Most people see salad spinners one of two ways. Either they think it’s an essential tool to have in the kitchen or they wonder why anyone would bother to have one.
If you’re in the group of people who would be wondering what does a salad spinner do, then I want to share with you why so many of us swear by it.
The salad spinner is a great tool, and even beyond its basic use, there’s a lot you can do with it. So, I want to cover what salad spinners do and why people even have them in their kitchen.
Maybe then you’ll see the value of buying one for yourself. If you already have one, perhaps this will help you to get more use out of it, so the salad spinner will spend less time buried in your cupboards.
What Does A Salad Spinner Do?
I wondered why anyone had salad spinners when I first started cooking. I had known other people who had them in their kitchen and didn’t see much use for them.
That was until I started to use one for myself, and it was then that I was sold on the value of the salad spinner.
What does a salad spinner do? The salad spinner is essential for anyone who makes salads regularly or who eats a lot of green, leafy vegetables.
The salad spinner might be big and bulky and take up more space than you would like, but if you’re a fan of salads, you’ll quickly find you can’t live without it.
The salad spinner is great at drying out freshly washed vegetables and greens. It can remove water from them quickly and more effectively than pretty much any other method you can think of.
Now, I’ve seen some pretty interesting methods for getting water off of lettuce and other leafy greens, but nothing really works as well as the salad spinner. I have known people to hang their lettuce out to dry and to wave it in the air as well just to get off the extra water.
The advantage of using the salad spinner is that after the water is removed from your greens, salad dressing and other toppings can stick to it better. If there’s still water on your greens when you drizzle dressing on them, that can run off quickly rather than stick to them like it should.
In other words, using the salad spinner for drying off the greens makes for a more cohesive and unified dish. It ensures that everything comes together better.
The salad spinner is a basket with small holes in it that is rotated quickly to remove water from the greens. The water is pushed out of the small slits so that the greens can be mostly water free in a short amount of time.
It’s very effective and very useful, but I can definitely see why some people would think it takes up more space than it’s worth.
How to Use a Salad Spinner
If you search up “what does a salad spinner do YouTube?” you will find videos on how to use it and a lot of content from people wondering why they should even bother to have a salad spinner.
I definitely get that, but I also want to share with you some ways you can use a salad spinner beyond just drying off your lettuce.
You can use the salad spinner to get water off a lot of things that shouldn’t have water on them when you eat them or when you cook with them. I like to use my spinner to clean and dry herbs.
Just like lettuce, your green and leafy herbs need to be washed thoroughly and then dried off before you use them. The salad spinner is a very effective way to do just that.
You can do the same thing with your pasta, washing it and drying it off in a few simple motions using the salad spinner. It’s a lot more effective than trying to use a sieve to wash and drain pasta.
Getting that water out of the pasta is really important for shell pasta and tubular pasta, since those can retain water easily.
You don’t want the water in your pasta, since it can water down your sauce and seasonings and make your pasta too mushy or lacking flavour.
Another handy use for the salad spinner is to get the seeds out of canned tomatoes. The tomato seeds can add a little bit of a tangy or bitter taste to your dish, and the salad spinner can be an effective tool to remove those seeds without having to do so much labor by hand.
You can use it to drain your beans and berries as well. These are foods that ought to be washed and drained before you cook with them or throw them into a dish. A lot of people use a colander or sieve to do this, but the salad spinner is more effective at removing water.
The water drains using the salad spinner very well, and then you can close it and shake it to get rid of excess water that doesn’t drain off naturally and easily.
You can even use the salad spinner for tasks that don’t involve food. I have known some people to use a salad spinner to clean delicate clothes or to remove water from swimming clothes.
The salad spinner is a great way to wash delicates like bras and panties without putting them through a rough and tumble cycle in the washing machine.
You can simply squirt some washing detergent or dishwashing liquid onto the clothes in the salad spinner and spin it around. Then, rinse the clothes in order to get the excess water out, imitating the spin cycle on a washing machine.
