and flip your spinner bowl over it. This will prevent the dough from drying out.
  • Washing delicate garments: wash delicate garments (bras and silk handkerchiefs) in salad spinner. Simply spin them with laundry soap to mimic a washing machine’s wash cycle, drain, and spin excess water out before drying.

Buy a Salad Spinner from a Reputable Online Seller

Now that you know how much more useful a salad spinner can be, how do you know where to buy a salad spinner? The most convenient way to buy one would be from an online store but not all online stores are made equal. You have to be very selective when it comes to buying a salad spinner primarily because this kitchen tool will determine whether or not your greens have been properly washed and dried.

Do your homework and look for online sellers with solid reputations. The Oxo Good Grips Salad Spinner products, for instance, have been praised by numerous customer reviews as reliable, durable, efficient, and affordable. Oxo salad spinners come in Good Grips, Softworks, and Stainless Steel models. The question “what is a salad spinner?” is answerable by one word: Oxo.

We recommend the OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner available at Amazon…