Now you can see why a lot of people keep salad spinners around. Yes, I can understand if you don’t have much space in your kitchen and that you have to reserve space for the essential items that have multiple uses. However, there’s more to salad spinners than just washing and draining your lettuce.
I think what makes them so essential for me is the fact that they are very good at their job. You can use a substitute, but it won’t be the same and it will not be as easy to use and as effective.
So, there’s definitely value in the salad spinner and I hope you can understand why it’s worth having in the kitchen.
My Favourite Salad Spinners
I’ve had mixed experiences with salad spinners. Some work really well but break down after a short time. Some look really cool sitting on my kitchen counter but give sub-par performance.
Then there are those that look good and work perfectly for years. I’ve chosen 4 of my best ones to review today. I’ll talk about what I love about each, and what I don’t like so much. All 4 are available on Amazon US.
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner
I found this one as I was shopping for an OXO peeler and I decided to give it a try. I love it, and it’s the one I’m using right now. There’s a lot that’s impressive about this small salad spinner. The OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner is by far the most convenient model I’ve ever trialled.
I say small because many of the spinners I used in the past had the disadvantage of being large; they would take up so much space on the counter that after use I’d have to clean them and keep them away immediately. Also, I couldn’t use them to store salads in the fridge.
Here’s what I loved about the OXO salad spinner:
- It’s very easy to use; you only need to push a button to dry your veggies.
- The gadget has a non-slip ring at the bottom that keeps it firmly on the counter-top.
- The lid also has a non-slip ring that keeps it on; you don’t have to hold it down with one hand as you push the button with the other.
- The bowl is nice enough to serve salads in, and I use the basket as a colander.
What don’t I like?
Just one thing; you have to dry your salads in the sink, otherwise the spinner will spray water all over the kitchen counter.
Andcolours Deluxe Salad Spinner
This one is small, not as small as OXO but small enough. I bought it because the design appealed to me (it looks quite sleek) and was happily surprised when it did the job quite well. The Andcolors Deluxe Salad Spinner is better suited to habitual hosts who tend to cater to more guests, or anyone with a big family.
Here’s why I highly recommend it:
- It feels very sturdy in the hands.
- The bowl is nice enough to use to serve salads even for guests.
- It’s durable (I had mine for years).
- It works fast.
What didn’t I like?
Honestly, there isn’t much about this gadget that I didn’t like. The only reason I decided to buy an OXO was that it was smaller.
Mueller Large Salad Spinner
Don’t let the word “large” dissuade you from buying this salad spinner. Although it is bigger than the previous two it is a nifty gadget. If you’re a professional caterer (or just feel like one!), the Mueller Large Salad Spinner is a winning choice.
If you have enough space on your kitchen counter I recommend it and here’s why:
- Its large size makes it perfect for making salads for the family and also when preparing meals for guests.
- A handy button makes it very easy to use.
- It has a smart-lock lid so you don’t have to hold it down while you spin.
- It doesn’t wobble while it spins, a common problem with salad spinners.
- It is very well made and the bowl is nice enough to use for serving.
What didn’t I like?
My only problem with this spinner was that it didn’t dry lettuce as well as I would have liked it to. Don’t get me wrong; it does a pretty decent job, but if you want your veggies really dry you may want to try OXO or Andcolours.
Gourmia Jumbo Salad Spinner
An excellent salad spinner, and I loved mine while I had it. It was great for preparing large amounts of salad. If you’re pressed for time, the Gourmia Jumbo Salad Spinner doubles as a serving bowl and doesn’t look out of place on a dining table.
There are a few things I really like about Gourmia:
- It is heavy and feels very durable.
- You can lock the lid down to keep ingredients in the bowl.
- Instead of taking off the lid to fill the spinner you can use the convenient spout located at the top.
- You can use the bowl to serve salads.
- I read somewhere that you can use this salad spinner to store lettuce for up to three weeks. I didn’t try it myself, but if you don’t have access to fresh lettuce every few days this would be a perfect addition to your kitchen.
What didn’t i like:
After having this salad spinner for about a year the bowl broke. I tried to get in touch with the manufacturer to get a replacement but they didn’t get back to me.